There's been quite a bit of debate over the past couple of weeks as to whether the Xbox Series S will be held back by its limitations (such as its reduced memory) compared to the Xbox Series X, but in a recent interview with IGN, Xbox director of project management Jason Ronald suggested this wouldn't be the case.
“The core capabilities are the same between the two consoles,” he told the outlet, explaining that Microsoft focused on the critically important aspects of the system in order to "unlock kind of that next level of game design" and allow developers to scale up and scale down on the visual quality as they see fit.
“The areas that usually create the biggest challenges for developers – things like CPU performance and I/O performance – those are the things that were really critically important to us to make sure that they were symmetrical across Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X, because those are the areas that are really going to unlock kind of that next level of game design and that transformative gaming experience..."
Ronald explained that developers can utilise the power of the system in multiple ways, such as delivering 120 frames-per second (with potential resolution trade-offs), dropping to 1080p for better anti-aliasing or improved graphical effects, and turn ray-tracing on or off to find the best overall experience.
Interestingly, while the Series S will target a resolution of 1440p for its games, Ronald also confirmed that it can output a 4K signal, and visual decisions will be left entirely in the developers' hands.
Ultimately then, it sounds like the Xbox Series S will still be a very capable next-gen machine in its own right, and as for any memory concerns, Ronald told The Verge that the team did plenty of thorough analysis in preparation:
“We did a lot of analysis of what it would really mean to run a game at 4K with 60fps and then to scale that down to 1440p at 60fps. The reality is you don’t need as much memory bandwidth because you’re not loading the highest level MIP levels into memory. You don’t need the same amount of memory as well.”
Are you planning to get a Series S? What are your thoughts on this? Tell us below.