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XBOX Series S - Personal Thoughts

OrtizTwelve

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I've had an XBOX Series S since launch last week.... here are my personal thoughts, and after having the console for about a week. I am sure a lot of people will settle on it just because of the price factor, and I want to give my thoughts for anyone it might help.



The funny thing is I had the ability to purchase the Series X online via Target for pickup, but I found it hard to justify spending $500 on a game console. Orders went live at around 1:20am EST Nov 10. So after some hesitation, I clicked on the Series S and went through the motions, boom -- confirmed. I settled on the Series S because 1) it was $299 and 2) I actually liked the design better and didn't need a disc drive. To be honest, it was an impulse buy really.

Woke up the next morning and headed to Target for pickup, walked out. First impressions was the retail box was pretty small, close to the original 360 retail box at launch. I got home and opened the box, first thoughts was how tiny the unit is and how dense/solid everything is, it doesn't feel cheap or plasticky -- and there's a good weight to it that makes you think your holding something well-made. It just feels good, and didn't notice any creaks or noises when handling it. It's basically just a solid block of white tech and well built.

I am not a big fan of that black circle vent on the top, however I have my console vertical and it looks really nice. There's something about that all-white monolithic simple design that screams clean and modern, and the compact size is something you have to see in person. I think Microsoft did a good job designing this console and it should like nice in any setup. The best way I can describe it is that it looks like a slighter larger white external hard drive or Apple Time Capsule when vertical. It's nice.

In terms of noise, I haven't heard anything this past week and I have played a lot of games for several hours on end. It's whisper quiet, and as far as heat to be honest it seems like it's marginal and nothing feels too warm or abnormally warm. It's quiet and cool. When powered on in a silent room with nothing audible running, you cannot hear the console at all. Nothing.

In terms of performance, games play just fine. Gears 5 with X|S enhancements looks REALLY nice, almost like a new game, and everything runs smoothly. I don't have a 4k TV with 120 hz, but on a 1080P TV with 60HZ everything looks really nice. I have tested a few games via Game Pass and everything has run smooth and looked nice and crispy. Games do look better and run better that are BC from XBOX ONE, 360, and XBOX as I noticed increased frames and general better performance.

The controller has been slightly tweaked from XBOX ONE and is actually a little smaller (Microsoft mentioned they reduced the size a bit, and I can see the difference) and more compact, and the grips on the sides and the triggers feel really nice and add an extra layer of comfort when gaming. It's a good controller and feels good, nothing feels cheap.

The only gripe I have with the console is the 512GB onboard storage. Realistically you can fit about 5 to 7 current large AAA games before running out of storage. To a lot of people this might be a dealbreaker but yes, the SSD is fast and games load instantly and quick, and the console boots super fast. It works as advertised.


Overall I think it's a great console and for $299 to enter next-gen, I see Microsoft selling a lot of these, and I wouldn't be surprised if most consumers have the Series S in their home as the main XBOX unit with the rest being Series X for the more enthusiast crowd. In a lot of ways, the Series S makes a lot of sense from a business perspective.
 

Schmick

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I think your review, despite the naysayers on this board, suns up why the S will sell.
yea, actually ever since the launch of the new consoles I havent heard anyone talk ill of the XBS especially continuing the narrative that the XBS will hold back next gen. I guess everyone is generally happy with what they are seeing from the launch titles.
 
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JCK75

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We are all 4K HDR 120fps people so it's hard to comprehend but..
there are so many people that just have 1080P tv's and don't intend to upgrade any time soon, there are people who still have and use a Wii (480p?)
this paired with gamepass is going go be quite appealing to a lot of people, even if it's not appealing to me.
 

OrtizTwelve

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In my opinion, the best looking console of the bunch.

I'm glad you are enjoying your purchase.

The Series X is also a nice looking console, and in person at Best Buy it is surprising how compact it is compared to PS5. I think people should see these consoles in person before making a decision, because their size is a feat of engineering --- I am talking about X and S.

It's just from a design standpoint, the Series S is the "prettier" one for me. And as someone who games only digitally, the cleanliness of the console with no breaks or interruptions due to a disc drive makes it look so much better.
 

OrtizTwelve

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yea, actually ever since the launch of the new consoles I havent heard anyone talk ill of the XBS especially continuing the narrative that the XBS will hold back next gen. I guess everyone is generally happy with what they are seeing from the launch titles.

I don't think it will hold anything back, at least for the next few years.

I think people forget those extra TF on the Series X is mainly for getting games to perform at native 4K/60 flawlessly which requires a lot of power. You can't get that with 4TF, or even 6TF. You need to go big.

When you're gaming at 1080p or even 1440P (2K), you don't need that much power to produce similar results. Yes, it won't look as pretty as the Series X but it will still look very nice.

The Series S is targeted for the masses, and we all know if you can appeal to the masses you will sell well.
 
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OrtizTwelve

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We are all 4K HDR 120fps people so it's hard to comprehend but..
there are so many people that just have 1080P tv's and don't intend to upgrade any time soon, there are people who still have and use a Wii (480p?)
this paired with gamepass is going go be quite appealing to a lot of people, even if it's not appealing to me.

You are right. The majority of people still own 1080P TVs 60HZ, and 4K TVs are increasing in terms of marketshare, but it's not the norm yet. 120Hz TVs, that's a relatively new thing, even less consumers own those.
 
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We are all 4K HDR 120fps people so it's hard to comprehend but..
there are so many people that just have 1080P tv's and don't intend to upgrade any time soon, there are people who still have and use a Wii (480p?)
this paired with gamepass is going go be quite appealing to a lot of people, even if it's not appealing to me.

How much appeal did the 1080p $249 gamepass machine Xbox One S all digital edition have in 2019?

When you're gaming at 1080p or even 1440P (2K), you don't need that much power to produce similar results. Yes, it won't look as pretty as the Series X but it will still look very nice.

The Series S is targeted for the masses, and we all know if you can appeal to the masses you will sell well.

Masses don't care about power and fine with 1080p but somehow care enough to spend more money than the 2013 consoles that already do 1080p and play all the games that a Series S does.

There is a reason why stock allocation for Xbox Series was 4 to 1 in favor of the X with reports of Series S still being available on shelves.
 

DarkMage619

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If you already have a Xbox One X just wait till you have enough to get a series X.
If you have an X1X the XSS isn't the upgrade path for you anyway. I hope one day people understand that the XSS replaces the X1. It is 100% an upgrade over the original X1.

How much appeal did the 1080p $249 gamepass machine Xbox One S all digital edition have in 2019?
Masses don't care about power and fine with 1080p but somehow care enough to spend more money than the 2013 consoles that already do 1080p and play all the games that a Series S does.
There is a reason why stock allocation for Xbox Series was 4 to 1 in favor of the X with reports of Series S still being available on shelves.
And yet even Sony released an all digital console in 2020. The issue with the XBOX SAD console wasn't that it was digital it was that there were plenty of CHEAPER alternatives that did the same thing and had more features. The XSS will continue to support games that come out in 2021 forward, the X1 will not so that is its selling point. The XSS had a smaller stock allocation because early adopters for new consoles are usually the hardcore not the budget conscious person. Look at Nvidia did they release the 3050 first or the 3090?
 
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AgentP

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I wouldn't be surprised if most consumers have the Series S in their home as the main XBOX unit with the rest being Series X for the more enthusiast crowd.

This will absolutely be a bad thing for all next gen console owners, especially XBSX people. I hope to God this console fails and does not drag the whole gen down with it. It's the Florida of next gen consoles.
 

JCK75

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How much appeal did the 1080p $249 gamepass machine Xbox One S all digital edition have in 2019?



Masses don't care about power and fine with 1080p but somehow care enough to spend more money than the 2013 consoles that already do 1080p and play all the games that a Series S does.

There is a reason why stock allocation for Xbox Series was 4 to 1 in favor of the X with reports of Series S still being available on shelves.


I know I had no interest in the Xbox one, but the One S came along and for $299 I got a UHD blu-ray player that was cheaper than any other on the market at the time, so that is one thing the Series S lacks..
but once gamepass came along I started to actually use it as a gaming machine and that evolved me into really digging the service.
 
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cireza

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Only issue is the loss of the One X optimized games. They should have found a way to have them optimized for Series S (FF XV...)
 
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OrtizTwelve

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This will absolutely be a bad thing for all next gen console owners, especially XBSX people. I hope to God this console fails and does not drag the whole gen down with it. It's the Florida of next gen consoles.

How much is PlayStation paying you? Seems like you have a deep seeded hatred for the console, I don't get it. It's almost personal.

Everybody knows if you want really powerful gaming experience with bells and whistles you go to PC. End of story.
 

Flintty

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This will absolutely be a bad thing for all next gen console owners, especially XBSX people. I hope to God this console fails and does not drag the whole gen down with it. It's the Florida of next gen consoles.
I think you might end up being disappointed.

This is the sort of console my Dad or my brothers would likely buy. None of them are hard core gamers but would pick this up for a variety of mainstream games.

Thanks for the review OrtizTwelve OrtizTwelve - it sounds like a great little machine.
 

ChuckeRearmed

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I like the console. It is small and easy to transport. With the projector I don't aim for 4K and really don't bother with anything when playing looking at the wall or laptop screen :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 

M1chl

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My problem with XSS's value proposition is that when you buy a Storage card, you are paying more than cost of XSX. That console is probably having by that time 500GB less storage, however it also is way more powerfull. We've seen games below 1080p, so that's not really a great argument to buy this console for people with 1080p display. I mean those who game regularly. As a secondary console, for GamePass/Indie titles, this is probably perfect....
 

OrtizTwelve

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I think you might end up being disappointed.

This is the sort of console my Dad or my brothers would likely buy. None of them are hard core gamers but would pick this up for a variety of mainstream games.

Thanks for the review OrtizTwelve OrtizTwelve - it sounds like a great little machine.

You're welcome. I don't play as many games as I used to due to work and personal commitments, but I think most people will like it and my goal was just to relate my personal experience. I bought the Series S KNOWING I wasn't getting a Series X, but I'm ok with it. Worse case in a few years I can trade it in towards an upgraded console which we know will come in 2 to 3 years.

Honestly, if someone just wants to play Madden, Fifa, Halo, Forza, Gears, etc with modern tech and doesn't want to spend $500, the Series S is a no brainer.
 

OrtizTwelve

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My problem with XSS's value proposition is that when you buy a Storage card, you are paying more than cost of XSX. That console is probably having by that time 500GB less storage, however it also is way more powerfull. We've seen games below 1080p, so that's not really a great argument to buy this console for people with 1080p display. I mean those who game regularly. As a secondary console, for GamePass/Indie titles, this is probably perfect....

That is a common argument and I do agree with you. I would expect those prices to come down at some point however.
 
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RoboFu

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i think if you currently owned a XoX then you will be disapointed with at XsS at this time when almost everything is just cross gen games. But if you only had a Xbox one/s/base ps4 then it should be a nice little upgrade.
 
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OrtizTwelve

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i think if you currently owned a XoX then you will be disapointed with at XsS at this time when almost everything is just cross gen games. But if you only had a Xbox one/s/base ps4 then it should be a nice little upgrade.

I never had an XBOX ONE X so perhaps you are right, at least for now.

However the CPU and GPU in the Series S is a lot better than the tech in the ONE X, which uses a CPU and GPU from 2013 era. Those were AMD Jaguar and it's severely outdated. Can't really compared to the chips of today.
 
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AgentP

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How much is PlayStation paying you? Seems like you have a deep seeded hatred for the console, I don't get it. It's almost personal.

This has nothing to do with Playstation, XBSX owners should be worried too. This is about moving technology forward and not designing SW for the lowest common denominator. I'm all for a lower cost digital sibling, but not 1/3 of the power and weaker than the previous gen.
 
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OrtizTwelve

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This has nothing to do with Playstation, XBSX owners should be worried too. This is about moving technology forward and not designing SW for the lowest common denominator. I'm all for a lower cost digital sibling, but not 1/3 of the power and weaker than the previous gen.

I think you're looking at the specs wrong.

Weaker than previous gen? Weaker than XBOX ONE S and ONE X? Those were anemic AMD Jaguar chips from the beginning of the decade. They don't hold a candle to the current chips found in X|S consoles with AMD RDNA 2 and ZEN architecture, which yields vastly huge improvements in performance and image quality.

Silly argument.


Yes I know the ONE X is 6TF of compute performance... and I am aware the Series S is 4TF of compute performance.... which is 1/3 the TF of the Series X....

You can't compare these numbers like apples to oranges because there is a huge context here. That XBOX ONE X chip is ANCIENT.

And yes, the Series X is 2/3 more powerful because it is marketed to run 4K/60 4K/120 which requires tons of power. Running modern games in that resolution with those performance expectations requires tons of power, and even then it MAY NOT BE GOOD ENOUGH.

The Series S isn't trying to be a super-computer. It's giving consumers next gen features at a specific price point.

And in closing, we all know that if you want real performance and real graphics you game on PC. I don't know why this has to be repeated.
 
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WalterSobchak

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I would be way more interested in the S if it just had a disc drive. The X is more console then I really need tech wise , but it's the only one with a disc drive , so that's the one I'll get.
 
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OrtizTwelve

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I would be way more interested in the S if it just had a disc drive. The X is more console then I really need tech wise , but it's the only one with a disc drive , so that's the one I'll get.

I have a feeling Microsoft will release a Series X equivalent without a disc drive at some point, seems logical.
 

AgentP

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Yes I know the ONE X is 6TF of compute performance... and I am aware the Series S is 4TF of compute performance.... which is 1/3 the TF of the Series X....

You can't compare these numbers like apples to oranges because there is a huge context here. That XBOX ONE X chip is ANCIENT.

TF is a unit of operations per second, not efficiency. You absolutely can compare them directly. The GPU is stronger and the memory is higher bandwidth, hence it can reach 4k. The only thing the S does better is the SSD and the CPU, which means 60fps more often.

So instead of a gen where they are designing games for Ps5/XBSX, which are very close, they will go "wait, we have to make it run on the retard Xbox too..". This is a waste of resources and will only hurt the high end.
 

OrtizTwelve

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TF is a unit of operations per second, not efficiency. You absolutely can compare them directly. The GPU is stronger and the memory is higher bandwidth, hence it can reach 4k. The only thing the S does better is the SSD and the CPU, which means 60fps more often.

So instead of a gen where they are designing games for Ps5/XBSX, which are very close, they will go "wait, we have to make it run on the retard Xbox too..". This is a waste of resources and will only hurt the high end.

Sounds like a personal vendetta against a video game console.
 

mejin

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If you have an X1X the XSS isn't the upgrade path for you anyway. I hope one day people understand that the XSS replaces the X1. It is 100% an upgrade over the original X1.

People who persevered with X1 even with One X as an option will probably get X too. They waited long enough to have a real jump in the gen and this is something S doesn't offer with its limited SSD capacity and no disc drive.

But I'm not criticizing people who got S, you choice, your money. I'm just being rational about it and I wouldn't recommend for anyone who is already experienced with gaming, even if is a casual. Cost x benefit is not great and I keep remembering myselft there is nothing to stop MS or Sony to make mid gen refreshes once again.

I think S is a good option for a person who don't really play...who wouldn't understand shit about resolution or fps. They could get one to their children or even for themselves to play one or another game with gamepass to provide them what they need.
 
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OutRun88

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It really is an incredibly compact console.

I can see myself buying one as my “mobile” console that I pack in my suitcase or backpack when taking trips.
 
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OrtizTwelve

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People who persevered with X1 even with One X as an option will probably get X too. They waited long enough to have a real jump in the gen and this is something S doesn't offer with its limited SSD capacity and no disc drive.

But I'm not criticizing people who got S, you choice, your money. I'm just being rational about it and I wouldn't recommend for anyone who is already experienced with gaming, even if is a casual. Cost x benefit is not great and I keep remembering myselft there is nothing to stop MS or Sony to make mid gen refreshes once again.

I think S is a good option for a person who don't really play...who wouldn't understand shit about resolution or fps. They could get one to their children or even for themselves to play one or another game with gamepass to provide them what they need.

All true statements. I bought the S knowing the disadvantages but for sure Microsoft will offer some sort of revision in a few short years if past history is anything to go by. I would expect some sort of refresh of Series S and Series X around 2022/2023 with slightly improved specs on both.
 

OrtizTwelve

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It really is an incredibly compact console.

I can see myself buying one as my “mobile” console that I pack in my suitcase or backpack when taking trips.

Go to Best Buy and they should have a dummy console on display to look at in their XBOX section. It's impressive.
 

OutRun88

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Go to Best Buy and they should have a dummy console on display to look at in their XBOX section. It's impressive.
That’s where I saw it! The Series X was also a very nice looking console as well, but nowhere near as compact as the Series S.
 

Self

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It's just from a design standpoint, the Series S is the "prettier" one for me. And as someone who games only digitally, the cleanliness of the console with no breaks or interruptions due to a disc drive makes it look so much better.

I like the the overall design, but the color just doesn't fit into my room. I canceled my preorder because of this. I'll wait for a black version in maybe 6 months...
 

Dane

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IMO I wouldn't recommend the 1TB expansion even if you owned a Series X, its just too expensive and a basic external +1TB HDD would do the job, its much faster to copy a 50GB+ game in like 10 minutes than downloading them.
 

OrtizTwelve

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That’s where I saw it! The Series X was also a very nice looking console as well, but nowhere near as compact as the Series S.

YES! I was surprised how compact the Series X was in person. It looks 100x better in person than in photos, it must be seen to be believed.

But the Series S next to it was even more impressive, it's tiny.
 

OrtizTwelve

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IMO I wouldn't recommend the 1TB expansion even if you owned a Series X, its just too expensive and a basic external +1TB HDD would do the job, its much faster to copy a 50GB+ game in like 10 minutes than downloading them.

Only issue is I don't think external drives that aren't expansion slot SSD cards can run X|S games but maybe I am wrong. It can run everything else though.
 
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bighugeguns

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Absolutely solid as a fkn rock console, can't say enough good things about it. It is absolutely insane the experience you're getting for the price.

You cannot not love this thing.
 
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Riky

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I wonder if any PC graphics cards are a third of the power of a 3090 and how Devs cope with that, it must be so difficult for them.
 

OrtizTwelve

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I wonder if any PC graphics cards are a third of the power of a 3090 and how Devs cope with that, it must be so difficult for them.

that is true. As of right now the new gen consoles are pretty much underpowered already with new nvidia and amd cards. The specs on those cards are ridiculous.

it will probably lead to games looking not that much better than last ten but just performing better.