The next generation of consoles is drawing closer and closer, and Microsoft is poised to drop a double dose of hardware on consumers with two next-gen machines, both of which look set to impress.
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.
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. That being said, it will still be capable of playing games at 1440p with superior performance compared to any existing consoles.
There’s still so much we don’t know about both of them, so Trusted Reviews has broken down everything we know about both consoles, including how they 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. It has now been officially confirmed by Microsoft with more details to come, but we’ve yet to receive concrete information on its juicy next-gen innards. However, a recent trailer has leaked which confirms it will support the following features:
- 60% smaller than XSX
- Custom NVME SSD (512 GB)
- 1440p up to 120 FPS
- Ray-Tracing support
- 4K media playback
- 4K game upscaling
- Variable rate shading
- Variable refresh rate
- Ultra-low latency
Related: PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S – What are the release dates?
Both Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are poised to launch in November 2020, although a specific release date for the consoles remain unconfirmed. It’s likely that Microsoft will properly announce them in the coming weeks, given we are now only a couple of months away from the show finally getting started. Here’s hoping that the big news is just around the corner.
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
Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S – How much will they cost?
As we predicted back when it was nothing more than an elusive rumour, the Xbox Series S will retail for a fairly astounding £249.99, which makes it cheaper than both the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, while sporting more powerful specifications and far more next-gen capabilities. That’s a very competitive asking price, and now all sights are on Sony to produce something that can stand up against it.
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.