Microsoft lastly confirmed the existence of the Xbox Series S on Tuesday, and someday later, the corporate has announced the hardware specifications of its smaller, cheaper next-generation console. At $299, the Collection S seems to be an awesome worth proposition for individuals who don’t care about bodily video games or 4K decision.
The primary factor to know in regards to the Collection S is that it’s constructed to play all the identical next-gen video games as its extra highly effective sibling, the Xbox Collection X, besides at a decrease goal decision of 1440p moderately than 4K. Each consoles can play video games at body charges of as much as 120 frames per second. And the Collection S will nonetheless ship the identical visible constancy because the Collection X, in line with Microsoft — it’s able to hardware-accelerated real-time ray tracing, variable-rate shading, and mesh shaders. It’ll additionally upscale the native-resolution output to 4K.
“By designing two consoles in parallel from the very starting, we are able to ship the identical core gaming expertise whereas additionally making it as simple as attainable for builders to scale their video games throughout each consoles with minimal effort,” stated Jason Ronald, director of program administration for Xbox, in a deep-dive video for the Xbox Series S. “Because of this Xbox Collection S delivers the identical unbelievable next-generation expertise and options as Collection X — simply at a diminished rendering decision.”
The Xbox Collection S delivers 4 teraflops of graphics efficiency, which signifies that on paper, it’s 33% much less highly effective than the Xbox One X (the beefiest current-generation console, at 6 teraflops) and 67% much less highly effective than the Xbox Collection X. But it surely manages to ship the identical efficiency because the Collection X due to the best way Microsoft constructed it: Along with the aforementioned graphics rendering options, it affords “an identical I/O efficiency” to the Collection X, courtesy of its solid-state drive and Xbox Velocity Structure. That signifies that Collection S house owners may also see the identical enhancements in loading instances as on the Collection X, amongst different advantages.
When it comes to the specs, the Xbox Collection S accommodates “the identical eight-core Zen 2 CPU structure because the Xbox Collection X,” stated Ronald, besides downclocked barely to run at a continuing frequency of three.6 GHz as a substitute of three.8 GHz. (With simultaneous multithreading enabled, the Collection S CPU will run at 3.4 GHz as a substitute of the Collection X’s 3.6 GHz.) The Collection S GPU accommodates far fewer compute models — 20 as a substitute of 52 — and runs at a slower frequency of 1.565 GHz in comparison with the Collection X’s 1.825 GHz. The decrease uncooked numbers received’t maintain again the Collection S an excessive amount of, in line with Microsoft, due to the “digital reminiscence multipliers” supplied by the Xbox Velocity Structure.
The system reminiscence is “scaled according to the goal decision” of 1440p, stated Ronald: The Collection S boasts 10 GB of GDDR6 RAM as a substitute of the Collection X’s 16 GB, with much less reminiscence bandwidth. One other main distinction is the inner storage. Whereas each consoles ship the identical storage bandwidth — a learn pace of two.4 GB per second for uncompressed knowledge and 4.8 GB/s for compressed knowledge — the SSD within the Collection S is half the dimensions of the one within the Collection X, 512 GB as a substitute of 1 TB. That may very well be a sticking level for the all-digital Collection S, with storage necessities for a lot of fashionable video games creeping up close to the 100 GB mark, if not topping it.
That’s proper — a key Xbox Collection X function that the Collection S lacks is an optical drive. As of late, the majority of games are sold digitally (a development that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated). Homeowners of both next-gen Xbox will have the ability to bump up the consoles’ inner storage by shopping for a 1 TB Storage Expansion Card, however Microsoft has but to announce the worth for the proprietary system manufactured by Seagate. The consoles will help USB exterior exhausting drives, however you’ll solely have the ability to play backward-compatible Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One video games from exterior storage — next-gen video games have to be put in to the inner SSD or to a Storage Growth Card.
Leaving out the 4K Blu-ray drive is a means for Microsoft to maintain prices down. And though it received’t have the ability to play video games or Blu-ray films, the Xbox Collection S will help 4K video output for streaming providers, identical to the Collection X will. In actual fact, Microsoft introduced Wednesday that each consoles will help Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR at launch for providers reminiscent of Disney Plus, Netflix, and Vudu. The following-gen consoles may also get Dolby Imaginative and prescient help for video games someday in 2021, they usually each function an HDMI 2.1 output for cutting-edge video features reminiscent of variable refresh price and auto low-latency mode.