Xbox Series X may pack AMD GPU with advanced features — is PS5 in trouble?

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Rumors continue to trickle in as Microsoft and Sony gear up to launch their next-generation consoles this year. This time, the grapevine is whispering about the Xbox Series X's partnership with AMD, which may give it an edge over PS5's graphics, according to a Reddit user (via Neowin).

The Xbox Series X may be equipped with AMD's RDNA2 GPU, which is expected to be electrified with hardware-accelerated ray tracing functionality and enhanced power efficiency. We haven't verified this info, so get your grains of salt ready. 

With enhanced ray tracing technology, you'll be immersed in a picturesque world where shadows and light mirror reality more than ever; Puddles, for example, will appear to be more visually accurate with raytracing's heightened intelligence for creating naturally-occurring perspectives of reflections and depth of field.

That's too bad for PS5, though, because rumor has it that Sony won't be able to power up their next-gen console with the advanced AMD technology.

"RDNA2 is apparently developed exclusively for Microsoft and high-end Radeon GPUs. This would suggest Sony won't be able to include RDNA2 hardware in the PlayStation 5," Neowin wrote.

AMD's implementation of DirectX ray tracing is reportedly 30 to 50% more potent than Nvidia's technology. Microsoft and AMD will reportedly release Xbox Series X demos showing off RDNA2's ray tracing features; Those demos will supposedly include a racing game launched by Turn 10 Studios. 

The companies will also delve into Azure ray tracing -- electrified by RDNA2 -- which will implement raytracing functionality on any web-connected device.

Variable Rate Shading (VRS) technology, which has been added to racing game Forza Horizon 4, will also grab some spotlight with Microsoft's and AMD's push for graphical innovation. VRS, according to Nvidia, is a "feature that increases rendering performance and quality by varying the shading rate for different regions of the frame." 

Microsoft and AMD will likely discuss their partnership publicly during AMD's Financial Analyst Day, which is on March 5.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!