The most recent Xbox growth instruments give the memory-strapped $299 S Collection an enormous increase

Increase / The visual multiplier effect applied to this S series doesn’t mean it quadruples the memory in this week’s Microsoft GDK update. The actual multiplication amount cannot be confirmed until Microsoft updates its publicly available documentation on the matter.

Sam Machkovech

The latest update to Microsoft’s Game Development Kit (GDK), the official API for developing games on Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, seemed nailed down when it was announced in June. But two months later, that update came with an unexpected bonus that’s so new it hasn’t yet been detailed in the company’s Github repository.

Instead, the news comes from official unlisted microsoft videofirst noted XboxERA reporter Jesse Norris, which featured a confusing ad. The June GDK is currently running two months after the named month, and now only includes increased memory allocations for the lower-priced $299 Xbox Series S console.

There are no links to specific patch notes or announcements in this video, and it is searching at press time publicly shared GDK do not explain how this increase in memory allocation was achieved. Microsoft representatives did not immediately respond to Ars’ questions about the technical glitch with the update.

Developers are getting closer to the S series with 10 GB of memory

Meanwhile, it’s reasonable to assume that this newly available pool of RAM, which the video’s narrator describes as “hundreds of megabytes,” was allocated elsewhere on the S Series systems before today’s update — perhaps tied to OS-level processes (which previously consumed roughly 2GB of the entire S Series 10 GB fund), which the company has since been able to reduce.

Ars sources confirmed what testers and researchers of the current generation of consoles basically knew: the gap in available RAM between the $499 Xbox Series X (16GB total) and the cheaper Series S (10GB total) has led to several development of platforms. between the two systems is more complex than Microsoft initially advertised. Microsoft’s best-case X-series game for 4K resolution and incredibly high-res textures can downscale all textures to display on a 1080p TV screen and otherwise avoid the identical rendering load, mostly due to many others. the architecture of the consoles is identical (especially the CPU and storage specifications).

As more 3rd party devs have noticed when they’ve been introduced to 2-year-old consoles, porting development environments doesn’t always work that way. Some developers are still finding that their virtual environments, effects budgets and lighting scenarios are hampered not only by the lower overall GDDR 6 RAM, but also by the bandwidth, which goes from a 320-bit X-series bus to a 128-bit bus. from the S series.

So even a small jump, say 200MB of RAM or 2.5 percent, can make a big difference to a developer trying to bring a certain level of shadowing or ambient shutter accuracy from the X Series to the S Series. “Hundreds of megabytes The number could be even higher, from 512 MB to 768 MB, although we’re still waiting to know exactly how much.”

Few modern games are a Rift Apart from previous generation consoles

The move comes at a time when both current-gen consoles continue to fall short of some of the biggest technical selling propositions, at least on a software level. Many of the biggest games of the past two years have failed to show off the truly game-changing features, especially the near-infinite virtual worlds they can enable A combination of PCI-E 4.0 grade storage and loaded memory pipelines.

This has been compounded by a number of highly anticipated Sony games that have canceled their previous ‘current-gen exclusive’ status, and with multi-generational releases on the PS4 and PS5 platforms, game sales look set to remain, while current-gen systems are sold out and behind production. . schedule. For now, we’re basically stuck with last year Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart how a great display of power exclusive to current generation consoles.

At least for the Xbox ecosystem, with more current-gen exclusives gearing up for launch, the higher memory levels between the X and Series S could help build the 2023 lineup. games such as Forza Motorsport and Starfield. By the time those games are launched, the S Series’ default measly 512GB of built-in storage may grow, or the cost of proprietary memory expansion cards may drop. Either of these moves would boost sales of the weaker, cheaper system if the newer games actually live up to the S Series’ promise of “as powerful as the X Series, but for 1080p TVs.”

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