In a new installment of tech outlet Digital Foundry's weekly podcast, the group touches on last month's Baldur's Gate 3 Xbox drama - namely the issues that developer Larian seems to be running into regarding Xbox Series S.
If you're unaware of the drama, basically, a developer statement on the lack of an Xbox version of Baldur's Gate 3 seemingly pointed at Xbox Series S being the issue. The team said it has been "unable to get splitscreen co-op to work to the same standard on both Xbox Series X and S".
The podcast hosts discuss this issue in the above video, along with the power gap between Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X - even questioning whether Microsoft should allow devs to drop features if they can't get them running right on Xbox Series S.
"They are working on an Xbox version [of Baldur's Gate 3], it's not officially announced as coming out, but, it sounds like it is in production. The current reason they haven't announced it seems to boil down to, based on the statement, they can't get the split screen working on Xbox Series S.
This is the first time we've heard something specifically related to a gameplay feature that is not working well on the Series S."
The hosts offer up their own viewpoints on whether features should be dropped on the budget Xbox console, especially in cases like this, where such problems are seemingly preventing Xbox Series X versions from releasing. Here's what host John Linneman had to say:
"I feel like in cases like this it should be acceptable to release a version for Xbox Series X with that feature [splitscreen], and leave that feature behind on Series S. I'd rather see the Series X be properly utilised, or at least get the game at all, than to just skip the console because they can't get this feature running acceptably on a different machine."
Of course, another Xbox title that ran into local co-op issues was none other than Halo Infinite. Microsoft never pointed the finger at Xbox Series S there — especially considering the game released on Xbox One — but feasibly, splitscreen could have been dropped for last-gen only. We'll never know the true culprit for Infinite as 343 straight up cancelled local co-op on all systems.
It all certainly makes for an interesting discussion and one that, frankly, could become a tough conundrum for Microsoft to solve given how many Xbox Series S players are now enjoying the console in 2023.
What do you make of all this? Should features be dropped on Series S if needs be? Let us know your thoughts down below.
I got a Series S last week and I'm loving it but I can absolutely see myself upgrading to an X at some point. Especially if upcoming games begin to struggle on the S. I want the best possible experience!
Frankly they were being massively overdramatic in that video. Basing most of their argument off one game (Baldur's Gate 3) which is likely coming to Xbox, it's just been delayed.
Neither are reasons to cut off features on Series S.
The Series S is everyone's favorite scapegoat
I find it unlikely that the series S power disadvantage is affecting the co op capabilities for this game that should not be too taxing on any low spec system. Sounds like a developer problem.
I wonder how much contact there has been between them and xbox. You would think they could help them with this.
@themightyant But if devs are struggling already, imagine what will happen to the Series S in 3/4 years. Xbox should prioritize the Series X, since people payed 500€. The problem is, most people have a Series S, and that puts Xbox in a tight spot.
@themightyant Basically the DigitalFoundry is overall a brilliant journalist group but outside of their lead (Richard Leadbetter) the rest have a tendency to be dramatic and the sort of "PC Master Race" gamer that makes you hate PC gamers. They are still very solid journalists and great people. But boy do they sometimes get emotional.
They mention that Microsoft could send an assist team to the studio to help get it running. So what's next? Microsoft has a responsibility to get every developer's code running? It is such an absurd suggestion. Maybe in between the internal studios it could make sense in emergency cases.
@StrawberryWave Problem is less the struggle from the console's part and more of developers treating Series S as an unwanted child. If you look at Atomic Heart (a game heavily marketed by Xbox and day one on gamepass), it had a buggier version on Series X than PS5 which also ran worse. Clearly showing that it is not a hardware issue and a "priority" issue. Ofc with Series S they can get away with it more easily by mentioning the hardware limitations.
I watched a vid on why games run better on PS5 than Xbox Series & the conclusion was due to the PS5 being a more popular platform devs aren't using the Series consoles built in features because most if not all those features aren't available on PS5.
@StrawberryWave But I don't think that many really are struggling, that's my whole point. Yes there might be a few edge cases like this where it's difficult to make a certain feature work, but it isn't some huge issue like they made it seem.
Moreover, absolute worst case scenario, they can either just release the game on Xbox and the Series S version of that feature just isn't very performant. Decades of gaming shows us that most gamers are perfectly happy to play games at a less than stable sub-30fps framerate, pop-in and all sorts of other things DF suggest are 'unplayable'. Else how would GTAV have sold 150+ million copies.
@themightyant Hahaha... I remember the good old days of "stunning" games running on PS3 for 20FPS occasionally dipping to 15, I think Crysis 2 was the worst for that. X360 definitely had issues too and games generally rarely went beyond 30fps, CoD was the only exception I remember, but that often meant it internally rendered at 480p or something? Then upscaled to 720p.
I bought a Series S at launch because Microsoft promised that I would play all games in the generation. Cutting the S will alienate the fanbase, if this happens it would be hard for me to invest in another Xbox hardware, not to mention that they may have to pay refunds in some regions. To be honest Resident Evil Village, Horizon Forbidden West (and maybe other upcoming games like RE4 or SF6) perform good on hardware less capable that the S like the PS4 or the Steam Deck...
I don't think they should drop features from Series S, and I'm not even sure how legal it is (as platform holder - MS - promises feature parity between the systems).
To be honest, I believe everybody has seen this as a future stumbling block MS will have to resolve, but played along with it. As a XSS owner, one of the reasons I bought in was because I expected MS to line devs pockets to keep that feature parity even if it wouldn't make financial sense by pure sales number. Backing out on that would be devastating now.
@themightyant Some games have been running below 1080p, so they are definitely struggling to get the games running at least in full HD. That's a problem. Besides, most games aren't fully next-gen yet. Think about the future of the Series S if devs are having problems right now
@BrilliantBill Absolutely agreed. Rich is the best, always calm and level headed.
I like John but he is the definition of a pedant (knowledgeable but excessively concerned with minor details), takes one to know one
He seems to call a lot of games 'unplayable', or similar, because they don't have a consistent frame rate or frame pace. Completely over dramatic. He says he won't buy a Steam Deck because the screen is so bad. etc. But then gives a pass to all those same problems on retro games and retro handhelds, which are his true passion. He's just not balanced and fair a lot of the time, and is prone to outbursts like his Twitter meltdown on Hogwarts Legacy.
Yet I like him in spite of those flaws as his passion for this hobby of ours does often shine through, especially on Retro etc. I just know to take a lot of things he says with a giant grain of salt.
@StrawberryWave Why is that a problem though. Many Series X games don't run at the 4K target or have DRS that goes below 1440p, so why shouldn't Series S games go below the 1440p - 1080p target?
Just stream the game with xCloud tech. That’s what the Series S is for.
I can’t justify investing in an X at this point, but the S is just fine as a Gamepass/xCloud machine. It’ll be a slippery slope if Xbox decides to split what is playable on S and X consoles though. That’s a move that would absolutely alienate the Xbox base, especially because the S sells better than the X. If they backed out of their promise to have games playable on both consoles, I know I’d be done supporting the console ecosystem personally.
This isn't an issue for hundreds of other developers out there that have released awesome games on Series S.
@themightyant If you are okay with playing new games below 1080p in 2023 then go for it, but people buy a new console to experience a new generation.
Colt Eastwood - Xbox Power Held Back was the vid I watched if anyone is interested.
I don't care who argues otherwise, it is a last gen system. It is not current gen, not on the same power level as the series x or ps5. Yes it is holding games back. It's like devs who still develop new games for ps4 and xb1 but deliver a restricted product on current gen consoles in order to do so in time of release. Those titles shouldn't be allowed to sell at full RRP because they are not taking advantage of the full power of the current gen systems, but are charging current gen prices.
@StrawberryWave I bought a Series X because I want to play 1440p - 4K. MOST of the time it hits that, sometimes it doesn't.
If I had bought a Series S I would want it to play 1080p - 1440p. MOST of the time it hits that, sometimes it doesn't.
It isn't that hard a concept. Microsoft shouldn't be changing their strategy for a few outliers.
@cragis0001 Colt is not unbiased tho
@themightyant Just like I said before, if the games are already struggling to run at 1080p, in 3/4 years games will be struggling a lot more. I hate to say that Jim Ryan was right, but he said that a lower spec console would be more problematic than helpful. He was right
@cragis0001 I watched that video last week, when it had the slightly more inflammatory title. It's interesting but i'm not sure I agree with most of his conclusions. Worth bearing in mind Colt is very pro-xbox, he doesn't usually come in with any balance. Here he's cherry picked a lot of quotes and video clips without presenting the other side at all.
I agree there is likely a small element of truth in there, but he massively overstates it. As with most things the real reasons are likely a lot more numerous and complicated.
He mentions a lot of features Xbox has with RDNA2, which is true, but neither XSX or PS5 are stock and both have their own customisations. Where XSX has some RDNA2 features like VRS, mesh shaders etc. PS5 has it's own custom geometry engine that does very similar things.
I'd also recommend this link speculating about why XSX isn't getting the most out of it's, on paper, power advantage. To me this seems far more balanced and more likely. Short story, if the hypothesis is accurate, is there is some power there to unlock but more than anything it requires Microsoft to better support devs with tools to make these features easier to use.
It would take something fairly drastic such as a big hitter like Rockstar threatening to not release GTA VI on Xbox because they can't get certain features running on the series S, or release an inferior version on Xbox consoles to ensure parity across the S and X, to make Microsoft even consider it. And that's highly unlikely to happen. Not to mention it would be a PR nightmare if they had to backtrack on their promise. I'm not sure if even cloud streaming would fulfil their promise as some features could still be missed out on.
@themightyant the problem is the X isn't hitting those peaks because developers are too pre-occupied bringing along an inferior system.
@StrawberryWave your probobly correct. but it was still an interesting vid. Showing some of the Xbox series built in features & why there not being used.
@cragis0001 @PeteyPiranha Maybe, but if that's the case why don't first party games blow us away with some unforeseen power when there is no excuse for Series X?
I like the analogy of a racecar. You can take a 1200hp supercar round a track but a 1000hp F1 car is likely to match or beat it. HP or GHz or teraflops doesn't always tell the full story.
I think the reality is likely that Sony has SO FAR done a slightly better job of making a more well rounded machine, that is easier for devs to get the most out of. Not least as we have heard on digital foundry and other places a GDK and APIs that devs find easier to use. There will be other reasons too, these are just a few.
I suspect as the generation goes on, devs learn, and Microsoft improve their GDK and APIs we will start to see some of that extra power show through. I'm not expecting it to be big, we are at a point of diminishing graphical returns, but we may see them creep ahead more often.
The one area that may be a huge advantage for XSX is AI/ML.
John is my favourite by far. Seems like a nice likeable guy, and has a true appreciation for games and the tech behind them.
And tbh, the main reason is because he's a Ridge Racer fan I loved the retrospectives he did on RR and Gran Turismo.
@themightyant cheers for the link was a very interesting read indeed.
That said, if we ever do get to a point in which the S holds back the X, I'd be happy with concessions.
I'd be willing to bet a lot of Xbox Series S owners are in a financial situation where local multiplayer is more attractive than online play, which would make dropping split-screen support for Baldur's Gate III on the Series S a real shame.
@Raffles I like John a lot too, but he also grinds my gears when he's being overly dismissive or overly dramatic. The trouble is so many put what DF say on such a pedestal that when he says things like games are 'unplayable', 'trash' etc. it often just feeds the frothing fanboys. That's not directly his fault, but he also knows full well how DF's quotes are used, a little more accuracy and a little less drama wouldn't go amiss.
Completely agree on his Retro work. It's his passion and it shows. The Ridge Racer stuff was amazing.
Rich is my spirit animal though, but then i've been following him for thirty off years since the days of magazines like Mean Machines! Jaz, Gaz and Co. for anyone old enough to remember.
@cragis0001 You're welcome. To be clear, i'm not saying it's 100% accurate, but it is an interesting theory that both rings true and fits along with other bits of evidence devs have suggested to outlets like DF about the GDKs and APIs. But i'd also take it with a pinch of salt.
EDIT: Reality is it will likely be a combination of ALL these things to varying degrees. But that doesn't make for a sexy YouTube video or article.
The thing that strikes me is that if, as is being speculated, the Series S is causing a problem with a games release at this point in the generation (a little over 2 years) then just imagine how amplified that problem will become in another 5 or 6 years time. We all know that games become increasingly technically impressive, and demanding, as the generation progresses, so if problems are being encountered at this early stage, it's highly likely that these issues will become even more pronounced over time.
Personally, I find it difficult to believe that the boffins at Microsoft couldn't have predicted this issue when they first developed the Series S. I also think that there is no easy way of putting the genie back in the bottle. The Series S is out there in the big, wide world, and those that bought it will expect to receive the same game as those that bought the Series X, and whilst they might accept that there will be some compromises in relation to graphics or performance, I would imagine that they would expect parity of content with the Series X. Thus, if a mode is available on the X, they would expect it (quite rightly) on the S. I say quite rightly, because that is how the console has been sold. I think with the benefit of hindsight, that Microsoft now wish that they had perhaps gone the way of the PS5, and had a discless option. Likely as not it would have cost more than the current S, but these problems we are now seeing would have been avoided...
I could see this game having a problem with the ram amount and speed on the XSS. It was probably developed PC first around a bigger and faster ram pool.
I think we need to be more concerned that a couple of recent releases are not performing as well as they should on Series X and PS5 has a slight performance advantage.
Apart from someone saying the possibility of the split memory pool of the Series X maybe the issue, are developers not bothering so much nowadays due to games sales on Series X are very low compared to PS5.
Series X should be the multiplatform choice for a game, being more powerful and it sort of started that way, but seems not to be getting the developer love now.
So there you have it, another slight downer for our good ole Series X.
I would like to see them able to get the features on both the X and S. I would think there was a way to do so but I’m not a developer. I don’t know much about all that. Split screen has been going on for many generations of consoles. I’m hoping they can figure it all out for the series S.
@themightyant It helps that developers only have to focus on optimizing their games for one set of Playstation 5 specs.
How many people have suggested dropping development for PS4 for holding back the PS5, I wonder?
Because, you know... Games are still releasing on last gen consoles, but I only see these kinds of complaints against the Series S.
@themightyant Agreed, developers seem to use the Series S as an excuse not to work and optimise the game. Because then they make more profit off a poorly optimised title and just blame the hardware as a convenient excuse.
Agree with you there one set of specifications will always help no matter what the difference.
See my post above yours, developers can’t even be bothered at the moment to get the best out the series x now, making it second choice over the PS5 for multiplatform games, slowly but surely.
@PeteyPiranha Hmm bit like the vast majority if not all PS5 games especially exclusive ones, as they are all on the PS4.
Developers can’t be bothered with series x optimisation that much now and why.
Because Sonys consoles get 80% of the sales with a new released game like Hogwarts.
So investing money in optimising the other 20% is not much of priority.
I don’t think Xbox should drop the S as a platform, it can have its place. I do however think that Microsoft should drop its mandate that a game has to release on the X/S simultaneously. Leave it up to devs to decide if they want to bother with it and potentially miss out on that market.
Xbox has a problem with the S/X split, whereas Playstation doesn’t. It’s easier to develop and optimise for 1 platform instead of 2. Devs aren’t being lazy or half arsed, they’re having to work within the constraints of the S and it’s an issue that’s none existent on the PlayStation side. That’s the reality.
Totally agree, this also is taking time away from better Series X optimisation.
Haven’t noticed the new trend. PS5 games better optimised than the more powerful Series X from developers with multi platform games.
Also the fact that the game itself selfs many many many more copies in PS5 so why bother optimising for Series s or x.
I am slowly beginning to believe I’m afraid, Microsoft for this current time have lead Xbox down the wrong path.
@Dezzy70 I think the recent trend is being overblown, I’m not worried just yet. Going forward I can see the S/X issue becoming more of a problem. It’s not much of an issue now with just a couple of developers saying they have issues, but games are only going to get more demanding and I think Microsoft will have to review their policy.
I hear the game works on Steam Deck.
Pretty bad look if it won't run on Series S
Well I’m bit concerned that the more powerful Series X is not getting the multi platform development love just recently and the weaker PS5 is performing those multi platform games better.
It’s all about business and what console or platform has the biggest user base and buys the most games, so they get a return on development investment.
Now I’m being real and predict the PS5 to Series console gap will grow even bigger and Series consoles sales will be lower in 2023 than in 2022.
This will spurn multi platform developers to spend more time optimising the PS5 over Series consoles.
Then not only will Sony have their big AAA exclusives, better multi platform games, which all in turn will create bigger sales of the console, which will then create more multi platform optimisation on the PS5.
I really can’t see how Microsoft are going to improve any thing for Xbox this generation now.
I did have massive high hopes at the beginning of this generation but none now really.
@deadmaker because ps5 development is not tied to ps4. If it was required for a dev to release a ps4 version beside the ps5 version I'm sure we would be hearing about it being a horrible pain
@deadmaker people are constantly complaining about last gen , as the person above me said Devs aren't required to develop for PS4 if they want to make games for ps5 , all games developed for series X must also be developed for series S
@Wheatly how well does it run on Steam Deck though? Also the Steam Deck has a lot more ram, it actually meets the recommended spec. XSS is just 2gb above minimum to run. Not even factoring in the 4gb vram on the min spec that needs to be dealt with
@Fenbops 100% agree with all of this. The S doesn’t have to be dropped, but Xbox is going to suffer if there continues to be forced parity between its consoles.
Microsoft didn’t deceive anyone; any consumer who got an S agreed to a less powerful console in exchange for a cheaper price. I think that’s a fair trade-off for many players. But it’s also not reasonable for the S to dictate how MS plays this gen or let gamers on both consoles miss out on games.
I also think it’s incredibly unfair and a little ignorant of development for people to insist that devs are being “lazy” for not spreading themselves thinner than they already are.
The way I see it, your approach is reasonable: leave it up to the devs. Or better yet, let games launch on both but don’t force feature parity. Previous console gens had a checkbox on the back of the box that detailed how the game would run on the base console vs the mid-gen refresh; I could see something similar here with certain features.
@Dezzy70 PS5 is not performing better in every game though, Dead Space Remake for example. There are probably a few other recent ones as well with XSX beating out ps5. Just seems like way less big games using Xbox as lead platforms, for a few obvious reasons
Correct not in every game but I’ve noticed some more recently.
Yes for obvious reasons. But it’s not good for Xbox at all, especially with those 12tflops of power.
@Dezzy70 it does seem like a trend that will continue to get worse honestly. I see lots of people saying they won't pay for a game that performs better on PS5 "wait for it to hit GP" Same with reviews, if game gets lower than an 8 on Metacritic or has mixed reviews...."wait for it to be on GP"
If sales on Xbox versions of games are poor the issues are only going to get worse. Throw in all the LaZy DeVs crap that people say, well it's no wonder Xbox is getting lower priority. Imagine being accused of laziness when you have so much more work to do on Xbox for far less sales
Exactly my point, if I can get 80% on PS5 sales and only 20% on Series consoles, as a business where is my priority going to be.
Also and maybe just developer rumour, but they prefer the PS5 pool memory architecture being one pool and all access, instead of Series X two different memory pools at separate speeds.
That was the only thing I didn’t get about the Series X memory pool. Just make it all one pool and at the same speed and all accessible if possible.
And what I’m I playing right now
Metroid prime remaster I know an old game 2002 and a remaster but what a game and good looking for Switch docked on a 65” LG C2.
Then a bit of MK8 online to get my points up, one of the only online games I play.
Then tomorrow start finishing up HFW, love open world adventure/action. Ready for the expansion in April.
That is how gaming is done Microsoft.
Series S is a nice little console. It's still selling well. If you just want to play next gen games . Series S is perfect. no need for Ray tracing, 4K or 120fps. People who want such features will buy Series X instead.
Yet somehow, the PC releases scale lower and no one says a word...
@Dezzy70 to be honest, MS has not conjured a game on Metroid Prime Remaster level since forever. Literally, there is no Xbox equivalent.
And there probably never will be, as MS is not going for polished and revolutionary, they are going for "most value". Which attracts a user base of "I'll wait until it's on GP and get even more value out of it" profile.
Also, that is why they are selling S consoles better than X. Their user base is OK with compromises exchanged for perceived value. I should know, I'm one of them (Xbox is my "when it gets on GP" console).
If I learned anything from Westwood College Online about game design is that all they need to do is "tighten up the graphics" and you're set.
@Trmn8r If some Devs, especially those that are familiar with developing for PC, are struggling with optimising for series S compared to series X then clearly it's not quite as straightforward.
they wont drop the XSS, they wont hold back releases for it either. You are talking about 50% (probably more due to Sales) of Xbox owners.
can you imagine casuals being told they have to wait loger for CoD/Fifa etc. it would push them to Sony. And to those that looked into the S or X. we made that choice to accept the XSS and its limitations because Microsoft said it would have parity in places.
@cragis0001 your comment #7 makes a lot of sense...
3rd parties are likely to focus on the console that is going to sell more copies. Especially since most gamers don't know about, or don't care about, mesh shaders or VRS
@Dezzy70 another reason why it is easier to buy a gaming company and request XS optimization than to pay them big bucks to do it in development…
I wonder if this is why split-screen coop was dumped in Halo Infinite as well, because it wasn’t possible to offer coop on the Series S at a good enough level, forcing the feature to be dumped on Series X as well due to the requirement of feature parity between the consoles.
Digital Foundry was a mistake.
The Series S while I don't have one as it's digital only I think it's a great idea. How many pushed the PS3 for 1080 60FPS not a lot. Some even like the MBL games went to 720p most that gen because it wasn't worth it to them. I don't know the extent on 360 either but still. Bad design and rushing a product to update it later is a strategy and it's a disgusting one. The part is not the problem it's the tools/staff/deadlines.
When was a lower end PC for this gen a bad thing either? GPUs listed on Steam are targeted so if they match the Series S in some way how is that a problem, it isn't.
Cheap and great for casuals/few games. It's more powerful then a One X just a bit less than a Series X and PS5.
It isn't a problem. That's like saying when the Pro/One X/New 3DS XL came out the PS4/One/3DS original models were the problem like what that's just hilariously dumb to say isn't it. Not everyone wanted/could afford them, not every dev made an update for them either.
Many games are still using engines tuned for last gen anyway. We don't see better design in what the players shows to have things loaded (if there is a vision cone for player seen things and some are seemless like Uncharted/Jak and Daxter (memory cards/disks even not installed to a hard drive) how, just how).
Sure the CPU on PS4/One were what they were but current gen I don't see how.
We still see elevators/hallways, we still see old tricks and old game design because some game design is too standardised nowadays too so that's also kind of a problem. PS2 to PS3 the experimental (besides not getting used to analogue sticks, yes God of War 2005 used the right stick to dodge, Pitfall used the right hand of the character to interact with collectibles/items in their hands to navigate level design while some 2002/2003 games used it for camera). PS3/360 design is still clear in PS5/Series X games.
The Series S is a smart idea as an entry level to current gen for a certain audience of customers. It's great for those that buy few games that aren't your hardcore large audience/want however many of the first and third parties available for the platform.
It's for those don't care about the full power.
To me the only reason I care about the Series X is the disk drive, the power may be what it is and is very nice but otherwise eh.
Ratchet Rift Apart, Portal/Crack in Time did a good job of the same thing in 2009 on a HDD what a joke of advertising with forced moments and then again Crack in Time does the Spyro thing of 2 versions based on the low/high resolution, or flags for the villains, flags for the allies, certain changes likely and it's doing that with small regions and aftermath areas, so that's probably 3 different versions of an area to showcase the time altering feature not a tunnel from place to place.
I use my One X because I prefer it over the original Xbox One to put under my TV and use, the power is nice but at the same time Forza Motorsport 7 runs like garbage for loading times but runs well still once in game.
I am fine using a PS4 base model to play current gen games I don't care. I like the tech and power but am I disappointed to make sure the FPS is what it is and the graphics are great, no. I care about the game design/level design and many times I'm not interested other than with very specific games.
And, again, we have a scapegoat to a development problem.
@Nepo right, it’s always the developers and not the system manufacturers. Right? I mean, Microsoft has done everything perfect since its inception, right? Lol.
@Dezzy70 "Because Sonys consoles get 80% of the sales with a new released game like Hogwarts."
Octopath Traveler 2 sold more on switch.
16% PC, 25% PS5, 56% Switch, 3% PS4
@Dezzy70 I actually feel the Ori games are incredible, loved both of them and feel like they are an awesome console exclusive for Xbox. Not actually Xbox Studios games though. Will of the Wisps also looks incredible on XSX, probably my favorite exclusive on Xbox this generation. Sadly being a 2d Metroidvania it doesn't really get much attention
Or just release splitscreen as a free update to Series X
One of the reasons i think FF16 and FF7 Remake games will never hit Xbox is because of the Series S. Look i love my Series S and its a great 3rd console but its becoming more clear its struggling with the latest games, we may find PS5 and PC get "exclusive" access purely because the Devs don't want or can't deal with the Series S requirement.
@Moto5 don't know yet.
The memory in the Series S is a confusing one to me. If MS genuinely wanted parity with the X on everything bar resolution the memory seems like an odd cut especially as it is pretty cheap.
Still I'm not a hardware engineer so what do I know??
@uptownsoul hopefully that will change once a few of Microsoft/Bethesda titles release showing off the benefits of those features.
@themightyant from Microsofts last event it sounded like it was really only Forza Motorsport that are pushing most of the unique built in features. Redfall probably use them also & Starfield could have been delayed so it takes a better advantage of the hardware. We will probably get a better picture of how 1st & 3rd parties utilise the hardware in June.
I feel like in cases like this it should be acceptable to release a version for Xbox Series X with that feature [splitscreen], and leave that feature behind on Series S. I'd rather see the Series X be properly utilised, or at least get the game at all, than to just skip the console because they can't get this feature running acceptably on a different machine
Of course John Linneman would say something like this, he is after all the same John that relentlessly lamented Microsoft for being upfront with their crossgen support on Series S|X a few years back. Only to completely change its tune when he realised that Sony were bull s**tting on their we belive in generations mantra.
I much prefer the impartiality Richard brings to these discussions. Microsoft would never accept a case were a game supports split-screen on Series X but not on S. That can lead to all sorts of problems including customers protection laws, if they did not specifically made it clear to Series S owners.
@cragis0001 If Redfall is using them, frankly it doesn't look like it. I love Arkane, and their slightly twisted caricature like artstyle is preferable to me over chasing photo-realism, but if we are honest their games aren't usually pushing the graphical envelope either. I don't expect this to make our jaws drop.
Forza Mortorsport will absolutely look incredible, 100%. But frankly top-end racing games always do. They've already hit that point of diminishing returns where you can see the textures on the leather and wood in cockpit view etc. and we see pixel level detail and dirt buildup.
A few more ray traced reflections and other graphical features isn't likely to blow most people's minds anymore, it's unlikely to look THAT much better in motion than something like Forza Horizon 5 based on what they have shown.
One of the reasons i think FF16 and FF7 Remake games will never hit Xbox is because of the Series S. Look i love my Series S
That would be one way to look at things and just ignore the exclusivity deals Sony signed for the games you mentioned.
Then I look at Forespoken a Squeenix developed game that runs like dog s**t on PC and even the mighty PS5. So yeah, FF16 and FF7R not coming to Xbox due to the Series S are zero 😉.
If Redfall is using them, frankly it doesn't look like it. I love Arkane, and their slightly twisted caricature like artstyle is preferable to me over chasing photo-realism, but if we are honest their games aren't usually pushing the graphical envelope either. I don't expect this to make our jaws drop
Sure, but who plays Arkane's games because they would look jaw dropping? The jaw dropping comes from their game systems and design philosophy, but you already know that 😉.
Hellblade 2 might turn a few heads as well...
series S is great for what it is but to anyone saying they dont see how its holding anything back has no clue how its not as powerfull as the xbox ONE X the cpu is more poweful in the ONE X the series S is 4x slower or less powerful as the series X personally feel only people who defend series S are the owners of series S who ae defending their purchase....this isnt the first game or the first developerr to complain about haveing to have parity on the s and X.... and also not the first one to say the Series S is a issue.... seems more and more are starting to say stuff....
Series S is gonna end up getting just xbox one games.... with slightly updated graphics in most cases...
@Sol4ris No one. I didn't bring it up, was just responding to someone who did.
But we were talking about the lack of games on Series X that really seems to show it's power and make your jaw drop. Have you got any good suggestions?
For me still Matrix demo, Flight sim (for different reasons). To a lesser extent GOW: Hivebusters and FH5, though as good as they look, I wouldn't say they were jaw dropping, they also look iterative to me. As I said we're at a point of diminishing returns, it's hard to wow.
Yes Hellblade 2 looks incredible in footage we've seen so far, whether it look that good in actual gameplay we'll have to see. And of course by the time is finally releases expectations may be even higher. But it's definitely one i'm keeping an eye on.
But we were talking about the lack of games on Series X that really seems to show it's power and make your jaw drop. Have you got any good suggestions
I absolutely see what you mean (and no I don't have any suggestions ☺️) but what game would make your jaw drop on any system? Let alone on the Series X where Microsoft's first party output is severely lacking (as everyone knows) , save for FH5 which is their most impressive game so far in my opinion. The hardware is there now they just have to start pushing it.
As I said we're at a point of diminishing returns, it's hard to wow
I agree, not even Star Citizen would make people drop their jaws (probably) 😁.
@themightyant if Forza Motorsport looks a lot better than any 3rd party racing game then like in the January showcase they could use it to show 3rd party games the benefits of the built in features.
@cragis0001 3rd parties will probably never have a reason to put the extra time or money into using mesh or VRS...(it's like the cell processor for the PS3 all over again)
XSS is not going to be cut or start getting partial versions of games. That undercuts the whole design of the platform, and would yield a Sega 32x/CD/Saturn problem for XB they don't currently have.
@StrawberryWave Not being next-gen is part of the problem, though. Series S F(and XSX and PS5) is optimized for techniques that aren't implemented or well used in last gen games. PS5 just brute forces it. XSX can do a fair bit of brute forcing. XSS is more dependent on the modern design. The Matrix UE5 engine demo is the best example.
Can we also stop using the "Hogwarts sold 80% on PS5" metric? That's a game that Sony had marketing rights on, incorporated in their major marketing for years since it's announcement, and included paid exclusive content in.
I get that games are selling better on the platform that has higher platform sales overall, that's a no brainer but the Hogwarts example is terrible, it, like CoD, is a game presented by contrast as a PS game first and foremost, the whole point was for it to sell mostly on PS. Yes, PS is going to be the lead at this point, but it's not as dramatic as that game makes it look (unless it's a JRPG...)
@themightyant Series S proved to be more than capable machine, always exceeds my expectations within reason of course. I really appreciate it's size and mobility, I move it through 2 or 3 places constantly.
@Sol4ris it is hard to make my jaw drop now, but it does still happen.
Matrix demo on XSX definitely did it, and showed that there is still room for photorealism to go further. (Sadly at the cost of a 24-30fps frame rate.)
Flight sim as I mentioned. Just the scale of it (the whole world) blows my mind... just don't get too close.
On other platforms:
Horizon: Forbidden West made my jaw drop at some of the vistas and faces. New high bar for open worlds. At the beginning I thought a lot of the characters we met were going to become allies because their design and clothing were so intricate and seemingly unique... we spoke to some of them once. lol. (Flawed game, but as a technical achievement, damn!)
I just played GT7 on PSVR2 with a seat and wheel at my friends house and my jaw was in my lap, pure immersion.
Before that it was probably Cyberpunk 2077 but only on my same friends' beefy PC with RT enabled. He has all the toys.
All in all it's becoming less and less common.
@101Force "I'd be willing to bet a lot of Xbox Series S owners are in a financial situation where local multiplayer is more attractive than online play"
This makes no sense. Some of us have girlfriends/wifes and family. Local multiplayer is therefore always attractive because you play in the same room on the same system, on the same screen. It's why the Switch is still beating both Xbox and PlayStation.
Sorry you never experienced local multiplayer. You realise Series X has that too right?
@Phornix : Hey now, you're reading into my comment and making assumptions about me here.
I'm not suggesting the only reason to be interested in local multiplayer is for budgetary reasons, and I've repeatedly suggested here on Pure Xbox that Microsoft should promote the Series S as a "party" or "family" machine by encouraging more local multiplayer titles. But Microsoft hasn't done that, they've really only promoted the Series S as a budget-conscious option and my comment was made in that regard.
@Sol4ris There is exclusivity deals but they are meant to be timed. As for Forspoken poor example as its running on a different engine (an engine about to be retired) and has a completely different Dev team (who are about to be no more). FF16 and FF7 Remake 2 are running on Unreal 5 i think so both are leagues ahead of Forspoken. Either way though you haven't made a point because if Forspoken runs bad on PC and PS5 then naturally if ported to Series S its going to run bad on that most likely far worse.
End of the day Series S has been getting questionible ports lately. Baldur's Gate 3 will skip Xbox if the Devs can't get split screen running on SS and that's because of MS not allowing Series X only games a restriction that could really bite them as this Gen goes on. The Series S is a neat console but maybe MS should have giving it more then it has power wise.
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