Xbox One games will look "identical" on Xbox One S, Microsoft has said, despite the newer console's slight boost in processing power.

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Speaking with Eurogamer today at E3, Xbox planning lead Albert Penello stated that the additional CPU and GPU access granted to developers for Xbox One S in order to enable HDR will have "literally no impact" on the performance of games.

"When we made changes to the box for 4K we unlocked a little bit more processing power to enable HDR. That's it. It's exactly the same architecture as the existing one," Penello told me during a presentation on the new console.

"To support HDR, we give people access to a little more CPU and GPU. That's it. It is so insignificant it is mind boggling it is being picked up."

Yesterday, a Polygon report claimed Gears of War 4 would perform better on Xbox One S, and that the newer console's raw processing power could be used to improve its frame-rate and resolution.

Some have speculated Xbox One would overclock its GPU and CPU, but Penello denied this.

When asked whether there would be any performance difference, Penello was clear:

"I promise, it won't even show up. It will have no impact on games at all. Literally no impact. They will be identical. It's nothing, it is literally nothing."

Eurogamer was told the same thing today by Xbox boss Phil Spencer, speaking with Wes.

"It was designed to play Xbox One games exactly the same way your existing Xbox One does," Spencer said. "The one definitive feature that's different is HDR. So, with the increased HDMI capability, it has the ability to support high dynamic range.

"I will say - and I've been asked about this - and I'm not trying to dodge the question, you should expect it to play your games the same way an Xbox One does. We did not design this to play Xbox One games better than the original Xbox One console."

Spencer did not count out some minor differences, which happen when things change with console innards.

"We've gone through - even on the existing hardware - multiple hardware iterations on the inside. There will be certain decisions that are made either for cost reasons or other supply chain reasons that can result in slightly different performance, whether it's disc drive throughput... everything's not always pegged at exactly the same number.

"But honestly, do not buy this box if you think you're buying it to play your Xbox One games better, because it was not designed to go do that. It was designed to play your Xbox One games exactly the way your Xbox One does.

"I don't want anybody to think this is somehow a performance boost for Xbox One games. That's why we said HDR on-screen, and that's what we want to be explicit about. Outside of that, you should expect your Xbox One games to run exactly the same."

While Xbox One S won't give games a significant performance boost, it can be used to improve visuals - specifically regarding High Dynamic Range. Gears of War 4, Scalebound and Forza Horizon 3 are all confirmed to benefit in some way.

Phil Spencer also told Wes the Xbox One S will also include a UHD Blu-ray drive that supports 4K discs.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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