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Forums - Gaming Discussion - The growing third party issue with the Xbox Series S

EpicRandy said:
SKMBlake said:

Well Wo Long runs pretty well on Series X

Really? At 1440p resolutions mode and 1260p performance very far from what is typical 9th gen target. considering those res it's impressive the series s manage 900p on both settings instead of defaulting to 720p, 900P on S should have been a 1800p target for Series X and Ps5. even more impressive considering Series S manage less deviation from target FPS than both Series X and PS5.

If it was 1440p@30 with dips below 25, I would've said so, but both modes target 60, and 1440p@60 isn't uncommon. 

But 900p@30fps is less common, more Switch territory.

I mean what's the point of advertising it as day one game pass game if it wouldn't run great on the system. 

Same issue with Atomic Heart actually.



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The only thing that would be an actual cause of concern is if 3rd party games skip Xbox entirely because of the Series S. That has not been the case. If that doesn't happen and games keep coming to Xbox, the Series S was worth it for MS and owners. Games running below 1080P isn't a concern. Anyone who uses the Series S for what it is, doesn't care. They would have bought a Series X or PS5 if they did.

Devs have been having to deal with underpowered systems for decades, it literally their job to figure this stuff out. 

Last edited by smroadkill15 - on 12 March 2023

SKMBlake said:
EpicRandy said:

Really? At 1440p resolutions mode and 1260p performance very far from what is typical 9th gen target. considering those res it's impressive the series s manage 900p on both settings instead of defaulting to 720p, 900P on S should have been a 1800p target for Series X and Ps5. even more impressive considering Series S manage less deviation from target FPS than both Series X and PS5.

If it was 1440p@30 with dips below 25, I would've said so, but both modes target 60, and 1440p@60 isn't uncommon. 

But 900p@30fps is less common, more Switch territory.

I mean what's the point of advertising it as day one game pass game if it wouldn't run great on the system. 

Same issue with Atomic Heart actually.

The series X and PS5 can't even target 1440p with lock 60 wit dips in the 40s so its kind of ridicoulous to expect 1440p 30 from series S. Best I see is 1080p 30 but they decided with 900p 60.



EpicRandy said:
SKMBlake said:

If it was 1440p@30 with dips below 25, I would've said so, but both modes target 60, and 1440p@60 isn't uncommon. 

But 900p@30fps is less common, more Switch territory.

I mean what's the point of advertising it as day one game pass game if it wouldn't run great on the system. 

Same issue with Atomic Heart actually.

The series X and PS5 can't even target 1440p with lock 60 wit dips in the 40s so its kind of ridicoulous to expect 1440p 30 from series S. Best I see is 1080p 30 but they decided with 900p 60.

They also decided 900p@30 for fidelity mode.

Anyway, I think we both said what we had to say on the matter, let's agree to disagree



I haven't read this thread but personal opinion, I wouldn't touch a series S. Go all in with the X or ps5.



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From a profit and game development costs perspective, it certainly makes sense to see the Xbox Series S getting much less care from devs on multiplats that aren't on Gamepass simply because they know these games would largely sell best on the competitor platforms.

Less profit potential leads to less devs ressources to optimize these games on the weaker platform.



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EpicRandy said:
SvennoJ said:

Yes, and 1440p is perfectly fine from a regular sitting distance. 30 fps is also perfectly fine for many genres.

So you could make a fully dynamic open world with deformable terrain like From Dust (but not restricted to a tiny world), using all available RAM and resources running 1440p30 on PS5 and Series X. But how would that run on Series S. RAM and memory bandwidth are not only for 4K textures and higher fps. Sure, if used only for rendering at higher resolutions, then it's no problem. To make more interactive games you need more fast memory. Split-screen requires more RAM and high memory bandwidth to basically run two instances of the game.

RAM restricts what you can do when it comes to dynamic worlds and building games. RAM also restricts what you can do in terms of optimizations. Memory is the biggest resource for development. 4K textures is just a small part of it.

Anyway 16GB is already cramped, I wouldn't want anything less than 32GB on my gaming laptop. It's cpu and gpu are far weaker than Series X, yet thanks to 32GB RAM (+another 6GB video ram) I can crank up FS2020 to draw distances the Series X can never compete with, while draw distance on Series S in FS2020 is pretty awful. For a flight sim draw distance is immersion. It's incredible they got it working yet would have been better with more RAM.

Series S has benefited from the much longer cross generation period than usual, yet now it's turning into a boat anchor for new game innovation, or will get left behind with new game innovations.

Meshes deformation are all handled by the CPU, all games logics are, a feature rich title will make extensive use of the CPU and will likely be CPU bottlenecked. that's why it was important For the series S to have the same capacity CPU wise. Mesh are simply not that demanding on memory and memory bandwidth. for instance a single uncompressed full 4k texture channel is literally 48MB in memory, for the same size you can have meshes with 16M+ vertices and up to the same amount of tris (max is same amount -1). On Series S your likely to also work with mesh with less LoD so should even be easier on the CPU.

Not always done on the CPU.
And considering with RDNA you aren't geometry limited like Graphics Core Next, it's not going to be the bottleneck it once was.


In Unity for example, you can make use of the Tessellator on a modern GPU to deform the mesh rather than require a high vertex count at all times.
See here: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/SL-SurfaceShaderTessellation.html


But it all comes down to the developer, the more you shift the load onto the GPU, the better.

SvennoJ said:

Yet FS2020 is memory bottlenecked, followed by cpu and gpu. You can use CPU to augment ram by calculating, generating stuff just in time, or you can use RAM to augment CPU by using pre-calculated tables kept in memory, or simply keep more in memory, load/prepare stuff ahead etc.

Are you talking about procedural generation?

SvennoJ said:

For example FS2020 first kept everything around you in RAM, used over 20GB of system ram with maximum draw distance. Turning the camera around was smooth, worked great. Then the XBox update came, memory use was massively reduced. How? By aggressively culling everything that's not in the current view. Result, massive stuttering when turning the camera around since all that geometry and detail had to be loaded again. At the time I made a work around by using the game's cache on a ram disk, basically keeping it in memory in a roundabout way.
https://forums.flightsimulator.com/t/rollingcache-revisited-essential-with-aggressive-culling-or-set-terrain-pre-caching-to-ultra/433841
You can see the difference already. It didn't really solve it as you still see it build up even fetching it from RAM disk to RAM. Luckily Asobo later gave the option to turn off the aggressive culling and on PC you can swing the camera around again without stuttering and pop up everywhere.

Culling has been a tactic that has been used in some form for decades now... Most prominently since the Radeon 7500 in 2000 with ATI's HyperZ technology which was a set of technologies that worked together.

Obviously today it's more advanced where culling can be "predicted" ahead of time.

It helps no doubt.

Texture and Mesh streaming started to gain more traction during the 7th gen, most notably with Modern Warfare 2 in order to circumvent the ram limits of those consoles at the time... With SSD's that can obviously be taken to the next level, especially with lots of small random textures streamed. (Optical/Mechanical drives hated small random reads.)

In the unreal engine, if you don't have enough high quality textures in dram, the textures will be mip to the lowest level, until the quality versions of the texture are streamed into memory... Hence the "texture pop-in" effect you often see with Unreal powered games... It's more or less because the developers tried to push things out to far and didn't have the memory to cache.

Norion said:
Pemalite said:

As a Series S, X, PS5, PC and Switch owner... I would have absolutely zero objection if GTA5 targets say... 900P and 30fps on the Series S.

My expectation for the Series S is that it will be a console where games are compromised compared to it's bigger brothers. - Just dropping down to 30fps doubles your render time window.
For simpler titles like Ori or Rayman, I do expect true 4k or better on the Series S.

I would also like to see Backwards compat games run in their "One X" mode on Series S. (Except Xbox One titles of course due to the Ram difference.)

People getting a cheap option to play stuff like GTA 6 is nice even if it runs poorly but I am concerned about it being a headache for a lot of developers a few years from now. It's kinda like if developers were forced to have their games run properly on a 2060 till like 2031 if they were making a PC version. 

Shouldn't run "poorly". - That tends to be all relative though. - I have seen people who are perfectly happy playing their games at 15-20fps.

Grand Theft Auto hasn't exactly pushed the graphics envelope for a long time now, so Rockstar tend to be a little more conservative on hardware requirements, prioritising gameplay over visual effects with that title.

Even if the game ends up being 900P, 30fps... I think that is more than acceptable for the Series S.

Kyuu said:

I think the first generation Series S will be dropped (as a mandated SKU) in favor of a more powerful Series S+ (hopefully 75% more powerful, 12GB of RAM, bigger SSD). Unless Series S succeeds in appealing to a very large non-gamer or non-console-gamer demographic, I'd rather it not be mandated, because it would suck to see the more ambitious games in the early to mid 2030's being held back by Series S tech. It's bad enough that we're still stuck to Xbox One specs in the in early 2020's thanks to crossgen overstaying its welcome. I want the minimum spec to have as high a floor as economically possible. Series S can still get a ton of support without the need of being mandated, because the Switch 2 exists and it's going to be huge.

The reason Series S is the best selling Xbox is because the X isn't being produced in large enough volumes.

My primary concern with the S is that we're probably getting mid-gen upgrades in a few years. Mid-gen upgrades will allow developers to go crazier with games, that even Series X and PS5 will often struggle at sub 1080p/40 fps. There would be a limit to how much a developer can scale back on Series S before it gets ridiculous (challenging, unplayable, costly, time wasting, etc).

I understand and agree fully, but Consoles tend to be supported for the entire generation.

I always want the graphics bar to be raised more, I would have liked to have seen the Series X and Playstation 5 to offer more hardware, but the current climate didn't allow for it, hence the mid range hardware.

The Series S has been a success for Microsoft, so it is not going away.



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@Permalite Procedural generation can be used to save memory, but more so on disk since you still need all that procedurally generated stuff in memory. The simplest way for CPU to help RAM is to keep all data compressed in memory. For textures that's done by the GPU nowadays, yet world data can also be kept compressed and decoded on the fly. That's what we did when I still worked in GPS navigation. All the map data was compressed to the max with hash tables for random access, loading in chunks at a time to decode while searching or rendering the map. All with efficient memory use, storing everything in RAM with as few bits as necessary. More work for the CPU to decode and encode all the time, yet RAM was the bottleneck. For games, think of Minecraft data all being compressed in memory to allow for bigger worlds.

And the other way around RAM can help the CPU by keeping more stuff around and pre-loading / preparing stuff when time left over. So for procedural generation, more RAM allows you to work ahead, buffering basically. Thus when the user decides to sprint ahead, you already have it available. Culling is great for rendering, but as FS2020 showed, actually throwing away the data from memory is problematic when you look around. It's fine if you stare straight ahead all the time, yet for example in VR you can't purge the world behind the user as you can look around at any time. (Well you can in most games)

And yep SSD and direct to video ram loading helps. I still found using a ram disk for cache faster than SSD, but just leaving it in RAM (turning off the aggressive culling in FS2020, which they mistakingly named pre-chaching, works the best obviously. It's more post-caching if you leave the stuff behind in ram until it's out of range. Anyway just means do do double work in the end)

More RAM also makes development easier and faster. Optimization is hard work and easy to introduce hard to trace bugs. Pointer arithmetic for example is great way to optimize code and reduce memory use, but so easy to introduce hard to find fatal errors.



I hoping this will make developers with common sense to stop making xblocks entirely and just focus on PS5/PC, cause us true gamers wouldn't want developers waste money, time and frustrations just to appease the minority whiners...



This idea that developers will skip the Xbox consoles because of requirement to release on the Series S is ridiculous. Developers are businesses. They will do whatever the numbers tell them to do. If there are a large number of Xbox consoles in existence, and it appears that there will be, they will do whatever they have to do to get the games to run on those consoles.

Maybe this will impact the math for devs/pubs enough to make it a teeny tiny bit cheaper for Sony to pay for exclusivity for games. But, that's going to be a very marginal issue.  

The argument that Series S will hold back the entire generation is more reasonable. Developers will know that they must make their game run on Series S. So, they might not do things that they otherwise would if they only had to worry about PS5 and Series X.