Xbox Series S to Be Unveiled in August
Ever since Microsoft showcased their upcoming next-gen console, many players wondered what their lower-powered offering (reportedly called Xbox Series S) would look like and how well it would perform. The whole concept of releasing two consoles that offer differing levels of performance is a relatively new approach, but it makes all the sense in the world.
What You Can Expect
You have the first, most expensive one that’ll provide you with all the latest and greatest technology — high frame rates and high resolutions, ray tracing support, deep integration between the hardware and software, etc. Then, if that’s a bit too much for you, there’s also a slightly less powerful (but still sufficient) variant that’ll provide you with nearly the same experience (gameplay-wise) but for a noticeably lower asking price. This way, Microsoft can target two entirely different target groups and, potentially, rake in even more revenue.
Furthermore, the base console — as alluring as it might seem at first glance — is way too powerful for the “average joe.” What every gamer wants is a stable framerate, a high enough resolution, and, if possible, maxed-out settings. You don’t need an absolute beast of a machine to check all three boxes. The Xbox Series X will, in that regard, be way stronger than necessary. Opting for the lower spec’d model is the way to go if you don’t want to shell out an insane amount of money.
According to the latest rumors, the Xbox Series S (codenamed Lockhart) will provide players with constant 60 FPS at 1080p, with 30 FPS at 1440p also being possible. As for the hardware itself, rumors would suggest that it’ll have the same CPU, with a slightly less powerful GPU (lower clock speeds and fewer execution units). Back when developers first got their hands on Microsoft’s XSX development kit, they had an additional option to toggle into “Lockhart mode” which would automatically lower performance. It allowed them to develop their game with both options in mind. Developers will also supposedly have the final say whether they want to target 30 FPS/1440p or “settle” for 60 FPS/1080p. The latter, while less enticing, would already present a considerable boost when compared to today’s consoles. Most games don’t even run at a constant resolution, let alone frame rate (excluding the Xbox One X).
We always knew this was coming, but it’s still a surprise that Xbox Series S won’t be as underpowered as most expected. The core of the console will arguably remain the same, with a less potent GPU powering the whole thing. There’s still no word on pricing, but hopefully, that’ll change over the coming weeks.
With “Lockhart” hitting shelves alongside the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, the fight for console supremacy will be fiercer than ever!