The right product at the right time? •

Rich and John talk about it in the latest DF Direct.

It seems it took forever for Microsoft to finally decide to unveil its long-rumored second-generation console – the Xbox Series S. The revelations came this week, It was earlier than planned as Microsoft scrambled to respond to the form factor and price leak.

Digital Foundry’s Rich Leadbetter and John Linneman were first introduced to the device more than six months ago, when they traveled to Microsoft HQ in Redmond, Washington for an exclusive look at Xbox Series X. Now they finally managed to break their silence about this new, more bizarre console. In a special episode of Digital Foundry Direct, which you can watch in the embed below.

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Featuring clips filmed in Redmond back in March as well as a recorded chat this week smashing all the latest info – including Microsoft’s pricing and S-Series locating – there’s a lot to chew on in the video. (As an added bonus, check out our Crimewatch pattern reconstruction of the moment the pair’s S-Series was revealed in Richmond – when a Microsoft rep produced the little console out of a handbag.)

Despite an unplanned outing, the S-Series was very warmly received this week – and a little wonder. It’s an attractive little machine that offers compelling value – and harks back to an earlier era of game consoles, both in its price (the same launch price as PlayStation 2 and the first Xbox) and elegant form factor. It’s surprisingly full-featured, too, sharing fast storage, ray-tracing devices, and next-generation X-series CPU technology, which aims to deliver visuals with lower resolution (and with greater energy efficiency). This week, we’ve seen some decent shots of games that supposedly run on the S-series as well – including Gears 5 at 120fps.

Waivers? In addition to the lack of an optical drive, the 8GB memory will be crunchy for next-generation games developed – so will the 500GB for onboard storage. Moreover, there is so much that we still do not know and it is difficult to say how the gaming experience on the S Series could be affected .. It is worth noting, amid Microsoft’s talk about the Series S ‘target resolution of 1440p, that the famous Unreal Engine show on the PlayStation 5 is more powerful, it also had a resolution of 1440p. Could S offer anything like that? Time will tell.

What we know now is that Microsoft’s offering of the Xbox Series S – and to some extent, Series X as well – is very different to anything we’ve seen for a new-generation console before. Rather than aiming to dazzle core players with new experiences, it addresses a much wider market and talks about the value offered by Game Pass and the All Access subscription plan – and the incredibly affordable S Series fits that message perfectly, especially in the current economic climate. You might just be the right console at the right time.

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