In an interview with Digital Foundry, Xbox system architect Andrew Goossen discussed why Microsoft chose to launch the budget console rather than sticking with the now-discontinued Xbox One X, and countered suggestions Xbox Series S might “hold back” the next generation.
“I’ve read a lot of question on the internet, like, why isn’t Microsoft going to continue Xbox One X as the low-end machine,” he said. “Well, one thing is that it would last a long time through the generation and we felt that the new generation is defined by aspects such as the Xbox Velocity Architecture, and graphics features such as variable rate shading and ray tracing and the 4x processing performance boost on the CPU.
“And so we wanted to make sure that there was an entry level at the right price-point so that we could really advance the generation rather than hold it back,” Goossen continued. “I’ve heard that Series S is going to hold back the next generation but I actually see Series S advancing it because by doing Series S we’ll have more games written to the characteristics of the next generation.”
Xbox boss Phil Spencer also said of the entry-level console in a recent blog post: “In speaking to game developers, we identified the areas that are most difficult to scale effectively, including the CPU and I/O, and made it easy to include Xbox Series S for developers who are targeting their experiences for Xbox Series X.”
In VGC’s Xbox Series X review, our critic called it “an excellent console with some meaningful next-gen features, waiting for the software that will truly take it to the next level”.