As you know by now, last year, Microsoft tried something never before done in the console industry before. They released two systems within the same family, one of which had high specs and one that had lower specs. The higher one is, of course, the Series X, with the lower one being the Series S. The latter has seen a lot of talking points from various developers, some fairly positive and others less so. We probably won’t know the extent of what the Series S will be capable of, or not be capable of for that matter, for a few years down the road. However, we have another dev weighing in to say it’s more complicated than you probably realize.
Remedy Entertainment’s Communications Director Thomas Puha spoke to IGN about various aspects of the new systems. There was a lot of topics covered, but when it came to the Series S, he said the system and how its being tackled is not as simple as some fans seem to think. He said it’s not just about lowering specs, and that he often gets the impression that people who have passing knowledge of game development thinks the game engine will just handle this. That’s not the case, and while he doesn’t use the dreaded ‘hold back’ language, he does admit that the system could dictate things across the board (big thanks to Wccftech for transcribing this part of the video).
“Xbox Series S, well, it’s no different from the previous generations where the system with the lowest specs does end up dictating a few of the things that you’re gonna do, because you’re gonna have to run on that system, right? It’s very easy to say that you just lower your resolution and texture quality and off you go, it’s just nowhere near that simple.
“It sounds good when you say it, but every engine is built in a different way. It’s another thing when gamers might be like ‘This game engine does all of these things!’, well, it depends. Are you making an engine that’s much more GPU bound or CPU bound? Which are you taxing a whole lot more? Well, we kind of tax both in Control because we have a lot of physics but then we have a lot of the ray tracing effects. That makes a huge, huge difference, especially on Xbox Series S.”
It’ll be interesting to see what the system produces once we get out of the cross-gen period and development goes fully into next gen systems.