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Opinion Game Dev Platform Xbox Series S is “An Extremely Capable Machine” – Unity Chief Product Officer

IbizaPocholo

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We recently had the chance to conduct an interview with the developers of the Unity Engine, one of the most widely used development engines in the industry, as well as one developer in particular who has been able to use that engine for something truly impressive- Unity Chief Product Officer Brett Bibby and solo developer of Xbox Series X/S launch title The Falconeer Tomas Sala respectively. And both of them feel the Xbox Series S is more than capable to hold its own for the entirety of this console generation.

“It’s important to remember that the majority of people don’t have a screen that does 4K120, so there’s an audience that the S is designed for,” said Bibby. “They perhaps won’t need some of the detail the X can achieve. However, it’s important to remember the S is an extremely capable machine, because those hardware differences are focused on delivering a similar experience at a lower resolution.”

Bibby went on to emphasize that the Xbox Series S has almost all the features that define its more powerful counterpart, from support for ray-tracing to an SSD to a largely similar CPU.

“That is a really smart approach, the device has ray tracing, an SSD, nominally the same CPU as a Series X,” he said. “The only thing it lacks is the power to run at 4K- which simply isn’t always needed, the bedroom TV of some teenage gamer isn’t likely to be a 4K wallhanger beast, so its great for those situations. I would expect the Xbox Series S will be a real differentiator this generation.”

Meanwhile, The Falconeer developer Sala pointed out that thanks to features such as Smart Delivery, the power gap between the Xbox Series S and X is easy for developers to deal with. He went on to add, however, that the generation is going to be more about gameplay innovations than visual leaps, and that on that front, the Xbox Series S’ hardware isn’t lacking.

“With Smart Delivery, the Xbox team has ensured that games can be optimized regardless of which platform you’re playing them on,” Sala said. “This will give creators the opportunity to tailor their releases to both the Series S and Series X without needing to make compromises for either player. I also think it will come down to what the game experience is intended to be. More and more it’s not about photorealistic graphics, it’s about innovative, incredible, fluid, engaging experiences which will outnumber in aggregate the number of purely realistic ones. At the end of the day content is king and the console with the best games will prevail.”
 

DESTROYA

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killatopak

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eh...

Fine there are some cases where I concede the Series S going lower than 1080p is inevitable but it simply does not deliver what it promises.

-No RT when it exists on the X version
-Lower quality settings compared to the X version when just a lower resolution and everything is the same is the marketing bullet point
-BC mode based on the One/One S version of games instead on the One X
-missing game modes from the X version

I dunno about you but buying a Series S is just treating yourself as a second class citizen.

I was seriously planning on buying one since I’m still rocking a 1080p 60fps TV but this is just unacceptable for me. I mean thank god the console still hasn’t officially released in our country so I dodged a bullet there.

If you’re planning on investing on Xbox then just straight up save for the SX.
 

Evangelion Unit-01

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Are we still debating this? It’s a 1080p lower graphics version of the Series X. It’s like comparing a PC on High and Medium graphics settings. There is a huge market for that sort of machine. It just isn’t a machine for graphics enthusiasts on GAF.

Copying and pasting a post I made a while back below.


I have friends who are buying the Series S + Game Pass. They could afford a $500 console but usually wait a few years for a price drop. They typically play COD, GTA, Madden, NBA, FIFA, and a handful of free to play games. They don't turn on game mode, they don't calibrate their TVs, they just play games casually. They got super excited about Game Pass + EA for Madden and FIFA. They usually only buy one or two years year of the games per gen so they are find with always being a year behind on the service. They are getting a lot more entertainment out of the Series S + Game Pass than they would have otherwise.

To really hit this point home-I had a friend who had his 360 hooked up via composite video even though he owned component cables, he thought I was a wizard when I swapped the cables around. Had another friend who was running his Xbox One at 720p; 1080p blew his mind. Another buddy of mine had his TV picture size set incorrectly and was so pumped when I changed it and he could see the hud in Gears of War.

There are a ton of people out there who are absolutely ignorant when it comes to basic stuff like resolution. A lot of them are people who wait to get a console until there has been a price drop or two and there are a bunch of games out. Series S will pull them in earlier. They don't need to know or understand the difference between Series X and S-to them both can play the newest COD and one is $200 cheaper.
 

Mokus

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This guy most likely didn't see the console in action. On paper might have all the new features as the XSX, but it can't handle them.
 
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acm2000

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$299 for a device with that CPU , 10 GB of GDDR6 & a fast SSD is still a pretty good deal but for $100 more you can get a console with over 2X the GPU & more SSD space .

Not one single person who would buy an Xbox series s would want a ps5:de and this $299 is a great price, how hard is that for you to understand? Gamers go where their friends lists go, series s is "the second Xbox" or for the kids rooms where they already have an Xbox one.
 
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TheKratos

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While I'm getting an X whenever the fuck they go back into stock, the S with a 6 month GP card will be my go-to Christmas and birthday present for friends and family for years.

Honestly when I compare my SS to my PS5 I can't believe how great of a value PS5 is.

EDIT: To the guy above, I literally bought an SS and PS5.. SS is the second console whenever I don't have access to PS5.
 
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Stilton Disco

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Serious question, if they(developers) remove Ray Tracking can Series S do 1080p 60 fps? that CPU in it is a BEAST if I remember correctly.
So far they've removed most instances of ray tracing and it's not helped, so I wouldn't hold your breath it will suddenly start working in future games.
 
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SkylineRKR

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Yakuza 7 on S though runs 1440p/30 as opposed to 1080p/30 on One X and Pro. And 900p/60 which feels really smooth and isn't much below those other systems in terms of res. This game gives a good indication as X does I believe 2160p-ish/30 and 1440p/60. Which is the difference I expected.

But I did expect more of a 1440p machine out of the box. Not 1080p as most games seem to hit right now. For 120hz, well lol, even the X and PS5 can't achieve that at remarkable resolutions to the point I don't bother with it. Same goes for RT. Play DMCV in RT on PS5, I did it for one mission (I have the game), its either 1080p (lol) or PS3 levels of performance in the other mode. 1080p in a last-gen port? get the fuck out.
 
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vaibhavpisal

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Games on it lack next gen sheen (going by Digital Foundry's Call of Duty comparison video).

It's more like next gen games with current gen graphics. There is a bit of cut on texture density, sharpness in close up resolution. If I can see this in 480p YouTube video, I think actual footage would be much more different.

While I don't care much for graphics, still I think at some point I would cave in and just get the X.
 

SkylineRKR

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Games on it lack next gen sheen (going by Digital Foundry's Call of Duty comparison video).

It's more like next gen games with current gen graphics. There is a bit of cut on texture density, sharpness in close up resolution. If I can see this in 480p YouTube video, I think actual footage would be much more different.

While I don't care much for graphics, still I think at some point I would cave in and just get the X.

There is little incentive to buy the S with a 400 bucks PS5 around. I admit. I bought it because PS5 would be my main console and that wouldn't arrive until next year. But I received it last week anyway. A X and PS5 would be overkill for me, thats like 1000 bucks for consoles. DE and S was a decent deal. And I must say, the S gets more mileage than the PS5 right now. Resolutions aside its really a fine machine thats just as fast as the other 2. I'm hooked to Yak and FH4 right now. On the flip side, when the X is reduced in price at some point I might just bite the bullet and replace the S. Though I love its form factor. Its prettier than my PS5 thats for sure.
 
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TheKratos

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It's doing 1200-1440p at 60fps in COD Cold War already. I don't know why Sony fans can't at least be informed before they start shitting on Xbox threads.

I forgot that COD is the only game that matters. It's also doing Ori 4k60fps, does that make it a 4k60fps machine?

Let 1080p 60fps become the standard and then we will talk, I have an SS so I'm really hoping when devs properly start optimizing we can reach this.
 

UnNamed

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So let's be fair, what's the resolution at 60fps (i.e. what the TV of the poor can achieve)?
Around 1080p, sometimes a bit higher, sometimes lower according to DF.

It would be interesting to know how well DIRT 5 runs on XONEX, I've read it struggle to maintain 60fps on performance mode at a resolution way below 4K (maybe 1440p) and also have some reduction in LOD and effects. But I'm not sure, I hope DF will make a coverage for the old gen.
 

TBiddy

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The Series S is indeed extremely capable. Also, it looks splendid. It could very well be a sleeper hit in the years to come, if it can maintain the competitive pricing.
 

michaelius

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He makes engine for indie developers that really strugled on weak Jaguar cpus.
From that point of view S with ryzen must look very promising.
 
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ZywyPL

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I think the biggest enemy of the Series S are the reviewers, who test it on high-end 4K TVs, along with SX and PS5, instead of some good old FullHD setup, which is the console's natural environment. And MS themselves aren't helping either with their "1440p, up to 120FPS" marketing, with the console already struggling with both, this console should never had a 120FPS option, which I'm really surprised devs opt to implement after complaining how hard their work is now since they have to target 8 or so platforms... This should've always been a 1080p30/60-only gaming console, it's cool that it can push 2D sidescrollers like Ori way beyond that, but that's exception not the rule.
 
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INCUBASE

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As someone whos not really bothered about console next gen, the series s looks like a decent option just to play gamepass

(If I didn't own a pc)
 

LeftThumbstick

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I forgot that COD is the only game that matters. It's also doing Ori 4k60fps, does that make it a 4k60fps machine?

Let 1080p 60fps become the standard and then we will talk, I have an SS so I'm really hoping when devs properly start optimizing we can reach this.

Rainbow Six Siege is 1728p/60 or 1080p/120 on the XSS too.

Also Rogue Company just got updated to 1440p/120 on the S.

All it takes is some competent developers.
 

LeftThumbstick

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I'm optimistic, I want my 60fps. Hopefully not just in shooters.
It’s the GPU and RAM that’s the issue for resolution, but as far as CPU and frame rates go it’s pretty solid, near identical with the X except clocked a little lower.