Xbox Series S gets a performance boost

A white Xbox Series S stands against a green background.

picture: Xbox / Kotaku

While not the most powerful console out there, the smaller and cheaper Xbox Series S was a huge hit for Xbox. However, some developers have reportedly felt the strain of getting bigger and more advanced games to run on the console, and in response Microsoft is freeing up some memory to boost the tiny console’s performance.

As discovered by The edgeMicrosoft is hoping to make the Xbox Series S a little more powerful by freeing up some memory and allowing developers to access that extra memory when they need it. In a video explaining this new developer-focused update, Microsoft says it unlocks “hundreds of additional megabytes of storage” and that this will theoretically give studios more control over how they use the console’s limited storage. Microsoft says this “may improve graphics performance in memory-constrained conditions.”

The June Game Development Kit (GDK) is available now

To be clear, this isn’t like Microsoft quadrupling the performance of the Series S. Nor is Microsoft flipping a secret switch to allow the console to run games at 8K and 240Hz or anything wild. Instead, the amount of storage is optimized for non-gaming functions in the $300 Series S.

While the more powerful Xbox Series X Console has 16 GB RAM, the cheaper Xbox Series S only has 10 GB. But prior to this update, developers only had access to 8GB of that memory, as Microsoft reserved about 2GB for the console’s operating system. Now the developers have a few hundred extra megabytes of memory, which could help some games run a little better in the future.

The Xbox Series S has always been positioned by Microsoft as a cheaper, less powerful, but still capable, next-gen console option. and It has proven to be a very popular piece of hardware since release alongside the beefier Xbox Series X in 2020. Heck, I already had one Xbox Series X and I ended up buying one. It’s the main way we play games in our living room, perfect for fall guys and Fourteen days. But for more intense games it can be difficult to reduce the frame rate or resolution. This has reportedly caused some problems and frustrations for developers trying to get certain games to run on the smaller machine.

A recent example of a game performing differently in the Series S is this evil Dead Game launched without a 60fps performance mode on the cheaper machine. Resident Evil Village also restricts the game only 45 fps at 1440p and 30 fps if you turn on ray tracing.

Hopefully, a few extra bits and bobs of memory can help developers working on Xbox ports not feel bogged down by the weaker Xbox Series S. Xbox Series S gets a performance boost

Curtis Crabtree

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