The Xbox Series S might not be capable of 4K as the Xbox Series X is, and various aspects of its specs are definitely significantly lower as well, but one area where it seems Microsoft have been unwilling to make any sacrifices is the frame rate. They've said that the console is capable of running games at up to 120 FPS, and in a recently released clip, they showed that in action.
Not too long ago, it was confirmed that Gears 5 would be receiving various enhancements on the Xbox Series X, including multiplayer running at 120 FPS. While it remains to be seen which of those enhancements will be applicable on the Xbox Series S as well, the higher performance during multiplayer gameplay will be making it over as is.
If you want to watch the video running at 120 FPS (which is the whole point, after all), you're going to have to download it at its source. You can do that through here (you'll also need a screen capable of 120 Hz).
The Xbox Series S will launch on November 10 for a price of $299. Pre-orders for the console will go live on September 22.
Last month, Chinese studio Game Science took everyone by surprise when it revealed its action-RPG Black Myth: Wukong with an extensive gameplay video, which immediately caught on like wildfire. From its combat to its stunning visuals, the game has looked seriously impressive in all that we've seen of it, and while it seems there's still a ways to go before it actually releases and we find out whether the final product will be as good as the first impression it made, some new details have emerged on the game.
Speaking to IGN, the game's producer Feng Ji stated that Black Myth: Wukong will take players at least 15 hours to beat. Additionally, the developer also said that to make sure players remain "excited" through the game's entire runtime, the team at Game Science is ensuring that there's quite a bit of enemy variety in terms of regular enemies and bosses. Currently, the team is aiming for over 100 unique enemies and monsters to be in the game.
Black Myth: Wukong is currently in development for PC and next-gen consoles, but doesn't yet have a release date. The developers have said that they want to release the game in a reasonable amount of time, but haven't said anything more specific to that end.
A new next-gen console launching for $299 is an incredible deal no matter how you cut it, and when you add the immense value of Xbox Game Pass to that, it becomes even more compelling. That, incidentally, is exactly what the Xbox Series S is offering. But though it's an excellent move by Microsoft from a consumer's perspective, quite a few developers in the industry are concerned about the console's significantly lower specs (though several others seem to have positive impressions).
As per the officially revealed specs for the Xbox Series S, the console's GPU and RAM in particular significantly lower than the Xbox Series X, and developers have singled out the latter in particular, with many saying that these deficiencies will result in the Series S holding back next-gen game design and visuals for multiplatform developers (and even Microsoft's first party studios).
However, Gavin Stevens, co-owner and design lead at indie studio Team Blur Games, doesn't think it's going to be much of an issue. In a long, detailed breakdown of the console's specs, Stevens explained that there are various factors to take into consideration here, that collectively mean that while developers are going to have to spend additional time and resources on scaling their games back for the Xbox Series S, the console isn't going to hold back next-gen games.
Speaking of the RAM, Stevens says that while the Series S' pool is significantly lower and even has slower speeds, given the fact that the console won't be running games at 4K, it won't need as much RAM as the Xbox Series X. Stevens states that games running at 1440p (which is what the Series S is built for) usually require about 4-8 GB VRAM, which the Series S is capable of handling, while other technologies the console is making use of, such as Sampler Feedback Streaming, will also help out.
As for the GPU, Stevens directly addresses the claims that the Xbox Series S' GPU is supposedly slower than the Xbox One X's. While purely on paper, 4 teraflops (Series S) versus 6 teraflops (One X) makes it seem that way, Stevens points out that while the One X's GPU is built on the GCN 4 architecture, the Series S uses RDNA 2, which is significantly faster than GCN.
"A 4tf GCN GPU would not perform anywhere close to a 4tf RDNA2 GPU," Stevens writes. "You can't just throw the numbers together like that. When you add in all the other areas of improvement that the XSX has, such as sampler feedback streaming, IO improvements, faster memory, ray tracing capability etc, the XSS eats the past gen X1X alive, and it really is no contest." He doesn, however, go on to say that he expects games on the Xbox Series S to mostly hit 1080p instead of the promised 1440p figure to deal with the GPU in the console.
Interestingly enough, Stevens also talks about ray tracing. Though the Xbox Series S is capable of ray tracing, Stevens says that he expects that eventually, most games on the console will turn ray tracing on the Xbox Series S down or even off due to the console's specs.
It's a very detailed and interesting breakdown, and presents a lot of points that many may not have considered, so it's definitely worth a read. There's over forty tweets in there, so obviously we're not going to include each and every one of them in this report, but you can read the entire thread through the tweet embedded below.
So as a final answer to the question, is the Series S going to hold back game design or graphics for ANY next gen system? No, not in the slightest. @jronald from xbox already said it best: "games are made for XSX, then scaled down resolution to XSS". 40/41
— 𝙂𝘼𝙑𝙄𝙉 𝙎𝙏𝙀𝙑𝙀𝙉𝙎 (@Gavavva) September 10, 2020
After about two years of leaks and speculation, the Xbox Lockhart – now called the Xbox Series S – was bound to be officially revealed by Microsoft in a full-fledged video that they were planning to show exclusively to the press. Before that could happen, everything about the console leaked, forcing Microsoft's hand to reveal the console's specs, deep-dives into its hardware, information about its price and launch date, and more.
However, that press event has now leaked online in its entirety. At this point, none of the information in there is new, with the aforementioned leaks and Microsoft's subsequent announcements having confirmed all that was going to be shown in this press event, but if you're wondering just how Microsoft had originally planned on unveiling the Xbox Series S to the world, you can check that out now. The entire stream can be found in multiple parts in the Twitter thread below (via @_h0x0d_).
Meanwhile, Xbox director of programming Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb has confirmed on Reddit that this video was originally a press briefing planned for journalists only, and was cancelled after the first leak.
The Xbox Series S launches on November 10 for $299, and pre-orders will go live on September 22.
Xbox News Briefing 2020, Part 4 https://t.co/SnzvRsQb9M
— WalkingCat (@_h0x0d_) September 12, 2020
Microsoft have made heavy investments in several areas to make a compelling case for the value of Xbox as we move into next-gen, from several major studio acquisitions to bolstering Xbox Game Pass on a near-constant basis with major new additions and perks. And it seems they might be ready to spend even more money on another major new deal, which might not necessarily be a studio acquisition.
While Microsoft do seem to still be on the lookout for adding another studio to the Xbox Game Studios lineup, during the recent GamesBeat Decides podcast, reporter Jeff Grubb said that he's heard Microsoft are spending a large amount of money on something new, and that it isn't necessarily an acquisition.
"I have heard that Microsoft is spending a lot of money on something that isn't an acquisition," Grubb said. "That's what I've heard. It's not an acquisition, and the way it was raised to me, it seemed like it would be a big deal."
Kinda Funny's Imran Khan added that he had heard the same, which was followed by them guessing what it could be referring to. While the specifics remain unclear, it is interesting to know that Microsoft are continuing to make major investments as we head into next-gen. Recently, they announced that EA Play would be added to Game Pass Ultimate for free, so it's possible Microsoft might have more Game Pass-related news up their sleeve.
Grubb went on to guess that perhaps they're putting a deal in place for a major third party game or some expansion to come to Game Pass, which certainly seems like a possibility. If, however, you're hoping that Cyberpunk 2077 will come to Game Pass at launch, CDPR have already said that that's not going to happen, so you can put those hopes to bed.
Recent reports have suggested that Sony have approached most major thrid party studios in the industry for exclusivity deals for their games on the PS5, so perhaps Microsoft are responding with something similar. It's all up in the air right now, but either way, stay tuned, and we'll keep you updated should we learn anything more.
With the PS5 and Xbox Series X launching a couple of months from now, many have been wondering what Nintendo have up their sleeves to counter the threat of more powerful competing hardware. The Switch is already significantly less powerful than the PS4 and Xbox One, and with that gap bound to grow even more significant, questions about a mid-gen hardware refresh for the Switch have been asked regularly.
Not surprisingly, there have been various reports of late of Nintendo working on a 4K-ready Switch version that they're allegedly planning on releasing in 2021, and while we don't have any concrete evidence to suggest that, a recent development may have hinted at that as well. Recently, FDG Entertainment – the publishers of Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom – suggested in a tweet that the Switch might have "some next-gen hardware in the oven."
Of course, this isn't concrete evidence either, and doesn't necessarily mean that FDG Entertainment have spilled the beans on something Nintendo haven't yet announced (for instance, they could just be saying this in light of all the recent reports), but it is something to mull over.
A recent report claimed that Nintendo was boosting Switch production and was asking development partners to make their games 4K-ready, so there's been plenty of smoke here.
Who knows ?! Maybe Switch also has some next-gen hardware in the oven?
— FDG Entertainment (@FDG_Games) September 8, 2020
Star Wars: Squadrons releases in less than a month from now, and it's offering something that Star Wars games haven't offered in a very long time, thanks to its complete focus on immersing players in its space combat action. Developers Motive Studios have talked plenty about how they're doing all they can to ensure that the experience feels as authentic as possible, and recently, they made another announcement to that effect.
Creative director Ian Frazier recently took to Twitter to confirm that Star Wars: Squadrons will be getting HOTAS (hands-on-throttle-and-stick) support on the PS4 and Xbox One in a patc that will be live the moment the game releases. Support for HOTAS peripherals had already been confirmed for the game's PC version.
Good news, pilots!
As you may know, Squadrons supports HOTAS (throttle and joystick) controls on PC.
— Ian S. Frazier (@tibermoon) September 11, 2020
Ubisoft finally re-revealed Gods and Monsters at their recent Ubisoft Forward show as Immortals Fenyx Rising, and though that didn't come as a surprise, thanks to previous leaks, what did come as a surprise was how good it looked. Based on both, its reveal trailer and the extensive gameplay footage they showed in the post-show, Immortals is looking like a wonderful combination of Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Breath of the Wild, and we're here for it.
If the game's got you excited, there's good news- Ubisoft recently streamed over an hour of raw, uncut gameplay from the upcoming open world action-adventure title, which you can view in its entirety below. It shows a lot of combat, exploration, and physics-based puzzles, while showcasing plenty of one of the game's open world areas, and it's continuing to look really good. Check it out below.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is out on December 3 for PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Stadia.
Crash Bandicoot will be receiving a full-fledged sequel to the original trilogy next month when Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time launches. However, those who pre-order the game digitally will receive access to a substantial demo on September 16th. A new trailer showcases just what players can expect.
Two playable characters are present – Crash Bandicoot and Neo Cortex – with the former having access to Snow Way Out and Dino Dash. The latter will experience an alternate version of Snow Way Out, which plays differently thanks to Cortex's unique play-style. Two new Quantum Masks will also be available with the time-controlling Kupuna-Wa and object-phasing Lani-Loi.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is out on October 2nd for Xbox One and PS4. Along with Crash, Coco and Cortex, developer Toys for Bob also confirmed another playable character in Tawna. This is an alternate universe version where she's reimagined as the hero – check out her skills here.
Counterplay Games had plenty of Godfall details to share during PAX Online 2020 yesterday. It released a new combat trailer which features greatly improved visuals and effects along with outlining the various special editions and pre-order bonuses. One of those pre-order bonuses is, hilariously enough, Zer0's Sword from Borderlands. Check out the new trailers below.
Though we've yet to really see any co-op gameplay from Godfall, all the different Valorplates and weapon types look pretty good, as does the fast-paced combat. Whether it's the slow-moving Warhammer or the brutal Polearm, there's quite a bit to master. A boss is also teased at the end, though no gameplay of the fight is showcased.
Along with Zer0's Sword, pre-orders will also receive Chrome skins for Silvermane, Phoenix and Greyhawk along with amulet and ring trinkets and early Augments. Pre-orders on PS5 will receive a Red Typhon skin while PC players will get a Yellow Typhon skin. The various editions of the game and their content can be seen here (with prices yet to be decided for PS5):
Standard Edition ($59.99 for PC, TBA for PS5)
- Base game
Deluxe Edition ($79.99 for PC, TBA for PS5)
- Base Game
- Expansion 1
Ascended Edition ($89.99 for PC, TBA for PS5)
- Base Game
- Expansion 1
- Gold Valorplate Skins (Silvermane, Phoenix, and Greyhawk)
- PS5-only: Orange Vertigo Valorplate Skin
- PC-only: Red Vertigo Valorplate SKin
- Gold Weapon Pack
- Gold Shield
- Gold Royal Banner
- Zodiac Knight Lobby Title