Xbox Series S leaks on new Xbox Series X controller packaging

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”.

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Bingo.

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

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6 Comments

  1. So confirming what everyone assumed already. I’m guessing MS are going to be the first to blink on prices and announce the Series X and S prices in the next couple of weeks. Then Sony will quickly jump in with a PS5 price somewhere between the 2 MS models.

    Which is going to end badly for MS. Looking for a new console? That Series S is nice and cheap. Or spend more and get a massive increase in power with a PS5? Or spend even more and get a Series X that’s a bit faster on some numbers, but nobody can predict how it’s going to perform on real games?

    Series S could be £100/150 cheaper than a PS5 (for the digital/full version), and the Series X £50/100 more than the PS5.

    Of course, nobody can ever predict what sort of weird shit Sony will get up to. The PS5 could be sensibly priced, or PS3 levels of stupidly expensive. Or they might throw lots of money at it and make it cheap.

  2. I was always hoping Lockheart would be revealed as being called something more sensible than ‘Series S’. Following on from the Xbox One /One S / One X, it’s not obvious out of S and X, which is the more powerful one (compared to say PS4 and PS4 Pro).

    • I agree, MS is going to confuse folk with it’s Series S and Series X. The only thing that maybe a little less confusing is if the ‘S’ stands for ‘Streaming’, but is the world ready for a box just for xCloud gaming?

      • I doubt it will be Streaming only, but it will probably be digital-only to further cut costs…

        I guess Microsoft will market it as the Series S = 1080p, and Series X for 4k, although how you covey that to joe public easily I don’t know.

  3. There sure are going to be some interesting final reveals.

    • Fable is the only reason either model is appealing to me, maybe the new Forza too. A cheaper option for just the two games is very “pro consumer” (that’s the buzz phrase doing the rounds atm yeah?).
      Also, “Smart Delivery”? Why is this still marketed as a new thing? The Xbox One S and X already downloaded the optimised version depending on which you play, you only bought the game once. In fact PS4 Slim to my Pro let me download all the better versions/assets of the games I own at no extra charge. Just all fluff.

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