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Good Choice for Buyers or Potential Optimization Issues: What Developers Think of Xbox Series S

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Backward compatibility on the Xbox series allows you to reduce the download time by 4x without additional optimization

On September 8, Microsoft introduced the Xbox Series S, the youngest model in the company’s new line of consoles. It is designed for games in 1440p resolution up to 120 fps. The console will cost $299.

To understand the opinions of developers about the Xbox Series S, you need to know a few key points:

  • The Series S and Series X have the same processor, but the lower-end console runs at a lower frequency. X has eight cores at 3.8 GHz (3.6 in simultaneous multithreading mode), and S has eight cores at 3.6 GHz (3.4 in simultaneous multithreading mode).
  • The GPU power of the Series S is 4 teraflops against 12.15 teraflops for the Xbox Series X and 6 teraflops for the Xbox One X. of course, it is worth considering that the video of the new console is still better from an architectural point of view, and the comparison of teraflops, in this case, is a Convention.
  • The Xbox Series S has GDDR6 memory divided into two pools — fast 8 GB (224 GB/s) and slow 2 GB (56 GB/s). This is a total of 10 GB. The Series X has a total of 16 GB — fast 10 GB (560 GB / s) and slow 6 GB (336 GB/s). Thus, the younger console not only has less memory, but it is also noticeably slower. The Xbox One X has 12 GB GDDR5 at 326.4 GB / s.
  • At the same time, the Series S has the same SSD and generally the same technological base as the Series X-raytracing, Xbox Velocity, Sampler Feedback Streaming, and other features that can help it increase the gap from the previous generation.

Undoubtedly, $299 for the next-generation console is a plus for the buyer who does not want to overpay for 4K. Many developers agreed with this — for example, Id Software programmer Dustin Land.

https://twitter.com/DustinHLand/status/1304110622452469762

Also, according to Waypoint journalist Patrick Klipek, many of the developers he interviewed were delighted with the series S hardware — but it is not known who exactly.

Other developers have expressed their concerns about whether optimizing games for a weaker console will be a problem in the future.

Remedy Communications Director Thomas Puha felt that the Series S will inevitably have problems with RAM, which is inferior to that of even the Xbox One X in terms of volume and speed.

His colleague, the Studio’s technical Director, Sasan Seper, confirmed the concerns. In response to the tweet, he noted that optimizing for another SKU could be a problem.

A similar opinion was expressed by Id Software engine programmer Billy khan.

https://twitter.com/billykhan/status/1304113593898741761

Axel Gneiting, the lead programmer of the Id Software engine, also believes that the Series S will have a problem with a lack of RAM.

https://twitter.com/axelgneiting/status/1304179692447109120
https://twitter.com/axelgneiting/status/1304186159657103365

Alex believes that SSD can’t reduce the lack of RAM in this generation.

https://twitter.com/axelgneiting/status/1304182581982789632

Digital Foundry suspected that the Xbox Series S games for backward compatibility are likely to be launched based on versions for the One S — since it has less RAM than the One X (12 gigabytes). However, Microsoft has not yet commented on this.

https://twitter.com/SweetnessGaming/status/1304144690221113344

Infinity Ward multiplayer designer David Mickner called Series S a “bottleneck” — in his opinion, games for the multiplatform will suffer due to low performance.

Former Infinity Ward Community Manager Robert Bowling disagreed, noting that developers of multi-platform games have always had to put up with different capacities.

https://twitter.com/fourzerotwo/status/1303817116047388672

Jack Ettridge, creative Director of Flavourworks (Erica), expressed a similar opinion.

Gameplay programmer Squanch Games (games based on ” Rick and Morty») Dan Weiss in his thread noted that due to a weaker GPU, the image quality will inevitably suffer — and it is unlikely that the games will really work in 1440p.

Weiss also agreed that the lack of RAM in the Series S is a clear problem.

According to Weiss, the need to put up with the characteristics of the Series S will harm not only multiplatform games, but also Xbox exclusives, which, according to Microsoft, should also run on the One S and X. And about the widespread raytracing and in General will have to forget.

Many developers are confident that the Xbox Series S will not hold back the new generation. For example, Gavin Stevens from TeamBlurGames Studio is sure that on the younger Microsoft console it will be enough to lower the resolution and degrade the quality of models and textures — because of RAM,but it will not negatively affect the games of the new generation.

Stevens asks not to compare the 6 teraflops Xbox One X and 4 Series S directly.

In the case of the processor, Stevens suggests slightly reducing the drawing range on the Series S or reducing the number of physics errors for vegetation and objects in the frame.

The Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X will go on sale on November 10.

I enjoy playing games, and gaming is a passion of mine. Among my favorite games are Tears of the Kingdom, GTA, and Cyberpunk.

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