The Xbox Series S: How much it will cost, when it will be available, and everything else you need to know
System players on a budget, your prayers have been answered: Microsoft has released the Xbox Series S to fulfil your economical gaming console needs. Alongside its more powerful sibling, the Xbox Series X, it is currently one of Microsoft’s two next-generation gaming consoles that customers may buy.
Buyers who are debating between the Xbox and the PlayStation as their next-generation gaming console of choice have alternatives that are comparable in terms of power and functionality. If you are having trouble choosing between the Series X and the Series S, you may read the details of our comparison here. In this piece, we will cover all there is to know about the Xbox Series S console.
In a nutshell, what exactly is the Xbox Series S?
One of the two new next-generation game consoles that Microsoft has released is called the Xbox Series S. In comparison to the Xbox Series X, the Xbox Series S console is more compact and offers a lower price point. Although it is not as powerful as other next-gen gaming devices, it nonetheless packs enough of a punch to be considered a legitimate successor to the current generation of gaming consoles.
Even while it won’t give a 4K resolution (unless you consider upscaled 1440p), it can still produce 1080p and 1440p gaming that looks fantastic. Even better, it is compatible with ray-tracing technology, which is one of the characteristics that distinguish next-generation consoles from previous generations.
We’ll go into more depth further down, but here’s the gist of it: if you’re in the market for a new console but don’t want to spend $500 on the Series X, the Series S is an excellent alternative for you to consider. We’ll go into more detail later on. In a same vein, if you’re still having trouble locating a Series X, we can help. The Series S is, in general, far less difficult to track down in various parts of the world.
Is the Xbox Series S a worthwhile purchase?
When compared to the Xbox Series X, the price of the Series S console is just slightly more than half. Despite the fact that Microsoft positioned this system as a cheap entry point for upgrading and new Xbox customers, that does not necessarily mean that it is the best choice for all consumers.
Because the firm had to take a few short cuts in order to reduce the price, there is no optical drive and there is less raw power. The Series S is designed for high-definition gaming at a frame rate of 120 frames per second and does not support native 4K output in any way (1440p resolution is used instead). This implies that it is not significantly more powerful than the Xbox One X from the previous generation in terms of graphics processing power.
Even if you do not currently own an Xbox One, the Series S console has a considerably more streamlined design. It’s possible that the all-digital approach may turn off collectors, but if you couple it with an Xbox Game Pass membership, you’ll have fast access to hundreds of the very best games from previous generations. Next-generation video game titles will begin to populate it as time goes on.
At this moment in time, the finest value that can be had in the gaming industry is found in the combination of an Xbox Series S and an Xbox Game Pass subscription. Having said that, if money is not a problem, the Xbox Series X (or the PlayStation 5) will be superior to it in every category.
Although the Series X is receiving the lion’s share of discussion in the news at the moment, the majority of outlets have also discussed the Series S. In his review of the Xbox Series S, which was published on Android Authority, Ryan-Thomas Shaw described the console as “an economical entry point into next-gen gaming and Xbox Game Pass.”
He was critical of the fact that there were not many “killer launch games” available at the time, but in the end, he still suggested purchasing it. If you currently own an Xbox One S or X, there is no urgency to upgrade to an SSD, but the significantly faster load speeds that you will experience as a result of the transition more than justify the additional expense. Even though the graphics performance hasn’t been significantly improved, it alone makes a significant difference in the game.
Here is what some other reviews from across the web have said about the Xbox Series S when it first came out:
- Tom Warren, a contributor to The Verge, had a less favourable opinion of the Xbox Series S and wrote: “The Xbox Series S is a little system with enormous promise and a whole lot of issues left unsolved for now.” Among other things, he was critical of how little storage was available and how low the 1080p goal resolution was. In spite of the fact that he thought it was a perfectly capable machine, the most important thing he took away from the experience was that it does not yet live up to the promise of next-generation consoles.
- Richard Leadbetter, writing for Eurogamer, praised the design of the Series S and said, “The form factor is absolutely compelling, the design is nigh-on flawless.” [Citation needed] Having said that, he was unsure of how helpful it would be to core gamers. Even though it is a decent “game pass machine,” it cannot compare to any of the other consoles. When taking into account the amount of storage available, he believes that the PS5 Digital Edition might be a better value, assuming that you are able to locate one to purchase.
- The gaming system was only awarded three and a half stars by Nick Pino and Adam Vjestica of TechRadar (out of five). They stated that it is a good choice for gamers on a tight budget who are interested in experiencing next-generation gaming, but they refrained from recommending the update to core gamers. “However, if you already own the Xbox One X and a 4K monitor at home, we recommend that you instead consider purchasing the Xbox Series X.”
- IGN contributor Ryan McCaffrey referred to the Xbox Series S as the “Game Pass machine.” According to what he stated, the product has a good day-one value when combined with Game Pass, but it may have difficulty in the long run. Despite this, he believes the system has a market for some people, as seen by his statement that “The Series S is a wonderful second console, like if you want something for a youngster that plays on a smaller screen…”
3. Technical specifications for Xbox of the Series S
Despite the fact that the Series S may not be able to compete with the Series X in terms of its specifications, it offers an affordable option for consumers who are interested in upgrading but do not wish to go into debt as a result of their purchase.
Since there is no optical disc drive on the Xbox Series S, users can only play digital downloads of Xbox games. Players who have physical copies of Xbox games from an earlier generation may find that this option is not their first choice as a result. On the other hand, if you are just starting out with Xbox consoles, the Series S is a fantastic and portable solution. Because there won’t be as many physical games taking up space in your entertainment centre, as well as the console itself, you’ll have more room.
Even if the next-generation Xbox system is smaller, you will still be able to experience immersion advancements such as DirectX ray tracing, variable-rate shading, and variable refresh rate. Games may be played at resolutions ranging from 1080p to 1440p at a native 60 frames per second, with support for up to 120 frames per second in some cases.
The Series S comes equipped with an eight-core 3.6GHz proprietary AMD CPU and a GPU that has a processing capability of 4 teraflops. This console receives an update from a hard disc drive (HDD) to a solid-state drive (SSD), which is one of the nicest things about it.
The SSD in the Series S has been customised to 512 gigabytes. The owners, on the other hand, will only have access to 364 GB. The remaining space is devoted to the console’s operating system and several other crucial files. Phil Spencer, president of Xbox at Microsoft, recently gave an interview to Kotaku in which he dropped a hint that some titles for the Xbox Series S would require less storage space than the identical game for the Xbox Series X. The game’s creators have the option of releasing it with lower-resolution textures, and numerous have done so. For instance, our analysis revealed that Forza Horizon 4 has a file size of 71.4 GB on the Series S and 81.9 GB on the Series X.
The solid-state drive (SSD) will make it possible for your games to load and run more quickly, quickly restart playing multiple games, and assist support the visual improvements brought about by the enhanced GPU. These improvements include ray tracing, lighting, and shadows.
However, how do its features stack up against those of the bigger and more costly Series X? Let’s have a look.
Xbox Series S versus Xbox Series X
In comparison to the Xbox Series S, the Xbox Series X provides a higher definition display. The Series X is capable of running very much all games in 4K resolution and 60 frames per second, with compatibility for up to 120 frames per second. Despite this, a large number of individuals still do not own televisions that are capable of displaying images in 4K quality. Even fewer people own a 4K TV with a refresh rate of 120Hz.
If you already own a 4K television or are planning to get one in the near future, you will be able to get the most out of your Xbox One S console. If you already own a television with a resolution of 1080 pixels per inch and have no plans to upgrade in the near future, you may save yourself $200 by purchasing the Series S, which will support that resolution to its utmost extent.
Despite the fact that the Series S has a GPU that is less powerful and a smaller solid state drive, the lower target resolution will need less from games. As was said previously, the graphics processing unit (GPU) has a processing power of 4 teraflops. In reality, the difference between this and the Series X, which has the processing capability of 12 teraflops, is not nearly as great as it would appear at first glance.
The graphics processing unit (GPU) of the PS4 Pro boasts slightly over 4 teraflops of computing power, and the PS4 itself is a rather capable system. The shift from hard disc drives (HDDs) to solid-state drives (SSDs) is responsible for the majority of the performance gap between the older consoles and the newer ones. And the Series S has you covered there as well.
Therefore, if you are searching for the absolute pinnacle of next-generation Xbox systems, your best bet is going to be the Series X machine. Your games will look and feel their very best on the Series X, and this is especially true if you play them on a 4K television set. However, at a far lower cost, the Series S will still deliver improvements that are both quick and clear on your device. Plus, it’s a low-cost entry point into Xbox Game Pass, which is a great value for pretty much everyone.
Xbox Series S design
The Xbox Series S is the most compact video game system that Microsoft has ever produced. It’s around 60 percent more compact than the Xbox Series X console. Since it can be carried in a backpack without any difficulty, you could easily bring it along with you on road trips if you were so inclined.
It consumes less electricity than the Series X does, and it creates less heat as a result of its smaller size. In addition, you have the choice of positioning the console either vertically or horizontally. The Series X may also be laid on its side, however it should be noted that its primary orientation is vertical.
In terms of aesthetics, Microsoft opted for a streamlined white appearance, which is somewhat comparable to the aesthetics of the PlayStation 5’s design (but much smaller). The console is predominantly white, with the exception of a huge black circle on the front that is a component of the cooling system. It is by far the most understated-looking of any of the next-generation consoles, and it can be installed in any home theatre without drawing attention to itself.
In terms of ports, it just has a single USB-A port on the front of the device. The majority of the connectors, including those for power, HDMI 2.1, gigabit ethernet, two USB-A ports, and an expansion slot for additional storage space, are located on the rear of the device.
Xbox Series S games
The Xbox Series S will, at launch and going forward, have the same library of titles as the Xbox Series X. The following video games have had their visuals and performance enhanced so that they may be played on an Xbox Series S when the system first launches:
- Ark: Survival Evolved
- The Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Revelations (Smart Delivery)
- Borderlands 3 (Smart Delivery)
- Bright Memory 1.0
- The Cuisine Royale (Smart Delivery)
- (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery Included) Dead by Daylight
- Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition is a video game.
- DIRT 5 (Smart Delivery) (Smart Delivery)
- Enlisted \s
- The Master of the Hawk (Smart Delivery)
- Forza Horizon 4, available with Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery
- Gears 5, available with Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery
- (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery Included) Gears Tactics
- Grounded is an Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery bundle.
- King Oddball (Smart Delivery)
- Maneater (Smart Delivery)
- Manifold Garden (Smart Delivery)
- NBA 2K21
- Observer: System Redux
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps is included in the Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery subscriptions.
- Roller Coaster Planetary (Smart Delivery)
- (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery Included) Sea of Thieves
- Connected: The Tetris Effect (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
- The Touryst is an Xbox Game Pass subscription that also includes Smart Delivery.
- War Thunder (Smart Delivery)
- The Warhammer game in its Chaosbane Slayer Edition
- Watch Dogs: Legion (Smart Delivery)
- WRC 9 stands for the FIA World Rally Championship (Smart Delivery)
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Smart Delivery)
- Yes, Your Grace (Smart Delivery)
Since then, far too many games have been added to this list to continue doing it justice.
Take note that several of these games have previously been released for the Xbox One or will soon be released for it. Because of a brand-new programme called Smart Delivery, everytime you buy a new console, they will automatically receive an upgrade. Your game will be upgraded to provide the greatest possible experience without requiring any further payment, so there is no need to worry about waiting if you are unable to purchase the console right away. Simply make sure that you get the digital version of the game, as the Xbox Series S does not come equipped with a disc drive.
Bear in mind that the system also allows you to play practically all Xbox One games through a feature called backward compatibility, although the graphics will not be improved. It also supports Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles, which were formerly part of the backwards compatibility programme on the Xbox One. Additionally, it supports a great deal of additional games that have been added since the programme was first introduced.
If you sign up for an Xbox Game Pass membership, you will get on-demand digital access to a large library of Xbox games that you may play anytime you choose. Imagine it like you would Netflix, except for Xbox games. You will have immediate access to well over one hundred different digital titles, including all of the first-party games, both new and old. This contains major hitters such as the Halo: Infinite video game!
Additionally, the Xbox Series S can take use of the cloud gaming capabilities that are available through Xbox Cloud Gaming. It was first known as Project xCloud, and it became available on September 15, 2020 as a part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. It gives you the ability to play certain Game Pass titles on your mobile device, tablet, web browser, or even console. This would be a decent solution to get around the restricted storage space on the built-in SSD that comes with the Series S.
Where can I get the Xbox One Series S?
The Xbox Series S can be purchased for $299.99, representing a significant savings of $200 in comparison to the Xbox Series X, which is priced at $499.99. The announcement of this low pricing is quite encouraging, especially when one considers how poorly Xbox has fallen short of expectations in the past. A few years after its initial debut, it is common to locate the console combined with a game for the same price as the game alone.
You also have the option of subscribing to Xbox All Access if you do not wish to pay such a huge number of money all at once on the service. You can obtain an Xbox Series X or Series S console as well as 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate if you sign up for the Xbox All Access service. The cheapest plan starts at $24.99 per month and lasts for 24 months. If you were planned on subscribing to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate anyway—a service that normally costs $14.99 on its own—then this is an excellent price.
The first launch had a fairly restricted availability, but things have significantly improved since then. The same cannot be said of the Series X and the PS5, both of which continue to be quite hard to locate in many locations. You’ll be playing next-generation games before you know it if you keep an eye on the shop down below.
Accessories for Xbox consoles of the Series S
You should absolutely consider purchasing some additional hardware for your brand-new Xbox Series S console. New controllers and additional storage space are likely to be the most significant additions.
Xbox Core Controller
A brand new controller is now available for the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X consoles, courtesy of Microsoft. Although the new Xbox Core Controller is visually quite similar to the earlier gamepad that was built for Xbox One consoles, it does offer a few additional capabilities that set it apart from its predecessor. The most notable change is the addition of a share button that is now located in the exact centre of the controller. When it is pressed, it will enable gamers to save screenshots and video snippets from the game as they are playing, and they may subsequently share them with their friends and family.
If you don’t want to use the two AA batteries that come with the new controller, there is a USB-C connector that can be used to charge an external rechargeable battery (which is offered separately). The design of the D-pad of the controller, as well as its functionality, have been updated. The noise that it emits when registering inputs has been increased in volume. Additional textured textures may be seen on the controller’s triggers and side grips as well. Last but not least, the controller is compatible with both the Xbox’s native wireless technology as well as Bluetooth. Additional Xbox Core Controllers may be purchased right now for the price of $59.99 each.
Xbox Play and Charge Starter Bundle
The purchase of fresh batteries is an annoyance, and with this straightforward solution, you will be able to do away with AA batteries for forever. This battery pack, much like its predecessors that were used with prior Xbox systems, supplies power to your controller by plugging into the back of it, and it recharges itself when it is hooked into a USB-C port.
There will be a charge of $24,99 for a single kit. This might sound like a pricey option, but when you consider the number of batteries you’ll need to purchase over the course of several years, you’ll realise that it’s well worth the investment.
SSD additional storage
As was indicated earlier, the Xbox Series S will have a storage capacity that is fairly constrained. The good news is that Microsoft has designed the console in such a way that it is really possible to increase the amount of storage space available in the SSD. Seagate is now offering a 1 terabyte solid-state drive (SSD) on the market that was developed with the Xbox Series S and X consoles in mind. You only need to attach it to the rear of the console in order to use it. Seagate asserts that its expansion SSD will be just as quick as Microsoft’s internal SSD in terms of performance.
The bad news is… It comes at a hefty price. A 1 terabyte card may be purchased from Seagate for $220. In addition, a 2 terabyte card may be purchased for $400, and a 512 gigabyte card can be purchased for $180. We suggest going with the 1 terabyte card because it offers the most bang for your buck in comparison to the other options. You might also choose to wait one or two years for more reasonably priced items to become available on the market.