The Xbox Series S is Microsoft’s most affordable option for the new generation of consoles, but is it the perfect pick for penny pinchers or does it pale in comparison to the peak performers?
What we love — Great value, convenient design, and a significant performance upgrade
The Xbox Series S costs a few hundred quid less than either the Xbox Series X or the PS5, but crucially it shares most of the same features, including massively reduced loading times, and graphical upgrades such as ray-tracing that make games that much more immersive than they ever were on the Xbox One S.
The main performance compromise is that it only supports a resolution of up to 1440p rather than 4K; but plenty of people do not yet have access to a 4K TV, in which case you’ll barely notice the difference.
The Series S not only oozes minimalist style, but it’s also very small for a home console, only taking up about as much space as a hardback book. That makes it incredibly easy to store or transport, especially in comparison to the other two behemoths of this generation.
What we didn’t like — Too little storage space
Unfortunately the Series S isn’t just small in stature — its hard drive verges on the miserly. Only 364GB of the stated 500GB capacity is actually available for game downloads (the remainder consisting of system software). You could easily find that capacity maxed out in no time, especially seeing as some triple-A titles can consume nearly 100GB apiece. You’ll probably have to consider expanding the storage, which will drive up the total cost.
If you want to play next-gen games right away but your budget won’t any stretch further, then the Xbox Series S is a fantastic option. The catches are that you can’t play on full 4K resolution, and more importantly, your hard drive space is limited. But if you can stomach these compromises, it’s a sure-fire success.
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