Microsoft's recent Xbox Series X reveal showcase contained mentions of titles games "Optimized for Series X." The livestream didn't explain how exactly these Xbox Series X titles are being optimized, but Microsoft has gone into detail about this term's meaning elsewhere.

The company announced the Xbox Series X First Look in late April, teasing more information about games like Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Valhalla. What fans got was ultimately disappointing to many, as the games revealed in the Xbox presentation barely showed any real-time gameplay, instead defaulting to mostly pre-rendered, in-engine footage. Still, there were some impressive titles shown off, like a shooter called Bright Memory Infinite, with gorgeous graphics produced by just one developer.

According to Xbox, every game shown in the Inside Xbox presentation is "being optimized for Xbox Series X." The statement was accompanied by the new Optimized for Series X badge seen at the top of this article, but Microsoft didn't give any more information about the program. Here's what it actually means.

How Xbox Games "Optimized For Series X" Will Be Different

Microsoft's official Xbox Series X Glossary defines games Optimized for Xbox Series X as those developed with Series X development kits and designed specifically to utilize the console's "unique capabilities." In addition to new titles, older ones can also receive the Optimized for Series X badge if they have been "rebuilt specifically" for the console, which would presumably apply to remasters of current-gen titles ported over to the Series X. In practice, Microsoft says these games will feature "unparalleled load-times, visuals, responsiveness and framerates up to 120 fps." Aaron Greenberg, general manager of Xbox games marketing, said "The bar is high" for a game to receive the badge, and badge-sporting games are optimized for "Way beyond just 4K."

It's hard to say how much of a difference this will actually make, however. The "unparalleled load-times, visuals, responsiveness and framerates up to 120 fps" promise is pretty much in line with what Microsoft has been pitching for Series X's technical capabilities from the start, so the Optimized for Series X campaign could be little more than an alternate framing for marketing's sake. It's telling, after all, that Xbox's GM of marketing was the one to say the badge is "like next gen magic."

Alternatively, Microsoft's designation of only certain games as Optimized could mean Microsoft's early technical language was actually limited to only a fraction of Series X titles. Of course, utilizing all the advantages of next-gen systems was always up to developers, so this could be Microsoft's way of trying to spin that limited number of high-performance games as a positive. Still, it's also possible Microsoft just hasn't yet revealed the full extent of what Optimization means. Perhaps Optimized titles really will be more impressive than Microsoft is letting on, and it's just a matter of time before fans understand the full meaning of the logo.