Ever since Microsoft unveiled Xbox Series S as an all-digital alternative to Xbox Series X, several developers have come forward to share concerns about how the budget-friendly console might possibly hold back next-generation games.
Taking to Twitter earlier today, both principal engine programmer Axel Gneiting and lead engine programmer Billy Khan at id Software agreed that the much lower and slower “RAM situation” of Xbox Series S will be hard to work with.
Microsoft stated that Xbox Series S was designed to target similar performance metrics as Xbox Series X but at lower resolutions. What developers of id Software note is that lowering resolutions will only help “marginally” and will still not take into account other sacrifices games must make to run on Xbox Series S.
Also "it always scaled on PC" is nonsense. Every AAA game in the past decade or so has their assets made once so they run on min spec. Increasing sample counts a bit here and there for high settings isn't what you could truly have done with more power. Min spec matters.
— Axel Gneiting (@axelgneiting) September 10, 2020
The memory situation is a big issue on the S. The much lower amount of memory and the split memory banks with drastically slower speeds will be a major issue. Aggressively lowering the render resolutions will marginally help but will not completely counteract the deficiencies.
— Billy Khan💖🦄✨ (@billykhan) September 10, 2020
According to official hardware specifications shared by Microsoft, Xbox Series S features 10GB GDDR6 RAM that gets split between 8GB @224GB/s and 2GB @56GB/s. Xbox Series X in comparison features 16GB GDDR6 RAM with 10GB @560GB/s and 6GB@336GB/s.
Microsoft believes that developers will be able to utilize Xbox Series S to run next-generation games in 60 frames per second at 1440p and in some cases, managing even 120 frames per second but at the same resolution. However, most veterans, like the ones at id Software, see tedious development cycles in the future as developing a game to run on both Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will not be as easy as Microsoft has led the public to believe.