The Xbox Series S has yet to be officially announced despite being one of the worst kept secrets in gaming. With a expected price point of around $200, it is believed that the Xbox Series S is being marketed as a low-cost entry into the next generation and will have a strong focus on Microsoft’s xcloud.
According to a report given to The Verge:
The leaked document also mentions a Lockhart profiling mode. This special Lockhart mode is part of the Xbox Series X developer kit. The devkit, codenamed Dante, allows game developers to enable a special Lockhart mode that has a profile of the performance that Microsoft wants to hit with this second console. We understand that includes 7.5GB of usable RAM, a slightly underclocked CPU speed, and around 4 teraflops of GPU performance. The Xbox Series X includes 13.5GB of usable RAM, and targets 12 teraflops of GPU performance.
Developers will be able to use this Lockhart mode to test their games against this performance profile and do validation checks. Microsoft is expected to position its Lockhart console for 1080p or 1440p gaming, two of the most popular resolutions used by PC gaming monitors currently.
It is interesting to see Microsoft go after the 1080p/1440p market with the Xbox Series S rather than still trying to hit 4K. Many people have yet to upgrade to 4K and won’t get all the benefits that the Xbox Series X has to offer. Sony’s all-digital Playstation 5 is identical to the regular PS5 in specs, just without a disk tray. It is slightly worrying that the specs are vastly underpowered compared to the Xbox Series X, something which may hinder performance as the generation progresses. It is possible some games may not run on the Series S or may need significant graphical downgrades to do so.
Xbox also appear to be leveraging their All Access deal where users can subscribe to the service for 2 years and receive a Xbox console complete with Live and Game Pass.
“Xbox All Access is going to be critical to both our launch for Xbox Series X as well as just the overall generation,” said Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Xbox chief, in a Game Lab Live keynote earlier this week. Microsoft is also bundling its Project xCloud game streaming technology into Xbox Game Pass later this year, in yet another effort to bolster its subscription service.
Microsoft have yet to officially announce the Xbox Series S, but an Xbox event is planned for July where the announcement is expected to be made. No price has been announced, with both sides being in a stalemate with neither wanting to be the first to announce it, as it will give the other the opportunity to undercut.
Both the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 are scheduled to launch in Fall 2020.