The Xbox Series S is Microsoft’s most modest console in the next generation of video games, with the promise of improvement, at no extra charge.
Is this the best value for money in the gaming world right now? We have tested its unit and are going to answer for you in this full review.
We start by talking about the design of the S Series. As the successor to the Xbox One S, it retains the color white as the dominant color. Now this console has become even more compact and can be a good choice for those who normally travel and carry video games in a suitcase as it weighs less than 2kg.
The top has a black grille that may even look like a disc player, but it serves as an air outlet to prevent overheating, very quietly. And by the way, there is no drive for physical media here. Microsoft has abolished the feature to maintain a smaller appearance as well as price.
On the front you will see only the power button, the USB 3.0 port and the pairing button for the controllers. At the back are other connections. We have two more high-speed USB ports, HDMI 2.1 output, an Ethernet port, and a cable input that powers the console. The big news is the memory expansion port, but you will need the original Seagate device to work there.
The body itself was even more square than the One S. Or rather, it looked more like a box, symbolizing the name of the video game. As for the box, the S-Series package includes a console, original controller, power cord and HDMI video cable.
Hardware and interface
If the Series X has the best performance of the new generation, the “brother” Series S has much more modest hardware. This console even has the same AMD processor already in the Zen 2 architecture and with eight cores, but the clock speed is reduced from 3.8 GHz to 3.6 GHz.
The graphic part was also developed by AMD within the RDNA 2 microarchitecture. But we still have a drop in performance compared to the more advanced model. The Series S has 4 TFLOP power, a third of the Model X, but with a big evolution when loading and unloading games, which you can already clearly feel compared to the One S.
The main features of this video game still have 10 GB GDDR6 RAM and 512 GB SSD memory, which is a novelty in recent consoles.
Despite the change in disk type, the space may still be insufficient to store many games, especially considering that the optimized titles are heavier than the previous generation. In addition, the free space is much lower and only 364 GB. Depending on the size of the game you are interested in, you may not even be able to install ten games.
The Xbox Series S interface stays on Windows and is no different from its predecessor family. In other words, if you are already accustomed to the navigation platform of old Microsoft consoles, this will not surprise you.
You can customize game and app shortcuts on the home screen, as well as change the background color settings. There is a big difference in the section that shows only games that are optimized for the Xbox Series line.
For this generation, the Xbox now has a redesigned controller in several respects, such as reduced latency, but outwardly it will not change much compared to the first generation. Compared to its predecessor, the design is now more predominantly white and has become slightly more compact and lighter. Overlooked, at least.
Anyway, both the latest ones are compatible with the old consoles as the predecessor can be used in the new generation. The positive point if you want to save before the promotion appears.
The new Xbox joystick still features a “share” button located directly in the center of the accessory. It serves to capture screenshots and videos faster. By the way, the content creators thank you.
Another change is in the D-Pad. Microsoft has replaced the Xbox One cross pad and added a disk layout. In practice you will be able to feel more like axes, especially during combat games. The problem is that the play has become very noisy.
And it was not this time when the Redmond giant created a charging controller. This means you will still be dependent on alkaline batteries that last longer than the PS5 DualSense battery included. But there is an opportunity to invest in rechargeable batteries, which can be a huge savings in the medium and long term.
Games and resources
While not running games in native 4K, the S Series replicates the One S when running images in Ultra HD resolution. However, games only come in 1440p. There is a big improvement here with the ability to reach up to 120 fps if the game and your TV are compatible.
Microsoft was also working on adding a larger catalog for the new consoles. What we can highlight is the backward compatibility with previous generation games. So when you have an Xbox Series S, you can play creations for the latest video games as well as enjoy games that already existed in the old days.
Even in past titles and without optimization, you can already see that the more powerful hardware of the S Series can keep the frame rate smoother than on the Xbox One. An example of this is the Forza Motorsport 6 Series S. We feel greater jogging in the movement of the car and passing by when we see the tracks.
In Crash Bandicoot 4, which has optimization, better definition as well as script colors. But here the main thing is the load time, which fell well compared to the old console. Rocket League is another example of the game’s bigger fluidity, with improvements faster and more clarity in scenarios.
The movements of the players in FIFA 22 are clearly different from the first in Serie S, with more natural gestures. Defender even uses a new AI system for capturing images of this generation.
You can get a better feel for new technologies in games like DIRT 5 that have Ray Tracing scenarios to make the experience more realistic. The newly released Dolmen is another that many are exploring this feature to give a darker tone to the monsters and characters in the story.
Light and shadow enhancements are also available in King of Fighters XV, but in a more sophisticated way. Anyway, this is still a novelty in a game that can only be played by a new generation.
The moment you can not miss is the Game Pass. Subscribe to the game offers a full library of options for monthly payment or longer if you wish. The program eventually combines the lower price of the S series to further increase the efficiency of this console.
And already thinking of another way to consume titles, Microsoft has released Xbox Cloud Gaming beta consoles, or just xCloud. Serie S is not missing and has support for compatible gaming in the cloud.
But get ready for a strong and idle internet if you want to enjoy a more enjoyable experience. Nevertheless, this start is experiencing a graphical drop, which can hinder your game. We have encountered great difficulty launching Forza Horizon 5. Because it is a high-speed game, the graphics do not always follow the movements and can make mistakes easily.
Another novelty among the features is a quick summary. The functionality allows you to play the game where you left off, even if you have other ones open. Something is only possible with SSD memory.
We have noticed that many times you forget that the game was opened a long time ago and you are surprised to continue where you left off.
Economy and Market
The Xbox Series S is clearly a digital console. The lack of a physical media player and xCloud support are examples of this. The more compact design itself shows that Microsoft considered it to be somewhat portable in relation to a more powerful “brother”.
While not having the same firepower as the Series X, the S already shows consistent progress compared to the Xbox One. We now have an SSD storage, which makes everything much faster and more fluid, as well as offering the player new features.
Support for 120 fps also makes the experience more resilient and compatible with modern and advanced screens, even without native 4K. The frame rate combined with the low latency of the new controller makes the gaming experience very smooth, especially in games that require a faster response.
But in addition to the latest modest hardware, this Xbox has other weaknesses as well. Home is a low repository, which makes it virtually necessary to expand somewhat if you do not want to constantly uninstall and download games to free up space.
The lack of a disk player is another negative factor in this console. The use of physical media in it will solve the problem of small indoor space, not to mention that the cost is often lower for the user.
Considering the pros and cons, the Xbox Series S can be considered the best value of this generation. This is a gateway for those who want to explore the most modern games but do not want to pay much for it.
What is your rating on the Xbox Series S? Do you believe this is the best value for a new generation of consoles? Let us know what you think of the space below!