Xbox Series X and S: similarities and differences between the two next-generation Microsoft consoles

Technology News

Xbox, Microsoft’s video game division, has already presented its new generation of consoles, made up of two models: Xbox Series X, the brand’s new flagship device, and Xbox Series S, a basic version of reduced size. Both consoles, which will be launched on November 10, share a good number of technical characteristics, but also have important differences that should be taken into account when choosing.

CPU and backward compatibility

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Both consoles use the same CPU, a custom processor developed by the manufacturer AMD that will make use of the Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures, as Xbox has been announcing in recent months. The maximum power varies slightly, from 3.8 to 3.6GHz in Series X, to 3.6 to 3.4GHz in Series S. The other feature highlighted by Xbox in both models of its new generation of consoles is the backward compatibility with video games from the three previous console families: Xbox One, Xbox 360, and the original Xbox. Inside, both consoles also share the main technologies, such as variable shading and refresh rates. Instead of using full cycles for each pixel on the screen, the graphics unit (GPU) can prioritize specific effects on especially relevant characters or objects in the video game. Added to this is ray tracing, developed by DirectX. This system, common to both consoles, will provide “realistic lighting,” ensuring “accurate reflections and realistic acoustics in real time,” according to Xbox director Phil Spencer.

Game at 120FPS and no loading screens
The similarities between the consoles do not end here and Quick Resume must be added, a feature with which players will be able to resume the game of various video games at the point where they left it “almost instantly” from a suspended console, suppressing the screens of load. The new generation also increases the frame rate per second (fps) with respect to the previous Xbox One, and from 60 it goes to 120fps, which allows a more fluid image and movements. In addition, both Xbox have solid state storage drives (SSD), as well as dynamic latency signal to communicate to the console with the controllers – to provide “immediate signal synchronization” – and ports with the HDMI 2.1 standard, which allow an automatic low latency mode and variable refresh rates.

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