While not the most powerful console out there, the smaller and more affordable Xbox Series S was a big hit for Xbox. But some developers have reportedly found it difficult to get bigger, more advanced games to run on the console, and in response, Microsoft is freeing up some of the memory to improve the performance of the smaller console.
As seen The VergeMicrosoft is hoping to make the Xbox Series S a bit more powerful by freeing up some memory and giving developers access to that extra memory if needed. In a video explaining this new developer-oriented update, Microsoft says it unlocks “hundreds of additional megabytes of memory,” which in theory would give studios more control over how to use the console’s limited memory. Microsoft says this “can improve graphics performance in memory-constrained environments.”
To be clear, it’s not like Microsoft quadrupled the power of the S Series. Nor is it Microsoft tweaking some hidden switch to make the console start running games at 8K and 240 Hz or something wild like that. Instead, the $300 Series S adjusts the amount of memory allocated to non-gaming functions.
No matter how strong it is Xbox Series X the console has 16 GB of RAM, while the cheaper Xbox Series S only has 10 GB. However, prior to this update, developers only had access to 8GB of this memory, as Microsoft allocated around 2GB for the console’s OS. Now developers will have a few hundred extra megabytes of memory, which may help some games run a little better.
The Xbox Series S has always been positioned by Microsoft as a cheaper, less powerful, but still capable next-gen console option. and has proven to be a very popular piece of hardware Since it was released in 2020 alongside the more powerful Xbox Series X. Hell, I already have one Xbox Series X and I bought one. It has become the main way we play games in our living room Autumn Children and Fortnite. But for more intense games, it can struggle, requiring a lower frame rate or resolution. This has reportedly caused some problems and frustration for developers trying to run certain games on the smaller machine.
A recent example of a game performing differently on Series S is the Evil Dead game, which launched without a 60fps performance mode on the cheaper machine. Resident Evil Village also limits the game to only 45fps at 1440p and 30fps if you turn on ray tracing.
Hopefully, a few extra bits and memory can help developers working on Xbox ports not suffer from the weaker Xbox Series S.