Image: Microsoft

NVIDIA and AMD have been making a lot of headlines for its DLSS and FidelityFX Super Resolution initiatives for improving gaming performance via cutting-edge upscaling technologies, and it appears that Microsoft’s Xbox team is trying to get in on the action. This is according to new job listings for a Senior Software Engineer and Principal Software Engineer spotted on Microsoft’s official careers page, both of which allude to a plan by the Xbox team to develop a new upscaling technology that leverages Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S’s support for machine learning via DirectML, a component of DirectX. “Join our growing team of talented women and men on our shared mission to ensure that all games run beautifully at the highest resolutions and frame rates,” one listing reads. It’ll be interesting to see how Microsoft’s new upscaling solution compares to AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution, which is expected to secure a solid level of adoption across PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5 titles.

Image: AMD

Xbox is leveraging machine learning to make traditional rendering algorithms more efficient and to provide better alternatives. The Xbox graphics team is seeking an engineer who will implement machine learning algorithms in graphics software to delight millions of gamers. Work closely with partners to develop software for future machine learning hardware. Make a big impact in computer graphics and gaming.

Sources: Microsoft (1, 2), TechPowerUp

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12 Comments

  1. Just what we need. Another competing standard…

    [ATTACH type=”full” alt=”1625866517538.png”]1157[/ATTACH]

  2. If I was MS I would focus on bringing some actual hardware to the people.

    I hope that the guy who came up with the initial launch volume has been fired by now. From the looks of it their initial nr of consoles they would have sold out in just one of the US states let alone for a worldwide launch.

  3. [QUOTE=”Denpepe, post: 37481, member: 284″]
    I hope that the guy who came up with the initial launch volume has been fired by now. From the looks of it their initial nr of consoles they would have sold out in just one of the US states let alone for a worldwide launch.
    [/QUOTE]
    I’ll bet that the winning proposal for launch volume factored in the risk of increased demand as well as the cost of acquiring additional units. Given that fab capacity is limited, getting more units means outbidding someone else for the wafers – and that’s just in terms of the silicon. They’d have to get more of everything and as we know that there are multiple breaks in the global electronics supply chain, their unit costs would have to go up as well.

    At this level of volume they know that they’ve sold everything that they made for MSRP, and well, that means that the balance sheets hit projections.

  4. [QUOTE=”Denpepe, post: 37481, member: 284″]
    If I was MS I would focus on bringing some actual hardware to the people.

    I hope that the guy who came up with the initial launch volume has been fired by now. From the looks of it their initial nr of consoles they would have sold out in just one of the US states let alone for a worldwide launch.
    [/QUOTE]

    Agree – hardware is one angle.

    I think, though, if I were MS I would focus on more tightly integrating XB and Windows. Really, why should the gaming experience be any lesser or different on a PC? Is there a reason the XB app on a PC doesn’t work exactly like it does on an XB, access the exact same storefront as the XB, and play the exact same games as an XB?

    That is where MS is really shooting themselves in the foot – they have a decent thing going with XBGP, but they are gimping the much larger potential install base (PC) in an attempt to drive people to the hardware they can’t provide.

  5. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get to the point where XBGP achieves parity between PC and console.

    Also, I think it’s smart for MS to invest in a DLSS-like tech for Xbox. Lets face it, if there’s any hardware that DLSS-style tech would benefit, it’d be console.

  6. [QUOTE=”SeymourGore, post: 37492, member: 158″]
    I wouldn’t be surprised if we get to the point where XBGP achieves parity between PC and console.
    [/QUOTE]
    I would be; the most recent console release is already several generations behind in terms of hardware. Being optimized for what they are, that means that they’re not [I]as[/I] behind, but as consoles also don’t get updated as often they’re not going to hit real ‘parity’ unless PC component producers give up.

    [QUOTE=”SeymourGore, post: 37492, member: 158″]
    Also, I think it’s smart for MS to invest in a DLSS-like tech for Xbox. Lets face it, if there’s any hardware that DLSS-style tech would benefit, it’d be console.
    [/QUOTE]
    The general premise of ‘more efficient’ means that everything can benefit. Phones can benefit. Top-end gaming rigs can benefit. Mobile gaming with a Switch? Absolutely. Want higher resolution or framerates than are possible with current hardware? Yup!

    I do agree that consoles are a significant untapped ‘niche’ for… MLSS? techniques, especially given their more static nature in terms of hardware and especially software stack. I think that the next round of ‘updates’ for this generation, hopefully including significantly more RT grunt delivered by AMD as well, would get 4k120 feasible enough to be the ‘standard’.

  7. [QUOTE=”LazyGamer, post: 37493, member: 1367″]
    I would be; the most recent console release is already several generations behind in terms of hardware. Being optimized for what they are, that means that they’re not [I]as[/I] behind, but as consoles also don’t get updated as often they’re not going to hit real ‘parity’ unless PC component producers give up.
    [/QUOTE]
    I don’t know about that. You can’t just consider whatever top-tier hardware is available — the average “gamer PC” isn’t going to have a 3090 in it.

    Just for example, out of the top 10 GPUs on the Steam hardware survey – the most powerful card is a 2070S, which clocks in at 9 TFlops. The top ten represent almost half of the gaming PCs in the survey. XB1SX comes in at 12TF …. and about 75% of all the computers on the hardware survey have fewer than the 8 cores available in the XB1SX.

    Now, will that change by the time we get to the tail end of the console generation lifespan? I hope so, but I don’t think the console will be massively behind the “average” PC before it sees either a generational change, or a mid-generation refresh. You could make a strong case that PCs are just now catching up to the last generation – XB1X Pro clocked in at 6TF, and PC hardware just isn’t advancing as fast as it used to.

    Hardware I don’t think has anything to do with the console lock-in or the reason why MS won’t bring the full XB experience over to the PC. I think it has everything to do with the licensing royalties … which they could also do on the PC in some manner that doesn’t cripple open, non-XB gaming, they just haven’t figured that out yet.

  8. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 37494, member: 96″]
    I don’t know about that. You can’t just consider whatever top-tier hardware is available — the average “gamer PC” isn’t going to have a 3090 in it.
    [/QUOTE]
    Point taken, though I wouldn’t want to compare the current console generation to the [I]mathematically[/I] average PC gamer. The majority of gamers recorded on Steam aren’t playing games that would require the grunt available from modern consoles, myself included if I’m not on my desktop.

    I’d want to compare gamers playing the ‘most stressful’ games designed for the latest consoles, to try and even it out.

    [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 37494, member: 96″]
    Now, will that change by the time we get to the tail end of the console generation lifespan? I hope so, but I don’t think the console will be massively behind the “average” PC before it sees either a generational change, or a mid-generation refresh. You could make a strong case that PCs are just now catching up to the last generation – XB1X Pro clocked in at 6TF…
    [/QUOTE]
    In terms of the overall average, absolutely, and I’ll add that this is a draw – if you’re comfortable with consoles as a gaming platform, they’re just flat out more economical. Still, Jaguar cores and… I forget which AMD underpowered GPU aren’t much to really talk about except just how much work MS and their developers were able to get it to do!

    [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 37494, member: 96″]
    Hardware I don’t think has anything to do with the console lock-in or the reason why MS won’t bring the full XB experience over to the PC. I think it has everything to do with the licensing royalties … which they could also do on the PC in some manner that doesn’t cripple open, non-XB gaming, they just haven’t figured that out yet.
    [/QUOTE]
    Hardware is part of it, just like with phones or other fairly ‘locked-in’ platforms. It’s a big difference you see in Apple mobile products versus Android-based devices, and even say between a Pixel and others, where Google pulls top-flight performance out of what are usually mid-range SoCs.

    With consoles, MS and Sony (and Nintendo with Nvidia) have the opportunity to spec changes that make the hardware more amenable to the appliance-like nature of their platforms.

    Now by all accounts the Xbox is losing quite a bit of that, what with modern AMD CPU and GPU logic and components being more or less off the shelf outside of the SoC, but letting games run on desktops is a whole nother level of work I think. Only Microsoft or perhaps multiplatform Xbox developers could really give us an answer there.

  9. [QUOTE=”LazyGamer, post: 37513, member: 1367″]
    In terms of the overall average, absolutely, and I’ll add that this is a draw – if you’re comfortable with consoles as a gaming platform, they’re just flat out more economical. Still, Jaguar cores and… I forget which AMD underpowered GPU aren’t much to really talk about except just how much work MS and their developers were able to get it to do!
    [/QUOTE]

    Imagine what a high end PC could do if they put as much effort in it, one of the only developpers who seems to tap into some potential is id software given how nice their games look and how fast they run.

  10. [QUOTE=”Denpepe, post: 37519, member: 284″]
    Imagine what a high end PC could do if they put as much effort in it, one of the only developpers who seems to tap into some potential is id software given how nice their games look and how fast they run.
    [/QUOTE]

    Well ID software is one of the original 3d gaming engine makers out there and they are known for amazingly well written and fast engines. They have stuck to a thin and light code set and execution string and it has worked wonders for them.

    Unreal engine is another one but has gone bulky.

  11. [QUOTE=”Grimlakin, post: 37535, member: 215″]
    Well ID software is one of the original 3d gaming engine makers out there and they are known for amazingly well written and fast engines. They have stuck to a thin and light code set and execution string and it has worked wonders for them.

    Unreal engine is another one but has gone bulky.
    [/QUOTE]
    Apart from id Tech 5 used in Rage 1 which came out with the big texture popping issues – yeah, id has some of the best engines in use. They just don’t license them out too far.

    Carmack had said at various points he wanted to open source the engines, but Zenimax axed that when they bought id, and now he no longer works there and it’s owned by Microsoft so… who knows.

    The engine is only part of it though. Unreal actually has a really nice and optimized engine, but if you throw bad code and resources at it, it’s still going to choke. A big part of the reason id Tech probably does as well as it does is that the folks making the game are intimately familiar with the engine, and have access to tweak the engine as needed to do what they want to do with it.

  12. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 37556, member: 96″]
    Apart from id Tech 5 used in Rage 1 which came out with the big texture popping issues
    [/QUOTE]
    They made an ‘open world’ game run smooth – that was the cost, and perhaps they were a bit [I]too [/I]forward thinking, I agree. Still, the idea worked when hardware caught up.
    [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 37556, member: 96″]
    Unreal actually has a really nice and optimized engine, but if you throw bad code and resources at it, it’s still going to choke.
    [/QUOTE]
    Modding experiments have made it pretty clear to me over the years – if the content isn’t optimized well, the engine’s just going to fall on its face. That’s something that takes AAA house resources IMO as it’s a delicate balance!

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