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Xbox Series S Review: Next-Gen Gaming


The Xbox Series S is here. And luckily we’ve managed to get our hands on Microsoft’s newest next-generation console before the official release to test it out.

One of the most distinctive features of the Series S is its size. It’s tiny. The new Xbox Series S is the smallest Xbox ever, standing at 10.8 inches tall, 5.9 inches deep, and 2.5 inches thick in its vertical position and weighing in at just 4.25 pounds.

Small enough to fit neatly within most TV stands, the Series S is nearly 60% smaller than the newly launched more powerful Series X model. It’s also considerably smaller than the Xbox One S.

With its charmingly small size comes a more assessable price tag. With a retail price of $299.99 ($100 less than the digital PS5), Series S offers a more affordable option for avid gamers.


Significantly Faster Load Times

Users can also opt to purchase the ‘X-box All Access’ financing program, where you get the Series S or Series X, plus 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $24.99/month with 0% APR. With no upfront cost, Xbox All Access has everything you need to experience next-gen gaming.

The Series S’s SSD customized NVMe SSD technology provides significantly faster load times than the last generation. Optimized for series X|S, “quick resume” allows users to seamlessly switch between games and pick back up exactly where you left off.  Xbox Smart delivery ensures that if you have a previous generation console and upgrade to next-gen, you’ll get the optimized version of the game for free. This means that you only have to pay for the game once and don’t have to purchase the upgraded version. A good deal, right!

Unlike Series X, Series S doesn’t have a disc drive. The All digital gaming experience offers 1440p resolution at up to 120 frames per second. With the relatively low price point of $299, users sacrifice 4k gaming (Series X) but still get next-gen performance with super-fast load times. Still, the Series S will also upscale to 4K on 4K screens.

The Series S has 10GB of memory compared with 16GB of memory for Series X. And all the data is being pulled from a 512GB NVME solid-state drive (SSD). Powered by Xbox Velocity Architecture both X and S consoles support 1TB Seagate expansion card for expandable storage.

Xbox Series S (photo credit: Dele Tinuoye)

Xbox Series S (photo credit: Dele Tinuoye)

Xbox Series S, More Affordable Price Tag

Visually, the Series S is small, white, and rectangular. The console can be placed in a horizontal or vertical position, as there are tiny feet on the vertical side.

The Series S features a solid amount of ports as well. On the rear side, you’ll find an Ethernet jack, two USB-A ports, HDMI output, storage expansion, a power port, and a storage expansion slot. The front only has only one USB port. On the top, the console has a large circular cut out for the fan to exhaust heat. Both sides of the Series S are covered with holes to allow air intake.

Setup is a simple process — you can set up directly via the Series X or through the Xbox app on your iOS or Android device.

Xbox Series S and Xbox One S

Xbox Series S and Xbox One S (photo credit: Dele Tinuoye)

Not much has changed with the fourth generation Xbox wireless controller. However, the Series S controller is a little smaller than the Xbox One S controller. Another noticeable difference is that it also feels a little heavier than the previous-gen Xbox One controller. This gives the sense of a more premium device because the weight is distributed evenly throughout the controller. The controller features a new d-pad (inspired by elite series 2 controller) and a share button.  The controller also works with every Xbox One console.

At $299, I honestly think the Series S will be a big hit with consumers. If you’re cool with no native 4K and playing games digitally, the Series S is likely the Xbox for you.

The Xbox Series S will be released on November 10th, 2020 in North America. Those retailers include Amazon.comBest BuyB&H PhotoGameStopMicrosoft StoreTarget, and Walmart.