There’s also a lot going on around Microsoft. The performance of the smaller Xbox Series is set to improve soon…
The Verge wrote about a video not yet publicly available that Microsoft is distributing to developers. It comes with a new software developer kit (SDK for short) that will free up hundreds of megabytes of extra memory for games running on the Xbox Series S, so their graphics performance could be boosted as developers will have more power over the RAM they have so that memory-strained situations could see improved performance for “the little guy”, so the 1080p resolution could be as high as 1440p here and there.
According to the video, “we addressed an issue where graphics virtual addresses were being allocated considerably slower than non-graphics virtual addresses”, thus improving memory management in a way that was not detrimental to graphics performance. Digital Foundry previously mentioned that it was not an easy task for the developers to adapt their game to the Xbox Series S. Still, there was a counterexample, as Forza Horizon 5 was a great example of how it is possible to show off decent performance on a smaller, cheaper console that omitted the Blu-ray drive.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has begun testing in Ireland and Colombia a feature where one user can add four others to their Game Pass Ultimate subscription as part of the Xbox Game Pass Insider Preview. It gives them unique access to games, content and extras. Users who join this way do not have to be part of the Insider program, but they must be in the same country as the Insider who signed them up, so currently, Irish and Colombian users can benefit. However, there is a chance that it will be a more expensive option than the essential Game Pass Ultimate subscription if Microsoft makes it available in more places.
“Joining the Game Pass Insider Preview will convert the time remaining on your membership to time in the new plan, based upon the monetary value of the old membership. For example, this plan will convert a full month of Ultimate to 18 days of membership. This way, you won’t lose any of the remaining value on your existing subscription upon conversion. Conversion is final, and users must wait for their new membership to expire before returning to a previous membership,” Microsoft says in a blog post. Game Pass Ultimate will cost $15 per month. The family option is estimated to be $25. Xbox All Access members (who pay a monthly fee for a console and a Game Pass subscription) will not be allowed to participate in the trial.