Launching 10th November for just £249.99/$299.99, the Xbox Series S appears to offer phenomenal value for money and a cheap way to access the next generation of games. But its cut-down specs will apparently come with a drawback.
Though the Xbox Series S will undoubtedly be a more capable machine than the Xbox One X overall, Microsoft has confirmed with us that when playing backwards compatible titles, the Xbox Series S won’t apply any Xbox One X-centric enhancements. When asked to clarify how the Series S deals with Xbox One X enhanced games, a Microsoft spokesperson provided the following statement:
“Xbox Series S was designed to be the most affordable next generation console and play next generation games at 1440P at 60fps. To deliver the highest quality backwards compatible experience consistent with the developer’s original intent, the Xbox Series S runs the Xbox One S version of backward compatible games while applying improved texture filtering, higher and more consistent frame rates, faster load times and Auto HDR.”
The news may come as a disappointment to some, but as the statement mentions, backwards compatible games will still look better on Xbox Series S due to improved texture filtering and other enhancements.
Games with dynamic resolutions and unlocked framerates will also see a benefit. And finally, many first party games that were enhanced for Xbox One X, such as Forza Horizon 4 and Gears 5, are going to be updated to make use of the extra power afforded by both Xbox Series S and X.
The video below, for example, details how the console will run Gears 5 at 120fps without compromising visual quality.
Essentially, we won’t know for sure what a game looks like on Xbox Series S until we get our hands on one. But games not having Xbox One X enhancements isn’t as bad as it sounds – because ultimately, backwards compatible games will have a new suite of enhancements instead.