The Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S are the two Xbox consoles available in the current generation, which may make the decision difficult. Both have a similar foundation and will continue to play the same games for many years. The Series X supports hard media, whereas the Series S does not, as they each aim for a different level of graphics performance and have different methods to it. In light of this, we’re here to assist you in deciding which one to buy or whether you even need to.
Understanding the Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S conflict can be challenging, especially given how frequently the two consoles are featured side by side and together in advertisements for new titles. But as you begin to examine the two more closely, you’ll see several key distinctions that will help you decide which console, based on your preferences, you should buy.
Although the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S initially appear to be comparable, they both have significant distinctions that you must take into account before making your choice. Your choices, including your present setup and whether you spend more time with physical material than digital, should come first when evaluating both systems. There is much more than meets the eye, for instance, owning one of the top gaming TVs could have a significant impact on your choice.
Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S: Differences
Many of the experiences offered by the Xbox Series X and Series S are similar. But there are some real capabilities differences associated with a $200 pricing differential. The essential information is as follows:
Game selection: Both systems can play the same new games, are backward compatible with each other, and can play almost every Xbox One game (which, in turn, also means hundreds of Xbox 360 games and a handful of original-Xbox games). However, the Series S cannot play physical games without a disc drive, not even those for your existing Xbox consoles.
Watching videos on a 4K TV should be the same on both consoles because they both provide a 4K visual stream. But you should pick the Xbox Series X if you want to play games in 4K. The Xbox Series S features less potent graphics technology that it appears game developers are targeting for 1080p and occasionally 1440p images, while the Xbox Series X is built for games with resolutions up to 4K (and it theoretically supports 8K resolutions for video content).
The Xbox Series X and Series S both offer basic graphics features like variable refresh rate, variable rate shading, and ray-traced graphics, a more sophisticated and realistic method of producing lighting and visual effects. In comparison to the Xbox Series S, which has a 4-teraflop GPU and 10 GB of RAM, the Xbox Series X has a 12.1-teraflop GPU and 16 GB of RAM. The most noticeable way that this has appeared so far is in the resolution disparity between games on the Series S compared to the Series X and the PlayStation 5. However, ray tracing has already been removed from various titles if you’re using a Series S.
Disc drive: While the Series S is entirely discless, the Series X has a slot-loading UHD Blu-ray drive. The Xbox Series X is your only viable option if you own a lot of Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray discs, want to purchase used titles, or simply like physical media. The Series S’s lack of a disc drive won’t be an issue if you plan to purchase new games digitally from the Xbox Store and online and rely more on Xbox Game Pass.
Base storage: The 1 TB storage disk that comes with the Xbox Series X has around 800 GB of usable space. A 512 GB disk in the Xbox Series S offers around 360 GB of usable space.
Additional storage: The Series X and Series S both have a slot for cards that adhere to the CFexpress connection standard, which allows for expandable storage. Retail prices for the only devices that are officially authorized (from Seagate) range from $140 for 512 GB to $400 for 2 TB. The Series X and Series S, however, continue to support external USB drives in the same way that the Xbox One does, and any drive that has been formatted for the Xbox One will immediately function on the new consoles.
Size: The Xbox Series X is a sort of tall block that is around 12 inches tall and is roughly 6 by 6 inches at the base. The Series S, on the other hand, is the smallest Xbox ever at 11 by 5.9 by 2.6 inches and can be placed either vertically or horizontally.
Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S: Specifications
The Xbox Series X is a powerful platform that has unquestionably ushered in the next generation of gaming.
Specifications for the Xbox Series X. Eight-core CPU 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT) (3.6GHz with SMT) specific AMD 7nm 12 Teraflops, 1.825GHz GPU (locked) 16GB GDDR6 RAM frames per second: up to 120 Up to 8K resolution HD Blu-Ray disk drive, optical one terabyte NVMe SSD
The Xbox Series X is twice as powerful as Microsoft’s previous flagship system for the previous generation, the Xbox One X, with a 12 teraflop GPU capable of up to 120 frames per second. It supports a number of intriguing new-generation features, including 8K resolution support, variable rate shading, and ray tracing.
Thanks to its bespoke, lightning-fast NVMe SSD, the Xbox Series X eliminates delays when starting up games or loading new levels. The SSD is a component of the console’s revolutionary Velocity Architecture, which enables you to play one game in the foreground while suspending another in the background. Because of this, everything is also faster and more responsive.
Microsoft is working to eliminate latency on the Xbox Series X. Innovative functions including Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Xbox controller connection enhancements, and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support make the most of TVs with HDMI 2.1 support.
Specifications for the Xbox Series S. Eight-core, 3.6GHz CPU (3.4GHz with SMT) specific AMD 7nm RAM: 10GB GDDR6 GPU: 4 teraflops at 1.550GHz frames per second: up to 120 1440p with 4K upscaling for resolution No disk drive, optical NVMe SSD 512GB for storage
The Xbox Series S is a compact box with a lot of power. The console can play at 120 frames per second and targets a resolution of 1440p rather than native 4K (although certain games do support native 4K). It has a CPU that is essentially identical to the Xbox Series X’s, but the GPU is far less potent, having 10GB of GDDR6 RAM as opposed to 16GB.
Even while the Xbox Series S is aiming at 1440p/60 frames per second rather than 4K/60 frames per second, it may not seem like a significant compromise on paper. This means that while it can still deliver all the new-generation capabilities that Microsoft is emphasizing, including ray tracing and 120 frames per second, it requires less power to attain its pixel count.
Naturally, there is no disk drive, and the capacity is nearly cut in half when compared to the Xbox Series X. For a digital-only model, that is definitely troubling, but Microsoft undoubtedly hopes that users will utilize Xbox Cloud Gaming. Since the games are streamed from Microsoft’s remote data servers, there is no need for downloads.
However, both consoles’ storage space can be increased. Microsoft offers 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB versions of a proprietary expansion card that slots onto the console’s rear. To save space, the finest Xbox One games can also be kept on a regular external hard drive. At launch, the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X also enable spatial sound through streaming apps, including Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. After the first debut, Dolby Vision support for gaming was added, and it is currently accessible.
Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S: Which one is better?
The Xbox Series X justifies its greater price with better graphics, more storage, and a disc drive, but whether those features are worthwhile depends on what you’re playing it on. There are certainly games that can make use of the Xbox Series X’s increased graphical potential over the Xbox Series S if you own a 4K TV with high-end features like 120 Hz and variable refresh rate or plan to purchase one in the near future. Both consoles offer remarkably quick storage that reduces boot-up and load times, although the Series X has more internal storage space than the Series S, at over 800 GB. In addition, only the Series X features a disc drive, making it the best option if you want a console that can also double as a 4K Blu-ray player and play your collection of physical Xbox One, Xbox 360, or original-Xbox titles.
Games on the Series S are less likely to benefit from 4K TVs, and it lacks a disc drive, which is a drawback if you have a large collection of physical games or movies or want to buy them secondhand. But when combined with a Game Pass Ultimate subscription, it’s smaller, lighter, and capable of playing games from the newest game generations.
On the other hand, the Xbox Series S offers great value and still allows you to play the next generation of games if you don’t have a 4K TV (and aren’t planning to buy one soon), if space in your entertainment center is an issue, or if you don’t have or don’t plan to buy many physical discs. Additionally, anyone who primarily uses Xbox Game Pass—the monthly subscription service that gives users access to hundreds of games, including brand-new titles—won’t likely miss the disc drive. We also believe that this makes the Xbox Series S a particularly cost-effective option for smaller children, as the cheaper console and monthly membership build up to more games than a child can play without having to constantly buy new ones. For some guests and tourists, the Series S might also be a smart choice. It can easily fit in a carry-on piece of luggage if you’re traveling somewhere for an extended period of time. A Series S goes well beyond a conventional media streaming box if you have a guest room or vacation home.
You might not need to buy a new system right away if the only reason you’d do so is to play brand-new games that aren’t available on your current Xbox One (or, for that matter, PlayStation 4)—the majority of high-profile games this year are still getting releases for older devices. However, if you currently spend a lot of time with your Xbox One and are ready for a ton of conveniences and quality-of-life enhancements, as well as performance and visual enhancements in the games you already own, an Xbox Series X or Series S will offer a ton of right away noticeable advantages.