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Xbox Series X Quick Resume Allows Near-Instant Game Switching

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The Xbox Series X’s quick resume feature allows for near-instant game switching. The next-generation console’s release date and price seem to have spurred into the public light by the leak of its sister console, Xbox Series S, which was hastily confirmed to exist late Monday night. Microsoft took it a step further today revealing the price and confirming the November 10 launch date of both consoles, with the Series X retailing at $499 and the Series S at an impressive $299. Now, the console manufacturer is diving into the nitty-gritty of each next-gen console, showing off hardware specs and features ahead of pre-orders opening later this month.

The Smart Delivery and Quick Resume features have been an outward focus for Xbox Game Studios. Smart Delivery allows customers to purchase a game for the Xbox family of devices and automatically access the appropriate version of the game whether they’re playing on Xbox One or the Xbox Series X. The decision to make games compatible with Smart Delivery is typically left up to the game’s developers, but high-profile launch titles like Assassin's Creed Valhalla have taken the high road and opted in. Quick Resume, on the other hand, allows players to pick up a game where they left off without having to load it from scratch every time.

A video released on the official Xbox YouTube channel highlights several features of the Xbox Series S and X, but Quick Resume was one of the major focuses. Players utilizing Quick Resume can have multiple games running on their console simultaneously, effectively pausing them when swapping from one to the other - like having multiple applications minimized on a PC while actively switching between them at will. Per the video, switching between each game takes no more than a few seconds, with brief loading screens bridging the gap between titles as the consoles get users back into their game of choice.

The ability to have multiple games running seemingly simultaneously on a next-gen console is a nifty novelty and will definitely alleviate some of the woes gamers experienced on current-gen titles with their long loading or startup times. The recently released Marvel’s Avengers, for example, suffers from grueling loading times when not utilizing an SSD on consoles or PC. Anthem, while it suffered from many problems, was also one of the most painful experiences because of its lengthy loading times.

Quick Resume should help solve some of the issues mentioned above, though, whether players and developers will utilize the feature to its full potential remains to be seen. For one, having multiple games running at once (even in a low-power, suspended state) still taxes the hardware that makes the magic happen. Even the highest-end PCs, while able to sustain multiple games simultaneously depending on how demanding they are, can suffer and deteriorate when overtaxed by several programs running at the same time. Additionally, there's likely a cap to just how many games can be suspended by Quick Resume. By the video's count, that figure might be four - more than most players will probably care to ever use, though it's not hard to imagine some growing dissatisfied with that limit as time passes and expectations grow.

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will be available on November 10, 2020, and pre-orders open on September 22.

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