The Xbox Series S is the latest all-digital console from Xbox and is causing a stir in gaming circles. The new console and controller were released in early November along with the Xbox Series X. BritMums got to give it a try — see our unboxing here and read down to discover the pros and cons of the Series S!
Is the Xbox Series S for me?
The Xbox Series S has the same CPU, the same system on a chip (SoC), the same expansion storage capability and the same ability to play next-generation games as the more hefty Xbox Series X, aimed at dedicated gamers. What all that jargon means is that it packages up a lot of the new benefits and does so at a lower price. (Want to know about the technical specs? Check out this piece from PCMag.) The prices for the Series S start at £299; for the Series X £449.99. That’s a big difference, especially if there aren’t super-gamers in your midst.
Where the Series S saves space and money is on GPU power (the amount of power for the graphics processing unit), the performance speed and the storage. It also lacks a disk drive. That’s the all-digital thing — all the games it play are downloaded.
The beauty of the Xbox Series S
All those things might sound a little ‘less’. In fact, when we unboxed the console they came up as a big plug for a couple of great reasons: The Series S is so petite and just darn good-looking. This image shows it besides its big brother the Series X.
The Series S: The gaming console that fits into family life
This isn’t a minor thing. As most parents know, our homes can get filled to overflowing with all the things we have for our children and ourselves. (We once had an entire cabinet dedicated to our DVD collection…and don’t even mention the cassette tapes.)
Having a gaming console without needing a shelf (or bookcase) to store physical games is a real benefit to ensure gaming fits into your family life but doesn’t take over.
The Series S console is also an elegant item to rest beside the television in the sitting room or your child’s room and small enough to tuck away in a cabinet. It can stand upright or on its side.
How’s the quality?
Like the Series X, the Series S can output both games and video at 4K resolution. Frankly, it looked great to us and we didn’t notice blips that interrupted gameplay or disappointing graphics. It does take quite a while to download games — hours, in fact. So you need to plan ahead and you’ll want to delete games from the console that you’re not that into. However, once you’ve purchased a game digitally it’s still on your account so you can reinstall it later. Also, the console has backward compatibility with older games.
Here’s a clip taken from a smartphone of introductory video on the Marvel game. As you can see, the graphics are impressive. (There is a way to record your game clips in the console and save them to your Xbox account — our reviewers were just learning!)
Who is the Xbox Series S for?
In our opinion this console is great for families who want to enjoy gaming with the latest capabilities but not let it overtake their homes or their family life. Overall, that seems like a healthy, fun and family-friendly way to game!
Also, with a Microsoft Family 365 account, parents can control what children purchase on an Xbox, who they talk with online and screentime. Bonus!
Our testers (BritMums cofounder Jennifer and her teenage daughter) were interested in gaming — spurred on by the explosion of it during lockdown — but weren’t interested in a huge setup that was more powerful or pricey than needed.
Stay tuned for more coverage of the Xbox Series S. Until then, tell us about your gaming!