Xbox Series X Vs Xbox Series S: What’s The Same
In many ways the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are very similar. Sure their overall power and design is different, but both use the same controller, interface, and other features.
Most pertinent, the game library is the same for both. Sure you’ll get better graphics and faster frame rates in the latest games with the Series X, but the Series S isn’t likely to let you down either. There are a lot of older Xbox games now optimized for both of the new consoles, and also run well on each.
And thanks to the use of a fast SSD, both consoles can access the Quick Resume feature, which lets you suspend multiple games and jump back into them within seconds just bear in mind the Series S won’t hold as many games as its larger sibling.
Ps5 Vs Xbox Series S Verdict
Ultimately, its going to come down to personal preference over which is the better console to go for, but there are clearly pros and cons for each. Xbox Series S wins on price and form factor, while its also more readily available than either the PS5 or its flagship big brother Xbox Series X. However, youll want to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass to get the most out of it, while regularly managing your storage capacity.
Even if its pricier, bulkier, and harder to find, for many, the PS5s features really feel like youre entering a new console generation, and a steady stream of blockbuster exclusives make terrific use of the PlayStation 5s unique features to justify the initial expensive investment.
If youre impatient to get into next-gen gaming now, then, the Xbox Series S is an accessible entry point that still gives you the option to save up for a PS5 further down the line when theres either a price drop or improved availability. By then Sony may have introduced a PS5 Slim or PS5 Pro too.
Xbox Series S Review: Verdict
In our Xbox Series S review, we discussed how this sleek, approachable console could be just the ticket for young, casual or budget-minded gamers who want the latest and greatest games, but arent quite ready to take a $500 plunge. On the other end of the spectrum, if youre planning to buy an Xbox Series X , the Series S makes a fantastic backup console for a bedroom or office, particularly since your library and save files can come with you anywhere.
The Xbox Series S is too niche to recommend to everyone. If you have a high-end 4K TV, youre arguably better off with the Xbox Series X particularly since with lower specs, the Series S may be less equipped to handle next-gen titles as they become more demanding in the next few years. The lack of a disc drive limits its backwards compatibility, and its hard drive will fill up pretty fast. Still, if those factors arent dealbreakers, you can buy an awful lot of games with the $200 youll save.
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The Xbox Series S Is The Best
Ill be honest a big reason why I bought the Xbox Series S is because I simply love the way it looks. Whereas the blocky, tower-shaped Xbox Series X and the ridiculously gargantuan sci-fi behemoth that is the PS5 both command a decent amount of space, the Series S is an adorable little white rectangle that kind of looks like a large Bluetooth speaker. Its about half of the weight of both higher-end consoles, and a fraction of the size. This tiny box is just nice to look at especially sitting next to the matching white Switch OLED in my entertainment center.
But the Series S sleek design isnt just pretty its also practical. Moving the console from my living room to my PC area whenever I streamed on Twitch was a breeze, and far less of a hassle than lugging my PS5 from room to room. And if I ever find myself going on a long trip where Ill want a console handy, the Series S is the only system small enough to fit in my backpack.
Ps5 Vs Xbox Series S: How Do The Two Consoles Compare
When placing the PS5 and Xbox Series S side by side, the two consoles are stark in comparison, yet both have their distinct benefits and drawbacks depending on what kind of experience youre looking for.
When it comes to price and availability, Microsofts cheaper, more compact, disc-less machine seems like a no-brainer. But what if youre not ready to wave goodbye to physical media but also want a true taste of what the next generation of video games can offer? In the case of PS5, that’s not just 4K resolution and higher frame rates, but also new immersive haptic and aural sensations provided by the DualSense Controller and 3D audio.
Of course, the Xbox Series S still offers a solid proposition that lets you access hundreds of titles and next-gen features like Quick Resume and blazing-fast load times More titles are set to be exclusive to Microsofts latest consoles in 2022, too, such as Starfield and Forza Motorsport. But does it still feel more like an iterative upgrade rather than a splash into the new?
This isnt quite the heavyweight and lightweight match-up if you think it is, though. Ultimately, it rests on what kind of experience youre after, which is why weve got all the details to help you make an informed choice.
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Xbox Series X Vs Xbox Series S: Verdict
Microsoft may be onto something here. By offering two consoles that target different audiences, consumers ultimately have more choice and more ways to enter into the Xbox ecosystem.
If only the best will do, pick up an Xbox Series X, but be prepared to pay a premium. Want to enter the next generation without breaking the bank? The Xbox Series S is a fantastic entry point, thanks to a seriously tempting price.
Microsoft seems to have created two appealing iterations of its console, without one appearing less attractive than the other. Crucially, it can now fight the PS5 on two important fronts: price and performance. The Xbox Series S costs significantly less than the PS5 and the PS5 Digital Edition.
Improved Functionality And Backward Compatibility
In keeping with Microsoft’s commitment to supporting backward compatibility between the Series X|S and previous consoles, the Series X controller is compatible with the Xbox One. The new controller switches over to USB-C for charging to take advantage of faster charging speeds on “a modern cable that’s more readily available,” explained Whitaker. However, the controller also continues to support AA batteries.
The Series X controller introduces Dynamic Latency Input. This technology, included in both the controller, the consoles, and the HDMI cord that communicates with your display, increases communication with the controller and matches input to the game’s exact frames on-screen.
The other big difference between the Xbox One controller and the new Series X gamepad is the addition of a share button. The share button lets players take screenshots or record in-game footage and deliver it to a social platform or a friend without interacting with a menu.
While many of the Series X controller changes may seem subtle, they appear to add up. In a review of the Series X console, Eurogamer called the new controller “a much better product” than its Xbox One predecessor.
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What Are Some Of Xbox One X’s Advantages
The Xbox One X has specialized hardware that will allow every game to run with anisotropic filtering, which will allow textures off in the distance to look cleaner and sharper.
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Games that carry the Xbox One X Enhanced label have been tweaked to take advantage of the console’s superior hardware. These improvements may take the form of native 4K rendering, added HDR support, or an FPS boost.
While the Xbox One X works best with 4K HDR TVs, 1080p TVs can also benefit by using the extra processing power to bolster frame rate or add extra graphical features like improved lighting and textures. 1080p TVs can also benefit from the Xbox One X’s ability to enable supersampling, which is a potent form of anti-aliasing that mitigates unwanted jaggies.
Quick Resume Acts Like The Ultimate Pause Button
Using their fast storage access, the Xbox Series X and Series S allow you to suspend almost any game by creating a snapshot of it in system memory. You can then start another game, watch a movie, or even turn off and completely unplug your console. The next time you start the game in question, itll pick up exactly where you left off. Its a lot like switching between open apps on a smartphone, and you can do it with several games at once. Games already boot up faster on the new consoles because of their storage speed, and if youre playing more than one thing, switching between games using quick resume saves a lot of time and frustration because you skip any menus and save/load screens that you might otherwise be forced to navigate. And in the time weve been using the console, every time we boot up a game for the first time in weeks only to load up exactly where we left off in seconds is a delightful experience.
Initially, Quick Resume has become more reliable over time, though there are still occasional, unavoidable issues. For titles like the 2018 remaster of Dark Souls, which uses an always online server systemor its spiritual successor, 2022s Elden RingQuick Resume just about always results in a server disconnect, which will boot you to the title screen .
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Xbox Series X Vs Xbox Series S: Key Differences
If we had to highlight three key differences between the consoles, it’s these: the Xbox Series X has a 4K UHD Blu-ray drive capable of playing physical games and movies, while the Xbox Series S does not.
The Xbox Series X packs a large 1TB SSD that can store, on average, around 16 games, Meanwhile, the Xbox Series S has a 512GB SSD that only stores around four to five, though both can be expanded with the Storage Expansion Card from Seagate. Finally, the Xbox Series X renders games in native 4K at 60 frames-per-second, while the Xbox Series S targets 1440p.
Otherwise, both include 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 like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, plus Hulu, and more importantly, both can play exactly the same games.
From what weve seen, people are drawn to the sheer power of the Xbox Series X. But dont overlook the advantages of the more affordable model. Both work well and both can serve a different audiences.
Let’s break them down even further.
First up is the Xbox Series X, Microsofts flagship console. Its capable of 4K graphics and is currently one of the most powerful consoles available. On paper, these specs are impressive, and it has a compact tower-style design that manages to be both unique and unobtrusive. Its expensive, though, at $499 / £449 / AU$749, the same RRP as the PS5.
Faster Performance Higher Frame Rates
The Xbox Series X and Series S have powerful CPUs in the neighborhood of four times as powerful as their predecessor in raw speed and the number of cores and threads, to say nothing of seven years worth of efficiency and other improvements. This means faster user interfaces and much faster load times,1 as well as more sophisticated character and game behaviors, and just more stuff on screen at any given moment.
The biggest improvements are most apparent in frame rates, which should hit 60 frames per second much more often this generation than last. The more frames per second, the more often the controller and the game are communicating. So a new Series X or Series S should feel like it responds faster and more reliably to your inputs. And when games cant maintain consistent frame rates, support for variable refresh rates should help keep those games from feeling unresponsive. Recent examples here include Battlefield 2042, Elden Ring, and Psychonauts 2, all of which offer 60 FPS modes on Series X and S unavailable on the Xbox One.
These improvements have come to a number of existing titles originally released for the Xbox One Gears 5, the entirety of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps have all received 120 FPS updates for the Xbox Series X and Series S.
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Initial Unveiling And Launch
Industry rumors of new Xbox hardware had started as early as June 2018, with Microsoft’s Phil Spencer confirming they were “deep into architecturing the next Xbox consoles” at that time. The hardware was believed to be a family of devices under the codename “Scarlett”, including a low-cost version following a similar scheme as the Xbox One family of consoles, with major emphasis on game streaming and backward compatibility. By March 2019, further industry rumors had led to speculation of two consoles within the Scarlett family under codenames “Anaconda” and the low-cost “Lockhart” version.
Microsoft confirmed Project Scarlett at its E3 2019 press conference. Microsoft said they wanted a “soft” transition from Xbox One to Scarlett, with Scarlett supporting backward compatibility with all games and most hardware supported on the Xbox One. During a presentation at The Game Awards 2019, Microsoft officially revealed the design of Scarlett and its branding, “Xbox Series X”, as well as a late 2020 release date. Following the event, a Microsoft spokesperson stated that Xbox Series X constituted an entry in a fourth generation of Xbox hardware, which will be branded simply as “Xbox” with no subtitle.
On July 16, 2020, Microsoft announced that it had ended production of the Xbox One X and all-digital version of the Xbox One S in preparation for the new products.
Xbox Series X Vs Xbox Series S: Which Game Console Is Best For You
Is the more expensive 4K Xbox Series X the right choice, or should you stick with the 1440p Xbox Series S?
Senior Editor / Reviews
I’ve been writing about and reviewing consumer technology since before the turn of the century. I’m also a photographer and cat herder, frequently at the same time.
Is 4K resolution and an optical drive worth an extra $200 to you? That’s the main difference between the $500 Xbox Series X and $300 Xbox Series S. Unless your life is ruled by FOMO, if money is any object, the console choice clearly comes down to talking yourself into buying the Series X rather than talking yourself out of it. And If you want a fan model, like the Xbox Series X Halo Infinite Limited Edition, your only choice is the Series X it’s in preorder now and slated to ship in early November.
If you want one of the consoles now, though, or are trying to decide between the two for holiday gift giving, note that both are in short supply but it’s easier to find the Series S than the Series X. Newbie gamers will likely be happy with the S. But a lot of more seasoned gamers pooh-pooh the Series S, with its lesser storage capacity and components, as not a very future-proof choice.
The Series S’ target of 1440p and 120 fps is a lot less demanding, hence its lower-power components and smaller body. For streaming video, the Series X can do native 4K and upscale to 8K, while the series S upscales to 4K.
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The Xbox Series S/x And The Future Of Xbox
Whether you choose to purchase the Xbox Series S or the Xbox Series X depends on how often you game and how much you have to invest in a new console. Still, no matter which one you choose, you can be sure that the latest consoles and controllers are ushering in even more greatness for the Xbox series.
Even if you plan not to purchase one of the newer consoles, upgrading your controller for your Xbox could be a worthwhile decision. With over 48 million Xbox One units sold, Xboxs new consoles will likely prove to be even more of a hit with the many people who love the company.
Xbox Series X Vs Xbox Series S: Games
Heres what you need to know: both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S can play exactly the same games, although theyll undoubtedly look best on Xbox Series X. The compromises weve usually seen on Xbox Series S mainly focus on the resolution drop to 1440p from 4K, and likely more minor changes that probably wont be as noticeable.
Both consoles offer full backward compatibility with Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox games. Some FPS Boost games arent supported on Xbox Series S though, while others see greater benefits on Xbox Series X.
So while we’re still waiting for some of the biggest next-gen exclusives like Fable 4 to launch, there’s still plenty to play, particularly if you have a large library of titles already. If you own a lot of physical copies, though, be mindful that these wont work on Xbox Series S, due to the lack of disc drive.
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