Xbox Series X vs. Xbox Series S

Xbox series x vs xbox series s
The big comparison: Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has submitted and presented the two next-gen consoles Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, including technical details. Our comparison explains the differences and provides you with the most important details.

Xbox Series X vs. Xbox Series S: Microsoft's next-gen consoles Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X will be released on November 10, 2020. While the names differ only in one letter, both consoles are aimed at very different target groups.

Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S

Two variants of a console are nothing new anymore. However, for the first time, Microsoft will launch two Xbox models directly with the release. Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are aimed at different target groups and are relatively different on paper. We will tell you what sets them apart.

The Xbox Series S is the entry model into the next console generation from Microsoft. It is not quite as powerful or well-equipped, but it also costs considerably less than its big brother. The true next-gen console from Redmond bears the name Xbox Series X and with 4K resolution and stronger hardware is aimed primarily at technology enthusiasts.

Xbox Series S/X Release and Price

Both consoles will be released worldwide on November 10, 2020, but due to the different hardware and features, the prices differ significantly.

  • Xbox Series S: €299
  • Xbox Series X: €499

Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S: Performance & Specs

The smaller Xbox Series S marks the bridge between the current consoles and the Xbox Series X. It is more powerful than the current hardware and offers some technical improvements. The console is aimed exclusively at those who buy their games digitally - after all, it has no optical drive.

Here is an overview of the specs (differences between the two models are marked bold)

Xbox Series S

  • CPU: AMD Zen 2 with 8 cores @ 3.6 GHZ
  • GPU: Up to 4 teraflops (AMD RDNA2) - 20 CUs with 1,565 MHz
  • RAM: 10 GB GDDR6
  • Hard disk: 512 GB NVME-SSD
  • Optical drive: No
  • Resolution: 1440p to 120 FPS, 4K upscaling for games
  • Output: HDMI 2.1
  • Connectors: HDMI-Out, 3x USB, Ethernet, Storm, Memory expansion

Xbox Series X

  • CPU: AMD Zen 2 with 8 cores @ 3.8 GHZ
  • GPU: Up to 12.15 Teraflops (AMD RDNA2) - 52 CUs with 1,845 MHz
  • RAM: 16 GB GDDR6
  • Hard disk: 1 TB NVME-SSD
  • Optical drive: Yes
  • Resolution: Native 4K to 120 FPS, up to 8K possible
  • Output: HDMI 2.1
  • Connectors: HDMI-Out, 3x USB, Ethernet, Storm, Memory expansion

The Xbox Series S is a "Digital Only" console and relies primarily on the catalog of the games flat rate Xbox Game Pass. The Series X on the other hand has a drive that can also play 4K Blu-ray discs. Both models can be expanded with a storage medium specially developed by Microsoft via a connection on the back. External USB 3.1 hard drives can also be used.

Design and Size

The two consoles also differ greatly in design. On the one hand, in terms of color, because the Xbox Series S comes in a chic white, while the Xbox Series X is on the gray-black look known from the current consoles.

In a direct comparison, the Series S is about 60 percent smaller than its big brother and, according to Microsoft, is the smallest Xbox console of all time. The controllers of both consoles are identical but differ in color. There will also be white and black gamepads.

Xbox series s groesse
The small Xbox Series S can be placed comfortably under any TV set. (Image credit: Microsoft)

The Games

The most important info for all interested people: Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X offer the same games. There will be no games that you can only enjoy on the stronger console. However, the next-gen games on the more expensive console will offer a higher resolution and probably also a better frame rate - and thus the better gaming experience.

In addition, both consoles are backward compatible with many games from all previous Xbox generations. The majority of Xbox One games will therefore also run on Series S/X. Which these games are, however, is not yet clear.

Thanks to Smart Delivery, you can upgrade to the technically improved next-gen version for free when you buy current titles.

Xbox Series X vs. Xbox Series S Conclusion: Which is Better?

Apart from the somewhat unfortunate naming, both next-gen consoles from Microsoft have their right to exist. If you want to have the best possible and technically most impressive gaming experience, go for Xbox Series X. So for technology enthusiasts, the question is quickly answered.

The Xbox Series S, on the other hand, convinces with an inimitable price-performance ratio and offers an excellent compromise between performance and efficiency. If you have limited space under the TV, just want to experience the new games and already buy digital, the Xbox Series S could be the better choice for you. Especially in combination with the Xbox Game Pass.

Read more about gaming and esports on EarlyGame. We'll also introduce you to PlayStation 5 and its games, and tell you if it's still worth buying a PlayStation 4 in 2020.