Microsoft helps game devs pull more performance from the Xbox Series S

Are you frustrated that games on the Xbox Series S don’t play as well as you would expect given the 1440p-capable hardware? Microsoft may have a solution. The edge has learned that the company’s recently announced June Game Development Kit gives programmers more access to memory, freeing up “hundreds of additional megabytes” of RAM for their games. That can improve graphics performance in titles where limited memory is an issue, Microsoft said.

This move won’t equate the entry-level console to the Xbox Series X, which uses the same CPU but packs a more powerful GPU. However, it could reduce bottlenecks that sometimes force developers to run games on the Series S at lower resolutions and frame rates. While the Series X has 16GB of RAM (about 13.5GB of it usable), its lower-end counterpart has just 10GB – in practice developers only have 8GB to themselves. Creator in conversation Digital Foundry have complained about the restrictions.

If this sounds like a familiar strategy, it should. Microsoft gave Xbox One programmers more power in 2014, allowing them to disable Kinect features in games that didn’t require the motion controller. In both cases, Microsoft optimizes available system resources in response to problems.

It will take time for developers to optimize games and there is no guarantee that many titles will be affected. Don’t expect patches that improve the graphics of your favorite versions. Still, it’s a welcome move that could make the Xbox Series S a more viable option if you’d rather not splurge on its more expensive counterpart.

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