The Xbox Series X is here, as is its smaller Series S sibling console, but some much ballyhooed features and perks of Microsoft’s new generation feel like they haven’t quite arrived. Already, though, we’ve seen the new Xbox consoles clean up their acts a bit since launch, and Xbox’s Jason Ronald says more fixes are coming soon.
Ronald, director of program management at Xbox, made a guest appearance on Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb’s official Xbox podcast today to talk about the good, great, and not-so-good of the recent console launch. After taking a moment to celebrate the new Xbox sales record, Ronald gets down to business discussing Xbox’s developer relations and how it relates to achieving smooth, top-class performance on launch titles.
“There’s different kinds of issues that can come up as developers are starting to learn and take advantage of this platform,” Ronald says. “In some cases, they’re just simply bugs in the titles—and we’ve partnered very closely with them, and the developers will go in and fix those bugs because they’re just as committed to delivering that premium experience as we are. In other cases, it’s learning how to use this next-generation platform.”
That latter issue became the focal point of a recent article at The Verge. In light of some cross-platform comparisons for Xbox Series X and PS5 games from Digital Foundry that show Sony’s machine with an edge on performance, Microsoft felt compelled to acknowledge that it’s “aware of performance issues in a handful of optimized titles” and expects “minor bug fixes” from Xbox platform developers and game studios to resolve those problems. Ronald’s words on the Major Nelson podcast echo that sentiment.
Ronald and Hryb were also among the first at Microsoft to tout the benefits of the Quick Resume feature on new Xbox consoles, first discussing it back in February of this year. Unfortunately, as reviews of the Xbox Series X pointed out, Quick Resume was all but non-existent for next-gen titles at launch. Again, Microsoft’s working to fix that.
“As we mentioned prior to launch,” Ronald explains, “as some of these launch games were coming in, we identified some bugs in Quick Resume with some of these new, optimized titles, and we made the decision to actually disable Quick Resume for some of these titles because we want to make sure that players have that best-in-class experience[.]” The choice the Xbox team settled on was to turn it off and then get it up and running on a game-by-game basis as quickly as possible. Ronald points out that it’s now enabled for over 20 optimized titles including Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
It’s honestly still a miracle that Sony and Microsoft managed to launch new consoles during a pandemic, but past launches and the realities of this moment in history tell us we should expect big improvements to be a slow and steady process. Still, Microsoft says it’s moving fast on these issues, and so long as we’re not on the cusp of some unforeseen hardware snafus, that’s likely to be “good enough” for many early adopters—or at least it will until the wait for Halo Infinite starts to drag on past a Game Pass boom period.