Xbox series X versus Xbox Series S is a comparison that we’re likely to see discussed more often as stock of Microsoft’s new console reappears. However, even though the two Xbox consoles have incredibly similar names and almost identical game libraries, there’s a huge difference in terms of what they’re capable of. It’s important, then, that you know what each of them can do before you make a purchase.
Choosing which of the two consoles is right for you will probably come down to a few key questions that only you can answer: How much are you willing to spend on next-gen hardware? Do you mind if the console renders games in native 4K, or is upscaled 4K good enough? Finally, how much storage space do you need for games?
If you only walk away with three key differences in mind, let it be these three: the Xbox Series X has a 4K UHD Blu-ray drive that’s capable of playing physical games and movies while the Xbox Series S does not; the Xbox Series X has a large 1TB SSD that can store, on average, around 16 games while the Xbox Series S has a 512GB SSD that only stores around four to five; and the Xbox Series X renders games in native 4K at 60 frames-per-second, while the Xbox Series S targets 1440p. Otherwise, both will have the same user interface, the same controller, and the same Xbox Velocity Architecture that enables features like Quick Resume. Both have the same media apps as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more, and more importantly, both can play the same games.
More people seem drawn to the power of the Xbox Series X from what we’ve seen so far, but that’s not to discount the advantages of the more affordable model. Both work well and both can serve a different audience. Let’s break them down even further.
First up is the Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s flagship console that’s capable of 4K graphics and promises to be the most powerful console ever made. On paper, the specs are very impressive, and it has a unique, tower-style design that we’ve never seen from a console manufacturer before. It costs a lot though, at $499 / £449 / AU$749, the same price as the PS5, which releases 2-9 days later depending on where you live. The Xbox Series S is far more affordable, however, a less powerful alternative for consumers to consider. It’s digital-only, so you’ll have to use the Microsoft Store for any purchases you make. It was released alongside the Xbox Series X.
Microsoft will be hoping to use the appeal of Xbox Game Pass – its subscription service (which now also includes EA Play), and Project XCloud, which lets gamers stream games from the cloud. It looks like it will disrupt the market with a price point that is aimed at those who are willing to compromise on power for a much better price