Microsoft is hiring engineers to develop AI-based upscaling tech for the Xbox Series X

Polycount

Posts: 2,903   +587
Staff member
Something to look forward to: After years of focusing exclusively on resolution bumps at the cost of performance, the console gaming market is finally turning its attention to the world of high framerate gaming experiences. But Microsoft's Xbox Series S/X won't be achieving that exclusively through beefy hardware -- word has it that the company is developing an alternative to DLSS by leveraging its DirectML API.

Details on Microsoft's progress are scarce for the time being, and this news primarily comes through two recent job postings on the company's "Careers" website. On the site, you'll find ads for a Senior Software Engineer and a Principal Software Engineer for Graphics.

Setting the corporate mumbo-jumbo aside, we can find a few sentences of note. In the first, Microsoft says it's looking for an engineer who will "implement machine learning algorithms in graphics software to delight millions of gamers," while working closely with "partners" to develop software for "future machine learning hardware."

Microsoft hopes that machine learning will enhance the efficiency of traditional rendering algorithms, and ensure its future games "run beautifully" at the "highest resolutions and frame rates." This will likely mean a target of standardized 4K, 60 FPS gameplay across the board, at least for major first-party titles. As we've seen with Cyberpunk 2077, AI upscaling can even pave the way for ray tracing without the same performance loss you'd ordinarily see by turning such features on.

AI-based upscaling methods are not without their faults, of course. To use Cyberpunk 2077 as an example again, even using the "Quality" DLSS preset resulted in heavy blurring of the image. It was a worthy trade-off for many users (simply due to how beautiful the game's RT implementation was), but it was still a trade-off.

We'll be looking forward to seeing what sort of solution Microsoft comes up with over the next couple of years. Will it have the same drawbacks as its competitors, or will it rise above them with near-perfect upscaling tech? Only time will tell.

Masthead credit: TechRadar

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Dimitriid

Posts: 1,159   +2,214
I'm kind of surprised they didn't just try to implement FSR from AMD or maybe this is in additional?
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,857   +4,046
I'm not going to say AMDs solution is any better than DLSS 2.0, but atleast it's an honest, open source solution. While software solutions compared to AI(I know it's not the simple, but I'm going to refer to it like that for keeping this post simple) don't work as well, the idea that everyone can use it for free makes it a desirable option. And I know FSR sucks right now, but it's pretty on the level of DLSS 1. It's only going to get better
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 883   +1,678
Ok, first, another fluff DLSS article on the main site.

Then this article that somehow doesnt even mention AMD or their implementation that was already announced for xbox, FIdelity FX, but of course, dlss is mentioned.

The mind wonders if the fairness has ben replaced by the marketing team...
 
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NeoMorpheus

Posts: 883   +1,678
I'm not going to say AMDs solution is any better than DLSS 2.0, but atleast it's an honest, open source solution.

Very true.

While software solutions compared to AI(I know it's not the simple, but I'm going to refer to it like that for keeping this post simple) don't work as well, the idea that everyone can use it for free makes it a desirable option.

I would say, it should be implemented as what it is, open standard and give the d!cks at nvidia the middle finger, like they do to us, with their lock-in cr@p.


And I know FSR sucks right now,

Based on what? Because everyone else that is not in nvidia pockets are saying its very good, especially compared to dlss1.

but it's pretty on the level of DLSS 1

Wrong, its already superior than what was released as dlss 1.

It's only going to get better

Agreed, for the sake of consumers and the industry.
 
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Irata

Posts: 1,751   +2,929
I'm kind of surprised they didn't just try to implement FSR from AMD or maybe this is in additional?

MS is supporting this on XBox One / Series S|X - they added FSR to their dev kit.

Still, considering that their SOC has hw ml acceleration built in, why not use that to create a better mechanism.

The interesting point is this

while working closely with "partners" to develop software for "future machine learning hardware."
 

DrSuess

Posts: 142   +123
I'm kind of surprised they didn't just try to implement FSR from AMD or maybe this is in additional?
If MS implements this with DirectML then it will eventually become part of DirectX and both Xbox consoles and PCs would benefit. There would be less work for both AAA and independent game developers to include upscaling into their titles. So its good that MS isn't looking to use DLSS or FSR.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,159   +2,214
If MS implements this with DirectML then it will eventually become part of DirectX and both Xbox consoles and PCs would benefit. There would be less work for both AAA and independent game developers to include upscaling into their titles. So its good that MS isn't looking to use DLSS or FSR.
Well the thing is, pragmatically Direct ML and later Direct XL implementation would reach more people.

But (And here's a big but, pun intended) AMD's it's at least on the surface level, more platform agnostic and I don't just mean Linux (But that's slowly becoming more important) but also cross platform. While AMD does run the show on FSR they did made it work on Nvidia GPUs day 1 and probably will get to Linux drivers soon enough, theoretically Apple could get in on it if they wanted to as well, etc. Whereas it is much less likely that a competitor like Google or Apple would adopt a Microsoft initiative like DirectX, at least willingly.
 

Xex360

Posts: 160   +234
They already showed off this upscaling method on Horizon 3, with machine learning already part of DX12, I see them killing DLSS and everyone will start using their method instead.