Xbox Series S: Price, Specs, And Everything We Know (2024)

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Here's everything you need to know about Microsoft's cheaper Xbox Series S model.

By Matt Espineli on

6 Comments

For several months, leaks and rumors alluded to the existence of Series S, which seemed a natural progression for Microsoft given its current philosophy and methodology within the games industry. The company finally announced the console as we approached the release of its big sibling--the Xbox Series X--and it's a radically smaller, more affordable take on the next generation. We even wrote up a feature discussing why Xbox Series S seems an essential move for Microsoft to make.

Regardless, if you're here, you're likely curious about what Xbox Series S entails. Below, we compile everything there is to know about Xbox Series S, including information on storage, price, release date, and more. We'll update this article as more details are shared, so be sure to bookmark this page for your reference.

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Now Playing: Inside The Xbox Series S - Trailer

If you'd like a full rundown comparing the two console models, then check out our Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S comparison feature offering details to help you decide which one is right for you. Or if you want to see how it physically looks, we've gotten hands-on with an official Xbox Series S mockup.

It's All-Digital

The most important detail about the Xbox Series S is that it has no disc drive, which means your primary way of acquiring games will be via Microsoft's digital storefront or via the xCloud service once it is available on consoles. Also, it's worth pointing out that it only has 512 GB SSD worth of storage--about half of the Xbox One X--so you'll more than likely need to resort to the proprietary external SSDs needed to expand your available space. But even then, that has unique rules around what can or can't be played from the external storage, which you can find out more about in our Xbox Series X/S external storage explainer article. Regardless, if you're someone from an area with bad internet coverage, you may want to forego Xbox Series S entirely due to its digital-only focus. Downloading games will likely take up more time than it is worth. Of course, with the huge file sizes of games and limitations on how much data can fit on a disc, this could also be an issue on other systems.

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While seeing Microsoft chase a cheaper model with no disc drive might seem like an obvious move to contend against Sony's PS5 Digital Edition, we've actually seen Microsoft experiment with disc drive-less consoles in the past with its Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. The console was otherwise identical to the standard Xbox One S and sold for $50 cheaper.

Name And Design

Xbox Series S's name is an obvious continuation of Microsoft's current naming scheme with its Xbox One family of consoles. The S in the name likely means "slim" or "small" and may refer to the console's small form factor, which is about two Xbox and a half controllers tall. It's around 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X, and is the smallest Xbox console ever. This means it can be placed in more locations, particularly if you have one as a secondary system alongside an Xbox Series X. Like the Series X, it can be placed horizontally or vertically to better fit your setup. Here's what the system's retail box looks like.

Release Date

Microsoft announced that Xbox Series S is launching on the same day as Xbox Series X on November 10. That's rapidly approaching, and preorders are sold out at retailers, both in-store and online. A selection of consoles should be available at certain stores, such as Walmart on the release date itself, but these will be first come, first served.

Price And Pre-Order Date

Xbox Series S costs $299, which comes in much cheaper from Xbox Series X's $499 price point. If you want to grab either console, pre-orders will go live on September 22 ahead of their November 10 launch.

However, there is another payment option called the Xbox All Access program, which allows you to pay for your console of choice in monthly increments instead of everything upfront. The service costs $25 per month for 24 months for Xbox Series S and $35 per month for 24 months for Xbox Series X. As an added bonus, Xbox All Access also gives you Game Pass Ultimate, which gives you an extensive library of downloadable games to play. And with the service incorporating EA Play (formerly EA Access) into the price, the value margin is certainly appealing.

Hardware Specs

As expected, Xbox Series S also does not offer as much performance and power as Xbox Series X. It features 4 teraflops of performance and an 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU, an AMD RDNA 2 GPU, and 10 GB of Ram. It targets 1440p performance, rather than 4K, and comes equipped with 512 GB of internal storage.

Xbox Series S

CPU

8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU at 3.6 GHz
3.4 GHz with SMT enabled

GPU

AMD RDNA 2 GPU
20 CUs at 1.565 GHz
4 TFLOPS

RAM

10 GB of GDDR6 RAM

Performance Target

1440p at 60 FPS, up to 120 FPS

Storage

512 GB SSD

Expandable Storage

1TB Microsoft expansion card slot

Optical Drive

No disc drive

I/O Throughput

Max Output Resolution

1440p with 4K upscaling

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Disc Drive

Digital Only

Price

$299 USD

Cloud Gaming

Microsoft Project xCloud

Backwards Compatibility

Yes (Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Dimensions

Smallest Xbox ever, about 60% smaller than Xbox Series X

Color

White

Release Date

November 10

How Will Games Perform?

The Xbox Series S plays the same games as Xbox Series X, so you won't be restricted from any titles. As you might've intuited from the table above, Xbox Series S has the same CPU as the more expensive model and still supports graphical features like DirectX ray tracing, variable rate shading, and variable refresh rate. And if you're a performance buff, then know that it's also capable of displaying at 1440p at up to 120 FPS and 4K upscaling. With specs like that, your games will still perform well above Xbox One generation standards. However, it's also been confirmed that Xbox Series S backwards compatible games will not feature the same updates that the Xbox One X versions received--Xbox and Xbox 360 games will run on par with how they would on Xbox One S, with a few extra upgrades. Framerates can often be doubled, meaning that even if the resolution can't match Xbox One X, it will have better overall performance. If resolution isn't the most important thing for you, that is very good news.

For a full list of confirmed of Microsoft's next-generation games, be sure to check out our Xbox Series X and S launch lineup.

The console comes with an SSD, and though it is smaller than the Xbox Series X SSD, it will still be able to load games in a fraction of the time that the current-gen systems take.

The system will also make use of the new Quick Resume feature also found on Xbox Series X. This lets you jump between games and resume them almost instantly. It's far different from having to start a new game session from scratch whenever you switched games in the past.

Game Services

Microsoft's big focus is on its services to consumers. As mentioned, Xbox Series S will feature full support of Microsoft's subscription service Xbox Game Pass. You can also expect it to integrate the company's cloud-based gaming service, codenamed Project xCloud, which is scheduled to launch on September 15. It's bundled for free alongside an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription and allows you to continue playing on your mobile phone or tablet devices. This now comes with EA Play access, as well.

Xbox Series X And Xbox One News

  • Xbox Series X Review - Playing The Future
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  • Xbox Series X: Release Date, Specs, Price, And Everything We Know

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

View Comments (6)

Xbox Series X

As an enthusiast and expert in gaming technology, particularly focused on consoles and their advancements, I've been deeply involved in following the development and release of various gaming consoles, including the Xbox Series S by Microsoft. I've closely monitored the evolution of Microsoft's gaming consoles, studying their hardware specifications, gaming capabilities, and the ecosystem surrounding these platforms.

Regarding the article discussing the Xbox Series S by Matt Espineli on October 30, 2020, several critical aspects and concepts are elucidated:

  1. Xbox Series S Overview: The Xbox Series S is a compact, digital-only console offering a more affordable option compared to its sibling, the Xbox Series X.

  2. Features:

    • All-Digital: The most prominent feature is the absence of a disc drive, relying entirely on digital downloads and services like xCloud.
    • Storage: The console includes a 512 GB SSD for storage, significantly less than the Xbox One X, necessitating the use of proprietary external SSDs for expanding storage.
    • Release Date and Pricing: Released on November 10, 2020, the Xbox Series S was priced at $299, a substantially lower price point than the more powerful Xbox Series X.
  3. Hardware Specifications:

    • CPU and GPU: Powered by an 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU and an AMD RDNA 2 GPU, offering 4 teraflops of performance, targeting 1440p resolution gaming.
    • RAM and Storage: Equipped with 10 GB of GDDR6 RAM and a 512 GB SSD, expandable through a proprietary expansion card slot.
    • Optical Drive: Unlike the Xbox Series X, the Series S lacks a disc drive, making it a digital-only platform.
  4. Game Performance:

    • Capable of running games with features like DirectX ray tracing and supporting 1440p gaming at up to 120 FPS, along with 4K upscaling.
    • Backward compatibility extends to Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games, with performance improvements.
  5. Gaming Services:

    • Xbox Game Pass: Full integration with Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft's subscription service providing access to a library of games.
    • Project xCloud: The console is expected to integrate Microsoft's cloud-based gaming service, allowing gameplay on mobile devices.
  6. Comparison and Context:

    • The article mentions comparisons with other Xbox models, such as the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, highlighting advancements and differences.

This comprehensive breakdown of the Xbox Series S showcases its positioning in the gaming market, emphasizing its affordability, digital-centric approach, hardware capabilities, and compatibility with existing and forthcoming gaming services.

Xbox Series S: Price, Specs, And Everything We Know (2024)

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