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Do game developers want to waive Xbox Series S development requirements?

The atmosphere around the Xbox Series S is thickening. Reportedly, more and more developers would like to abandon support for Microsoft’s weaker console.

The Xbox Series S is a dream console for many. It is the cheapest gateway to the world of Xbox Game Pass and the next generation of consoles. Available in stores at no extra cost and exceptionally cute and shapely. It does not have an optical drive, without memory expansion it has only 512 GB of data space and it also offers a lower resolution and slightly worse components. From the start, however, Microsoft announced full compatibility and that Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S games would work identically.

We recently found out that this is not entirely true. There were plenty of games that not only looked worse, but performed worse on the cheaper Xbox. Game developers have been complaining for a long time that optimization for a weaker console does not give them sleep. They got more memory available in August, but it’s not enough. Developers would love to be able to create games exclusively for the Xbox Series X.

Does the Xbox Series S hold the potential of the next generation of consoles?

The Twitter thread was started by Jeff Gertsmann, who has been in the gaming industry for years. In his opinion, the arguments of game developers do not hold together, because most of these studios also publish games for computers. And there they prepare a whole set of optimizations for different configurations.

And there was a huge discussion about game optimization and Xbox support in general. Perhaps one of the most controversial voices in it was the contribution of Ian Maclure, who works at Bossa Studios. A company you may know, incl. from the game “I am Fish” and as the publisher of the Surgeon Simulator series. He wrote that however “broken” the argument is – the weakness of the Xbox Series S is being talked about so much because many developers are debating with Microsoft that it should abandon the requirement to support the weaker console.

Studios went through one development cycle where the S series proved to be a crutch, and now that games are being made with new consoles in mind, teams don’t want to repeat that process.

I hope Microsoft doesn’t bow down

From the first announcements of the new generation of Microsoft consoles, it was known that the creators would have a bit of a difficult task. And that’s even before the potential appearance of intergenerational hardware iterations. But the new consoles have been out for almost two years now – and while I don’t like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, you can see that each device has a leg up on the previous generation. Even the greatest hits of PlayStation 5 exclusives – the ones that should potentially be the most beautiful and pampering – are distorted and do not use the full power of the hardware. I mean the cross-gen ones, because the 100% made for PS5 ones, like Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, don’t have these problems. So apparently… you can’t have it all. But it’s hard for me to imagine that Microsoft’s promised 1:1 compatibility for Series S and Series X has suddenly been abandoned. They can be worse, uglier, move less smoothly – but they have to be.

I am very curious about the further development of the topic. And the potential voice of the creators themselves, who are allegedly convincing the Redmond giant to drop the request.

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