Microsoft finally released the Xbox Series S in the past few days, not only revealed the price of 299 euros but also provided an in-depth understanding of game console technology. However, developers and experts are concerned about this, especially when it comes to specific cost-saving measures.
In this article, we have compared the technologies of Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X. Basically, the difference can be boiled down to four saving measures:
Xbox Series S abandoned the Blu-ray drive, SSD only accommodates 512 GB instead of 1 TB. The graphics chip is only equipped with 20 instead of 52 CU (computing unit)). This means The performance on paper dropped from 12.15 to 4 TFLOP (FP32), and the graphics memory has been cut off.
Id Software Devs Express Their Concerns Over the Xbox Series S’ Hardware Specs; Memory “Situation” Not Easy to Compensate
Developers and industry experts don’t seem to particularly like the last point. Both Axel Gneiting and Billy Khan, both of which are engaged in in-game engine development work at ID Software. The eternal developer of Doom pointed out in the tweet embedded below that the built-in graphics memory is a problem that cannot be easily solved by lower rendering-Lets solve the resolution.
For comparison: Xbox Series X is equipped with a total of 16 GB GDDR6, of which 10 GB reaches a bandwidth of 560 GB/s. And the rest is “only” 336 GB/s. Series S has only 10 GB, of which 8 GB can use 224 GB/s of bandwidth. And the remaining 2 GB is even slower than Xbox One’s DDR3 memory 56 GB/s. Which means they are only used for the system that should be used.
Also "it always scaled on PC" is nonsense. Every AAA game in the past decade or so has their assets made once so they run on min spec. Increasing sample counts a bit here and there for high settings isn't what you could truly have done with more power. Min spec matters.
— Axel Gneiting (@axelgneiting) September 10, 2020
The memory situation is a big issue on the S. The much lower amount of memory and the split memory banks with drastically slower speeds will be a major issue. Aggressively lowering the render resolutions will marginally help but will not completely counteract the deficiencies.
— Billy Khan💖🦄✨ (@billykhan) September 10, 2020
Experts from Digital Foundry and id Software’s developers shared their assessments. In addition to issues of general concern, experts also suggested that many games may run at 1080p resolution instead of the advertised 1.440p.
You should also expect that the Xbox One title optimized for Xbox One X (approximately 371 euros on Amazon) looks worse than One X. It should look better due to lower graphics performance and smaller graphics memory In one of the cases if the One S version will be played.