Microsoft has announced that tucked into its June developer update across Windows and Xbox, it's enabling Xbox Series S to become a bit more powerful. A new update to developer tools for Xbox Series S allocates more memory for teams to use, which could result in performance boosts to both existing and upcoming games on the system.
Microsoft says "hundreds of additional megabytes of memory" are now available to use on the console, which should help developers bridge the gap to Xbox Series X performance, at least a little bit. The lower memory levels present in Xbox Series S have often been touted as a bottleneck for the system.
These memory changes should, in turn, allow for enhanced "graphics performance". Yeah, we're not entirely sure what that equates to in real terms, but the gist of this update is your Xbox Series S just became a bit more powerful, in the hands of game developers.
At times, Xbox Series S has struggled to keep up with Xbox Series X and PS5, offering lower frame rate options in some games, which is to be expected. However, developers have often bridged the gap to the more expensive systems with post-launch patches, hinting that with a little more optimization, the Series S comes into its own.
What do you reckon to this? Pleased to see post-launch Series S boosts? Let us know!
[source youtu.be, via theverge.com]
All i know if the update has made my series s buggy and many of the apps including rewards and the store are not working for me
Great news, it's a nice console already, but optimisations will really help it. Better scaling techniques will also help greatly.
Yeah I don't think a few hundred megs of RAM is going to do much to bridge the gap with a machine that has 3 times more horsepower
Not a bad way to get a bit more out of the entry budget system. The Series S was always meant to be an accessible entry-point to Xbox gaming.
Interesting, hope we get some comparisons later!
If MS is trying to bring console gaming to apps on a TV or something equivalent to a Fire stick, why should the specs of the Series S really matter?
@uptownsoul But Microsoft made these changes after receiving developer feedback. It must mean something to developers to request such a thing as I am sure Microsoft discussed their intentions to do this with said developers before simply doing it and I am sure there have been special Test Flights of the GDK with developers to prove it's worth.
Hopefully this will make 1080p/60hz the series s standard, with no where to go, but up.
My Series S is coming this week, so I'm already happy to read stuff like this.
Use my series S and X equally, and love them both. Little Man packs a punch for being $300 and is a perfect compliment to my X.
If they can squeeze some extra juice to stabilise performance, so there is less resolution or frame rate dips then all the better. It's good to see Microsoft committed to the Series S to make it a great console
I like series S it just plays the games if its best performance you want series X is the way to go
@uptownsoul i see one of two way this has happened either as you suggest they freed up OS mem space(which is slower physically and cannot match the speed of the other memorry everr) or and what im hoping is they optimized something that was using the other memory(i have no clue what) but that seems like the only way devs would be able to boost system performance to me..
the headline here is technically wrong... should read Series S gets more mem headroom should increase performance....cause the Series S isnt getting faster, more powerful, or any other terms that mean better... all those would mean the system is getting a physical upgrade.. not just more memory headroom through optimization to the dev kit...
@Blessed_Koz because the way you say it sounds boring and too long for a headline lol! Most people with an ounce of deduction skills can figure out what they mean and that it isn't a physical upgrade but a reallocation of resources.
This is good news but my understanding is it is the lower memory bandwidth and split pools that are the main problem. Still every little helps. Hope devs can get the most out of this.
@Blessed_Koz The hardware isn't changing, correct, but the software is changing to free up more memory. In turn, that makes the console more capable. If you added a stick of ram it'd be more powerful no? Essentially this is the same thing, more ram for games.
If they have more 'higher bandwidth' memory to use for 'graphics', that is going to benefit what devs can do. Not everything requires 'High bandwidth' so they could allocate certain aspects to the 'lower' bandwidth RAM (like Audio files for example) freeing up more of the higher bandwidth for aspects that require it.
If people watched the video, they may of understood that devs also have more control now on memory allocation etc too...
MS dropped the ball really not having the dev kits up to scratch at the start. Once devs start taking full advantage of features like supersampling we’ll see more benefits to series s performance
@Raffles It's rendering only 1/4 the pixels with lower res assets, though, so a 1:1 power comparison isn't relevant. S is weaker in some key ways at resolution-adjusted equivalence, still, but the two ought not be directly compared in raw power when much of the difference in raw power is being applied to a substantially higher number of rendered pixels.
Not too many Series-exclusive games yet that even push the X to really feel what the differences are, most of what's there is unoptimized X1/PS4 era design. I feel it'll be another year before we REALLY see what S can or can't do. Sad, half-way into the gen before we figure out what the gen is for....but....such is the 9th gen!
@NEStalgia Yes of course, that is true, but the point remains that insinuating a performance increase due to a few hundred more megs of RAM appears to be absolute nonsense, and misleading. As you said it's rendering a quarter of the amount of pixels anyway generally, so with the lower res textures and even lower res render textures/buffers, the RAM requirements are already significantly lower than the Series X, ie probably about 2 gigs less, tallying with the difference in RAM between the 2
Ergo - a few hundred extra megs of RAM will do absolutely nothing
Don't get me wrong, any extra available resources is still good, but much like a few hundred extra megs of RAM on the Switch won't magically make BOTW run at 60fps, or Mario Odyssey run at 1080p, the same applies here. At the most it would allow for some higher res textures or a few more assets crammed into a loaded level or pool of active assets in a streaming system etc.
It's a bit misleading to suggest this change would have any realistic boost to performance, I wouldn't want Series S owners to get the wrong idea and think existing games or even future games are now going to magically run better.
I think what the announcement was getting at by "enhanced performance" was a specific instance of memory constrained scenario, ie a scenario where the RAM use is at its limit, and in that case there's a few hundred extra megs of RAM to play with, and faster allocations.
@Kezelpaso its not it has the same power, just now more overhead, adding a stick of ram is INCREASING its power and performance.... your phyiscally making it more powerful, this is not, this is optimizing the overhead to give the devs more rersources they can use... it increased nothing......i know its a sammantics game but wording matters and NO THE SERIES S is NOT more powerful now then it was at launch....no matte how you wanna try and say it the system is a the weakest link and unless they do a revision they cant increase its power just make the os and eveyrthing more streamlined and thus giving devs overhead to work with....
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