Along with confirming that both the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X will release on November 10th for $379 and $599, respectively, Microsoft has revealed more information about its less powerful next-generation console.
Confirming rumours that have been circulating for months, the Xbox Series S is designed for 1080p and 1440p gaming instead of 4K like the Xbox Series X. The Series S also features the same CPU as the Series X, though it runs at a slower 3.4Ghz clock speed compared to the Series X’s 3.8Ghz.
In a blog post, Jason Ronald, Microsoft’s director of Xbox program management, says that “the primary difference between Xbox Series X and S is the GPU.”
The post then goes on to reveal that the Series S features four times more processing power than the Xbox One, and that the system supports up to 120fps, emphasizing that the main difference between the two consoles — beyond the fact that the S is digital-only — is the resolution they target.
For instance, the Series S’ GPU features 4 teraflops of power, while the Series X comes in at 12.15 teraflops. While there’s a significant power difference between the two consoles, the fact that the Xbox Series S doesn’t need to push as many pixels as the Series X means that apart from resolution, the less-powerful console should, at least in theory, offer a similar gaming experience.
While the Series S isn’t capable of native 4K gaming, it can scale titles up to 4K as well as play native 4K video. The console supports ray tracing, mesh shaders and variable refresh rates up to 120fps. The Series S features 10GB of GDDR6 RAM, compared to the 16GB of GDDR6 included in the Xbox Series X.
Further, the Series S includes Microsoft’s Xbox Velocity architecture-powered 512GB SSD. In contrast, the Series X features a 1TB drive featuring the same technology. Both consoles also support expandable storage cards that support Microsoft’s Xbox Velocity architecture.
Though the Series S’ ‘Robot White’ gamepad leaked several weeks ago, Microsoft has confirmed that the controller comes with the console and features the same design as the Xbox Series X’s gamepad. Finally, the Series S, which is 60 percent smaller than the Series X, is the smallest video game console Microsoft has ever released.
While I was initially was pretty negative about the Xbox Series S, I’m starting to warm up to the console. Not everyone owns a 4K television, is interested in upgrading their TV, or even cares about 4K resolution gaming. If you fall into those categories, the Series X’s additional hardware power and 4K capabilities are entirely unnecessary. For this specific audience, the Series S offers a cheaper alternative that’s focused on 1080p and 2K gaming.
Pre-orders for the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X launch on September 22nd.