Xbox Series S will not support Series X backwards compatibility enhancements

The heated debate surrounding the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S has taken the internet by storm following the reveal of the latter last week. Now, discussion about the differences between both versions of Microsoft’s next-gen console has intensified further as more details of both Series X and Series S come to light over the internet while their November 10 release date fast approaches.

It had already been announced months ago that the Xbox Series X would sport a backward compatibility feature which would allow games from its predecessors such as the Xbox 360 and Xbox One to be played on the Series X with higher resolutions (including 4k), faster frame rates and better texture filtering with the help of some hardware and software enhancements.

The Series S however, will deviate away from some of the enhancement features of the Series X as the said console will adapt to the backward compatibility feature of the Xbox One S. The enhancement that older games will get on Series S will vary per-game, however, they will not be on par with what the Series X will offer, especially when it comes to resolution—no 4k on Series S, sadly. Other enhancements such as a more stable frame rate, better texture filtering, faster load times and HDR will still be in the Series S.

In an interview with Gamesradar, a Microsoft spokesperson said that the Xbox S’ lack of 4K backward compatibility feature is in line with the console bring intentionally designed as such to be “the most affordable” next-gen console that can run the latest games at 1440P at 60 fps. This explanation alone could justify the lack of the 4K resolution backward compatibility which the Series X advertises as one of its main features while also considering the Series S’s $299 price tag in comparison to the $499 price of its big brother.

Apart from the price cut, Digital Foundry has also explained on their roundtable discussion that the Series S will also have notable hardware differences from the Series X. For one, the Series S will have less RAM (10 GB) in comparison to the 12 GB RAM of the Series X, however, they also clarified that the console’s RDNA2-based GPU is a lot more capable and is able to optimize the games in an effective manner.

“So games that maybe struggled on Xbox One S – either the dynamic resolution was overly-aggressive, with slowdown and things like that – conceivably they could actually run noticeably smoother on this machine.” Digital Foundry’s John Linneman added.

Although the 4K Resolution on backward compatibility will only be available for the Series X, the Series S will still feature 4K media playback and streaming, variable refresh rates, variable-rate shading, ultra-low latency DirectX Raytracing (RTX) support all for the price of $299 or around Php 14500.

As mentioned above, both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will be available starting November 10 but pre-orders of Microsoft’s next-gen consoles will commence a week from now on September 22.


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