It’s been more than two years since the release of the newest generation of gaming consoles, and fans can finally get their hands on them. Xbox has approached this generation differently than its competitor and has focused on delivering two versions of their consoles, a low spec and a high spec one. With compromises being made to deliver on these expectations, both hardware have specific differences. If you want to know which the better console is, it is undoubtedly the Series X, but If you want to know what would work best for you, we will have to dive in a bit deeper.
Xbox Series S vs. Xbox Series X: Specs and Performance
|Specification||Xbox Series S||Xbox Series X|
|CPU||3.6 GHz Custom AMD 8-core Zen 2||3.8 GHz Custom AMD 8-core Zen 2|
|GPU||4 Teraflops, 20 Compute Units @ 1.565 GHz||12 Teraflops, 52 Compute Units @ 1.825 GHz|
|Memory||10 GB GDDR6||16 GB GDDR6|
|Storage||512 GB Custom NVMe SSD||1 TB Custom NVMe SSD|
|Optical Drive||None||4K UHD Blu-Ray|
|Max Frame Rate||120 fps||120 fps|
|Size||275 x 151 x 63.5 mm||301 x 151 x 151 mm|
|Weight||1.93 kg||4.45 kg|
|Backward Compatibility||Yes, for Xbox One and select Xbox 360 & Xbox games||Yes, for Xbox One and select Xbox 360 & Xbox games|
Both consoles come with AMD’s flagship RDNA 2 architecture, but there are critical differences between both consoles. The Xbox Series X comes with a more robust GPU with more compute units than the Series S, giving it the edge over the lower 4 Teraflops system. However, that’s not what it’s all about; the Series S is targeted to lower resolutions and, as such, performs well with the given hardware. The SSD size is something to be wary of, given the large size of video games. Still, both consoles come with expandable storage options, which puts them both in a similar position, given the pricing of the Series S.
The lack of a disk drive for the Series S is one of the biggest problems games face, especially collectors, as we witness digital storefronts closing for previous generations. Still, Xbox’s backward compatibility promise and game pass are reasonable reassurances. Given the current sales charts, many people are shifting towards digital only. However, the consumer base still needs convincing, giving the edge to the Series X. Both consoles support Spatial Sound and Dolby Atmos and Vision for a better audio and visual experience.
The Xbox series X is always the better console based on Specs, which is also apparent given its hefty price tag, but the real problem with the Series S is that it arrives with the 10 GB of Ram. As developers utilize the newer techniques to provide great experiences, the series S performs well on 1080p displays without Ray Tracing but fails to shine as graphics-intensive tasks are introduced. This problem can be solved by integrating AMD’s Fidelity FX super-resolution technique. Still, it might not provide the best visual experience.
Xbox Series S vs. Xbox Series X: Price and Design
The Xbox Series S can be bought for 300$ and the Series X for 500$, both consoles are a great bargain, and the Series S wins hands down in terms of accessibility. The Series S is a sleek powerhouse reminiscent of the Xbox One X that boasts a minimalistic design that can fit into your setup seamlessly. The Series X is a large rectangular cube and is very apparent in your entertainment center, it might not even fit into your existing setup, and you will have to restructure the entertainment center to make the Series X the centerpiece.
This is where the Series S shines, and it’s a tiny white console that is very light and can be placed in any way; it does not feel overbearing and looks fantastic. The elegance and versatility of the Series S help it gain a win over the Series X significantly since it’s 60% smaller.
Xbox Series S vs. Xbox Series X: Games
After everything we have discussed, the most important part is video games, and both consoles don’t disappoint. The Series X is the flagship console, so games will undoubtedly look better, but if you don’t have a 4k display, the Series S is not that far off from greatness. The minor changes in frame rates and overall playability are negligible since both provide a great overall experience.
Both consoles can work with the backward compatibility features provided by the Xbox game pass; the Series S is the perfect device to make use of Xbox’s offer. The consoles make use of all that the Xbox library has to offer. The games come with Quality and performance modes with compromises made to either resolution or framerate given the needs of the players.
The lack of a proper Ray Tracing mode for most video games is a compromise made while purchasing the Series S. Still, and the problem most recently can be seen with the development of Baldur’s Gate 3 and its Split Screen mode. The development for Xbox is seeing delays since it’s challenging to implement a Split Screen mode for the Series S since developers must regard the less powerful console as well while optimizing it for the powerful ones. This may have some loss of features for certain games based on the consoles they are on.
There are many reasons which console might be the best choice for you; if your problem is an extensive catalog of games and you don’t enjoy re-downloading them, or if you’re into collecting video games or that you want to experience the best that a video game has to offer with true immersion, then the Xbox Series X is for you hands down.
Suppose you’re more of a casual gamer that doesn’t honestly care about the latest and greatest game releases. Suppose you’re usually playing one or two games, or you want a console for when you have guests to have some fun or play Call of Duty or FIFA with your friends. In that case, you might want to consider the Xbox Series S. The Series S might even beat the Series X in console sales given its excellent accessibility, so Microsoft’s bet is paying off; developers will have to cater to this small powerhouse one-way or another which solidifies its place in the gaming market.
So, if you don’t have the deepest pockets, getting a Series S might be beneficial, and you can spend the leftover money to purchase an extra controller or a game pass membership offering you access to Xbox’s massive library.
Haissam knows his way around a laundry list of expansive open worlds. He has conquered Hyrule, mastered the art of the warrior in Sekiro, and he even delves into the occasional retro RTS RPG now and again. Outside of RPG gaming, Haissam is an anime nut, and keeps up with the manga to stay ahead of the pack.