Following the announcement of AMD's Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs earlier today, Microsoft has gone into a little more detail on what the Xbox Series X will be capable of thanks to AMD's graphics cards. The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S all use AMD Zen 2 and RDNA 2 hardware under the hood, and these new graphics cards all use the RDNA 2 architecture as well.
Today, Microsoft said that the Xbox Series X / S is the "first next-generation consoles with complete hardware support for all of the RDNA 2 AMD capabilities seen today." These capabilities include DirectX Raytracing, which Microsoft claims will be included in the Watch Dogs: Legion releases. By now, gamers are likely to have a strong understanding of what Raytracing is doing since it can provide a play with realistic lighting, allowing more realistic shadows and reflections in the game.
Microsoft claims that Mesh Shaders "can manipulate geometry in real-time to provide a high degree of fidelity and versatility that developers have never had before." Simultaneously, another feature called Sampler Feedback can save a lot of energy, enabling games to load only the portions of textures needed for a scene. As Microsoft states, this offers "an efficient 2.5x memory and a bandwidth multiplier beyond raw hardware capabilities."
Finally, we're coming to Variable Rate Shading. We've heard about Variable Rate Shading related to both PC gaming and Xbox Series X in the past. Still, Microsoft describes it as a function that enables developers to concentrate their efforts on specific areas instead of applying them equally to all frame areas. This helps developers tap into an improvement in performance while not losing anything in image quality. It sounds like one-way developers would squeeze higher frame rates out of the previous generation of games running on new hardware.
So, with the RDNA 2-based GPU and the Zen 2-based CPU at its heart, it sounds like the Xbox Series X / S would be two legally capable consoles. Microsoft closes its blog post (https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2020/10/28/a-closer-look-at-how-xbox-series-xs-integrates-full-amd-rdna-2-architecture/) by saying that the forthcoming release of the Xbox Series X / S and AMD RX 6000 series GPUs should lead to a "common collection of next-generation resources and performance capabilities" developers will be able to tap across console and PC. Given the quality rift that can sometimes be between console and PC games, that sounds good.