When the full specs of the Xbox Series S were revealed we noted that “The Series S has less of its speedier RAM (8GB) than the Xbox One X makes available to developers (9GB), and it also runs at 224GB/s compared to the One X’s 326GB/s. The implication is that for backward compatibility to Xbox One titles, the Series S would not be able to run games in the One X mode, and would instead step back to original Xbox One resolutions up to 1080p.”
That has now been confirmed by Microsoft, the Series S will not run the Xbox One X enhanced versions of games, and will instead revert to the base Xbox One S versions of the game.
Here’s Microsoft’s 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.
Microsoft do, however, explain that the Xbox Series S will run those games better than the original Xbox One hardware, pulling the same kinds of tricks that the Xbox Series X will. On the simplest level, this will allow games to run with more consistent frame rates and at the top end of the dynamic resolutions set by the developer. Games will also load quicker, especially when installed to the Series S’ internal SSD storage.
However, Xbox Series X | S backward compatibility can also overrule the original game coding and implement improved texture filtering, potentially double the game’s frame rate from 30Hz to 60Hz or from 60Hz to 120Hz, and implement an Auto HDR feature to add HDR to games not designed with it in mind.
Even so, it’s a strange sideways step from the Xbox One X to the Xbox Series S for anyone thinking of playing Xbox One games on the console.
In case you missed them, here are the full specs for the Series S and Series X.
|Xbox Series X||Xbox Series S|
|CPU||8-Core Zen 2 @ 3.8Ghz / 3.6Ghz w/ SMT||8–Core Zen 2 @ 3.6Ghz / 3.4Ghz w/ SMT|
|GPU||RDNA 2 GPU – 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz||RDNA 2 – 20 CUs @ 1.565 GHz|
|GPU Power||12.15 TFLOPS||4 TFLOPS|
|Memory||16 GB GDDR6||10 GB GDDR6|
|Memory Bandwidth||10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s||8GB @ 224 GB/s, 2GB @ 56 GB/s|
|Performance Target||4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS||1440p @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS|
|Internal Storage||1 TB PCIe Gen 4 NVME SSD||512 GB PCIe Gen 4 NVME SSD|
|I/O Throughput||2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed)||2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed)|
|Expandable Storage||1 TB NVME Expansion Card||1 TB NVME Expansion Card|
|Optical Drive||4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive||Digital Only|
|Video Output||HDMI 2.1 – Up to 4K at 120Hz, 8K, VRR||HDMI 2.1 – Up to 4K at 120Hz, 8K, VRR|
|Backward Compatibility||Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox||Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox|
|Availability||10th November 2020||10th November 2020|
|Price||$499 / £449 / €499||$299 / £249 / €299|