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Xbox Series S cuts load times in The Outer Worlds by 77%

Get into the action way more quickly

Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Microsoft has been touting the very short loading times enabled by the Xbox Series X and Series S, and now we have a concrete example of the improvement in The Outer Worlds.

In a deep-dive video released Wednesday about the newly announced Xbox Series S, Microsoft demonstrated the difference in loading The Outer Worlds on an Xbox One S and an Xbox Series S. Released in October 2019 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One, the open-world role-playing game is notorious for its lengthy load times.

With the “Continue” option from The Outer Worlds’ main menu, an Xbox One S took 53 seconds to load the game. On an Xbox Series S, the same load took just 12 seconds — a reduction of more than 77%. This follows a tech demo from March showing a similar reduction in load times for State of Decay 2.

It’s worth noting that The Outer Worlds developer Obsidian Entertainment said in July that it’s enhancing the game and both of its expansions for the Xbox Series X and Series S. There’s no word on whether the loading-time demo was using the existing Xbox One version played on an Xbox Series S via backward compatibility, or if it was the “Optimized for Xbox Series X/S” version. We’ve reached out to Microsoft for clarification, and will update this article with any information we receive.

Wednesday’s video also showed off the next-gen Xboxes’ Quick Resume function, which allows users to swap between games in seconds. The demo switches between a variety of current-generation and older games — Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (Xbox One) to Minecraft Dungeons (Xbox One) to Skate 3 (Xbox 360) to Black (Xbox) — and it does appear that the games are picking up right from where they’re left off, rather than the applications being closed and reopened. This is the second demonstration of Quick Resume with older games; Microsoft has not yet shown Quick Resume in action with an Xbox Series X/S title.

Both the Xbox Series S and the more powerful Xbox Series X feature a custom NVMe solid-state drive that is engineered to load games into memory much more quickly, one of the benefits of which is shorter load times. The consoles will both be released Nov. 10 worldwide. Retailers will begin taking pre-orders on Sept. 22.