The naming convention for Xbox consoles is a little all over the place. Whereas PlayStation systems are typically numbered sequentially and Nintendo randomly struck gold with naming the Switch or even nonsense words like "Wii," Microsoft went from Xbox to Xbox 360. Then it went from 360 to Xbox One. Then it went from One to Xbox One X. And now in the ninth generation of gaming, there are two differently-named next-gen Xbox consoles on the market.
Gamers can choose between the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S. Both represent Microsoft's entry into the newest generation of gaming. But while they're each capable of playing the latest games, they feature very different specs that could make or break the difference for Microsoft fans.
If you're shopping around for the latest consoles, elusive though they may be, is getting an Xbox Series S worth it over the Xbox Series X?
Let's break down the difference.
Is the Xbox Series S worth it?
Both the Series S and the Series X were released in early November 2020. For all intents and purposes, both consoles allow gamers to play the newest and hottest titles using the latest technology. But as the names might suggest, there's a major difference between the Series S and Series X that you may want to consider if you're shopping around.
Of course, price is one of the most important factors to consider when getting a new console. To that end, the Series S considerably more wallet-friendly. The Series S only costs US$299 as opposed to the heftier US$499 on the Series X. The former will also still be able to play the latest Xbox games like 2021's Halo Infinite and the upcoming Hellblade II, so you won't be missing out and can still save money to boot.
But the hardware specs between them differ more than you might expect.
For instance, the Series S is digital-only, meaning that it lacks a disc drive and only plays games that are downloaded digitally. It's noticeably smaller than the Series X and is great for storing away for travel. However, the Series S can only render games in 1440p at 60 frames per second. The Series X can render games in full 2160p. The Series S also only has 512 GB of storage compared to the Series X's 1 TB.
The Series S is a cheaper, functionally similar alternative to the Series X. But with all the hardware differences between them, is it worth it? Gamers and tech reviewers have their opinions. Sportskeeda claims that the differences in resolution aren't very noticeable and that performance is very similar on both systems. TechRadar writes that while the lower resolution cap isn't preferred, it makes up for it with faster load times and its completely silent operation.
Meanwhile, GamesRadar suggests that the Xbox Series S is a great option for gamers who don't have 4K TVs and can't take advantage of the Series X's higher resolution capabilities.
It would seem that most gamers agree that the Xbox Series S is a budget-friendly alternative to the Series X and is well worth a cheaper investment for next-gen gaming action.