The Xbox Series X, Holiday 2020

Morgan Jolley

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So it turns out the Series S is actually less powerful than the Xbox One X in some regards but slightly more powerful in others. This has translated into the Series S will not be able to play the One X-enhanced versions of One and 360 games and will instead play the One S versions of games. That will surely be very easy to explain to people at retail.

Bryan - regarding XSX having Dolby Atmos/Vision, I'm not sure the PS5 doesn't/won't support those. They have their final PS5 event on Wednesday so hopefully we find out more. For what it's worth, the base PS4 supported HDR way after launch through a firmware update so I imagine it's possible the PS5 could add support if Sony wants to add it. Also, I don't think most gamers will care about that stuff too much. The games are the bigger thing to draw sales.
 

Bryan^H

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So it turns out the Series S is actually less powerful than the Xbox One X in some regards but slightly more powerful in others. This has translated into the Series S will not be able to play the One X-enhanced versions of One and 360 games and will instead play the One S versions of games. That will surely be very easy to explain to people at retail.

Bryan - regarding XSX having Dolby Atmos/Vision, I'm not sure the PS5 doesn't/won't support those. They have their final PS5 event on Wednesday so hopefully we find out more. For what it's worth, the base PS4 supported HDR way after launch through a firmware update so I imagine it's possible the PS5 could add support if Sony wants to add it. Also, I don't think most gamers will care about that stuff too much. The games are the bigger thing to draw sales.
Regarding the "S" Yeah the Series X" is going to be the clear winner in the box race. Gotta hand it to Microsoft and Sony though. This is smart ---cheap, and expensive models doesn't matter, what matters is hardware in homes with a recurring payment from millions of subs for a monthly payday.

If the PS5 is missing something that the XBOX Series " " has it will be magnified by the fact that these are new consoles at launch. And you know how fanboys get. Juvenile, but they love their bragging rights.

Waiting patiently to see what the PS5 will do with VR. Microsoft is not going that route.
 

Morgan Jolley

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Bryan - I think you may have misread what I said. The Xbox SERIES S and going to be less powerful than the Xbox ONE X. Their low-end next-gen console is less powerful than their top-tier previous gen console.

I do agree that having a cheaper option and trying to tie that in with GamePass subscriptions is a great idea for MS. Sony has been doing well with PS+ and PS Now but not like MS with GamePass.

You're right that fanboys will brag about features, but in the end MS is not going to sell 20M units at launch because the Series X has Dolby Vision, nor will Sony sell 20M units because PS5 games load slightly faster. It's going to be about the games.
 

Bryan^H

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Bryan - I think you may have misread what I said. The Xbox SERIES S and going to be less powerful than the Xbox ONE X. Their low-end next-gen console is less powerful than their top-tier previous gen console.
I read it right. That is why I said the "Seies X" will be their top selling unit.
Many gamers won't be comfortable buying a next gen system that can't do everything better than a previous generation XBox.
Gamers want the most powerful features/performance in a new console.
 

LeoA

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So it turns out the Series S is actually less powerful than the Xbox One X in some regards but slightly more powerful in others. This has translated into the Series S will not be able to play the One X-enhanced versions of One and 360 games and will instead play the One S versions of games. That will surely be very easy to explain to people at retail.
What I read is that the backwards compatibility team will be implementing Series S specific enhancements, not that it will run these games 1:1 to how they run on the Xbox One S.
 

Morgan Jolley

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The announcement or clarification from MS was that the Series S would run Xbox One games in their One S configurations, which may include One S-specific enhancements that were made (like HDR which I don't believe was on the base Xbox One) but the Series S will not play Xbox One games in Xbox One X-enhanced modes. This is only for backwards compatible games from the Xbox One generation. Going forward with new releases for next gen Xbox, games will run basically identical on the Series S and Series X except at different resolutions (I believe?)

This is a ridiculous word salad that MS could have easily avoided by having better names this generation.
 
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LeoA

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Yes, but you're only mentioning part of what Microsoft has said.

While it will as standard just run backwards compatible games in their Xbox One S configuration (Presumably somewhat better though than a true X1S would, such as a more consistent frame rate and cut load times thanks to the SSD drive), Microsoft has also stated what I've said.

The backwards compatibility team will be implementing Series S specific upgrades on different games to provide such features as higher frame rates, added HDR, improved texture filtering, higher rendering resolutions, etc.

It reads like it will be much like the Xbox One X situation the last time around was. While most Xbox One and backwards compatible 360 games didn't make special use of the added power over the standard Xbox One and Xbox One S, some titles saw X1X specific patches to add new features like HDR and 4k support.
 
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Morgan Jolley

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It doesn't sound like MS is going to improve performance on a game-by-game basis for the Series S, but rather the Series S will apply some hardware-based enhancements (like faster load times, smoother framerate, and auto HDR) automatically. If you're playing an Xbox One game on Series S, it will be a better-playing version of the One S version of the game, not the One X-enhanced 4K version of the game.

 

LeoA

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Eurogamer has confirmed that original Xbox games will be rendered in 1440p on the Series S. And even better, they've confirmed that Xbox One X enhanced 360 titles will be receiving S enhancements, with 720p Xbox 360 games that saw X1X patches now running at 1440p on the Series S.

Between that and the natural advantages of the newer hardware (SSD for faster loading, more power so games should hit their frame rate targets more regularly, etc.), even the Series S should be a nice boost for backwards compatible titles over the stock Xbox One S. While unfortunate and on the surface somewhat silly sounding that it won't fully match the last gen Xbox One X for backwards compatible titles, I'd argue it's still doing more than enough for a system geared towards the huge install base of 1080p displays rather than 4k televisions.

And perhaps best of all, Eurogamer says that select Xbox One titles will see their frame rate doubled even on the Series S.

"We designed the Series S to enhance the Xbox One S games in a way that the Xbox One X can't do," system architect Andrew Goossen tells us. "We made it easy for existing Xbox One S games to be updated to run with double the frame-rate when played on Series S as well. When games are updated, existing games can query to determine whether they're running on the new console. And in terms of the performance, the Series S provides well over double the effective CPU and GPU performance over the Xbox One, making it pretty straightforward for the games to do this. And in fact, the Series S GPU runs the Xbox One S games with better performance than the Xbox One X."
 
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Bryan^H

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Exclusive to the Xbox, and PC this is the type of game that has me interested:
New, fresh, and survival horror with a twist. I'm so in.
Too bad it got pushed back from being a launch title until next year.
 

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Bryan^H

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There is already talk around that the new Bethesda titles will be available on PS5 as well. I know that is all speculation, but that sounds crazy. No way Microsoft paid $7.5 billion to have these run on the PS5. Especially when those new titles will boost "Gamepass" subs a very great deal.

I think each, and every new Bethesda title will be exclusive for the new XBOX consoles.
 
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Morgan Jolley

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If Bethesda already announced a game for PS4/5, it's going to be on PS4/5. (That's my prediction.)

This is all about gating Bethesda's games into GamePass. MS loses money with Xbox sales but makes a ton on GamePass subs. It's not that you can pay $70 in 3 years for TES6 on Xbox Series X, it's that you can get TES6 on launch day for "free" with your GamePass sub that will also stream with xCloud to any device you own. I could see them still selling TES6 on PS5 to get more revenue but they'll likely take anything from 2-3 years out and make it Xbox exclusive.

MS already has released/supported or intends to release games on PS5 and Switch, like Ori 2 and Psychonauts 2.

EDIT: Also, not to crap all over MS, but they have previously bought Rare and Lionhead, two classic game studios that they kind of ran into the ground (until Rare made Sea of Thieves which is a sort of bizarre success). They have something like a dozen studios that they've closed over the years. I'm not super convinced this deal will result in much success, honestly, or that Bethesda will still be in MS' stable for more than a few years. Bungie got itself free and they made Halo for MS which put Xbox on the map.
 
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DavidMiller

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I think this is very interesting news. It will be interesting to see where the new titles go. I'm sure some or all the current titles will still be available on all consoles.
 
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LeoA

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I personally wouldn't blame the lack of success out of Rare on Microsoft. Everything I've read paints Microsoft as giving Rare full creative freedom over their work, generous with timelines and budgets, and still showing a lot of faith in Rare despite never providing Microsoft with a huge hit game after nearly 20 years of ownership.

That said, there's a lot of history there of Microsoft treating other development houses less well, but I feel it's in the past. Microsoft seemed to think Halo was enough a few years into the 360's run of success that their other big exclusives didn't matter. Several nice studios like Bizarre Creations lost their importance at MS and eventually ended up shuttered after losing that support.

But I believe Microsoft has realized the errors of their ways after shuttering good development houses like FASA Studio (Crimson Skies) and letting others like Digital Illusions get bought up by outsiders (They developed a range of excellent Microsoft published games on the original Xbox and most thought it was just a matter of time before MS bought them).

For instance of how hard Microsoft has worked to reestablish big name exclusives outside of Halo, they've invested a ton of money into starting up Playground Games and eventually acquired full ownership a few years ago.

There is already talk around that the new Bethesda titles will be available on PS5 as well. I know that is all speculation, but that sounds crazy. No way Microsoft paid $7.5 billion to have these run on the PS5. Especially when those new titles will boost "Gamepass" subs a very great deal.

I think each, and every new Bethesda title will be exclusive for the new XBOX consoles.
At the very least down the road, I'd expect MS to have a substantial period of exclusivity.

But like you said, it's hard to believe they paid that amount without the expectation of it adding a lot of extra value to the Xbox brand and Game Pass. And for it to do that, they need exclusivity of some sort.

It may not happen overnight, but I'd expect big future projects like the next gen Elder Scrolls game to release as Microsoft exclusives and stay that way for at least extended periods.
 
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