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Xbox Series S Review: A Budget-Friendly Entry into Next-Gen Gaming

The Xbox Series S emerges as an enticing option for those seeking a budget-friendly entry into the next-gen gaming experience. Priced at £249.99 in the UK and $299 in the USA, it presents a noteworthy performance boost over its predecessor, the Xbox One S.

In terms of design, the Series S boasts a compact and stylish form factor, resembling a hardback book. Its small size facilitates easy integration into entertainment centers, offering practicality without compromising on aesthetics. The minimalist white cuboid design, adorned with circular vent holes and the etched Xbox logo, exudes a sophisticated flair.

Connectivity features include a USB 3.1 port on the front, complemented by additional ports on the rear, such as 1Gbps Ethernet, two USB 3.1, HDMI 2.1 out, and a storage expansion slot catering to Seagate SSD drives. Notably absent, however, is support for Wi-Fi 6, which could impact internet speed and stability.

Under the hood, the Series S houses a formidable AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU with eight cores running at a peak frequency of 3.8GHz. The custom RDNA 2 GPU, while less powerful than the Series X, delivers a commendable 4 TFLOPs of performance. The console targets a 1440p resolution with a maximum of 120fps, representing a substantial performance leap from the Xbox One S.

Graphics and performance enhancements are evident in optimized games like Gears 5, showcasing improved lighting effects, textures, and overall detail. The Series S supports up to 120fps, ensuring smoother visuals, and the inclusion of DirectX Raytracing for realistic lighting effects is a notable feature. The custom NVMe SSD contributes to significantly reduced loading times, enhancing the overall gaming experience.

While the Series S impresses with its gaming capabilities, the Achilles' heel remains its storage capacity. With only 500GB, and a mere 364GB available for game downloads, users may find themselves grappling with limited space. To address this concern, a 1TB Carbon Black model was introduced in June 2023.

In terms of user experience, the interface remains largely unchanged, maintaining familiarity for those acquainted with previous Xbox consoles. Quick Resume stands out as a noteworthy feature, leveraging the next-gen SSD to store up to six games simultaneously in a suspended state, allowing for seamless transitions between titles.

As a multimedia device, the Series S supports popular video playback apps like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Prime Video. However, the absence of a disk drive limits its capability to play Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.

In conclusion, the Xbox Series S proves to be an appealing choice for individuals on a budget or seeking a more compact console. Its performance upgrades, stylish design, and compatibility with Xbox Game Pass make it a compelling option, provided users can overlook the limitations in storage capacity and absence of Wi-Fi 6 support.

Xbox Series S Review: A Budget-Friendly Entry into Next-Gen Gaming

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