• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

Xbox system architect Andrew Goossen on why MS made the Series S

CobraXT

Banned
Apr 24, 2020
544
1,442
510
"Series S has been very impactful for us. As we design our new consoles for the new generation, we're very much looking forward through the generation to be thinking ahead - like, how does this work? - and that's why we got to two consoles at the same time," Goossen continued. "We are facing a big change in how consoles are designed. I believe when we first started building the original Xbox 360 - the smallest one without the HDD - that cost us about $460. By the end of the generation it cost us around $120 - and that cost reduction path was driven principally by silicon cost reduction."

To put that into perspective, Xbox 360 launched with individual CPU and GPUs, both fabricated at 90nm. By the generation's end, those two components had been combined into a single chip, delivering a significant cost reduction in its own right, and they were also delivered using a much smaller process (possibly as low as 32nm on the final model). Between launch and the end of the 360's lifecycle, the machine had actually transitioned through several fabrication nodes. Its successor - Xbox One - saw its processor revised just once, down from 28nm to 16nm FinFET. Cost reduction opportunities were thin on the ground for this generation and will be even more constricted going forward.

"Moore's Law is certainly not dead! Moore's Law is continuing and we have a good path to 5nm and 3nm, and those are going to bring improved performance and good power," enthuses Goossen. "What they're not bringing any more is a good cost reduction cost per transistor - and so this has foundational impacts to console development, because now we'll get cost reductions, but they're slowing down and it won't be nearly the magnitudes that we've seen before."

"And so that was another one of the reasons why we felt that we really had to do Series S at the beginning because we had to design for the future. For the first time, we had to have the entry-level console at the beginning. Previous generations were kind of easy because at the beginning of the generation, you make something really expensive - put as much silicon and as much performance as you could into it - then you would just ride the cost reduction curves down to mass market prices. That's not there anymore," Goossen explains


Source


I guess we wont see any price cut until the end of the next gen effectively alienating a lot of casual and low income gamers
not a big fan of the Series S but i get his point
 
Last edited:

wolffy71

Member
Feb 19, 2014
732
655
555
There will probably be a price drop still, just not as large. There will be a drop in the ssd prices at least, I assume.
 

Outrunner

Member
May 17, 2018
1,008
2,503
560
"I've heard that Series S is going to hold back the next generation but I actually see Series S advancing it because by doing Series S we'll have more games written to the characteristics of the next generation"

I don't get this. Were they expecting that XSS would outsell XSX?
 
  • Fire
Reactions: Bo_Hazem

JLB

Member
Dec 6, 2018
3,294
4,657
535
"I've heard that Series S is going to hold back the next generation but I actually see Series S advancing it because by doing Series S we'll have more games written to the characteristics of the next generation"

I don't get this. Were they expecting that XSS would outsell XSX?

I think they expect that right now. I think the same, its the cheaper option.
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: XGon'GiveItToYa

JLB

Member
Dec 6, 2018
3,294
4,657
535
Series X is outsold everywhere while Series S is still widely available, I'd assume there is a lot less of demand for Series S

Right now, of course. Early adopters are going as expected for the most expensive system.
But once both systems become available on stores for the general public, that will change.
Same applies for PS5 and PS5D.
 
Last edited:

Birdo

Banned
Jun 12, 2019
8,612
30,835
730
Mushroom Kingdom
Series X is outsold everywhere while Series S is still widely available, I'd assume there is a lot less of demand for Series S

The opposite here in the UK. My guy at GAME told me that they have FAR more demand for Series S right now. They've even sold out of the second December batch (But not Series X).
 

ACESHIGH

Member
May 16, 2020
1,221
2,188
395
He is right about the series S advancing game development. They want people to leave behind those jaguar cores and 5400rpm hdds as fast as possible.

The series S makes all the sense in the world. Hopefully it sells like hotcakes here in South america
 

Calverz

Member
Apr 27, 2014
2,399
4,513
745
I understand his logic. I got the series s and its fine for now but will uograde to the x once theres special ediitons etc.
The S isnt really for anybody in this forum. Its for the casual gamer/kids who dont really give a fuck about gaming that much. Its a trojan horse for gamepass effectively.
 

Outrunner

Member
May 17, 2018
1,008
2,503
560
He is right about the series S advancing game development. They want people to leave behind those jaguar cores and 5400rpm hdds as fast as possible.

The series S makes all the sense in the world. Hopefully it sells like hotcakes here in South america

Interesting point of view. Because its cheaper more people can step away from old gen.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zombrex
Sep 15, 2020
169
158
215
Series X is outsold everywhere while Series S is still widely available, I'd assume there is a lot less of demand for Series S

Your assumption will most likely be right but you're forgetting an important factor. The majority of gamers (casual) won't be too worried about picking up a console on launch day. Now couple price first which is really the major factor for a casual + less interest in power difference or performance in general and I think it's pretty much a given XSS will outsell XSX.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HerjansEagleFeeder

Md Ray

Member
Nov 12, 2016
4,162
13,385
785
My only gripe with the system is its GPU and memory bandwidth is severely hampered, including memory capacity to some degree. Other parts of the system, mainly the CPU and storage are fine, thankfully. There's no holding back on the CPU and storage side of things but on the GPU, mem side it will hold back Series X.

Sony first-party's min target GPU/RAM specs:
10.3 TF, 448 GB/s, 142.72 Gpix/sec, 8.92 Gtri/sec, 16GB

MS first-party's min target GPU/RAM specs:
4 TF, 224 GB/s, 50 Gpix/sec, 6.26 Gtri/sec, 10GB
 
Last edited:
  • LOL
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: Bo_Hazem and Riky

PontiusFeeb

Member
Sep 12, 2018
165
215
280
The cost reduction could come from the SSD. On the other hand, maybe they'll keep the same price and increase the size of the SSD.
 

Dnice123

Member
Oct 20, 2020
90
238
210
Tell me where I can get a Series S now please in the US. Need to buy one for my niece for Christmas and everywhere I looked, it's sold out.
Wish I could get a Series S too. I ended up getting a Series X for the performance, but I'm not sure I needed. Thinking about just getting a 1440p 144hz monitor and velcro a Series S to the back of it.
 

NullZ3r0

Banned
Jun 8, 2017
1,620
3,974
525
Series X is outsold everywhere while Series S is still widely available, I'd assume there is a lot less of demand for Series S
This can't be in the US because everything is sold out everywhere. I was lucky to grab an S at Walmart online while some poor sap probably made the same mistake I made earlier that day by not having his CC info already in the system and I snapped it up.
 

Mmnow

Member
Jun 16, 2020
1,025
1,713
370
My only gripe with the system is its GPU and memory bandwidth is severely hampered, including memory capacity to some degree. Other parts of the system, mainly the CPU and storage are fine, thankfully. There's no holding back on the CPU and storage side of things but on the GPU, mem side it will hold back Series X.

Sony first-party's min target GPU/RAM specs:
10.3 TF, 448 GB/s, 142.72 Gpix/sec, 8.92 Gtri/sec, 16GB

MS first-party's min target GPU/RAM specs:
4 TF, 224 GB/s, 50 Gpix/sec, 6.26 Gtri/sec, 10GB
But you're not factoring in resolution. In terms of raw pixel count, the PS5 would be laughed into oblivion if one of its games could only reach 1080p, or worse, if that was the upper limit of a dynamic resolution.

Meanwhile,that's the whole reason to buy a Series S.

If Microsoft's weaker console had to output at 4k, you'd have a point about it holding back the Series X. But it doesn't even need to hit a quarter of that to do what it needs to do.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Riky

onnextflix5

Member
Jun 6, 2019
545
881
365
Sounds like more bullshit from ms, only reason they did xss, to sell more consoles, in a few years ur going to see most games on the xss running at 900p at 30fps.
 

jaysius

Member
Oct 3, 2019
2,834
3,718
465
To blanket the market with Xbox, MS wants market share, this is how to get it.

Next gen for the "masses" many people don't understand that their S won't look as good as an X on their 4k tv, but those are the people that have the cheap shitty 4k tvs and don't understand image quality, they don't even understand slow down and dropped frames.

Series S isn't about a good product for the end consumer, it's about locking down people to their ecosystem.

This is why any company puts out a low tier tech, it happens all the time in the cellphone markets. It's about market share, not satisfying a consumer.

It's the answer to "How do we stop a fire like Sony in this sector" "by smothering them out".
 
Last edited:

NullZ3r0

Banned
Jun 8, 2017
1,620
3,974
525
My only gripe with the system is its GPU and memory bandwidth is severely hampered, including memory capacity to some degree. Other parts of the system, mainly the CPU and storage are fine, thankfully. There's no holding back on the CPU and storage side of things but on the GPU, mem side it will hold back Series X.

Sony first-party's min target GPU/RAM specs:
10.3 TF, 448 GB/s, 142.72 Gpix/sec, 8.92 Gtri/sec, 16GB

MS first-party's min target GPU/RAM specs:
4 TF, 224 GB/s, 50 Gpix/sec, 6.26 Gtri/sec, 10GB
The Series S isn't targeting 4K resolutions like the S. Microsoft's stance is that the S will run native games the same as X only at a lower resolution. We've seen this in practice with games like Watchdogs Legion where the S is running the same game, raytracing and all, at a lower resolution.

This surprised no one since PCs have been doing the same thing for years. The Geforce 2060 Super didn't hold back the 2080. Devs target a certain performance and slower cards run the game at a lower resolution and/or lower frame rate. Four years from now, the Series S at worst will be running the same game at 900p/60 fps or 1080p/30 fps. But kids like my son who don't jerk off to Alex Bataglia graphics comparison videos won't give a shit.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Riky and Closer

TheKratos

Member
Sep 21, 2020
668
692
340
But you're not factoring in resolution. In terms of raw pixel count, the PS5 would be laughed into oblivion if one of its games could only reach 1080p, or worse, if that was the upper limit of a dynamic resolution.

Meanwhile,that's the whole reason to buy a Series S.

If Microsoft's weaker console had to output at 4k, you'd have a point about it holding back the Series X. But it doesn't even need to hit a quarter of that to do what it needs to do.

I wouldn't mind if 1080p was a standard in SS but for fucks sake at least hit 60fps.
 

M1chl

Currently Gif and Meme Champion
Dec 25, 2019
11,845
22,671
1,025
Prague, Czech Republic
My only gripe with the system is its GPU and memory bandwidth is severely hampered, including memory capacity to some degree. Other parts of the system, mainly the CPU and storage are fine, thankfully. There's no holding back on the CPU and storage side of things but on the GPU, mem side it will hold back Series X.

Sony first-party's min target GPU/RAM specs:
10.3 TF, 448 GB/s, 142.72 Gpix/sec, 8.92 Gtri/sec, 16GB

MS first-party's min target GPU/RAM specs:
4 TF, 224 GB/s, 50 Gpix/sec, 6.26 Gtri/sec, 10GB
I mean we already saw the WD: Legion, AC: Valhalla to use lower details, fps, etc...so no not really.
 

Bonfires Down

Member
Jul 31, 2007
3,388
4,926
1,595
I wouldn’t do sub 1080p on my 65” TV unless I had to. But BotW runs at 900p and Mario Odyssey at even less than that, and that’s not stopping people from ranking them among the best games of the generation. Actually, that console is outselling the more powerful consoles by leaps and bounds And I suspect it will continue to outsell the XSX/PS5 which are like 50 times more powerful.
 

Outrunner

Member
May 17, 2018
1,008
2,503
560
To blanket the market with Xbox, MS wants market share, this is how to get it.

Next gen for the "masses" many people don't understand that their S won't look as good as an X on their 4k tv, but those are the people that have the cheap shitty 4k tvs and don't understand image quality, they don't even understand slow down and dropped frames.

Series S isn't about a good product for the end consumer, it's about locking down people to their ecosystem.

This is why any company puts out a low tier tech, it happens all the time in the cellphone markets. It's about market share, not satisfying a consumer.

It's the answer to "How do we stop a fire like Sony in this sector" "by smothering them out".

I think you are absolutely right.
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: jaysius

TheKratos

Member
Sep 21, 2020
668
692
340
I wouldn’t do sub 1080p on my 65” TV unless I had to. But BotW runs at 900p and Mario Odyssey at even less than that, and that’s not stopping people from ranking them among the best games of the generation. Actually, that console is outselling the more powerful consoles by leaps and bounds And I suspect it will continue to outsell the XSX/PS5 which are like 50 times more powerful.

I doubt it. Sales of PS4 just slowed down in the shadow of the PS5's release. Once PS5 becomes steadily available no doubt it will take the top spot again.
 

Mmnow

Member
Jun 16, 2020
1,025
1,713
370
I wouldn't mind if 1080p was a standard in SS but for fucks sake at least hit 60fps.
I mean, framerate is a different discussion and we're gonna need more than one example and a few explanations to work out AC.

I don't think it'll be the norm though. So much of framerate is cpu bound - it doesn't make sense to cut resolution and framerate for the Series S.
 

ZehDon

Member
Jun 13, 2013
4,445
8,046
815
Australia
It’s interesting to see that they’re not expecting price reductions on the same level as previous gens, so had no reason to wait before putting together the smaller system. If this is true, I’m curious what Sony’s plans are around price, given that they produced two SKUs with identical silicon. Their pricing strategy last gen was basically perfect.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nikana

MrFunSocks

Banned
Jul 9, 2020
4,760
8,561
665
"Series S has been very impactful for us. As we design our new consoles for the new generation, we're very much looking forward through the generation to be thinking ahead - like, how does this work? - and that's why we got to two consoles at the same time," Goossen continued. "We are facing a big change in how consoles are designed. I believe when we first started building the original Xbox 360 - the smallest one without the HDD - that cost us about $460. By the end of the generation it cost us around $120 - and that cost reduction path was driven principally by silicon cost reduction."

To put that into perspective, Xbox 360 launched with individual CPU and GPUs, both fabricated at 90nm. By the generation's end, those two components had been combined into a single chip, delivering a significant cost reduction in its own right, and they were also delivered using a much smaller process (possibly as low as 32nm on the final model). Between launch and the end of the 360's lifecycle, the machine had actually transitioned through several fabrication nodes. Its successor - Xbox One - saw its processor revised just once, down from 28nm to 16nm FinFET. Cost reduction opportunities were thin on the ground for this generation and will be even more constricted going forward.

"Moore's Law is certainly not dead! Moore's Law is continuing and we have a good path to 5nm and 3nm, and those are going to bring improved performance and good power," enthuses Goossen. "What they're not bringing any more is a good cost reduction cost per transistor - and so this has foundational impacts to console development, because now we'll get cost reductions, but they're slowing down and it won't be nearly the magnitudes that we've seen before."

"And so that was another one of the reasons why we felt that we really had to do Series S at the beginning because we had to design for the future. For the first time, we had to have the entry-level console at the beginning. Previous generations were kind of easy because at the beginning of the generation, you make something really expensive - put as much silicon and as much performance as you could into it - then you would just ride the cost reduction curves down to mass market prices. That's not there anymore," Goossen explains


Source


I guess we wont see any price cut until the end of the next gen effectively alienating a lot of casual and low income gamers
not a big fan of the Series S but i get his point
We barely saw any price cuts this generation so yeh I don’t know why people are expecting ones for the new one. The XB1 and PS4 prices have stayed ridiculously high for 7 year old consoles.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Durask

Reallink

Member
Jan 7, 2008
6,777
1,935
1,365
Series X is outsold everywhere while Series S is still widely available, I'd assume there is a lot less of demand for Series S

They don't care how it does at $299 to early adopter launch buyers. Its sole reason for existing are their seasonal $199 and under bundles, which will absolutely annihilate Series X and maybe even PS5 during Holiday '21 and '22.
 
Last edited:

kikonawa

Member
Jun 7, 2004
2,244
207
1,560
belgium
"I've heard that Series S is going to hold back the next generation but I actually see Series S advancing it because by doing Series S we'll have more games written to the characteristics of the next generation"

I don't get this. Were they expecting that XSS would outsell XSX?
Its just an answer for a non answer ...

I cant speak for the usa but here in belgium the s was allways preorderable. And its just in stock to pickup. I believe its not a real sales succes. Maybe time will tell
 
Last edited:

Phrixotrichus

Banned
Aug 3, 2020
753
1,326
370
The GPU is perfectly fine for what it is targetting. There's no reason to think framerate will be an issue on the Series S.

We already have multiple games running 120fps.
jesus pal, have you never had anything to do with hardware before? That is NOT how it works at all. 120fps in pong aren`t the same as 120fps in crysis....
Different games have different requirements and here the GPU is the res and fps limiter.....
The moment the XSX struggles with its render targets all that "linear scaling" the XSS is designed for goes to hell. If a box like the XSX has drops into the 1440p range to maintain 60fps...that number is out of the question for the XSS, plain and simple.

Ubi would have to do some serious optimization work here......
 
Last edited:

Elias

Member
Oct 24, 2020
432
883
290
My only gripe with the system is its GPU and memory bandwidth is severely hampered, including memory capacity to some degree. Other parts of the system, mainly the CPU and storage are fine, thankfully. There's no holding back on the CPU and storage side of things but on the GPU, mem side it will hold back Series X.

Sony first-party's min target GPU/RAM specs:
10.3 TF, 448 GB/s, 142.72 Gpix/sec, 8.92 Gtri/sec, 16GB

MS first-party's min target GPU/RAM specs:
4 TF, 224 GB/s, 50 Gpix/sec, 6.26 Gtri/sec, 10GB
Hilariously wrong.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrFunSocks

RoadHazard

Member
Dec 9, 2008
21,265
4,408
1,385
Gothenburg, Sweden
jesus pal, have you never had anything to do with hardware before? That is NOT how it works at all.
Different games have different requirements and here the GPU is the res and fps limiter.....
The moment the XSX struggles with its render targets all that "linear scaling" the XSS is designed for goes to hell.

Ubi would have to do some serious optimization work here......

It is how it works actually. The XSS has 1/3 tje GPU power, so it should be able to do 1/3 of the resolution at the same framerate. The CPU is basically the same in both (and yes, CPU absolutely does play a huge role in what framerate can be achieved).

But yes, you're right that if the XSX struggles to run a game at 1440p or whatever the S is in trouble.

Can't explain why Valhalla is 30. Or maybe that does explain it. They didn't want the S to drop to garbage resolutions, so they locked it to 30 instead.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: MrFunSocks

Phrixotrichus

Banned
Aug 3, 2020
753
1,326
370
It is how it works actually. The XSS has 1/3 tje GPU power, so it should be able to do 1/3 of the resolution at the same framerate. T
That is how it is designed to work.
But this falls flat on its nose if the XSX doesn`t consistently hit its render target and you don`t want the XSS go into pre-hd territory.....
But yes, you're right that if the XSX struggles to run a game at 1440p or whatever the S is in trouble.
yep, and this is a current gen game without any RT or similar expensive tech....
Granted, it`s Ubisoft, so the optimization is probably not all that good.

and yes, CPU absolutely does play a huge role in what framerate can be achieved
the cpu got nothing to do with it here. This is all on the sad piece of tech the XSS calls its GPU.
 
Last edited:

MrFunSocks

Banned
Jul 9, 2020
4,760
8,561
665
The Series S will likely outsell the Series X. Not at launch because launch buyers are the “hardcore” who want the shiniest new thing, and ms know this so would have produced far more of the flagship device, but come next holidays the difference will be massive.
 

megreotsugua

Member
Dec 3, 2019
1,831
4,173
430
I don't think there enough clueless grandmas out there. Xss will continue to sell few units in the years to come as we can observe today.