With Xbox Series S now finally out in the wild, we’re learning more about exactly what form Microsoft’s lower-priced next-gen console will take, and how the company thinks of it amid the growing Xbox family of consoles.
In a presentation by Xbox System Architect Andrew Goossen and subsequent interview with Xbox director of program management Jason Ronald, we learned a number of new details about Series S, from how it’s always been a part of the plans for Microsoft, to the new features it will continue to get post-launch.
Check out the new details we’ve learned below:
- Planning for Xbox Series X and S began in 2016, and Microsoft planned to release two consoles at different price points from the very beginning of that process. The idea was always to have both offer the same core experience, while allowing developers to scale games to work on both models
- Games on Xbox Series S should be around 30% smaller than their Series X equivalents due to reduced texture resolutions.
- Microsoft doesn’t think Series S will limit developers as the console generation goes on, because of how the “core capabilities are the same between the two consoles” (per Jason Ronald), as well as the number of options developers have for how to allocate resources on the console.
- While the console aims for a 1440p resolution, it’s capable of outputting a full 4K signal, and developers can choose to use that capability if they wish. They can also output at a lower resolution in order to utilise more complex graphical effects.
- Series S and X will launch with Dolby Vision support for Netflix, Disney+ and Vudu, with Dolby Vision support for games coming to both consoles in Spring 2021.
- Series S is capable of running the same ray tracing effects as Series X, rather than a limited version, but developers can choose to turn it off to allow for other effects.
- Microsoft has no plans to stop supporting Series S later in the generation, seeing the Xbox Series consoles as a single family of devices.
- Ronald reiterated that, while Series S will not run Xbox One X enhanced games, it will apply its own improvements to last-gen titles, including “improved texture filtering, higher, more consistent frame rates, faster loading times, and even things like auto-HDR.” The team will also be looking at further enhancing specific games from the Xbox One back catalogue for Series S, using new techniques to enhance resolution, and potentially double frame rates.
[widget path=”global/article/imagegallery” parameters=”albumSlug=confirmed-xbox-series-x-games&captions=true”]
Xbox Series S arrives alongside Series X on November 10, coming in at a $299 / £249 price point. Xbox preorders begin on September 22.