Rich and John talk about this in the latest DF Direct.
Microsoft has unveiled its long-rumored second-next-gen console – and finally, the cut-price Xbox Series S. It seemed that it would always take to decide to publish. Released this week, Which was earlier than planned because Microsoft was quick to respond to its shape factor and price leak.
The machine was first introduced six months ago by Digital Foundry’s Rich Leadpeter and John Lynneman when they traveled to Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington for an exclusive look at the Xbox Series X. Console in the special episode of Digital Foundry Direct, you can see in the embed below.
Sections filmed in Redmond in March and a conversation this week breaks all the latest information – including Microsoft pricing and Series S stabilization – there’s a lot of cock in the video. (As an added bonus, look at the crimewatch-style reconstruction of the moment the Series S was revealed to the couple in Richmond – when a Microsoft representative created a lower console from a handbag.)
Despite the unplanned trip, the Series S has received a lovely reception this week – and little miracle. It’s an attractive portable machine, which offers compelling value – and its sleek, toy-like design factor (and the same release price as the previous PlayStation 2 and first Xbox) for older game consoles. Aimed at delivering displays at lower resolutions (and with higher power performance), the Series X’s faster storage, radiation detection hardware and sharing of next-generation CPU technology is a surprisingly complete feature. This week I was able to see some decent shots that are supposed to be running on the Series S – including Gears 5 at 120fps.
Compromises? Beyond the lack of an optical drive, its 8GB of memory will be a tight pressure for games created for the next gen – 500GB of on-board storage. Beyond that, there’s a lot we still don’t know, and it’s hard to say how the gaming experience in the Series S could be affected. It is important to point out that in the midst of the talk about the S1440b target resolution of the Microsoft series, the popular Unreal Engine demo runs on the most powerful PlayStation 5 at 1440p. Can S provide anything like that experience? Time will tell.
What we do know now is that Microsoft’s pitch for the Xbox Series S – and to some extent, even the Series X – is not what we saw before a new generation console. Instead of aiming to attract major gamers with new games, it addresses a much wider market and talks about the value offered by Game Pass and the all-access subscription plan – and the affordable, adorable Series S fits that message exactly, especially in the current economic climate. It may be the right console at the right time.