Image: Microsoft

In a potential blow to Sony fans, Microsoft has shared a story confirming that the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are the only next-gen consoles that fully leverage AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture, which brings massive gains in both performance and efficiency.

We saw the potential for what RDNA 2 can bring to the table during red team’s Radeon RX 6000 Series announcement yesterday, but while the PlayStation 5 also features a GPU based on that architecture, the implication here is that Sony’s console won’t be able to reap RDNA 2’s full benefits.

“Xbox Series X|S are the only next-generation consoles with full hardware support for all the RDNA 2 capabilities AMD showcased today,” Microsoft wrote.

“AMD’s latest RDNA 2 architecture delivers a significant increase in performance and efficiency over previous architectures, as well as adding new hardware acceleration capabilities including hardware accelerated DirectX Raytracing, Mesh Shaders, Sampler Feedback and Variable Rate Shading.”

Image: AMD

While a deeper dive is definitely required, the popular assumption is that the PlayStation 5 doesn’t support one or more of these features. That’s especially disappointing from a developer’s standpoint, as some of these techniques could be a boon for performance.

Variable Rate Shading, for instance, has reportedly allowed The Coalition to improve Gears 5’s performance by up to 15 percent without sacrificing image quality. This is a rendering technique that can be used to limit GPU resources to specific parts of the frame, maximizing quality where it matters.

“In our quest to put gamers and developers first we chose to wait for the most advanced technology from our partners at AMD before finalizing our architecture,” Microsoft noted later in the article.

This statement seems to suggest that Sony may have rushed the design of its console and ended up with a half-baked GPU, which has presumably been customized with unique implementations that mirror DirectX 12 Ultimate’s feature set.

The story will become clearer when Microsoft and Sony’s next-gen consoles debut in November, but it seems safe to assume that the Xbox Series X|S has much closer ties to AMD’s original vision for RDNA 2. DirectX 12 Ultimate techniques will also inevitably get better as adoption grows, so the Xbox consoles are sure to evolve gracefully.

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11 Comments

  1. There is more to this story. Microsoft is fully invested in DirectX since it is their own API, and this sounds like more marketing speak to instill doubt in people’s minds about their competition. Sony is still using their own proprietary API, as far as I’m aware, which probably have features that mirror DX12 Ultimate to some extent. But there is no doubt that the PS5, with 30% fewer compute units, is a weaker GPU compared to the Series X.

    1. You’re right there is more to this story. Sony is missing most of what makes RDNA2 good and there’s nothing in the sdk to make up for it. They are using RDNA1 cores with RT Hardware pinned on. That’s as close as sony gets to RDNA2

  2. [QUOTE=”Armenius, post: 22371, member: 180″]
    There is more to this story. Microsoft is fully invested in DirectX since it is their own API, and this sounds like more marketing speak to instill doubt in people’s minds about their competition. Sony is still using their own proprietary API, as far as I’m aware, which probably have features that mirror DX12 Ultimate to some extent. But there is no doubt that the PS5, with 30% fewer compute units, is a weaker GPU compared to the Series X.
    [/QUOTE]
    True true. Supposedly Sony has their own people when it comes to gpus and they worked with AMD or some such. Read about it a while ago, but I think I remembering it right.

    1. You don’t think Microsoft has their own gpu team? They do and every modern gpu is based on microsofts 360 design. They merged the pixel and vertex shader pipelines increasing efficiency by insane amounts.

      It was the first GPU (including PC) to do this and 6 months later the first mixed shader pipeline launched on PC.

      Microsoft owns the patent on that and quite a few other gpu technologies so everytime a GPU is sold whether it’s for pc or in a console Microsoft gets paid.

      On the other hand not a single modification sony has made to a gpu has found it’s way into any other GPU. When sony “customizes” a gpu it’s not about adding functions it’s nothing more than layout and compatibility changes with their often strange cpu architecture’s. For the ps5 the modification was adding ray tracing capability to RDNA1 and making it compatible with their waste of time custom ssd controller. I call it a waste of time because Microsoft and AMD solved loading speed issues in other ways…less expensive ways and ways that will be merged with the PC space so games will load significantly quicker there too and they will be able to pull data fast enough to load it all on the fly just like what was shown by Cerny in that sad ps5 unveil where they only talked about 3d audio (the xbox one and series x/s have the same 3d audio btw) and the ssd controller they created because they didn’t have faith AMD would deliver…but they did and sony lost out.

  3. Am I the only one who sees the Series X thing becoming another fun nickname once people start calling it SeX?

  4. [QUOTE=”Paul_Johnson, post: 22393, member: 2″]
    Am I the only one who sees the Series X thing becoming another fun nickname once people start calling it SeX?
    [/QUOTE]
    Would be a proper follow up to the Xbone, wouldn’t it? :ROFLMAO:

  5. [QUOTE=”Paul_Johnson, post: 22393, member: 2″]
    Am I the only one who sees the Series X thing becoming another fun nickname once people start calling it SeX?
    [/QUOTE]

    SexBox X?

    It would be ironic since you know…. gamerz probably don’t.

  6. [QUOTE=”Burticus, post: 22451, member: 297″]
    SexBox X?

    It would be ironic since you know…. gamerz probably don’t.
    [/QUOTE]

    [MEDIA=youtube]7ciVKIm7bcg[/MEDIA]

  7. [QUOTE=”d0x360, post: 22531, member: 1604″]
    You’re right there is more to this story. Sony is missing most of what makes RDNA2 good and there’s nothing in the sdk to make up for it. They are using RDNA1 cores with RT Hardware pinned on. That’s as close as sony gets to RDNA2
    [/QUOTE]
    Source?

  8. You know Sony is a bit known for having unique implementations. It’s clear that MS doesn’t want that because they want those Xbox games to work on windows, and their streaming service, and if they can use the same API’s across the board it’s a win win for them. Imagine someone using a PS5 to stream/play Xbox whatever games on it? That would be a HUGE win for MS, but I don’t see it happening. Sony will lock that down.

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