There's a reason the Xbox Series S is $300 and the Xbox Series X is $500. While the former does enough to be considered a next-gen machine, it's lacking in certain areas, which is how Microsoft is able to position it at $300. For example, it's not working with much in the GPU department. More specifically, it's working with a GPU of only 4 TFLOPS. For comparison, the Xbox Series X is packing 12 while the PS5 is making use of 10. Meanwhile, there are also concerns about the console's CPU clock speed of 3.4GHz.
Similarly to how many think the Xbox One is holding back Halo Infinite, many are worried the Xbox Series S will hold back next-gen games. And it's not only consumers with this concern, but developers. Since the reveal of the console this week, many developers have expressed concern that the console could bottleneck next-gen game development.
For example, Infinity Ward developer David Mickner -- a multiplayer designer for Call of Duty -- expressed concern that the Xbox Series S will hold back next-gen games once this current generation is left behind in a few years.
"It really is," said Michener while talking about the amount of value the console brings for just $300, "but I can't stop thinking about the fact that they're releasing a lower spec console that will serve as a bottleneck ( granted transition into next-gen is always bottlenecked by last-gen for awhile )."
Of course, if this was an isolated concern it would be one thing, but as alluded to, many developers have already revealed their hesitations over the budget next-gen console and what it could mean for next-gen game development.
It really is, but I can't stop thinking about the fact that they're releasing a lower spec console that will serve as a bottleneck ( granted transition into next gen is always bottlenecked by last gen for awhile )— David Mickner (@DavidMickner) September 8, 2020
For now, it remains to be seen if the Xbox Series S will hold back next-gen games and pose obstacles for the developers of these games. As for Microsoft, it hasn't directly addressed these concerns in an official capacity, and it's unlikely it will. If it does, we will be sure to update this post with whatever is provided.