Busy week for the folks over at Microsoft. First, there were the leaks and rumors about the next-gen consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Then, Microsoft attempted to do some cheeky damage control with a confirmation of that info, both yesterday and today. Those details included a price point for the Xbox Series S ($299), a pre-order date (9/22), a release date (11/10), and even a financing plan ($24.99 a month). Now, however, we also have some official specs for that smaller version of their next-gen consoles, the Xbox Series S.
The tech talk comes courtesy of Microsoft themselves. They’re touting big performance in their “smallest Xbox ever”, one that won’t break the bank and still brings next-gen access to more and more people around the world. There’s a lot of promise in this relatively small package, but more promises still from Microsoft about its performance. Will it stand up to the challenge?
Check out the console’s launch trailer below before we get into the details:
Introducing Xbox Series S. Next-gen performance in the smallest Xbox ever. Experience the speed and performance of a next-gen, all-digital console at an accessible price point: $299 (ERP).*
Available November 10th.
Get started with an instant library of 100+ high quality games, including all new Xbox Game Studios titles the day they release, when you add Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (membership sold separately).
Subscribe to Xbox 🎮 https://xbx.lv/2EEjmaR
As you can see in the video above, there’s lots of specs to throw around with the Xbox Series S; expect these to be beefed up somewhat in the Xbox Series X. Here’s a look at some general descriptors in brief:
- Xbox Series S is Microsoft’s all digital version of their next-gen console
- That color? It’s “Robot White” (yup)
- Xbox Series S is the smallest Xbox ever created
- Xbox Series S includes the new Xbox Wireless Controller, also in Robot White; it’ll also be available as a standalone purchase this holiday season
And now for the actual tech specs!
Surprisingly, the Xbox Series S is expected to deliver “the same next-generation speed and performance that define Xbox Series X. It is similar in CPU and has the identical I/O performance as Xbox Series X.” That’s a compromise for the Devs making games for both systems with the S version simply rendering the visuals at a lower resolution than its bigger brother:
Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S share the same development environment, tools and capabilities, all of which enable developers to build and release their content across consoles more easily while still taking advantage of the unique hardware capabilities of the next generation.
Let’s get into some comparisons:
- Xbox Series S delivers 4x the processing power of an Xbox One console
- Supports experiences up to 120fps
- More immersive and responsive gameplay with support for hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing and Variable Rate Shading
- Includes 512GB of custom SSD storage
- Powered by Xbox Velocity Architecture, capable of “delivering more than 40x the I/O bandwidth of an Xbox One resulting in faster loading times, steadier frame rates and Quick Resume for multiple titles”
- Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X both feature Spatial Sound, including support for Dolby Atmos
- Dolby Vision, through streaming media apps like Disney+, Vudu and Netflix, will be available across Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X at launch; Dolby Vision support for gaming will come first to next-gen Xbox consoles in 2021
Lots of similarities between the S and X so far, so what’s the difference, other than price? Resolution. Here’s why:
Through talking to our customers, we found that many of our fans prioritize framerate over resolution, so we wanted to build a console that didn’t require a 4K TV.
Here are the shared “stats” behind that decision:
- Xbox Series S delivers approximately 3x the GPU performance of Xbox One
- Designed to play games at 1440p at 60 frames per second, with support for up to 120fps.
As Microsoft further elaborates, “increased efficiency from the next-gen AMD RDNA 2 graphics architecture combined with the virtual memory multipliers enabled through the Xbox Velocity Architecture, Xbox Series S will deliver performance and experiences well beyond the raw specs”
While all that is a little short on hard techie info, Microsoft is embracing the software side of things with upgraded games for next-gen systems through their “Smart Delivery” optimization:
Games built for the next generation will be Optimized for both Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Titles that support Smart Delivery will automatically detect what device you are playing on – Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X or Xbox One – and deliver the best version of the game available to you, ensuring you only ever have to purchase your games once.
Additionally, both the X and S versions will offer customizable storage expansion:
Like Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S supports the Seagate Storage Expansion Card where you can add 1TB of additional storage with the full speed and performance of the Xbox Velocity Architecture. While your previous generation Xbox titles can still be played directly from your existing external USB 3.1 hard drives, to receive all the benefits of the Xbox Velocity Architecture and optimal performance, games Optimized for Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X must be played from the custom internal SSD or a Seagate Storage Expansion Card.
Sounds pretty good on paper, but it remains to be seen how both the X and S versions of the consoles will perform once gamers get their hands on them. Are you all-in on the next-gen Xbox? Be sure to let us know!