Microsoft has confirmed that optimizations for the Xbox Series S console may see a significant improvement in graphics performance.
If you’ve noticed that some games have been looking a little better lately, it’s likely due to the June Game Development Kit launch for developers. In a video explaining the improvements spotted by The Verge, Microsoft said it was able to free up large amounts of memory, which can be used by Xbox games.
“Hundreds of additional megabytes of memory are now available to Xbox Series S developers,” the audio video explains. “This gives developers more control over memory, which can improve graphics performance in memory-constrained conditions.”
That might settle some complaints about Microsoft’s secondary console – which sits below the Xbox Series X – as games often struggle to meet their advertised best graphics of 1440p/120fps.
The S series has an advertised 10 GB of memory compared to the 16 GB offered in the X Series. Considering that Microsoft itself reserves 2 GB of that for system tasks that leaves 8 GB for some of the most power-hungry games. Microsoft has now found a way to return some of that memory to developers.
Elsewhere, Microsoft is promoting “optimized performance for graphics conditions” that can make better use of freed memory.
Microsoft says that this addresses “an issue where graphics virtual addresses are allocated much slower than non-graphical virtual addresses. This improves the speed of graphics virtual address allocation. Addresses can now take better advantage of recent improvements in memory management that have negatively impacted performance graphics”.
The Xbox Series S launched alongside Series X in late 2020, but it was easier to get than its higher-end counterpart. Supply chain issues are starting to recede now, so players have a legitimate choice. This news may help push some players towards Series S.