The long rumoured Xbox Series S, the cheaper “Lockheart” variant of Microsoft’s next-gen console, has been leaked from a handful of different sources that have got their hands on the updated Xbox controller designed for the Xbox Series X.
Twitter user Zak S was able to purchase the controller, with its subtly modified form factor, redesigned D-pad and new Share button. However, most interesting is that the packaging for the controller reveals that is it compatible with “Xbox Series X | S”.
Xbox series X controller found in the wild!! pic.twitter.com/TEns4z45CB
— Zak S (@zakk_exe) August 9, 2020
And here's a video to show that it's real pic.twitter.com/4SWl3nmsIw
— Zak S (@zakk_exe) August 10, 2020
The Xbox Series S is expected to be a lower powered version of the Xbox Series X, keeping many of the same attributes, such as the ultra-fast SSD storage and Zen 2 CPU, but compromising on the GPU side of things. Where the Xbox Series X is expected to deliver a native 4K resolution, higher frame rates and ray tracing, the cut back “Lockheart” could sacrifice these to reach a lower price point for those buyers without a 4K TV or without as exacting demands from their games graphics, while retaining the minimal loading times and enhanced game worlds that the CPU could provide.
The availability of an Xbox Series S also helps to explain why Microsoft ceased production of their current most powerful console, the Xbox One X. While the Xbox One S remains in production, it will eventually be left behind by next gen game designs, the weakness of its CPU likely to be a key factor in this. That CPU weakness would have remained on Xbox One X.
Not only will this be a future proof option, it will also allow Microsoft to aim for a lower entry price to the next generation, potentially helping to bring more players into their next-gen plans by aiming $100 or more lower than what Sony can manage with the PlayStation 5.
As a reminder, Microsoft’s studios are not developing Xbox Series X exclusive titles for at least the first year of the console’s time on the market. Halo Infinite and anything else that comes out also having versions for the Xbox One, with Smart Delivery meaning you can buy the game once and own optimised versions across Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Windows 10. Additionally the new controller will be backward compatible to the Xbox One, and Xbox One peripherals forward compatible to next-gen. However, that message was muddied through their Xbox Series X showcase, which largely showed first party games that will not be coming to Xbox One.
Source: Zak S