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Microsoft needs to cancel the Xbox Series S to save this generation

A reader is frustrated by reports that the Xbox Series S is holding back the Xbox Series X and PS5, and begs Microsoft to discontinue it.

The news this week that developers hate the Xbox Series S and have been trying to get Microsoft to stop supporting it was music to my ears. For over a year now I’ve been frustrated at the slow progress of this generation and while that is obviously most down to Covid there are other factors. So many games staying cross-gen is because of the pandemic but the Xbox Series S is not. That’s Microsoft trying to have its cake and eat it, and it’s damaging everyone.

I’m not a game developer but in my frustration at the state of Halo Infinite (I used to be a big Halo fan) I realised that the reason it was so technologically backwards was not only because 343 Industries are badly mismanaged but because they had to make it work on the Xbox Series S. That can work if you’ve got a good team, like Playground Games on Forza Horizon, but with a more mediocre developer, like 343 or the studio behind Gotham Knights, you’ve got problems.

The Xbox Series S just isn’t powerful enough to run proper next gen games. It can just about keep up with the half-measure cross-gen games we’re getting at the moment, but it’s still holding them back and will be compromising all the games Microsoft has underway at the moment. There’s no way it can’t.

Everything from the new Fable to The Elder Scrolls 6 has to work on the Xbox Series S. At a design level it cannot require more horsepower than the Xbox Series S gives or it won’t work on the console, and Microsoft won’t allow that. Sure, you can have the game look better on Xbox Series X in certain simple ways, like resolution, but in terms of the actual design of the game… that’s got to work on both the Xbox One and Xbox Series S.

It’s been the same with the PlayStation 4 and 5 for most of Sony’s next gen games too. But I think the implication is that after God Of War Ragnarök they’ll all be PlayStation 5 only. The problem is that any multiformat game, like Gotham Knights, is still held back by the Xbox Series S. Gotham Knights isn’t on the last gen consoles but because of the Xbox Series S it still can’t use the full power of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.

Other than PlayStation 5-only games this issue isn’t going to go away, ever. The Xbox Series S sells well in certain countries and will probably increase in importance as the financial crisis continues and Game Pass becomes an even bigger draw. Even more so as streaming becomes more feasible.

So that’s it, for the whole generation we’re stuck with an underpowered console that’s holding back almost every other game being made, on every console. Microsoft has to bite the bullet. They have to discontinue the Xbox Series S and make its cheaper model just one without a disc drive, like the digital edition PlayStation 5.

If they don’t do that then the full power of the Xbox Series X is never going to be unlocked and this whole generation will be ‘hamstrung’ forever.

By reader Binder

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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