It's been less than a year since the release of 9th-gen consoles - truly next-gen titles are few and far between, and none have squeezed all the juice out of Sony or Microsoft's consoles. Meanwhile, according to sources from the youtuber who runs the Moore's Law Is Dead channel (see video below - the part about XSS begins at 13:38), both companies may have refreshed versions of their hardware planned. The first of these, specifically the upgraded version of the Xbox Series S, would be coming to market late next year.
Why XSS and not XSX? The terms are supposedly dictated by active subscribers to the Xbox Game Pass service, which is now the cornerstone of the company's marketing strategy (defined as SaaS - Software as a Service). And it so happens that among people who regularly pay for a subscription, a greater percentage owns just the Xbox Series S. Microsoft seems to believe that the additional variant of the console - both in terms of price and performance - would attract even more players to Game Pass.
An improved version of the XSS would cost 350 U.S. dollars, or $50 less than the one already on the market. Its release would allegedly bring with it a price reduction of the standard Xbox Series S - from 299 to 189-249 dollars. Microsoft would thus kill three birds with one stone: deliver a product cheaper than XSX, but more powerful than XSS; further increase the budget of the weaker of its new consoles, making it suitable for all budgets; and take a jab at Sony, which - according to the same sources - may be preparing PlayStation 5 Slim at the end of next year. The PS5 Pro and an upgraded XSX version are also in the pipeline, but aren't expected to be released until 2023-2024.
What would be the "guts" of the more powerful Xbox Series S? It's not entirely clear at this point, but leaks suggest that the focus would be on equipping the console with a more powerful processor - there's talk of moving to AMD's more powerful 6nm APUs, but the leaked sources didn't specify whether this would be a switch to Zen3 architecture or staying with Zen2. Either way, it would involve increasing clock speeds, unlocking all 24 CPUs of the RDNA 2 GPU, and boosting overall hardware performance by up to 50%, according to Moore's Law Is Dead.
Microsoft's idea - if it's real - seems to have a good chance of succeeding, because group of people potentially interested in something between XSS and XSX could be quite large. The leak seems solid, so it's quite possible that in the coming months it will be officially confirmed. Until then, however, we advise you to approach the above information with caution.
- Microsoft - official website
- Xbox - official website
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