Comparing gaming consoles can get very confusing with so many options available on the market and the choice between the Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S is a difficult one considering the strengths they both bring to the table. The Xbox Series X specifications are undeniably more amped up than its counterpart, but if you’re trying to work with a limited budget the Xbox Series S price wins hands down. In terms of the structure, the Xbox Series S design wins again but is it enough to compensate for the display quality loss you will never encounter with the Xbox Series X performance? Whichever console you pick in the end, you should have a pretty decent gaming experience for a long time to come, but let’s break down the specs a little to make it easier to decide which console is right for you.

Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S: Series S Wins with Its Price and Design

The Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S in white and black. Image credit – Xbox

Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S—Gaming Redefined

The Xbox Series X and Series S were both released on 10 November 2020, a surprising move by the company offering very distinct models simultaneously as opposed to previous console releases that had, at most, two variants of the same device with the same overarching specifications. The biggest factor to consider while assessing the Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S is whether you plan to only play digital games on the device or require a disk drive to load the physical games you own. 

The Xbox Series X design and specifications include a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray drive that allows for your own personalized gaming experience of your games. The Xbox Series S design leaves no room for a disk–drive, meaning that all games have to be downloaded in order for you to be able to play them, making your existing purchased disk collection redundant. If you don’t already have hard copies of your games, however, this should not be too big of an issue as the online collection does offer up most titles quite readily. 

Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S Specifications

Microsoft has a pretty detailed breakdown of its two consoles, highlighting the exact differences and similarities between the Xbox Series X specifications and those of the Xbox Series S. Both feature solid-state drives to be utilized for storage, but while the Xbox Series X comes with 1TB internal storage, the Xbox Series features 512 GB. This can be extended to 1TB on the Series S if needed but for a device that relies solely on its storage capacity for the gaming experience, this can be quite limiting. 

Xbox Series X SpecificationsXbox Series S Specifications
Size15.1 cm x 15.1 cm x 30.1 cm6.5 cm x 15.1 cm x 27.5 cm
Weight9.8 lbs4.25 lbs
Frame RateUp to 120FPSUp to 120FPS
ProcessorAMD RDNA 2, 12 teraflopsAMD RDNA 2, 4 teraflops
Gaming ResolutionTrue 4K1440p
Optical Disk Drive4K UHD Blu-ray DriveNot included
VideoUp to 8K high dynamic rangeCapable of 8K but it requires an Ultra High Speed HDMI cable that needs to be bought separately
Games Physical game discs and digital gamesDisc-free gaming
Price$399.99 $239.99 ($349.99 for 1TB storage)

Xbox Series X Performance vs Xbox Series S Performance 

If you’re trying to compare the Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S in terms of specs, it is clear that the Xbox Series X specifications have an edge over its competitor console, but does the difference really justify the significant price difference? With 120fps guaranteed with either console, either should be able to promise a smooth visual experience and for those with an average monitor that only provides a 1440p display, the Xbox Series S’s performance is more than sufficient for a good quality gaming experience. But for an existing high-end set-up that you want to use to its full potential, the Xbox Series X performance might be more up your alley. 

Both consoles are backwards compatible with Xbox One games and accessories and provide support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, guaranteeing a cohesive audio-visual experience, whichever device you pick. The drop in resolution might put the Xbox Series S’s performance at a lower rung than the Xbox Series X, but with the ability to largely play the same games unhindered, the Series S is just an overall more rational investment. 

Finer Details—Xbox Series S Design and Price Wins

When it comes to the actual console designs, the Xbox Series X design is quite boxy and takes up a considerable amount of space. For the higher price point, you would hope that the design would offer a more sleeker finish but the Xbox Series X is a bulky behemoth and requires quite a lot of space in comparison to what the Series S offers. The Xbox Series S design is more compact and the white is quite a nice detail but for those who want the black-themed structure to complement their homes, the 1TB version does come in black. 

The Xbox Series X price has recently gone down from the original $499.99 number to $399.99 and for fans of Diablo IV and Forza Horizon 5, the bundle offers available at the same price can be a nice finishing touch to the purchase. The Xbox Series S price point is much more affordable, down from $299.99 to $239.99 currently. The Xbox Series S 1TB (Black) model falls in between the two at $349.99. 

Overall, the Xbox Series S’ performance is pretty impressive for a good-first investment and the additional purchase of the Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable and a storage expansion card at a later time might give you the slight boost you need to improve the gaming visual experience one step further without committing to the significantly bulkier Xbox Series X. 

The Xbox Series X is undeniably the better console and if you do not want to compromise on your gaming experience, then the Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S debate has a clear winner for you. However, if you are okay with a more casual gaming experience that does not require as big of an investment in terms of time, space, or money, the Xbox Series S price should be sufficient to reel you in.