That's the rumor, anyway: a cheaper Xbox designed to run games at 1080p or 1440p instead of 4k, possibly titled the Xbox Series S. I guess the PS5 has two versions as well but it sure sounds like Xbox wants to beat them on price any way they can. I don't think I'll be at the front of the line for a new Xbox either way since all those games are coming to PC anyway, but it's still an interesting strategy to think about since manufacturing is still probably trying to recover from the COVID shutdowns.
Sounds like they might announce another Xbox model in August?
If the only difference will be 1080p and/or 1440p instead of 4K, I'll probably buy the S. Honestly, 4K doesn't do anything for me. Higher refresh rates, on the other hand, mean more to me.
As for PC vs Xbox, I'm at a crossroads. I need to upgrade my PC to play next gen games, but I'm not upgrading this cycle. I'm getting a new Xbox and passing on the upgrade. Truth is, except for gaming, there's no reason for me to have a better PC.
Sony and Microsoft have to make their digital models cheaper and when I mean cheap, I mean $100 cheaper than the comparable disk model. They can't just factor in the price of the optical drive. They are asking someone to give up physical copies of their games, depriving them of the ability to trade or sell those games. A sharp decrease in the price of a digital only model will at least give the impression to the buyer they are getting something in return for relinquishing control of the games they play.
Read some rumor that it might be cheaper than the Xbox One X. I know they were probably going to go with multiple SKUs, but I didn't expect it to be something targeting less than 4k with all this talk of 8k and 120fps.
But frankly, I was playing on a 720p TV 3 years ago and didn't really miss 1080p at the time. With all the living rooms I've visited that still use component cables, there might be room for this sort of model if the price is right. There is an audience out there that doesn't get deep into this stuff and can't really pick out the difference. Or someone needs a Christmas gift, the Xbox Series line is the hot new shit, and breaking the bank isn't feasible.
I expect Game Pass to be bundled into this thing somehow so they can say "buy this thing, you're good to go with Halo and Forza on day one." But can it run at 8k? "No, but it's $300 and we'll even throw in Gears Tactics!"
I would be potentially in the market for this and I wasn’t going to get a XSX or PS5 previously. My apartment/condo can’t handle a bigger screen and I can tell the difference between 1080P and 4K on a “tiny” 46’ setup. the the odds of me moving into a bigger place before this console cycle ends is not zero but pretty low. I was content to sit out this cycle and may anyway but just wanted you to know there is a weird use case for a non 4K new console. Real estate in New England may not be ready for the next gen of gaming. Maybe I just need to get a 4K hdr monitor, any suggestions?
I think it's a good idea, depending on pricing.
If Sony drops the all-digital version of the PS5 at $50 less than the console with the drive, Microsoft could run in and drop the Xbox Series S (or whatever it will be called) at $100 or $150 less than that.
Bundle a year of Game Pass in at retail as a discounted upsell and you've got the holiday season winner. Purchases by parents and grandparents alone would win that title for Microsoft.
Despite all the emphasis on power with these next-gen consoles, I think the true breakthrough is going to be standardized SSDs. Getting a low-cost model that still provides that benefit would be huge. Like, even though my X1X does 4K, I'd consider a 1080p/60 console with an SSD to be an upgrade.
People seem to be getting the idea that the lower resolution will net them higher frame rates, but the hardware would be less powerful, there could be edge cases where digital foundry finds a couple of games that randomly run better on the S, but there's almost no chance of getting more frames in general because of it.
If it turns out that developing for the X then optimising for the S is a challenge, you might even get worse frame rates.
@cikame: That’s true, but given that the rumors are saying that the Series S will have mostly the same CPU as the Series X, I think it’s reasonable to say that the system can hit a consistent 60 FPS at a sub-4K resolution. That would be more than enough performance to a large segment of customers.
@krulon87: I’m not sure that’s analogous here? From the reports it looks like the Series S runs the same games as the Series X without any add-ons. If anything, this feels closer to the X1S/X1X or PS4/PS4Pro situation, which doesn’t seem to be causing any headaches at retail that I’m aware of.
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