Microsoft came clean about its next-generation game console, the Xbox Series X, last March. Or they least revealed details about its internal components. Now, Microsoft’s cheaper console, the Xbox Series S, is back in the spotlight.

That Microsoft should have a second version of the Xbox Series X is no surprise; Microsoft released an Xbox One S, and on Tuesday Microsoft confirmed that the Xbox Series S is real, and priced at $299. News of the cheaper console has been slowly leaking out, so let’s talk about what we know, what we don’t, and what’s likely. 

Twitter / @_h0x0d_

The Xbox Series S compared against the Series X.

When will we see the Xbox Series S (Lockhart)?

Microsoft is expected to roll out both the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S (Lockhart) in time for the 2020 holiday shopping season. Windows Central reports that it will launch on Nov. 10. 

Everyone tends to gloss over the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted Microsoft just as much as its customers. Microsoft’s launch of its Surface Book 3 was delayed because of supply issues, and it’s likely that the Xbox Series S has been affected to some extent as well. Heck, Lockhart’s existence was even in doubt: a year ago, Thurrott.com’s Brad Sams was reporting that Lockhart’s existence was ”scrubbed clean,” but now Lockhart references are showing up in Microsoft’s developer documentation. 

We also know now what the Xbox Series S will look like. 

microsoft xbox one s official Twitter / Microsoft

How fast is the Xbox Series S?

According to Microsoft, the Xbox Series X will include an 8-core, 16-thread version of AMD’s Ryzen CPU, running at a locked clock speed. It will run at at 3.8GHz if a game uses just the CPU’s eight physical cores, or 3.66GHz if developers tap its 16 threads. According to Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, the head of its Xbox division, that translates to 12 teraflops of computing power.

Since the original Xbox One S used the same 1.75GHz 8-core Jaguar CPU as the original Xbox One, the difference between the two lay within the GPU, which was slightly upclocked to 914MHz. All this means is that there was a vast gap between the performance of the Xbox One S (1.4 teraflops) and the Xbox One X (6 teraflops).

Reports now say that the Xbox Series S will use the same CPU as the Series X, but with reduced graphics horsepower: 20 RDNA 2.0 CUs at 1.55 GHz. The Series X will use 52 RDNA 2.0 CUs at 1.825GHz. Microsoft’s Xbox Series X is aiming at running games at 4K, 60 frames per second, while the Series S is targeting 60fps at 1440p resolutions.





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