I became obsessed with the smoother feature of the Xbox Series S.
After buying the console for a bargain price, I did what many new Xbox owners would do: subscribe to Xbox Game Pass and download an exorbitant amount of games that far exceeded the number I could reasonably commit to. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Doom Eternal, Sniper Elite 5, even Fable and a host of other 360-era classics. I downloaded them all, before happily running between them – no matter how big my backlog of half-finished games.
But that’s all – I ran between them. Didn’t switch, didn’t switch, didn’t wait an arduously long time to load each one. With the Xbox Series S’s Quick Resume function, I was passing between them at the pace that Lee Van Cleef could unload a six-shot shooter – a matter of seconds.
Hardly the sexiest feature on the console, and one that even appeared in a reduced form on Xbox One, Quick Resume quickly became the quality-of-life ingredient of the Xbox Series X|S. Through the feature, you can automatically save up to three games in a suspended state, allowing you to pick them up right where you left off. There’s no need to sit at its loading screens or navigate its main menus – launching a suspended game will get you right into the action, almost immediately.
It sounds pretty banal, but it solved one of the most annoying aspects of console gaming. Loading screens may occasionally offer gameplay hints or feature interesting concept art to gawk at, but they don’t kill half the humor.
When I played Mass Effect 2 on PS3 nearly 10 years ago, the initial loading screen was so long that I read almost every anthology of Gary Larson’s Far Side comics in my full playthrough. While the crew of the Normandy fretted over the Illusive Man’s hidden motivations, I was still thinking about anthropomorphic cows and surrealistic single-panel wordplay.
But Quick Resume not only brought my game library within reach, it changed the way I interact with it. I’ve found myself more likely to jump into a quick round of Fall Guys to end a game session, knowing that I won’t have to wait half the time for the game to load as I’ll spend it rolling on an assault course. Now I barely have time to read my WhatsApp messages before the game loads, let alone think about what new costume I’m going to make my bean wear.
I haven’t reached the pinnacle of fast loading video games yet. As an investigative Xbox gamer discovered earlier this year, you can remap your Xbox controller’s share button to open multiple games of your choice. Remap it to open games you’ve suspended with Quick Resume and you’ll have an easy way to instantly switch between your favorite games, all at the tip of your thumb. Truly, gaming hardware has gone up.