Future games on Xbox Series S may run better thanks to updated development tools.
Per a recent post on the Microsoft Game Dev Blog, Microsoft has released a new version of its Game Development Kit (GDK) that includes a number of exciting features. One of the biggest pertains to the Xbox Series S, in that game developers now have substantially more memory to work with—”hundreds of additional megabytes,” in fact, according to Erikka Thompson, Principal Program Manager, who teased what this could mean for games running on Microsoft’s cheaper console.
“Hundreds of additional megabytes of memory are now available to Xbox Series S developers, giving them more control over memory, which can improve graphics performance in memory- constrained conditions,” Thompson explained.
This is good news for developers who have had to wrestle with the console’s weaker hardware configuration, which counts only 10 GB of GDDR6 memory that’s shared between games, the operating system, and background tasks. Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, in contrast, have 16 GB of memory to work with.
The GDK also includes “numerous features that make it easier for developers to develop GDK games on PC and improve the behavior of GDK games for players,” as detailed by Thompson.
The new Xbox console and PC Game Pass games are built on a common toolset, the GDK. The improvements to developing and playing PC Game Pass games help titles bridge development between the platforms. At the same time, these improvements provide optimizations specifically needed for the Windows 10 and Windows 11 developer experience. For developers porting games from other marketplaces, these improvements help shorten the time and increase the number of critical features they have access to right out-of-the-box.
Microsoft launched the Xbox Series S alongside its bigger, more powerful sibling on November 10, 2020. The console has been criticized by some gamers for its relatively weak hardware, but it’s also arguably a great deal for those who are on a stricter budget, costing only $299.99. Both consoles feature a CPU and GPU from AMD.