Phil Spencer has talked up an Xbox Series X feature that he believes will “dramatically” change the feel of games, to the point of difference between 2D and 3D gaming – Dynamic Latency Input.In response to a question on Twitter about what technology will usher in the next generation of gaming with the launch of the Xbox Series X, Spencer noted the importance of Dynamic Latency Input, or DLI.
RT on console will be great. I’m very focused on the work we are doing around Dynamic Latency Input (DLI). In my view the feel of games this upcoming generation will change as dramatically as any since 2D to 3D given CPU upgrade, DLI, memory bandwidth and SSD.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) April 27, 2020
It’s worth noting that what Spencer is talking about here is the feeling of playing games on Series X, not the quality of the games themselves.
But what exactly is DLI? According to this Xbox blog post all about latency from last month, Dynamic Latency Input is a new system within the Xbox Series X which “synchronizes input immediately with what is displayed,” making controls more “precise and responsive.”
On a more technical level, the controller will transmit input to the console “just before the game asks for it” which will keep the player’s analog (triggers and sticks) and digital (button press) inputs in sync with the game they’re playing. This is said to “significantly lower” controller latency, and all without harming the battery life of the input device.Latency, in terms of a controller, is the time it takes for data to transfer to the console from your input device and be represented on-screen. You may have heard of input lag, which is where your button or trigger presses feel out of sync with the gameplay you’re observing – this is due to latency issues.
In many high-intensity fighting or shooter games, input latency can cause massive problems, but Xbox Series X plans to fix that, with that blog post noting that there will be “no more blaming the controller when you don’t get off that final hit in a fighting game.”
Spencer has been “very focused” on DLI during the development of the forthcoming console, and believes that it is part of an important shift in how games will feel in the next-generation, which he likened to the jump from “2D to 3D.” Spencer believes that DLI will complement other new features like CPU upgrades, extra memory bandwidth and the introduction of SSDs to truly change the way that games feel.In more Xbox Series X news, Phil Spencer recently pointed out that there “won’t be too much of a wait” for new game reveals, so watch this space!
Xbox Series X is scheduled to be released during Holiday 2020. Right now we know the Xbox Series X specs, we have an educated guess on its price based on those specs, and a full comparison with PS5. What we know far less about is Xbox Series X games, but we have a list of confirmed and rumoured titles for the next-gen console.
Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.