Everything you know about the next generation Xbox Series S

In March, Microsoft (Microsoft) released information about its next-generation game console, Xbox Series X (XSX). People’s attention is now focused on the Xbox Series S (XSS), codenamed Lockhart, which is supposed to be a cheaper and less performing version than the XSX.

No wonder Microsoft is releasing a second version of the XSX. It already sells the $299 Xbox One S as an affordable alternative to the $399 Xbox One X. If so, the next-generation console could be named the Xbox Series S, which is already being called by enthusiasts.

The Xbox One S has become an intermediate step between the original Xbox and the Xbox One X. Ⓒ MicroSoft

The news of the cheaper console, XSS, is slowly leaking, so here’s what you already know about the product, what you don’t know, and what’s possible.

Xbox Series S (Lock Heart) release date?

Microsoft will release both the XSX and XSS (lock heart) in time for the summer shopping season. According to Eurogamer, the gaming media, it’s most likely to wait until August, and like XSX’s online announcement, XSS is expected to be released as a webcast.

Everyone tends to overlook the fact that Microsoft is influenced by the Corona 19 Pandemic as much as the average consumer. A supply chain problem delayed the release of the Surface Book 3, and XSS might have been affected to some extent. Even a year ago, the likelihood of Lockhart’s existence was uncertain. Throat.com’s Brad Sams said Lockhart’s presence was “completely erased.” However, Lockhart-related content is now appearing in Microsoft developer documentation.

To be clear, I know what the XSX looks like, but I have no idea what to expect in XSS (Lockhart).

The Xbox Series X. XSS is expected to look like this. Ⓒ Microsoft

How fast is XSS?

For now, I have no choice but to compare XSS to other Microsoft consoles. You should get hints from the current Xbox One S as well as the upcoming Series X. According to Microsoft, the XSX has an 8-core, 16-thread AMD Ryzen CPU running at a fixed clock speed. If the game uses only 8 physical cores of the CPU, it runs at 3.8GHz, and if the developer selects 16 threads, it runs at 3.66GHz. This means 12 teraflops of computing power, according to Phil Spencer, director of the Xbox division.

The original Xbox One S is equipped with the same 1.75GHz 8-core Jaguar CPU as the original Xbox One, so the difference between the two consoles is only the GPU and slightly increased the clock to 914Mhz. All this means that there was a huge difference between the performance of the Xbox One S (1.4 teraflops) and the Xbox One X (6 teraflops).

Microsoft chose AMD Ryzen for the XSX. The XSS Lockhart also seems to be the same. Ⓒ Microsoft

TheVerge expects the XSS to have the same CPU as the Series X. Perhaps the GPU will be slower. This means that the Series S (lock heart) will deliver 4 teraflops, and the Series X will perform 12 teraflops.

Basically, the XSX is equipped with a 3.8GHz 8-core CPU, 16GB of GDDR6 memory, and 1TB of internal hard drive. The Series S is probably a lower spec.

What does it actually mean?

The Microsoft Xbox One X is designed as a console for 4K TVs, and the S is optimized for more general 1080p displays. This difference between series X and S will persist. However, Microsoft has already told Eurogamer that the Series X will support 8K displays, so 4K displays may be applied to Series S or Lockhart.

It is unknown whether the Xbox One X’s specialized features, such as 120Hz display support, will lead to the Xbox One S. It should be a resolution of 4K or less, but it seems reasonable. It is unclear whether VRS (Variable Rate Shading) or Ray Tracing will be supported. VRS is a kind of’cheating’ technology that allows developers to lower the level of graphics in areas that the player will not notice. On the other hand, ray tracing models the movement path of each particle of light (photon), which was introduced in the Minecraft version for PC. If ray tracing is missing in the next-generation XSS, disappointment will be very high.

ⓒ Microsoft

Microsoft announced that it will give the’Optimized for Xbox Series X’mark to game content optimized for the next generation XSX. Only games that achieve 60 frames per second at 4K resolution, which is Microsoft’s goal, can be marked. Whether the Xbox One S (Lockhart) will achieve this goal remains unknown.

What about Xbox One S storage?

Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox One X comes standard with a 1TB NVMe SSD. A dedicated expansion slot can double the SSD, but the total price of the product is bound to rise. According to Microsoft, the Seagate Storage Expansion Card for the Xbox Series X essentially acts as a virtual memory and significantly reduces loading time. Eurogamer will also support the USB 3.2 interface for more general external hard drives.

It is not known at all whether these improvements will apply to XSS. The possibility of including SSD is also unclear.

The XSX includes a slot for connecting a hard disk. It is unknown whether XSS will support this slot. Ⓒ Microsoft

Both Xbox One X and Xbox One S are equipped with a 4K UHD Blue A drive for disc playback and game loading. X only supported 1TB hard drives, and S only 500GB (upgraded to 1TB later).

Microsoft has already released the Xbox One S All Digital Edition ($250) on 8th-generation gaming machines. It was an attempt to expand Microsoft’s digital store while lowering the price by $50 compared to the Xbox One S, excluding disk drives. Since then, Xbox One S was discontinued, and it was wondering if it was a product concept that would expand into the series S era. If the XSX is very expensive and burdensome, you can choose a slightly cheaper digital edition.

But it’s all speculation. I haven’t heard anything about Lockhart Storage yet.

Is the Xbox One S suitable for streaming?

Of course. Both Xbox One X and S can run apps like Netflix, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime without problems, at full resolution, so I expect XSS to do the same.
One opportunity Microsoft can’t make up for is that Xbox acts as a smart home gateway to control smart lighting and consumer electronics at home. To be fair, neither Nintendo nor Sony made any effort.

What is the price of Xbox One S?

This is a very important question. The Xbox One and Xbox One X were priced at $499, so the upcoming XSX price will be the same. Then the price of XSS would be $399. Note, however, that both S and X were later discounted. Microsoft sold the Xbox One XS for $399, and the One S for $299 to compete. Again, they are all estimates and have no idea what the actual prices of the two consoles are. [email protected]