Microsoft

Xbox Series S – Power packed in a Small Box

Microsoft

When something develops, it grows. And if you develop something, you create it. Similarly, when Microsoft developed the Xbox Series S they created something special for the Xbox Fans.

Xbox is a Video game console, enables you to play High-quality Video games anytime and anywhere. You just need a Monitor/TV, Powerpoint, and an Internet connection to play high-end games.

The Xbox series S is the new console launched by Microsoft on 10th November 2020 along with the Xbox series X. Both the consoles are part of the Xbox One family.

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Microsoft basically launched two models one is a high-end X model and the other much cheaper option is the Series S. Although the console is cheaper on paper but produced a top-class experience in gameplay.

The Xbox Series S is easily one of the most exciting gaming consoles ever created. The inbuilt hardware may be less powerful but Microsoft integrates all the tech to creates a Fast and responsive console.

This console features the Xbox Velocity Architecture for high-speed gaming, a custom-build 512 GB NVMe SSD to reduce the loading time, and it comes with an Xbox Wireless Controller for easy gaming.

Here Microsoft clearly distinguished their products and the Xbox series S is primarily made for casual gamers who want to play good quality games in their leisure time. For High-End PC-like gaming, they have the series X.

Obviously, you have to pay more with better hardware in the series X, it costs $500 on the other side Xbox S costs $300. But the price is not always a marker to judge a product and the same thing implies here.

In terms of compromises, you don’t get a blu-ray drive, instead of a native 4K you have a 1440p resolution, limited storage but in order to compensate they give you a powerful CPU, smoother frame rates, higher resolution, faster load times, and an all-digital format to install and play games.

To get the most out of your Xbox Series S, you must get the Xbox Game Pass subscription to get a ton of games digitally at a reasonable price.Microsoft

Detailed Specifications:

Brand Microsoft
Model Xbox Series S
 Price US$299/€299/£249/A$499/C$379/₹34990
Release date 10th November 2020
Console Family Microsoft Xbox Series
Console Type Home Console
Hard Disk 512GB PCIe Gen 4 NVME SSD , I/O throughput: 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed)

Expandable storage: Support for 1TB Seagate Expansion Card Support for USB 3.1 external HDD.

RAM 10GB GDDR6 RAM, 128 bit-wide bus,
Memory bandwidth: 8GB @ 224 GB/s, 2GB @ 56 GB/s
Processor Custom 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU @ 3.8GHz,

GPU: 4 TFLOPS, 20 CUs @1.565 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU

SOC Die Size: 197.05 mm

Graphics Custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU 20 CUs @ 1.565GHz

Design, Build Quality and Ports:

Out of the box, you get the impression of a tiny box with a speaker attached. But when you look closely you will be amazed by its small size and clean look. The white color looks nice and the weight is only 1.92 kg not feels heavy at all.

The all-around design is very conventional. I like Microsoft’s dual-tone color scheme. All this ensures the Series S can blend easily into any background. Plus, this is the only new console that feels right in both horizontal and vertical orientation.

A large circular speaker-grill-like exhaust fan resides on the top gives enough space for circulating air. This helps the console to cool down in the time of intensive gaming.

The console measures 10.82 x 5.95 x 2.55 inches, making it significantly smaller than the PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, or Xbox One. This small size really helps in terms of space and you can easily install it anywhere around your TV, don’t have to shift anything.

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You can easily move the console from one room to another which makes it super convenient and frankly speaking it’s a big plus for Xbox series S because other consoles are taking lots of space.

The chassis is essentially an off-white plastic. It doesn’t feel particularly expensive, but that’s hardly a surprise, Microsoft spends more inside to deliver a powerful output.

On the front, we have a USB 3.2 port, a Power on/off button, and a pairing button. Since the Series S has no disc drive, the rest of the front panel is just empty space. On the back, there are two more USB-3.2 ports, an HDMI 2.1 port, an Ethernet port, a storage expansion slot, and a power port.

The HDMI cable that came with the box is not the fastest but you don’t recognize the speed difference because Microsoft upscaling the performance by modifying games for this console.

Storage and Performance:

When you compare the two console Xbox series X and S, you feel a little disappointed here because there are major differences in terms of storage and CPU.

The Series S has a GPU with up to 4 teraflops of output, 10 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD storage, and there is no disc drive to play your disks. On the other hand, the Series X boasts a GPU with up to 12 teraflops of output, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD storage, and a 4K Blu-ray disc drive.

The series S only comes with a tiny 512-gigabyte Solid-state drive but after booting the operating system we see only 364 gigabytes are usable out of 512.

There is a memory expansion slot and you can add additional storage up to 2 TB to the console but it’s rather complicated because previous generation games can be stored and played on an external hard drive but new-gen games will only be playable on the faster SSD storage.

So you have only one option, to buy a Seagate one terabyte expansion card which costs almost as much as the series S console, and I don’t recommend you to go for this rather if your budget permits you should buy the Xbox series X for additional storage.

They should provide the facility to play new games from an external drive because, in my opinion, the new generation of games aren’t that advanced that they couldn’t run off a standard external SSD.

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I personally think all-new modern high-end games are big in size like Fifa21 51GBArk: Survival Evolved 91GB, Fronza Horizon4 82 GB, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 50 GB. Now it may not be an issue if you played medium and small size games but large games take lots of storage and you may be able to download 5-6 games at a time.

The Series S is powered with Octa-core 3.6 GHz (3.4 GHz w/SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU same as the Series X but the Xbox Series X uses an 8-Core AMD Zen 2 CPU running at 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT enabled). So the same CPU clocked lower than Series X.

The ‘X’ is powered by a 52CU (compute unit) RDNA GPU running at 1.825GHz, while its cheaper sibling has a 20CU, 1.565GHz GPU.

Also in resolution, the Series S doesn’t have the graphics grunt and delivers an output of  1440p at 60Hz, up to a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. It can upscale the picture to 4K to match your 4K TV, but you won’t be able to see next-gen games in native 4K.

In terms of gameplay, the overall experience has been great. All the games run better and smoother feeling sharper than the original Xbox and the load times have been greatly reduced which is noticeable when playing games like Battlefield 5, Gears 5, Fifa21, Ark: Survival Evolved, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Fronza Horizon4, etc.

In Gears 5, the Series S didn’t capture details in a dark room the way that the Series X did. But out in open levels, it still rendered characters, backgrounds, and items gorgeously. The frame rate didn’t suffer from any appreciable slowdown.

The console also supports VRR, variable-rate shading, and ray-tracing just like the Series X. You get the same Quick Resume feature, so you can pick up where you left off at the touch of a button, a faster SSD hard drive, and a speedier user experience.

I think Considering the price point you don’t feel much disappointed when you get plenty of good things. Additionally, you get all the streaming apps you need are there too, including Netflix, Spotify, Sky Go, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, and Disney+.

The New Xbox Wireless Controller:

Microsoft here makes some refinements with the controller also, the new controller looks more elegant and fits well in the palm. The bumpers are more rounded, while the triggers have been given more sculpted grips and a new texture that also spreads to the rear of the controller.

The new D-pad now supports a full 360-degree movement that feels great on the thumb. Each direction clicks with a satisfying sound and tactile feedback, and its smooth finish makes pulling off half-circle sweeps in fighting games a real pleasure.

The controller also features what Xbox calls Dynamic Latency Input (DLI), which immediately synchronizes each controller input with what you see on screen.Microsoft

A new share button is also included in your controller which captures and shares moments in your game for posting in your Xbox Feed or on social media.

The new controller also retains the 3.5mm jack for headphones and a USB Type-C port for charging. The only major drawback is that it still relies on AA batteries out of the box, where nowadays every other gadget uses rechargeable batteries.

You can still buy rechargeable battery packs separately, but it just incurs an unnecessary cost, as of now each set of AAs will give you about 30 hours of life.

Overall a very good quality controller that has support for both Bluetooth 5 and Wifi 5 and there is no connectivity issue. Purchase Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal XBOX and get Xbox Wireless Adapter for Win 10.

Sound and Xbox Ui:

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In the Audio section, the setup is rather complicated and you have to adjust some settings in order to get good sound outputs.

You need to navigate the console’s audio settings and pick one format which the console will then apply to everything. You can select from DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Digital, Dolby Atmos for Home Theatre, or DTS:X for home theatre.

Some of the sound features are locked by default like the DTS Sound Unbound app cost you $23 to unlock the  DTS headphone X.Similarly, you need the Dolby Access app to get free Atmos support for your home theatre, but if you want Dolby Atmos for Headphones, that will cost you extra too.
Once set up, you get is a perfectly acceptable supersonic performance. The console sounds punchy and lively with a decent sense of clarity, and an even tonal balance.

Setting up the Xbox Series S is a very easy and streamlined process, thanks in no small part to the new and improved Xbox app for Android and iOS.

You’ll need to download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store and log in to your Microsoft account. Once you’re logged in, power on the console and type in the code you see in the app, which appears on your TV screen – this pulls in all your data without you having to type it all in.

After this, you need to enter some details like wifi name and password and when done the console will go through a small update and placed you on the login screen.

If you’ve used an Xbox recently, the home screen will seem familiar. We encounter some small issues on the interface like
some images on the screen take a few seconds to load as content is pulled from the internet, but we don’t know it’s the model-specific issue although our connection is fast and steady.

Alright, there are some truly innovative features too, such as Smart Delivery, which ensures you’ll always get the best possible version of a game when you download it, or if it’s upgraded in the future. It also brings backward and forwards compatibility between your old Xbox One / One X / One S and new Xbox Series S, while also carrying the save game data along.

The Quick Resume feature allows the Xbox Series S to hold multiple game states in the memory at one time, so you can jump back and forth between games without having to reload them.

The console also shines as a multimedia device, supporting most of the mainstream apps such as Netflix, Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus, Prime Video, and more. Thanks to the powerful hardware, it not only supports 4K HDR playback but also Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

Xbox Game Pass:

Xbox Game Pass is the Cloud-Based Gaming service from Microsoft that is used to subscribe to online games from literally any platform. The Xbox Series X, S, and One consoles, Windows 10, Windows 11(Upcoming), Android, and iOS devices all are supported.

Xbox Game Pass grants users access to a rotating catalog of games from a range of publishers and other premium services, including Xbox Live Gold and EA Play, for a single monthly subscription price.

Xbox Game Pass has unlimited access to over 100 high-quality games—with titles added all the time. Whether you play console games, PC games, or both, there’s a plan for you.

Game Pass is a subscription service that gives Xbox gamers access to a library of games to download and play for as long as they continue to pay for the service.

Xbox Live Gold is a monthly membership plan that is required for online play and, while it gives you a couple of free games a month, that’s its primary purpose. If your Xbox Game Pass subscription expires, the game will remain installed, but you won’t be able to play it until you either resubscribe or purchase the game.

There are different plans available for your PC as well as Console, Click here to Join Xbox Game Pass Today!

Others Useful Features:

  • Like the Xbox Series X, the Xbox Series S is backward compatible with just about every Xbox One title, plus dozens of Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles.
  • Some Xbox Series X/S exclusive games are Tetris Effect: Connected, Yakuza: Like A Dragon, Gears Tactics, and some optimized games are Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Sea of Thieves, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Dirt 5, Watch Dogs: Legion all are available with series S.
  • Over the past few months, Microsoft has revamped its store, as well as its PC and Android Xbox apps. There’s now a great deal of consistency between the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, Xbox PC app, and Xbox Android app.
  • The Xbox Velocity Architecture, powered by a custom SSD, works together with the innovative system on a chip (SOC) technology to provide gameplay up to 120FPS.
  • 3D Spatial Sound is the next evolution in audio technology, using advanced algorithms to create immersive lifelike worlds that put you at the center of your experience.

 

Price and Buying Options:

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The official price of Xbox Series S is  US$299/€299/£249/A$499/C$379, and the same is listed on microsoft.com but if you purchase from other vendors or E-commerce sites price may be increased.

The Indian price is ₹34990  and right now it’s sell-through two retailers Amazon and Flipkart. But the issue here is these consoles are often out of stock and may be sold very quickly when available.

You can also lease an Xbox Series S directly from Microsoft through its Xbox All Access program. This costs $25 per month for 24 months and gives you access to an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription on top of the console itself.

Should you Buy A Xbox Series S Console?

So at the end of the day, I think the Xbox series S in my opinion is completely worth it this is a very good console. There is a ton of capability and there is a ton of power within this small little box.

It’s a very small console and visually it looks much better than the Xbox series X. The light console is powerful too and handles easily all new intensive games.

If you are someone who wants to buy a console today and never used any console before then series S is the perfect choice that gives you a Wonderful gaming experience in a budget range.

The Xbox series S supports 1440 pixel and 120 Hz refresh rate and if you don’t have a 4K Tv, then it’s more than enough because the max you can play on 60 Hz on most HD TVs.

But if you’re looking for 4K native gaming, Blue-Ray Disk drive, top-notch PC-like gaming experience, Ray-tracing at 4K-120 FPS, stores bunch of games, offline games, and on top of that if your money permits then definitely Series S is not for you. Go and buy the Series X instead.

Lastly, thank you all and If you are currently immersed in the gameplay with your Xbox series S, then you must share your experience with us.

 

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I have like two at home I and my Bf always keep ourselfs busy with it. and the graphics is something else. I actually got one for my junior brother. 

    In short, absolutely! For those who are looking to play games without breaking the bank, Xbox Series S is a great option. Sure, it may not deliver to a 4K standard, but it has been engineered to achieve a neat next-gen Xbox experience. With its powerful capabilities and impressive GPU, it’s certainly a contender for any other next-gen console, and comes at a much lower cost!

    1. Thanks, Emmanuel for your views and rightly said Xbox Series S maybe looks like a small console but it has all the power to deliver you great performance. And most importantly it’s the most convenient option out there.

  2. Hey great article, it answered many of my questions on this gaming console!

    I had been a fan of Xbox for a while but funnily enough haven’t ever purchased it as of yet, I only have the PlayStation and the Nintendo family. As you can tell I love video games! The design of Xbox is awesome too!

    I’m definitely wanting to purchase this!

    1. Thanks, Sariyeh for your inputs, and good to know that it helps. If you’re looking for a powerful console that plays everything smooth and doesn’t accrue much space then Xbox Series S is a great choice.

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