Microsoft finally confirmed the availability of the Xbox Series S on Tuesday, and a day later, the company announced hardware specifications of a smaller, cheaper next-generation console. At $ 299, the Series S appears to be a great proposition for people who don’t care about physical games or 4K resolution.
The main thing to know about the Series S is that it was built to play all the same next gen games as its stronger sibling, the Xbox Series X, except for a lower 1440p resolution target than 4K. Both consoles can play games at frame rates of up to 120 frames per second. And the Series S will still deliver the same visual fidelity as the Series X, according to Microsoft ̵1; it is capable of hardware accelerated real-time ray tracking, variable-rate shading, and mesh shader. It will also increase native resolution output to 4K.
“By designing two consoles in parallel from scratch, we can deliver the same basic gaming experience while making it as easy as possible for developers to scale their games on the same console with minimal effort,” he said. says Jason Ronald, program management director for Xbox, in a deep-dive video for the Xbox Series S. “This means that the Xbox Series S will deliver the same incredible experience to the next generation and features like the Series X – with only a reduced rendering resolution. “
The Xbox Series S delivers 4 teraflop graphics performance, which means on paper, it is 33% more powerful than the Xbox One X (the newest console of the current generation, at 6 teraflops) and 67% more stronger than the Xbox Series X But it manages to deliver the same performance as the Series X because of the way it does Microsoft: In addition to the aforementioned graphics rendering features, it offers “similar performance. I / O “in Series X, courtesy of its solid-state drive and Xbox Velocity Architecture. That means Series S owners will also see the same improvements in load times as in the Series X, among other benefits.
In terms of specification, the Xbox Series S contains “the same eight-core Zen 2 CPU architecture as the Xbox Series X,” Ronald said, except for the downdown that is slightly to run at a constant frequency. 3.6 GHz instead of 3.8 GHz. (Enabling simultaneous multithreading, Series S CPUs will run at 3.4 GHz instead of 3.6 GHz Series X.) The Series S GPU contains fewer computing units – 20 instead of 52 – and runs on a slower frequency of 1.565 GHz compared to the 1.825 GHz of the Series X. The lower raw numbers will not quite deter the Series S, according to Microsoft, due to the “virtual memory multipliers” provided by Xbox Velocity Architecture.
The system memory is “scaled according to the target resolution” of 1440p, Ronald said: The Series S boasts 10 GB of GDDR6 RAM instead of 16 GB of Series X, with less bandwidth bandwidth. Another major difference is the internal storage. While both consoles deliver the same storage bandwidth – a read speed of 2.4 GB per second for uncompressed data and 4.8 GB / s for compressed data – the SSD in the Series S is half of size one in Series X, 512 GB instead of 1 TB. That could be a sticking point for all digital Series S, with storage requirements for many modern games crawling close to the 100 GB mark, if it does not lead.
That’s right – a key feature of the Xbox Series X that the Series S lacks is an optical drive. These days, most games are being sold digitally (a trend that has accelerated the COVID-19 pandemic). Owners of any of the next-gen Xbox will be able to bump up the console’s internal storage by purchasing a 1 TB Storage Expansion Card, but Microsoft has not yet announced the price for ownership proprietary device made by Seagate. Consoles will support USB external hard drives, but you can only play backwards compatible Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games from external storage – next gen games should be able to installed on the internal SSD or on an Expansion Storage Card.
Leaving a 4K Blu-ray drive is one way for Microsoft to keep costs down. And while it may not be able to play games or Blu-ray movies, the Xbox Series S will support 4K video output for streaming services, as the Series X will do. In fact, Microsoft announced on Wednesday that both consoles will support Dolby Vision HDR launch for services such as Disney Plus, Netflix, and Vudu. Next gen consoles will also get Dolby Vision support for games sometime in 2021, and they both feature an HDMI 2.1 output for video features with haircuts such as variable refresh rate and auto low-latency mode.
Both Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X will launch November 10 worldwide. Pre-orders will be live on September 22nd.