Xbox Series X Dynamic Latency Input explained: what difference will it make?

The features of the Xbox Series X just keep coming, and the latest one is Dynamic Latency Input, but what exactly is that?

by Jason Coles

As is often the case nowadays, a Tweet from a big name at Microsoft has given us a teeny tiny amount more information about one of the key features of the upcoming Xbox Series X.

This time though, rather than some obscure bit of hardware that they’ve designed especially for the beastly console, we’re hearing a little bit more about the magic designed to make the games feel better.

It’s a nice change of pace given that this style of news is usually regarding either performance of games or how they look.

So, let’s all give thanks to Phil Spencer for re-introducing us all to Dynamic Latency Input. Here’s what it means for the Xbox Series X

What is Dynamic Latency Input?

Latency is a term often thrown about by those who enjoy fighting games and twitch shooters. It’s not something that most of us really worry about. At least, not until we get headshot from the other side of Rust and need something to blame.

So, what is latency? Well, it’s basically the input delay between when you push a button and when something happens on screen.

Dynamic Latency Input, or DLI, is a new bit of technology designed to lower latency as much as possible. According to the Xbox blog, it does this by leveraging “our high bandwidth, proprietary wireless communication protocol when connected to the console. With Dynamic Latency Input (DLI), a new feature which synchronizes input immediately with what is displayed, controls are even more precise and responsive.”


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Why does this matter?

It matters because it will make games feel better. This is probably the reason that Phil Spencer said he is ” 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.”

You’ve got to love the tweets of the powerful and the in charge, because how else would we get to see this kind of juicy detail without them?


Lower latency just means better responsiveness from games, and it’s all part of making them as immersive as possible, which in turn, makes them more impressive experiences.

Ultimately it’s not the looks of the upcoming generation of consoles that’s going to be the biggest change; it’s the feel. With things like SSDs and Haptic Feedback around, Dynamic Latency Input is just another way of making things feel better.

READ MORE: Xbox Series X team promises “a better console” than PS5

Jason Coles