Several developers at DOOM studio id Software have expressed their concerns over the recently announced specs of Microsoft’s Xbox Series S, more specifically, its RAM.
Microsoft finally unveiled its budget version next-gen console earlier this week in the form of the all-digital Xbox Series S. Launching on November 10 alongside its bigger brother for only $299, the Xbox Series S is similar in CPU and will pack identical I/O performance as the Series X, albeit at a lower resolution.
“Xbox Series S delivers 4x the processing power of an Xbox One console and supports experiences up to 120fps, more immersive and responsive gameplay with support for hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing and Variable Rate Shading”, Microsoft wrote on its official Xbox blog. “In addition, Xbox Series S includes 512GB of custom SSD storage and is powered by the Xbox Velocity Architecture, delivering more than 40x the I/O bandwidth of an Xbox One resulting in faster loading times, steadier frame rates and Quick Resume for multiple titles.”
While Microsoft's upcoming next-gen consoles share the same main chip, the Xbox Series S packs quite less GPU power and a substantially lower, and less speedy, amount of memory – 16GB GGDR6 RAM inside the Series X compared to ‘10GB of GDDR6 RAM inside the Xbox Series S.
This “memory situation” is being regarded as a major issue by id Software lead engine programmer, Billy Khan, and principal engine programmer Axel Gneiting. Both programmers seem to agree that the much lower, and slower, amount of RAM inside the Series S will be hard to compensate.
Also "it always scaled on PC" is nonsense. Every AAA game in the past decade or so has their assets made once so they run on min spec. Increasing sample counts a bit here and there for high settings isn't what you could truly have done with more power. Min spec matters.
— Axel Gneiting (@axelgneiting) September 10, 2020
The memory situation is a big issue on the S. The much lower amount of memory and the split memory banks with drastically slower speeds will be a major issue. Aggressively lowering the render resolutions will marginally help but will not completely counteract the deficiencies.
— Billy Khan💖🦄✨ (@billykhan) September 10, 2020
Id Software’s senior programmer, Dustin Land, said that, while Microsoft’s digital-only console is significantly “nerfed” compared to the Series X, it’s still a powerful console.
“The S is significantly nerfed compared to X ( 4 vs 12.5 TFLOPS / 20 vs 52 CU ) but still much beefier than a base One”, Land said on Twitter. “It’s a good option for Xbox exclusives if you buy a PS5 and don’t want to buy another expensive console.”
As covered earlier this week, senior Technical Producer at Remedy Games, Sasan Sepehr, also expressed its concerns over the console’s specifications.
What are your thoughts about the Xbox Series S? Please discuss it down below.