The next generation of consoles is drawing closer and closer, and Microsoft could be poised to drop a double dose of new hardware on players if recent leaks prove accurate.
These will come in the form of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, two tiers of consoles aimed at completely different audiences. Xbox Series X will be a supremely powerful piece of hardware capable of running experiences at absurdly high resolutions with impressive performance and ray-traced visuals.
If recent rumours ring true, Xbox Series S will be an entry-level machine aimed at those who aren’t wanting to break the bank, content with games that don’t push the bleeding edge of interactive entertainment but simply coast it without much trouble.
There’s still so much we don’t know about both of them, including whether or not Xbox Series S is even a real thing and not just a heated rumour doing the rounds at the moment. Trusted Reviews has broken down everything we know about both consoles, including how they might compare, all the specs, games and more.
Related: Best Xbox Series X Games
Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S – What are the specs of each console?
Microsoft has already unleashed the confirmed specifications for Xbox Series X, showcasing what is arguably the most powerful gaming console we’ve ever seen.
It’s set to be an absolute beast of a machine, and we’ve compiled the full list of specs below:
- CPU: 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
- GPU: 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
- Memory: 16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320mb bus
- Memory Bandwidth: 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
- Internal Storage: 1 TB Custom NVME SSD
- Expandable Storage: 1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
- External Storage: USB 3.2 External HDD Support
- Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
- Performance Target: 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS
The Xbox Series S is far more elusive in terms of specification. Recent rumours claim it will be a four teraflop machine, planting it somewhere between the vanilla Xbox One and Xbox One X, both of which have been on the market for several years now.
So – it won’t be as powerful as Microsoft’s current flagship, meaning it could be surprisingly affordable. You can likely expect performance on par with PS4 Pro, although there’s still much we’ve yet to learn about Lockhart, including whether or not it actually exists.
Related: PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S – What are the release dates?
Microsoft has said it plans to launch Xbox Series X in “Holiday 2020” meaning it will likely launch in the latter months of this year. An exact release date remains unconfirmed, as do other major elements such as price and launch games. If the rumoured May reveal event goes ahead, we’ll likely hear something about it there.
As for Xbox Series S, this could launch alongside its sibling or be something that Microsoft springs on the public in 2021. Given the current circumstances surrounding production and Covid-19, as well as potentially overshadowing its flagship machine, we wouldn’t be surprised if the smaller console is kept back and not launched alongside the X.
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, fan-made renders are predicting that Xbox Series S will be a much smaller affair considering its relative power in comparison. Knowing this, we could be looking at a larger, rectangular box and a smaller, somewhat adorable, cube to accompany it.
It could also be a different colour, much like the Xbox One S when it was first introduced. Microsoft will need to make 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.
Related: Ghosts of Tsushima
Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S – How much will they cost?
This is the big question. The sole purpose of releasing two consoles is presumably so they can exist with vastly different price points, appealing to a selection of players who might not be willing to spend obscene amounts of money to fuel their gaming habits.
Xbox Series X is a stupendously powerful piece of kit, and will likely possess a launch price to reflect that. Our money is on an asking price of £500 or less since Microsoft would be foolish to go any higher if it hopes to compete with Sony’s PS5. But once you factor in games and accessories, the price will only climb higher.
As we mentioned previously, Xbox Series S will allegedly sit between Xbox One and Xbox One X in terms of power, so it’s reasonable to assume that a similar approach will be taken with its asking price.
The RRP of Xbox One X is currently £449, although we’ve seen this drop to as low as £300 with recent deals and bundles, meaning that Microsoft is more than willing to play around with how much customers are paying. Knowing all this, Series S could be £300, if we’re lucky.
Related: Cyberpunk 2077 Preview
Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S – What games will they play?
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.