What You Need to Know about Xbox Series S

By | 16/09/2020



Announced last week, the Xbox Series S might not be what you think it is so here I have broken down some of the key components of the machine as well as what it will and will not be able to do.

The slimmer console is set to launch alongside Microsoft’s Xbox Series X next-generation console.

However, Series S isn’t going to go in the direction of Sony.

Sony will release an all-digital and slimmer PS5 that has the exact same specs as the disc-based PlayStation 5.

Series S does not have the same specs as Xbox Series X, rather it is only slightly better than Xbox One X and only in some areas and without the 4K UHD blu-ray player of Series X.

Xbox Series S Official Trailer

That being said, the console does cost significantly less than Series X and only a little more than Xbox One.

For the extra money, you get some more power.

While nowhere near as powerful as Series X, Series S does feature a lot of next-gen goodies.

Ray Tracing, a solid-state drive and 1440p resolution are some of the key features of the new machine.

Xbox Series S Front Profile View
Xbox Series S

However, it won’t support native 4K or 8K, has 6GB of RAM less than Series X and a significantly less powerful graphics chip.

It has also been confirmed that the new console won’t apply Xbox One X enhancements to backward compatible games, rather will apply its own set of enhancements.

These enhancements may include upscaled 4K support at 120 frames per second, double that of Xbox One X.

This means that you will be able to enjoy games that look almost as good as native 4K on an HD TV that usually outputs 1080p.

What You Need to Know about Xbox Series S
Xbox Series S is a Next Gen Machine

Because of the built-in SSD, we can expect significantly quicker loading times for both last-gen and next-gen games.

Using “Xbox Velocity Architecture” will allow boosted disk access speeds up to 40 times quicker with the added advantage of supporting the CPU and GPU.

FYI – Xbox One UI Update Merges Series X, PC and Mobile Features

The machine also has some expected next-gen features such as USB 3.2 support, Quick Resume support for multiple games and high-speed data transfer up to 4.8 GB per second.

Given the option, I prefer PlayStation as a brand, but I believe in what Microsoft is trying to do here by making a more affordable option with the Series S.

Xbox Series S Hardware Internal Look
Xbox Series S Internal Structure

While not as powerful as Series X or PS5, the Series S machine will be able to play next-gen games, just without some of the bells and whistles that come with the full next-generation experience, most of which the casual gamer won’t even be concerned with.

The relatively low price may even give Xbox an advantage over PlayStation 5 in terms of initial sales, however, we can expect to find out the PS5 variant prices very soon.

Until then it looks like initial sales of Xbox Series S may be better for Microsoft based on price alone.

Given the low price and key features, Series S is basically an affordable option for people who want some next-gen gaming without having to break the bank and/or upgrade their TV.

Xbox Series S Storage Expansion Slots
Xbox Series S Features Storage Expansion

Because of this, Sony might need to match or come in very close with the official retail price of the PlayStation 5 digital version in order to compete with orders of Series S.

That being said, even the PlayStation 5 digital version is a full next-gen machine and way more powerful than Series S, and closer to Xbox Series X in terms of features, power and capabilities.

While Series S isn’t a full next-generation machine, it can be viewed as the successor to Xbox One S where Series X is the successor to Xbox One X.

Xbox Series S and Series X are expected around November 10, 2020.

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