The Xbox Series S plays Xbox One S versions of Xbox One games

Microsoft’s new Xbox Series S should offer impressive next-gen performance for its $ 299 price, but where does that leave the Xbox One X? According to Microsoft, the 4K-targeting Xbox from 2017 will still hold some advantages over the S series – at least when it comes to running Xbox One X-enhanced current-gen games.

“The Xbox Series S was designed to be the cheapest next generation console and the next generation of games are played at 1440p at 60fps,” Microsoft says in a statement VGC. “To deliver the highest quality backwards compatible experience in line with the original intent of the developer, the Xbox Series S introduced backward compatible games by implementing improved texture filtering, higher and more consistent frame rates, faster load times and auto HDR. Played the Xbox One S version. “

This means that most Xbox One games will run 1080p or below on 1080p Series S in back-compatibility mode, although they will benefit from some built-in hardware advantages such as SSDs. Games with unlocked frame rates should also perform better on the Xbox One S., but specific Xbox One X enhancements such as higher resolution will not apply.

It is possible that current-gen titles can only receive updates for the Xbox Series S, and this will be the case for some first-party games 5 And Forza Horizon 4. Without a patch, however, you’ll inevitably get the Xbox One S version. VGC Reports that backward-compatible Xbox 360 titles hold true, although it’s unclear what this means for compatible original Xbox games, all run close to 4K on one X.

The reason for all this is simply a function of the different priorities of the two machines. The Xbox One X was designed to play Xbox One games up to 4K resolution, and it achieved this by adding a much more powerful GPU with a fairly minor tweak to the rest of the spec sheet. The Xbox Series S, meanwhile, exists to run real next-gen games at 1080p or 1440p, which is why it is built around a much faster CPU and SSD in some ways despite being a less powerful GPU.

Confirmation from Microsoft somehow clarifies sending messages around its two next-gen consoles. In short, if you want to play games in 4K, you should consider the $ 499 Series X. But if you don’t consider raw resolution output a priority, the $ 299 Series S may well be of interest.