Microsoft is giving Xbox Series S game developers wider access to the console’s RAM. A new Xbox software development kit was recently provided to developers, allowing developers to access extra memory for Xbox Series S games and improving performance in select titles.
The $299 Xbox Series S was announced as a system capable of 1440p gameplay at up to 120fps, although many titles only support 1080p and lack the higher frame rates of the Xbox Series X. The bigger and more powerful Xbox Series X console has much greater GPU capability, but it also has 16GB of RAM, whilst the smaller Xbox Series S has just 10GB. On the Series S, developers must work with around 8GB of RAM, with Microsoft reserving approximately 2GB for OS operations.
Those memory limits have been described in depth, with developers apparently experiencing difficulties while developing games for the Xbox Series S. It’s less about the CPU and GPU capabilities of the Xbox Series S, especially because it has the same CPU as the X and more about the memory problem. Microsoft’s enhancements, albeit minor, may help ease some of the friction associated with designing games for the Xbox Series S.
Microsoft has also “fixed an issue where graphics virtual addresses were allocated much slower than non-graphics virtual addresses,” which means Xbox games may now make use of other recent memory optimizations given to Microsoft’s Xbox development tools. Fingers hope that this all indicates that performance in certain Xbox Series S games will improve shortly.