A hot topic making the rounds on the internet today is the future of the Xbox Series S. In a Twitter conversation with gaming journalist Jeff Gerstmann, VFX artist for Bossa Studios Ian Maclure stated that “It might sound broken, but the reason you are hearing it a lot right now is because MANY developers have been sitting in meetings for the past year desperately trying to get Series S launch requirements dropped.”
Maclure, who worked on last year’s I Am Fish, also tweeted, “Studios have been through one development cycle where Series S turned out to be an albatross around the neck of production, and now that games are firmly being developed with new consoles in mind, teams do not want to repeat the process.” The tweets have now been made private.
This follows what other game devs have said on social media and elsewhere about developing for the Xbox Series S console, complaining that the systems comparative memory limitations make the console a “pain” to work with. One in particular—a character artist at Rocksteady—made the claim (in now-deleted tweets) that there is an “entire generation of games, hamstrung by that potato.” This in regards to the fact that Microsoft mandates that all new-generation games be released for both Series X and S systems.
As this developer put it, multi-platform games have to be “optimise for the lowest performer.” But this really goes back to Gerstmann’s original point that most of these games release on PC also and thus are compatible with a range of hardware configurations.
The whole “Series S is holding back next-gen games” argument seems really broken to me. Most of these games also come to PC and already have to cover a wide variety of configs. Like go look at the Steam Hardware Survey sometime. Lots of older stuff with significant percentages.
— Jeff Gerstmann (@jeffgerstmann) October 20, 2022
Something that must be pointed out in all this is that the Series S iteration of the next-gen Xbox has played a big part of its success. (It even outsold its more powerful sibling during the console’s first year). This is no doubt thanks to the smaller console’s attractive price point as a budget-friendly next-gen option.
So what’s your take on this issue regarding the Xbox Series? Do you think Microsoft will someday drop its requirement for Series S compatibility for all new-gen games? Sound off in the comments below.