Xbox June GDK Improvements Detailed In New Video - Series S Gains More Available Memory

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The Microsoft Game Dev YouTube channel has just uploaded a June GDK video that details improvements to the toolkit developers have for working on the platform. It is a dev-focused channel so while the language is somewhat simplified for the public it’s still a dev-focused series of updates. Some highlights include:

Memory allocation on Xbox Series S consoles has been optimized.

“Hundreds of additional megabytes of memory are now available to Xbox Series S developers. This gives developers more control over memory, which can improve graphic performance in memory-constrained conditions.

Improved performance for graphics allocations

‘Titles can now take better advantage of recent memory enhancements’. “We’ve addressed an issue where graphics virtual addresses were being allocated considerably slower than non-graphics virtual addresses…”

Improved PC game development experiences

  • Auto-synchronized cloud saves and sign-in
  • A simplified user model
  • Startup screen that is displayed before the title is rendered
  • Game update checks that are performed for packaged builds
  • Capability for debugging packages and testing a title in a retail environment

Platform now enforces DLC age restrictions

‘If you’re attempting to mount age-restricted DLC, the new API prompts age-restricted accounts for parental consent by providing a notification.’

New in-game API to manage DLC storage

‘Developers can now manage how storage affects a player within their game. They no longer have to go to their storage settings to free up space’

This is one of the more consumer-facing updates as in previous titles you often had to go out to the UI/Windows itself to change up what DLC was installed per title if you wanted to remove it.

HDR Support in Xbox Manager Remote Control view

‘View accurate HDR content when you connect to remote consoles’

This is beneficial for smartphone and PC users on HDR-capable displays as previously the signal could look off as it was tone-mapped from HDR to SDR.

There was one more update that assists devs working remotely with how their mouse behaves as well.



Great news for Series S owners! I absolutely love it when hardware is used more efficiently. FYI Jesse, this is missing a closing quotation mark.

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thanks for the catch, I’ll fix it

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Excellent news

A bit of information comes from DigitalFoundry on their weekly talk @ DF Direct Weekly on Kratos' comedic Xbox debut - and a memory boost for Series S |

Why are developers being told that it’s ‘hundreds of megabytes’ more memory and not a more concrete figure? Since recording the Direct, I’ve discovered that the amount of memory is somewhat fluid. There’s a block of new memory available to all developers, but this can be augmented by disabling system level features the game may not be using, freeing up extra memory that otherwise wouldn’t be used anyway.


The only area where I was disappointed in series S was it’s memory quantity

So it’s nice to engineers working to squeeze as much as possible from what is available

For sure, seems to be the biggest bottleneck so far from what has been said. I love my little Series S so much. It sounds hyperbolic but it reignited my love for console gaming after 25 odd years (Likely I will get a serious x after a time though)

It’s so damn fast, it loads in quick resume games in 4 seconds, I don’t think I can get rid of it even if I get an X eventually.

Doesn’t seem like there’s a clear answer from many devs on how could the SSD help them with that, isn’t that why they have been asking for SSDs, for easy data/memory management?

MS/Xbox should start throwing double the amount of money in optimising performance of series S console

It’s been a while since I’ve looked in to the details of velocity architecture, but isn’t that exact puropse to use the SSD to help with memory management?

Or maybe the discussion is still about improving gen 9 “aware” games where full gen 9 will start using all the tools for better Series S performance?

Yes, while at the same time a vast majority of the games are still cross-gen and even if they only target current-gen they are still built on legacy engines of last-gen. These engines maybe have some improvements in the graphics department but the base infrastructure of it is still designed around last-gen. They’re mostly still pretty lipstick and dress on the pig.

The majority of finely tuned games and game engines are still a couple years away. Normally we’d start seeing a few of these during the third year, but COVID has impacted every timeline.