From a technical point of view, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 might sound similar because they both carry the specifications that are qualified gaming PCs, but Microsoft and Sony certainly have different strategies in reaching the market.
In the Sony camp, their strategy seems simple: the PS5 will come in two variants, one of which is not equipped with an optical drive at all for those who want to save costs. In the Microsoft stronghold, they seem to have more complex plans to reach more consumers.
If the rumors that are circulating do not miss, the Xbox X Series will slide into the market with another new Xbox that is priced cheaper. According to Eurogamer’s report, the device will be named the Xbox Series S and announced in August. Most likely Microsoft will also announce the selling price of the Series X at that time so that we can understand the difference to what extent.
Details supporting this rumor come from leaked documents that Microsoft addressed the developers. It is said that in the Series X development kit, the developer can activate the “Lockhart” mode which stores a different performance profile. Based on this profile, the cheaper Xbox Series S is predicted to offer the same CPU performance as the Series X, but with a more inferior GPU and RAM.
Exactly, the Series S is said to package a usable RAM capacity of 7.5 GB and a 4 teraflop powered GPU. In comparison, the Xbox Series X is equipped with 13.5 GB of usable RAM and a 12-teraflop GPU. If Series X intends to offer a super gaming experience at 4K resolution, the Series S will target 1080p or 1440p resolution, making it an ideal alternative for consumers who don’t have 4K TVs.
Of course this is not the first time Microsoft has used the letter “X” to mark the flagship model, and “S” for a more affordable model, because the Xbox One X and Xbox One S are like that, and they also have drastic GPU performance differences – One X offers true 4K, while One S only relies on the upscaling method.
If Microsoft really learns from experience, there is also the possibility that the Xbox Series S will be offered in two variants, namely standard and Digital Edition (without optical drive), so that in the end the next-gen Xbox lineup will include three devices at once: Series X, Series S, and S Series Digital Edition.
Of course all this is only limited to speculation, and we still have to wait at least until August to learn more.