With the release of Xbox Series X, it was very obvious that there will be a cheaper alternative available soon. And last week, Microsoft confirmed their smaller option in the new generation of consoles, the Xbox Series S. This alternative comes without a disc drive and is around 60% smaller than the Series X.

Xbox Series S
Image from cnet.com

Now as the price drops, so do the specs. Series S comes with an octa-core AMD Zen 2 clocked at 3.6GHz(3.2GHz with SMT) which is not a big difference from Series X’s 3.8GHz. The GPU is from the AMD Navi 2 family clocked at 1.565GHz(4TFLOPS), which is a third of Series X’s 12TFLOPS. The maximum output of this GPU for gaming purposes is 1440p 120fps but it does have 4K media playback and up-scaling. Ray Tracing, as expected, is available.

This console packs it’s memory in 10GB GDDR6 RAM, with 8GB @ 224GBps for GPU and 2GB @ 56GBps for the remaining system.It has been revealed by Microsoft that Series S will be able to play the Xbox One S titles using backwards compatibility. The storage on Series S is a 512GB NVMe SSD(PCIe 4.0) with an option for a 1TB add-on external module. While the low storage space seems like an issue, the Smart Delivery feature will optimize the games to take lesser space on Series S than it’s bigger version. And like Series X, this console also supports the new Xbox Velocity Architecture to enable smooth switching between games using the SSD as a virtual RAM.

Series S has the same controller as Series X, which will probably be the controller of the new generation for a long time. With the similar shape of the last-gen Xbox One controller, the new controller adds share button, hybrid d-pad and the seemingly promising Dynamic Latency Input(DLI) to give an immersive gaming experience. However, it does not have rechargeable batteries which the Xbox fans really looked forward to. But keeping that aside, the controller seems promising.

The audio on the new generation of Xbox consoles will be top-notch. With support for Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, PCM (2.0,5.1,7.1) and Dolby TrueHD, the new generation is the first one to support Dolby Vision Gaming. The removal of the optical drive and lowering of the highest output resolution is the major difference between the two consoles. For a casual console gamer, Series S is a decent option, until you run out of space.

Priced at 34,990, Series S becomes available for pre-order starting September 22 and releases on November 10 along with the Series X.



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