Xbox Series X DXR Hardware and SSD Will Revolutionize Stealth Games Says Sniper Elite Dev

Apr 22, 2020
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Over the past few months we’ve heard a lot about how the upcoming Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will revolutionize open-world games with their powerful processors and sold-state drives, but what about other genres? Windows Central has posted a new article, featuring developer reactions to the Xbox Series X hardware, and much of it is stuff we’ve heard before – they’re looking forward to playing with the new GPU and the SSD should make streaming big worlds easier. Probably the most interesting response comes from Kevin Floyer-Lea at Rebellion Developments, who details some of the less obvious ways the Xbox Series X hardware will benefit more linear, stealthy games like their own Sniper Elite series.

Obviously 4K visuals and high framerates are of benefit to games like Sniper Elite, but the Xbox Series X’s ray tracing hardware, including audio ray tracing, with also have a huge effect.

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Hardware-accelerated ray tracing is a very welcome feature. Not only does it allow us to take players to environments that are that more realistic and dynamic, but ray tracing hardware can do more than just rendering! For example, we can do incredible things with the acoustics to enhance realism. Modeling realistic sound occlusion for AI's hearing in real-time, for example, is an incredibly useful feature for creating stealth games.

Fast data streaming from the XSX’s SSD isn’t just good for creating huge worlds, it will also allow devs to improve the finer details, like character AI and animation…

The SSD storage speed then lets us take those beautiful realistic environments and make them load in a flash. And we're talking about bigger environments than the ones we could create on Xbox One. Finding new things to stream is an important part of this generation, and animation streaming is a game-changer for motion capture. Now we can support detailed motion capture on a much wider scale, like non-player characters simply doing their thing in the background. Instead of all enemy NPCs moving in an identical way, for example, the SSD storage speed means we can offer many unique motion-captured animations.

If you’d like to know what other devs, including Moon Studios and The Coalition, think about the XSX, I suggest you check out Windows Central’s full article.

While I’m sure next-gen games will look great, I’m definitely most excited to get hands on a find out how they play and feel. What next-gen innovations are you most looking forward to?

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