Microsoft’s Xbox Series S and Series X are set for a release on Tuesday, November 10th as the fourth generation of the Xbox family. There has been a great amount of anticipation with this new release, though it has already been reviewed by numerous outlets and now is the time to do so here. For anyone interested in picking up the Series S, below are a few thoughts on the new release to consider.
Overall, the Xbox Series S starts at just $299 to purchase. This is a fairly reasonable price point for the console, while the Series X is a bit pricier at $499. In comparison, the last generation of consoles, the Xbox One and PS4 cost $500 and $400 respectively when they were both released in 2013.
The PlayStation 5 (or PS5) is also coming out later this week as well and will include two different models too. There is the less expensive Digital Edition which will cost $399 and the full product which will cost $499.
Overall, the Xbox Series S is well-rounded and has an excellent ecosystem that can handle multimedia, cloud gaming, a well established community and works well as a cross-platform.
This is because of Microsoft’s ability to manage a number of large services at once. The company has continued to create products that are friendly towards consumers and this is apparent in the new Xbox models.
Getting setup on the new Xbox is a breeze with the help of the Xbox app, which is available on Android, iOS, and Windows 10. The app works well with the console which uses Wi-Fi to get started. Upon the initial setup, make sure to carefully include only the data necessary.
In addition, the Xbox Series S and X still work well with older consoles from Microsoft. Users are able to transfer a large portion of their device settings from older releases via the app, while some of the devices made for the Xbox One will still work with the new the new consoles.
The Xbox Series S has a fairly simplistic design, though it is effective overall. The new models do not have easy to find features on the outside, but rather opt for a minimalist glowing light-up Xbox logo. There is a place for an optical drive and a USB-A port that is fairly hidden. Finally, there is a black and green grid on the top of the console that also acts as a fan to keep the device from overheating. Make sure to consider this when physically placing the console where it will be used most.
The new Xbox models are slightly different than their predecessors. They do no include a Kinect camera, and no longer have an HDMI-in port by an HDMI-out port. There are less gimmicks in these new consoles while there is no optical audio jack like the Xbox One had. In general, the new Xbox models take the best of the Xbox One and incorporate them well.
In addition, the new Xbox models have a custom AMD Zen 2 CPU as well as a GPU which uses the architecture found in AMD’s RDNA 2 graphics. The Xbox Series S is also able to stream videos that are of 4K quality. The games top out at 1440p, however.
Overall user interface and experience
The new Xbox Series X and S has an interface that is very much like its previous offerings with just a few minor tweaks to the main menu. Microsoft have given prominent placement to numerous streaming apps, its game and video stores, and places for users to consume media and shop.
The reason for this is mostly because Microsoft would prefer to not only be a go to for playing games but also serve as the destination for all other content, much like a computer. Of course, Microsoft knows how to deliver products to cater to both devices. Since there are more options to choose from, however, it might be a bit more confusing for some to get from one place to another, and there may be an initial learning curve for new users.
Gameplay and new features
The Xbox Series S has a solid-state drive which means games are able to be loaded faster than the previously used hard drives. This also means games will experience less slowdown while being played meaning the gameplay moves at an extremely quick rate.
The Series S and X also allows for games from Microsoft’s back catalog to be played and they should also see better frame rates overall. This backwards compatibility is a key component to consider when deciding whether or not to purchase one of these new models.
There’s also the addition of “Quick Resume”, which allows gamers to leave one game when wanted and enter another one very quickly. This minimizes the amount of time spent waiting for screens to load when starting up a different game.
Microsoft has also included a feature called “Smart Delivery”, which is an effort to bring updates to previous games in the catalog. The Series S also includes a feature that keeps the smaller amount of storage space in mind when downloading games.
The actual look of the games prior to the console’s launch is a positive one. While the early titles for the new Xbox launch are not completely perfect and are currently older titles updated for the new console, they still represent a superior product with excellent lighting and reflection.
Another huge component to the Xbox Series S and X models is the subscription service known as the “Game Pass”. The service costs $15 per month and includes numerous games on-demand as well as the ability to access more games in the cloud and some that were released on the PC. Game Pass also includes access to online multiplayer titles.
Anyone who is considering purchasing the new Xbox console will want to keep these added costs in mind, especially since they add a lot of value to the platform. Subscribing to the Game Pass also allows gamers to really unlock the full features of the console.
Anyone purchasing the new Xbox will want to plan to have it for the long run, which may end up being half a dozen years or so, and subscribing to the Game Pass is a great way to do this from the start.
Overall, the Series S is a good option for those who are a more casual gamer and don’t have a giant television. It is also good for those who do not want to spend quite as much money but still get value out of their new console. The differences between the two is marginal, and another thing to consider is how long gamers want to stick with the new system as well as how often they are going to play.