It has been quite widely reported prior to now that Microsoft is planning to release a second next-generation Xbox that is supposed to be a less powerful version that lacks a physical media drive. But another report has revealed that this may not actually be the case.
Tom Warren of The Verge, who has accurately reported on unannounced Microsoft products in the past, has claimed that the CPU for the cheaper and supposedly inferior version of the next-gen Xbox will have “the same speed as the Series X.” That said, Warren did confirm that this cheaper console will have a different GPU frequency and CU count.
Rumors so far have claimed that the cheaper cousin of the Xbox Series X will be called the Xbox Series S, and it will have 7.5 GB of usable RAM, which will be less than the Series X. Furthermore, the cheaper console will only aim to achieve a resolution of up to 1440p, whereas the Xbox Series X will aim to achieve 4K.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer mentioned to website GameSpot that it might release additional next-gen Xbox SKUs, and the new console could be one of those SKUs, though this isn’t completely confirmed. “Obviously, in the name ‘Series X,’ it gives us freedom to do other things with that name so that we can create descriptors when we need to,” Spencer said in December 2019. While this doesn’t really confirm anything, it does make it pretty clear that Microsoft plans to release multiple next-generation Xbox consoles.
Technically there have only been rumors about a cheaper next-gen Xbox and not confirmation, but Spencer further mentioned the idea of Microsoft releasing a cheaper next-gen Xbox, claiming that Microsoft can’t grow its gaming business if they only target the consumer base that is focused on high-end products.
“The number of people that are actually buying a console every generation isn’t growing dramatically, if at all,” Spencer said. “At one point you have to recognize that, okay, you can’t just lead with one device. You can’t just say, here’s an Xbox. I’m going to go sell this device to every single person and that’s what they’re going to play on. That just doesn’t work.”
On its own side of the field, Sony recently announced a digital-only PlayStation 5 model. This model will have the same inner workings as the regular PS5, the only real difference is that it won’t have a disc drive. Neither Sony nor Microsoft has announced pricing for any of these next-generation consoles just yet.
The July 20/20 showcase is the next major event for Microsoft, but there’s no confirmation if they will be covering more information on the Xbox Series X, as right now we only know that they will be talking about Halo Infinite and other first-party titles. Either way, hopefully, we will learn more about these upcoming consoles soon.