The world is seeing an influx of next-generation consoles from a wide range of companies. Consumers now have more choices than ever, and the range of console prices is highly varied. The new Xbox Series S is one of these consoles that don’t break the bank. It starts at just £249.99/ $299.99, cutting through the market like a knife in butter. It’s certainly a substantial decrease from Xbox One’s price, coming in at a whopping $499.99. But how will this new series compare to Microsoft’s previous and still highly sought after products? Does a saving in price lead to a significant reduction in gameplay? Here in this article, we will dig deep, exposing the newest console for what it is. Whatever games you’re into, from Spigo to Fortnite, you’ll need a console that works and delivers to your needs. Let’s find out more.
Dimensions and design
Coming in at a weight of just over 4 pounds, this is a significantly lighter console than its predecessors. It can fit quite easily into an ordinary backpack, with dimensions of 15.1 x 27.5 cm. The compact design means that there is no place to insert a game disc, but this is great because discs introduce the possibility of mechanical failure, and frankly are a thing of the past. Microsoft has already taken disc-free gaming to the next level with the Xbox One S console, which saw great success. The product we’re reviewing is a unit that’s been re-engineered from the ground up for competent digital gaming. If you’re familiar with how an Xbox app works and have no particular qualms about buying digitally, you’ll get a whole suite of next-gen features on this console. Microsoft’s Xbox game pass isn’t a huge cost to bear either – you can subscribe for around £10.99/ $15 a month.
In terms of ports, there are no surprises – you’ll find the same thing as the Xbox Series X. There are three USB-A ports in total, with a storage expansion, HDMI, and Ethernet ports. The company has streamlined its hardware, getting rid of the optical audio port, as well as the HDMI in. This is modern and makes sense, although USB-C ports would have been great, especially as they are becoming the new standard. The unit forecasts a temporary Wi-Fi signal, which can be used to complete the setup, and it doesn’t take long at all. We found the onboarding process to be fast and effective.
However, one of the qualms we found was the lack of memory. When you purchase the Series S the system only comes with 512GB of storage, which translates to 364GB of usable space, and there are currently no higher-capacity options available. Even though the SSD technology provides significantly faster loading times than old mechanical hardware, space fills up quickly. When testing it out for ourselves, five games took up nearly the whole drive. If you’re an avid gamer who’s playing a whole arsenal of games at any given moment, you’ll likely need to delete previously saved games. Alternatively, you could purchase the expandable storage, but beware because it comes at a hefty cost.
When you consider all the new Xbox Series internals, the CPU is much more powerful than ever before. The GPU is also a lot more capable of handling intensive graphical processing, and although critics are quick to point out that it has fewer teraflops than the Xbox One X, it’s important to know that GPU power is no longer defined by teraflop number. The S series’ AMD RDNA 2 architecture gives the model some brilliant cutting-edge features such as ray tracing.
So how do games run on this particular Xbox Series? We tried out a number, including Watch Dogs: Legion, Gears 5 and Forza Horizons 4, comparing their performance on both the X and S series. When trying out on a 65-inch 4K monitor, there wasn’t a great deal of difference between the two.
Even though both versions are fairly similar, the S series does render at a much lower resolution and won’t support 4K. Games are rendered at a maximum of 1440p. This still brings out the best of games and is a great step up from full HD or 1080p. Even with this resolution, it is still a powerful machine and has a great ability to handle some stunning graphics. It’s a console that supports various next-gen features with ease, such as variable-rate shading and DirectX ray tracing. You likely have a very difficult time spotting any difference between the S series and predecessors.
Xbox S Series – is it worth it?
In short, absolutely! For those who are looking to play games without breaking the bank, Xbox Series S is a great option. Sure, it may not deliver to a 4K standard, but it has been engineered to achieve a neat next-gen Xbox experience. With its powerful capabilities and impressive GPU, it’s certainly a contender for any other next-gen console, and comes at a much lower cost!
What is your favourite console from the Xbox ecosystem? Tell us in the comments section below.
Thomas Glare is a professional writer, and blogger. Whenever he is less busy, he enjoys playing games, reading, and writing. Thomas is very passionate about animal rights abuse, as well as the advocating of human rights.
Enjoy the review? want to read more of our reviews? then click right here to be whisked away to the realm of our opinions.