Review of Microsoft Xbox S Series- Microsoft introduced two new consoles in 2020; The Xbox X Series and Xbox S Series

With the Xbox S Series, Microsoft wants to bring the ninth-generation gaming console experience to the user for a reasonable fee.

Xbox S Series, in 2020, despite its many challenges and difficulties, was an important and memorable year for gaming enthusiasts; Along with the powerful graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia, Sony and Microsoft began their adventure in the ninth generation of gaming consoles.

Microsoft introduced two new consoles in 2020; The Xbox X Series and Xbox S Series are Redmond’s new front-line video game soldiers. 

The Xbox Series X is known as the most powerful game console at the moment, and the Xbox S Series is also the cheapest ninth-generation game console.


Comparison Microsoft Xbox S Series 512 GB Microsoft Xbox X Series 1TB Microsoft Xbox One S 1TB
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 65 × 151 × 275 mm 151 × 151 × 301 mm 64 × 230 × 295 mm
Weight 1.93 kg 4.45 kg 2.9 kg
Color White Black Black, white
Hardware specifications
Main processor Personalized Zen 2 processor with eight cores and 3.8 GHz frequency Personalized Zen 2 processor with eight cores and 3.8 GHz frequency AMD 8-core processor with custom Jaguar cores and 1.75 GHz frequency
GPU Personalized RDNA 2 GPU with 4 teraflops of power and 20 computing units (CU) at 1.55 GHz Customized RDNA 2 GPU with 12 teraflops of power and 52 computing units (CU) clocked at 1.825 GHz AMD integrated 914MHz GPU and support for DirectX 12
Processing power 4 Traflops 12 Traflops 1.4 Traflops
RAM memory 10 GB GDDR6 16 GB GDDR6 8 GB DDR3
Storage memory 500 GB Custom SSD (364 GB available) 1 terabyte customized SSD (802 GB available) 1 terabyte
Optical drive No optical drive 4K UHD Blu-ray driver Blu-ray / DVD-ROM
screen
Touch screen
connections
Wireless network
Bluetooth
Network port
HDMI
Memory card port 1 Memory port for dedicated SSD (Expansion Card) connection 1 Memory port for dedicated SSD (Expansion Card) connection
Number of USB ports 3 3 3
Other
Image output 4K – 1440P 4K – 8K 4K (for movie playback only)
Sound output Dolby Atmus sound and 7.1 channel surround DTS
Items in the box – One handle – HDMI cable – Power cable – One handle – HDMI cable – Power cable – One handle – HDMI cable – Power adapter
Additional items can be ordered – Extra category – Kinect – Multiple game titles – Remote control – Charger and battery for category – Stereo headset – Online chat headset – Chat keyboard – TV tuner
other facilities – HDR support – Kinect compatible (with the help of converter) – Support for voice commands – Equipped with infrared sensor
Announced November 10, 2020 November 10, 2020 2019/04/16
Global price at the time of supply $ 299 $ 499 $ 350

With its new consoles, Microsoft offers two options to the user. Xbox Series X for people who want to play games in 4K resolution and ultimate quality, and Xbox Series S for those who want to experience the next generation of games in Full HD or 1440p resolution at no extra cost. So the Xbox S Series and Xbox Series X are targeting two different markets. Professional gamers who pay for gaming and definitely have a 4K TV with a 120Hz refurbishment rate go for the Xbox X Series, and those who do not have a 4K TV and do not want to spend a lot of money opt for the Xbox S Series.

The Xbox S Series is for people who do not have a 4K TV

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the Xbox S Series. This new game console with very small dimensions and enchanting appearance was the guest of Zomit for a few days. We also tried to look at it from different angles and see if Microsoft’s cheap, inexpensive hardware would be a good choice to buy.

Design and build quality of Xbox S series

The first thing that catches your eye is the design of the Xbox S Series. Even the packaging of this console looks very beautiful and different from other consoles. Until you look closely at the console, you will not realize what a small, cluttered device you are dealing with. The Xbox S-Series measures 272 x 141 x 65 mm and weighs 1.93 kg. These dimensions and weight are one of the most important features of the Xbox Series S. A white console with a large black circle with a cooling fan underneath.

Front view of Xbox S Series console in standing position

The Xbox S Series is made in the same rectangular shape as Microsoft’s previous consoles and looks even simpler. On the front panel of the device, I can only see the power button with the familiar letter X. The controller identification key and a first-generation USB 3.1 port also catch the eye on the front panel.

The S Series is the smallest Xbox ever built

The left and right edges of the Xbox S Series have nothing special on them and only have small holes for air circulation. On the back of the console are the power port, network port, two first-generation USB 3.1 ports, the HDMI 2.1 port, and the location of the external SSD memory card.

Ports on the back of the Xbox S Series console
Xbox S Series Power Console Key
Xbox S Series port and front key
Xbox S Series console cooler

You can place the Xbox S Series horizontally or vertically in different places and you just have to be careful not to block the air conditioning fan; Of course, we suggest placing the device horizontally on different surfaces; Because in the vertical position, due to the limited contact surface of the device with the table, its stability decreases. 

The Xbox S Series is almost everywhere; You can place it next to the TV or even inside the TV table. Microsoft’s economic console is also smaller than the Xbox One X and Xbox One S; The smallest Xbox ever built is about 40% smaller than the Xbox One S.

Xbox S Series Hardware

When buying a new console, it’s a good idea to know enough about its hardware. This is especially true of the Xbox Series S, which is a less powerful model than the Xbox X Series; However, the Xbox S Series is actually a replacement for the Xbox One.

Xbox S console front view

By comparing simple hardware, you can see that the Xbox S Series is far more powerful than the Xbox One S. SSD storage, a chip with a completely newer architecture and more graphics memory, simply puts Microsoft’s ninth-generation console in a better position; A console that is also more reasonably priced than the One S and makes more sense to buy, especially for those who are not interested in experiencing 4K gaming and still prefer FullHD resolution at a higher frame rate.

The Xbox S Series is capable of running games at resolutions up to 1440p and 120fps; While the One S ran games at a resolution and rate of up to Full HD and 60 frames per second; Of course, the S series can also upgrade games to 4K resolution. The Xbox S-Series has 512GB of storage capacity less than the OneS; But SSD memory is much faster than HDD; You will feel the difference when you run Xbox One games on both consoles.

Xbox S Series console in landscape mode

Games load much faster on the SSD and therefore game loading time is reduced. Also, the SSD memory runs games more stably, and when playing games, you do not see loads of textures and late processing of the game environment at all.

The Xbox S Series does not support discs, and you must download games to this console. By removing the disc from the S series, the Redmondians have made it possible to buy a ninth-generation console at the price of an eighth-generation console. Purchasing the Gimps service with the Xbox S Series can also be a good choice for many gamers; You will have access to all new generation games and hardware at the lowest possible cost.

AMD has taken a different approach to the design of the Xbox X-Series and S-Series processors compared to the Jaguar Xbox One S and Xbox One X processors. 

Jaguar processors at the time were in the low-cost category and did not have the best architecture in the processor world. In the ninth generation, AMD used the new Zen2 architecture to build processors, and Microsoft waited a long time for the new architecture to be finalized.

AMD was able to design powerful processors for the Xbox X Series and S Series. The processor used in the Xbox X Series uses 8 cores, which by default runs at 8 threads and a stable processing frequency of 3.8 GHz; But the developer can use the processor with 16 active chips and a stable frequency of 3.6 GHz with the help of multitode processing (SMT). 

The processor used on the Xbox S-Series has exactly the same number of cores, but runs at 3.6 GHz, and developers can use the multi-core processor with 16 active chips at 3.4 GHz.

Detailed technical specifications of Microsoft’s ninth generation console chip versus eighth generation
Parameters / Consoles Xbox S Series Xbox One S. Xbox X Series Xbox One X.
Chip manufacturing process 7nm TSMC 16 nm TSMC 7nm TSMC 16 nm TSMC
Number of transistors 15.3 billion 6.6 billion
CPU AMD Zen 2
8-core architecture , 16-bit
8-bit frequency: 3.6 GHz
16-bit frequency: 3.4 GHz
AMD Jaguar architecture
8 cores, 8 crunches
frequency 1.75 GHz
AMD Zen 2
8-core architecture , 16-bit
8-bit frequency: 3.8 GHz
16-bit frequency: 3.6 GHz
AMD Jaguar architecture
8 cores, 8 brittle
2.3 GHz frequency
GPU AMD RDNA 2 Architecture
20
1280 Computing Units 1.565
GHz
AMD GCN 2 Architecture
12 Computers Units
768
0.914 GHz Processor
AMD RDNA 2 architecture
52 computational units
3328 1.825
GHz processor
AMD GCN 2 architecture
40 computing units
2560
1.172 GHz processor
GPU computing power 4 FP32 teraflops 1.4 Traflops FP32 12 FP32 teraflops 6 FP32 teraflops
System memory 10 GB GDDR6 8 GB DDR3-2133 16 GB GDDR6 12 GB GDDR5
System memory bus 128 bits 256 bits 320 bits 384 bits
System memory bandwidth 8 GB at a rate of 224 GB
‌ 2 GB at a rate of 56 GB
68.3 GB / s 10 GB at 560 GB
‌ 6 GB at 336 GB
326 GB / s
Storage memory 512 GB SSD
364 GB free
500 GB HDD 1024 GB SSD
802 GB free
One terabyte HDD
Power 165 watts 120 watts 315 watts 245 watts

The ninth-generation Xbox X-Series and S-Series consoles use a graphics processor based on AMD’s latest architecture called RDNA 2. Microsoft, in collaboration with AMD, was able to use all the features of RDNA 2 on its new consoles. AMD introduced this architecture with Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards. 

If the developers can use all the capabilities of RNDA 2 architecture, the performance of the games will be significantly improved.

Thanks to the RDNA 2 architecture, hardware accelerators such as DirectX RayTracing, Mesh Shader, Samoler Feedback, and Variable Rate Shading are available on these ninth-generation Microsoft consoles; For example, Watch Dogs Legion runs on the S series console with support for Ray Tracing; But perhaps the trump card is support for Variable Rate Shading. 

This feature allows gamers to focus GPU power on a specific environment without compromising texture quality.

The Xbox S Series supports 10 GB of GDDR 6 system memory with a bandwidth of 224 GB / s. Regardless of the same architecture, the S-Series GPU uses 20 computing units and 1,280 stream processors, which is 61% less than the GPU used in the Xbox X-Series, while the S-Series GPU is less than 1565MHz. And it offers much less computing power than 4 teraflops (compared to 12 x-series teraflops).

Xbox S Series console in portrait mode

Microsoft has used a new architecture for the X-Series and S-Series storage, known as the Xbox Velocity Architecture. This architecture tries to increase the speed of data transfer with the help of hardware and software. 

Describing the memory architecture, Microsoft noted that if the processor was the heart of the new consoles, the Xbox Velocity would be their soul.

The Xbox’s Velocity architecture consists of four major components, including custom NVMe SSD memory, hardware accelerator uncompressed blocks, a new DirectStorage API layer (for setting I / O priorities and minimizing latency for Feed) The frame is based on the previously rendered frame).

In general, the basis of the Velocity architecture goes back to the custom SSD memory used in the S-Series and X-Series. All of the technologies used in the X-Series SSD are also used in the cheaper Microsoft console. 

Raw input and output speeds of storage memory reach 2.4 Gbps; But thanks to information compression technologies, the data transfer rate increases to 4.8 Gbps.

Since the Xbox S Series supports external hard drives, you can run Xbox One and Xbox 360 games (Oriental Games) on an external hard drive, leaving the console’s SSD free to run next-generation games; Of the 512 GB of SSD console memory, 364 GB is available to the user. 

This space will be almost suitable for installing five bulky games; Of course, some Xbox games, such as the Halo Master Chief Collection, take up about 120GB of console space. Note that new generation games are not installed on flash or external hard drives.

Perhaps the only challenge with the Xbox S-Series is its limited internal storage space

The price of external SSD memory for Microsoft ninth generation consoles is also high due to their customized nature, we suggest using the console SSD memory only to experience the next generation of games. Perhaps the only challenge with the Xbox S Series is managing SSD free space.

Both the Xbox S and X Series support simultaneous Ray-Tracing and HDMI 2.1, and therefore have Variable refresh rate and Auto Low Latency Mode capabilities. The Xbox S Series specifically features a hardware hardware accelerator known as Audio Ray Tracing. This technology improves the sound quality of the game in different environments when combined with graphic Ray-Tracing so that players feel better during the game. 

The two technologies Variable refresh rate and Auto Low Latency Mode allow developers to design the game in such a way that the controllers have the least amount of latency.

Compatibility with previous generations

The Xbox S Series, like the Xbox X Series, can run games from previous generations of the Xbox, including the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and the first generation Xbox; Note, however, that the Xbox S Series can run the Xbox One S version and is not capable of running the Xbox One X version. 

That’s why most backgammon games run on the console at 30 frames per second; Unless the developers themselves, in collaboration with Microsoft, have made changes to the game to make the game run better on the S series. For example, Fallout 4 runs at 60 frames per second on the S series.

Xbox S Series Console Controller

Xbox 360 games run on the Xbox S Series console with higher quality. The frame rate and even the resolution of some games on Microsoft’s ninth-generation console are even better than the Xbox One X. The S Series can run many Xbox 360 games that ran at 720p resolution at 1440p resolution.

Another cool feature that can be added to the Xbox 360 and even Xbox One games in the backward feature is HDR. None of the Xbox 360 games at the time used HDR, and now the Xbox S Series can implement this feature automatically on some games. Experiencing old games with better quality is very exciting and makes you want to play them again.

Xbox S Series Controller

The Xbox S Series comes with a new controller that looks exactly like the Xbox One controllers at first glance. The position of the buttons is no different from that of the Xbox One controller; But the Xbox S Series controller, which is exactly the black model that comes with the Xbox X Series, has some interesting changes compared to the Xbox One controller.

Xbox S Series Console Controller

Changing the D-Pad and adding a new button called Share is the most important difference between the appearance of Microsoft’s new controller and the previous generation; But when you take control, you will notice fundamental changes; The texture, which is quite different for the surface of the controller from the Xbox One controller and conveys a better feeling, on the other hand, the controller is easier to hold and more resistant to hand sweat.

The Share button, first added to Xbox controllers, sits in the center of the controller, making it easier to capture screenshots or record video of games. Due to the lack of a Share button on the Xbox One controller, this process was fraught with difficulties on eighth-generation consoles.

The Xbox S Series controller conveys a better feel to gamers than ever before

The Xbox S Series Controller uses the same AA battery as the Xbox One Controller. Battery usage is perhaps the Xbox controller’s main weakness; However, AA batteries do not meet the challenges of a controller-integrated lithium battery. You should also note that each pair of AA batteries in the Xbox controller lasts about 30 hours.

If you were one of the gamers with Xbox One, you will definitely notice a number of other changes, including the smoother operation of the LB and RB buttons and the textured LT and RT buttons, on the other hand, Microsoft’s new controller from the port Uses USB-C. The changes applied to the D-Pad are already felt in over-the-top fighting games; The new D-Pad now moves in six directions.

Xbox S Series Console Controller Triggers

Microsoft’s new controller still uses a 3.5mm audio output jack to connect headphones; There is also a place to connect your Xbox headphones to the controller. Xbox S Series controllers, like the new Xbox One controllers, support Bluetooth to allow controllers to other devices, including mobile.

Another feature of the Xbox S-Series and X-Series controllers is that they are compatible with Xbox One consoles. Even Xbox One controllers can be used on the S series and X series. In fact, all Xbox One accessories work on both the S Series and the X Series.

Xbox S Series User Interface

The Xbox S-Series and X-Series do not have their own user interface, and you will find the same Xbox One console user interface with the latest updates on ninth-generation consoles; But the Xbox S Series UI has more features due to the console hardware specifications.

The S-Series dashboard is much faster than the Xbox One dashboard, and you’ll feel the speed of the console and smoother experience when entering / exiting games and switching between different menus and even Xbox Live.

As fast as the Xbox S Series U interface is, it can confuse new users. The Xbox UI is crowded and misleading, and it takes a while to get in touch with it. In the Xbox S Series UI, the Guide button, or the X-button, is always bright and large in the middle of the controller. You can access the Settings menu, the Friends menu, the Conversations section, and all the new settings by pressing the X button. 

You can even access the achievements section in the shortest time and see which achievements can be obtained faster.

The Xbox S Series user interface allows users to have good management of storage space. You can delete part of a game and you can copy game files to external memory. You can even transfer the downloaded game to an external hard drive so that your friend does not need to re-download to experience the game. 

It is possible to filter games according to their features; For example, you can categorize games based on frame rate, image resolution, retrieval support, and more.

The S-Series user interface also makes the Microsoft Store section even faster available to users, which now provides a wealth of information about games. Because the Xbox is capable of playing games from previous consoles, the games are categorized to determine which games run better on the S or X series.

 For example, on the icon of games like Gears 5 and FIFA 21, you see the phrase X / S, which indicates that they perform better on the X-Series and S-Series.

You will also be able to customize the dashboard environment; You can change the color of the menus and the category template.

Another unique feature seen on the S series is the Quick Resume feature, which lets you switch between five games in the fastest mode. Quick Resume feature saves the game at the same time and runs another game; You can then re-enter the previous game and continue playing exactly where you left off. Quick Resume does not work on all games including online games.

We tested it on games like Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5 and Gears Tactics and the result was really amazing; This feature works even if you turn off the console, and it only takes a few seconds from turning on the console to entering the game.

The Quick Resume feature is one of the most important features of the Xbox S Series

There is no doubt that the Xbox Dashboard is not very attractive and not very straightforward, but it provides a lot of features for gamers and this is one of its strengths. We hope to see a better dashboard on Microsoft consoles in the future with new updates.

Using Xbox Live network and S series online capabilities in our country is not without problems. Due to US sanctions, it is not possible to connect to the live network and use the Xbox online service; But there is always a way to easily connect to Xbox Live, buy games and even play online. To do this, you need to use DNS, which you can get with a bit of searching.

Support for Xbox One accessories

At the same time as introducing its next-generation consoles, Microsoft announced that all Xbox One console accessories, such as controllers, headphones, and a whole host of other devices, would work with the Xbox S-Series and X-Series. 

We tested the Xbox One controllers on the S series and saw that all the games could be played with this controller without any problems. So if you have an Xbox One now, you can keep its controllers and use it with the Xbox S-Series or X-Series.

Xbox S + gaming experience

It should be noted at the outset that combining the Xbox S Series with the Gimps will definitely be exciting for many gamers. Perhaps the winner of the ninth generation is the same “Xbox S + Gimps”; The cheapest combination with which you can experience next generation games. Gimps will cost $ 10 per month, and Gimps Ultimate, which allows you to play both online and access EA Play and Game Pass PC games, will cost $ 15 per month.

If you are a new user, the Gimps service will be available at much cheaper prices. Our suggestion is to experience Ultimate Gimps so that you can use EA Play service games as well. 

As of this writing, games like Need for Speed ​​Heat and Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order are now available on the Ultimate Games game via EA Play. On the other hand, all Microsoft First Party games are available on the Gimps service on the same day of release.

Not to mention that Microsoft bought Bethesda a few months ago and now owns a lot of great games like Doom, The Elder Scrolls and Fallout. So the new part of the mentioned games will be released on the gamepad on the first day and at no additional cost. On the other hand, Microsoft Studios is making new games such as Perfect Dark, Halo Infinite and Gears 6, which will be released in 2021 or later. 

It should be noted that with the Xbox S series and X series consoles, a big game did not hit the market, and this is one of the weaknesses of these consoles. Even Halo Infinite, which was considered as a game at the time of release, will be released in the fall of 2021.

To gauge the performance of the Xbox S Series, we created a Gimps account and went for games like Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Gears Tactics and a whole host of other titles; Of course, we also tested games like Fifa 21 and Ori and the Will of the Wisp. As mentioned, the Xbox S Series can run games at 1440 resolution or upscale to 4K resolution.

The experience of Gears Tactics on the Xbox S Series was truly amazing. The quality of the textures is very high and everything looks full of details, bright and beautiful; This was already evident on the main characters and enemies. On the other hand, the game runs without the slightest drop in frames. Even in very crowded scenes and scenes that have a lot of conflict inside.

The lack of a big game at the time of the Xbox S series is one of the console’s weaknesses

Forza Horizon 4, one of the best driving style games of the previous generation, runs on the new generation consoles with much better quality. There are still plenty of updates and new content available for the game, bringing hours of gameplay to gamers. Forza Horizon 4 runs on high quality Xbox S Series. 

The game is locked at 60 frames per second and conveys a sense of speed to users. The game textures are also of high quality. The design of the cars looks amazing; While the game does not run in true 4K resolution; But it brings you a good experience.

Xbox S Series Console Controller

Gears 5 was another game we experienced on the Xbox S Series, which runs at 60 frames per second and has better graphics than the Xbox One version.

 Great shadows, detailed and bright textures, and a stable frame rate were some of the features of Gears 5 on the Xbox S Series.

We also reviewed other games like Tetrice Effect, Cuphead and even the new generation FIFA 21 version on the Xbox S Series. FIFA 21 runs on the Xbox S Series with a 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second; Of course, the improvement of visual effects and improved gameplay is quite evident.

The Medium is one of the few games currently running only on the Xbox S Series and X Series. Contrary to popular belief, the game performs well on the Xbox S Series. The game runs on the S series with 1080p resolution and 30 frames per second. 

The Medium uses dynamic image resolution technology that allows the image resolution to change under certain conditions; Of course, you will not feel the change in image resolution during the game.

The Medium offers gamers a number of interesting features thanks to its high-speed SSD memory; For example, in many cases two completely different environments are processed together; An event that requires high hardware power and high loading speed. 

The Xbox S series handles scenes well and you see very little frame drop throughout the game. On the other hand, the game on the S series supports Ray Tracing.

The Medium is one of the few games that runs only on the X-Series and S-Series, which, contrary to expectations, has an acceptable performance on the S-Series.

Dirt 5 was another game that was added to the gameplay service. If you are looking for a driving style game other than Forteza, you can also try Dirt 5. This game runs at a lower resolution than the X-Series on the S-Series, but you can run it at 60 frames per second. The experience of racing games with a high frame rate is also very exciting. 

The design of the cars on the S series is of high quality, and climate change has no effect on the performance of the game, and everything runs smoothly enough.

Finally, we ran Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order on the Xbox S Series. The game is not optimized for Xbox S series and X series consoles; But with the help of Backward capabilities on the S series, it works well. Game loading is much faster than previous generation consoles and is displayed at a steady rate of 30 frames per second.

Overall, the Xbox Series S is a great option for gaming on Full HD TVs, but the console’s upscaling technology to 4K makes it easy to play on a 4K TV and experience a great visual experience. Watching some games like Ori and the Will of the Wisps on 4K TV with HDR will definitely catch your eye. Especially since this game runs on the Xbox S Series at 60 frames per second.

The last word

In reviewing the Xbox S Series, we tried to point out the different parts of the console. The cheapest ninth generation console, the value of which is exceeded by Gimps. With the lowest cost, you can enter the ninth generation of game consoles and play with the lowest cost using the Gimps service.

 In fact, if you do not want to spend a lot of money to buy a game console, and most importantly, you do not want to pay a lot for each game, the Xbox S Series with the gamepad service will definitely be a great choice for you. Even the Xbox S Series can be considered a second console; A console that will also be a good option for the office.

Xbox S Series console controller keys

If you have a 4K TV and want to play games in 4K quality at 60 frames per second, the Xbox S Series will not live up to your expectations; You have to think about Xbox X series or PlayStation 5. Microsoft’s economic console does not support disk either, and this can be important to many. 

Especially people who want to always have a game archive and do not want to download large volumes of games.

The Xbox S-Series has weaker hardware than the Xbox X-Series and is a great choice for playing in Full HD resolution. You are dealing with a very small console that fits anywhere and, thanks to the use of SSD memory, runs games at high speed; But it has little interior space and this may be annoying in the long run. 

On the other hand, the lack of a large exclusive game at the time of the console’s release may also cause the Xbox S Series to be dropped from some people’s shopping list.

Positive points

  • The price is right
  • Gameplay and access to a variety of games at a low monthly cost
  • Compatibility with games offered for previous generations
  • Very small dimensions
  • Support for Xbox One accessories

Cons

  • Use AA batteries for controllers
  • Low SSD storage space and expensive external storage
  • Confusing user interface
  • Lack of great exclusive games at launch