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Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S: What’s the difference?

The Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S next-gen consoles are both confirmed to launch in November, but which is the best console for you?

The Xbox Series X will be the most powerful of the two, capable of a 4K native performance. The Series S is limited to 1440p gaming, but will still retain many fancy features such as ray tracing, a speedy SSD and 4K video playback via online streaming services, while also boasting a far more affordable price.

There’s still plenty more details and specs for each console, so Trusted Reviews has broken down everything you need to know, including how they compare, pricing, specs, games and more. 

Related: Best Xbox Series X Games 

Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S – What are the specs of each console?

We’ve now got the specs for both Xbox Series consoles. Look below for the full breakdown:

Xbox Series S Xbox Series X
CPU 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
GPU 4 TFLOPS, 20 CUs @ 1.55 GHz Custom RDNA 2  12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 
Memory 10 GB GDDR6 16 GB GDDR6
Internal Storage 512GB Custom NVME SSD 1TB Custom NVME SSD
Optical Drive Digital only 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
Performance Target Up to 1440p @ 120 FPS Up to 4K @ 60 FPS (Up to 120 FPS at lower resolutions)

As you can see, both consoles share the same CPU, but there’s a significant difference in the GPU performance. The Xbox Series X has more power to be able to run games at a 4K resolution with 60fps performance. The Xbox Series S is capped at a 1440p performance, but can apparently hit up to 120fps at that resolution.

Despite having a weaker performance, the Series S is still ray tracing capable, allowing it to take advantage of the revolutionary light-rendering technology.

The Series S only features a 512GB SSD, while the Series X sees a far more spacious 1TB capacity. The storage can be upgraded for both consoles with bespoke external storage solutions from Microsoft, but expect them to cost a lot of money.

Related: PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X 

Xbox Series X

Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S – What are the release dates?

Both Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are confirmed to launch on 10 November.

Pre-orders will open on 22 September for the two systems. This mean neither console boasts an advantage of an earlier release, which makes your purchasing decision a lot easier.

The PS5 will arrive a week later on 19 November in the UK, and on 12 November in the US.

Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S – How much will they cost?

The Xbox Series X will cost £449 / $499. That’s a fairly high price, but you do get native 4K support in return to make it worthwhile.

The Xbox Series S will cost a far more affordable £249 / $299, but will be limited to a 1440p performance. You’re still getting a slew of high-end features here though, including ray tracing, speedy SSDs and the same CPU as the Series X. The only major differences to the Series X are the lack of disk drive and a weaker GPU.

Xbox Series X

Credit: The Verge

Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S – What are the designs?

The Xbox Series X sports the most unconventional console design we’ve seen in decades, resembling a traditional PC far more than anything else on the market right now. To be honest, it’s a welcome change, even if some players might have trouble fitting it under their television when the time comes. 

Given the size of this gaming monolith, the Xbox Series S will be a much smaller affair considering its relative power in comparison. It will be 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X, and judging from the current promotional images it is roughly two and a half controllers tall in terms of height. It’s a small yet powerful little beast, and should be much easier for fitting under your television. 

It has a single USB port on the front alongside a small button for syncing controllers and other peripherals. Perhaps the most striking part of the design is the large black vent on the chassis, which is unusual but I can’t deny it’s growing on me. Microsoft claims it will be the smallest Xbox ever, and it’s currently rather hard to argue with them.

Microsoft is making an obvious effort to differentiate both consoles on the market, making it clear to casual consumers the difference between power, features and the general offering of both consoles. Otherwise, it stands to muddy waters which are otherwise very easy to navigate. Given its asking price, the Xbox Series S will be a very tempting proposition for those who don’t fancy breaking the bank. 

Related: Ghosts of Tsushima 

Halo Infinite

Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S – What games will they play?

The Xbox Series X and Series S should be able to play the same games.

Backwards compatibility will play a huge role in the next-generation of consoles, with Microsoft standing at the forefront thanks to its implementation of Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Play Anywhere. A number of Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles are already playable and enhanced on Xbox One, all of which will be playable on the new series of machines. 

If all goes according to plan, you should be able to log into your Xbox Live account and access your entire digital library, all of which will benefit from the additional power of Xbox Series X and Series S. None of this is confirmed, but it’s definitely the dream scenario. 

CD Projekt Red has announced that Cyberpunk 2077 will be the first title to take advantage of “Smart Delivery” meaning your existing copy will automatically be upgraded to the new consoles. We’d love this approach to become the norm going forward. Halo Infinite and Hellblade 2: Senua’s Sega will likely be the same, given they’re first-party exclusives. 

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