Microsoft today gave a full overview of its new Xbox Series S console. The $299 next-generation console, which will arrive on November 10, is designed to be a more affordable option for 1440p games. Microsoft uses the same CPU as the Xbox Series X in the S-Series, running at 3.6Hz. “The main difference between Xbox Series X and S is the GPU,” explains Jason Ronald, Microsoft’s Xbox project manager.
“The Xbox Series S has four times as much processing power as the Xbox One console and supports up to 120fps of experience,” says Liz Hamren, head of engineering and hardware for the Xbox platform. “The main difference between the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S is the resolution. By communicating with our customers, we found that many fans put frame rates above resolution, so we wanted to build a game console that didn’t require a 4K TV. “
That has allowed Microsoft to use different GPUs within the Xbox Series S to lower prices, which the company promises will perform about three times as well as the Xbox One. Although Microsoft didn’t go into detail about the GPU’s specifications, we learned that the Xbox Series S has 20 CUs and runs at 1.550 Ghz. This calculates the performance of about 4 teraflops, compared with 12 teraflops for Xbox Series X. Although the gap is huge, Microsoft’s goal is for the Xbox Series S to work on 1080p or 1440p monitors and TVs, which don’t need to use as much GPU computing power as 4K games.
Microsoft uses a hardware extender on the Xbox Series S to expand 4K games on the TV, and even has comprehensive hardware support for AMD’s latest RDNA 2 feature set, including hardware-accelerated ray tracing, mesh colorers, and variable-rate coloring. The Xbox Series S offers 10GB of GDDR6 memory with a throughput of 224Gbps, while the GDDR6 on the Xbox Series X is 16GB.
To reduce costs, Microsoft also customized a 512GB SSD based on microsoft’s Xbox Velocity architecture for this low-end console, which allows users to switch quickly between games with features such as fast recovery.
Microsoft also uses sampler feedback streams to allow Xbox Series S to load only the textured portions needed to render the scene, which increases memory efficiency and I/O speed.
Microsoft now plans to launch the Xbox Series X and Series S on November 10. The Xbox Series X will sell for $499 and the low-cost Series S series will sell for $299.