Xbox Series S: Affordable Gaming, High-Quality Experience – A Comprehensive Review

  • Resolution
  • Compatibility
  • Build Quality
  • HD Gaming Experience
  • Connectivity
  • Value for Money
4.9/5Overall Score

Quick Summary:

The Xbox Series S a game-changing marvel was released on November 10, 2020, that's redefining the world of gaming. With its sleek design and compact size, it packs a powerful punch, offering gamers an incredible experience like never before. Whether you're a seasoned gamer or just starting your journey, the Xbox Series S opens up a world of endless possibilities, where you can explore new realms, conquer epic challenges, and connect with a global community of like-minded players. Get ready to embark on a thrilling adventure filled with stunning visuals, lightning-fast load times, and a library of games that will keep you entertained for hours on end. The future of gaming is here, and it's brighter and more exciting than ever with the Xbox Series S. So, grab your controller, and let's dive into a world of limitless fun and unforgettable moments!

  • PROCESSOR: 8X Cores @ 3.6 GHz (3.4 GHz w/SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
  • GPU: 4 TFLOPS, 20 CUs @1.565 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
  • SOC Die Size: 197.05 mm2
  • Memory: 10GB GDDR6 128 bit-wide bus
  • Memory Bandwidth: 8GB @ 224 GB/s, 2GB @ 56 GB/s.
  • Internal Storage: 512GB Custom NVME SSD
  • I/O Throughput: 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)
  • Expandable Storage: Support for 1TB Seagate Expansion Card/USB 3.1 external HDD
  • Gaming Resolution: 1440p
  • Performance Target: Up to 120 FPS
  • HDMI Features: Auto Low Latency Mode. HDMI Variable Refresh Rate. AMD FreeSync
  • SOUND: L-PCM, up to 7.1
  • Dolby Digital 5.1: Yes
  • DTS 5.1: Yes
  • Dolby TrueHD with Atmos: Yes
  • HDMI Ports: 1x HDMI 2.1 port
  • USB Ports: 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
  • Wireless: 802.11ac dual band
  • Ethernet: 802.3 10/100/1000
  • Accessories radio: Dedicated dual band Xbox Wireless radio
  • Dimensions: 6.5cm x 15.1cm x 27.5cm
  • Weight: 4.25 lbs
  • Affordable Entry into Next-Gen Gaming.
  • Compact and Space-Saving Design.
  • Impressive Load Times.
  • Backward Compatibility.
  • Robust Online Services: Xbox Game Pass.
  • Limited 4K Gaming Capabilities
  • Limited Storage Capacity
  • Lower GPU Performance

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction.
  2. Specifications and Hardware.
  3. Performance and Graphics.
  4. Game Library and Compatibility.
  5. Xbox Game Pass.
  6. Controller and User Experience.
  7. Design and Build Quality.
  8. Connectivity and Storage.
  9. Price and Value Proposition.
  10. Pros. & Cons.
  11. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  12. Final Thoughts.

1. Introduction:

The gaming world is evolving at an astonishing pace, and the Xbox Series S is at the forefront of this revolution. Released in November 2020, this compact and affordable gaming console from Microsoft brings a wave of excitement to the gaming community. Packed with cutting-edge technology and a relentless commitment to delivering immersive gaming experiences, the Xbox Series S is a force to be reckoned with.

In this comprehensive review, we’ll dive deep into every aspect of the Xbox Series S, from its hardware prowess to its extensive game library, and explore how it fits into the modern gaming landscape. So, fasten your seatbelts, as we embark on an exhilarating journey into the world of Xbox Series S!

2. Xbox Series S Specifications and Hardware:

Let’s kick things off by delving into the heart of the Xbox Series S – its specifications and hardware.

The Xbox Series S boasts impressive hardware that punches well above its weight class. With an AMD Zen 2 CPU, 10GB of GDDR6 RAM, and a custom RDNA 2 GPU, this console is built to deliver smooth and responsive gaming performance. The GPU is particularly noteworthy, as it supports ray tracing and targets 1440p gaming at 60fps, ensuring stunning visuals that rival much pricier consoles.

The SSD storage is lightning-fast, significantly reducing load times and ensuring that you spend more time playing and less time waiting. This console also features support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), enhancing your gaming experience by reducing input lag and screen tearing.

The Xbox Series S is not only powerful but also whisper-quiet. It runs cool, thanks to an innovative cooling system that ensures you won’t be distracted by the sound of whirring fans while you’re in the midst of intense gaming sessions.

The hardware under the hood of the Xbox Series S is a testament to Microsoft’s commitment to delivering a high-quality gaming experience. Whether you’re a casual gamer or a hardcore enthusiast, this console has the horsepower to satisfy your gaming cravings.

3. Performance & Graphics:

The Xbox Series S shines when it comes to performance and graphics. It’s designed to deliver a buttery-smooth gaming experience with eye-popping visuals.

With the capability to target 1440p gaming at 60fps, the Xbox Series S manages to strike a sweet spot between affordability and performance. Games look stunningly detailed, and the increased frame rate makes for incredibly responsive gameplay. Whether you’re navigating the treacherous landscapes of a post-apocalyptic world or engaging in fierce multiplayer battles, the Series S keeps up without breaking a sweat.

The introduction of ray tracing adds another layer of realism to your gaming experiences. Real-time ray tracing creates lifelike reflections, shadows, and lighting effects that immerse you in the game world like never before. Games like “Cyberpunk 2077” and “Control” benefit greatly from this technology, providing a visual feast for your eyes.

The solid-state drive (SSD) further enhances performance by virtually eliminating load times. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can jump into your favorite games. It’s a game-changer, quite literally!

Overall, the Xbox Series S excels in the performance and graphics department, offering a gaming experience that is both fluid and visually stunning, making it a fantastic choice for gamers of all levels.

4. Game Library and Compatibility:

No gaming console is complete without an extensive game library, and the Xbox Series S certainly doesn’t disappoint.

4.1 Backward Compatibility:

One of the standout features of the Xbox Series S is its robust backward compatibility. It can play thousands of Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox games. The “Smart Delivery” feature ensures that when you upgrade from an Xbox One to the Series S, you’ll automatically get the best version of a game available. This means you won’t have to re-purchase games you already own, and you can enjoy improved graphics and performance on compatible titles.

4.2 Exclusive Titles:

Xbox Series S is home to some fantastic exclusive titles, such as “Halo Infinite,” “Minecraft”, “Forza Horizon 5,” and “Fable.” These games showcase the console’s capabilities and provide exclusive experiences you won’t find anywhere else.

The combination of backward compatibility, Xbox Game Pass, and exclusive titles makes the Xbox Series S a gaming powerhouse with a vast and varied library that caters to every taste and preference.

5. Xbox Game Pass:

Let’s dive deeper into the Xbox Game Pass, which deserves its own section due to its immense value and impact on the gaming industry.

5.1 Library Expansion:

The Xbox Game Pass is a game-changer for gamers worldwide. It offers a staggering variety of games, including blockbuster titles, indie gems, and everything in between. The library is constantly expanding, with new additions every month, ensuring that you’ll never run out of exciting games to play.

5.2 Day One Releases:

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Xbox Game Pass is its inclusion of day one releases from Xbox Game Studios. This means that when a new Xbox Game Studios title hits the market, Game Pass subscribers can play it without any additional cost. It’s a game release revolution, and it’s exclusive to Xbox.

5.3 Ultimate Value:

For those who want the ultimate gaming experience, there’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. This premium tier includes Game Pass for console and PC, Xbox Live Gold for online multiplayer, and access to EA Play, all bundled together at a competitive price. It’s a gaming enthusiast’s dream come true.

The Xbox Game Pass is a game-changer, a disruptor in the gaming industry that sets a new standard for value and accessibility. With this service, the Xbox Series S becomes an even more compelling choice for gamers who want access to an extensive library of games without breaking the bank.

6. Controller and User Experience:

A gaming console is only as good as its controller, and the Xbox Series S controller is a marvel of design and functionality.

6.1 Controller Design:

The controller retains the iconic Xbox design while making subtle improvements. The textured grips feel comfortable in your hands, and the redesigned D-pad and share button enhance your gaming experience. It’s a controller that feels instantly familiar yet refreshed and refined.

6.2 Latency and Connectivity:

With low latency and Bluetooth connectivity, the controller is responsive and versatile. It’s compatible with a wide range of devices, including PCs, making it a great option for gamers who like to switch between platforms.

6.3 User Interface:

The user interface on the Xbox Series S is intuitive and user-friendly. Navigating menus, accessing your library, and launching games is a breeze. Microsoft has also introduced a Quick Resume feature that allows you to seamlessly switch between multiple games without losing progress, further enhancing the user experience.

7. Design and Build Quality:

The Xbox Series S boasts a sleek and compact design that will fit seamlessly into any gaming setup. Its minimalist white exterior is accentuated by a large black cooling vent that not only adds a touch of style but also serves a functional purpose by keeping the console cool during extended gaming sessions.

The build quality is top-notch, with attention to detail evident in every aspect of the design. The console feels sturdy and well-constructed, giving you confidence that it can handle the rigors of gaming for years to come.

Additionally, the small form factor of the Xbox Series S makes it an excellent choice for gamers with limited space. It can easily fit on a shelf or in an entertainment center without taking up too much real estate.

The design and build quality of the Xbox Series S exemplify Microsoft’s commitment to creating a console that not only performs exceptionally well but also looks good doing it.

8. Connectivity and Storage:

In terms of connectivity, the Xbox Series S offers a range of options to meet your gaming and entertainment needs. It includes HDMI 2.1, which supports 4K resolution at 120Hz and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), making it compatible with the latest high-refresh-rate displays.

The console features three USB 3.1 ports, allowing you to connect a variety of accessories such as external hard drives, keyboards, and more. This is especially useful for expanding storage capacity.

Speaking of storage, the Xbox Series S comes with a 512GB NVMe SSD. While this storage capacity may seem limited, it’s worth noting that you can expand it with a compatible external SSD or HDD via the USB ports. This flexibility ensures that you won’t have to worry about running out of space for your game library.

Additionally, the console supports Wi-Fi 6, which provides fast and reliable wireless connectivity for online gaming and streaming.

Overall, the Xbox Series S offers a comprehensive range of connectivity options and storage solutions to cater to your gaming and entertainment needs.

9. Price and Value Proposition:

Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – the price. The Xbox Series S is a budget-friendly console, which is a breath of fresh air in an era where gaming hardware can often be prohibitively expensive.

9.1 Affordability:

With a price point that makes gaming accessible to a wider audience, the Xbox Series S is an excellent choice for budget-conscious gamers, families, and newcomers to the gaming world. It delivers an impressive gaming experience without the hefty price tag, making it a compelling option for those who want to dip their toes into the world of console gaming.

9.2 Xbox All Access:

Microsoft has also introduced the Xbox All Access program, which allows you to get an Xbox Series S with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for a low monthly fee. This subscription model eliminates the need for a large upfront investment, making it even easier to get your hands on the console and enjoy a vast library of games.

9.3 Long-Term Value:

When you consider the value of the Xbox Series S, especially when paired with Xbox Game Pass, it becomes clear that this console offers tremendous long-term value. You’re not just buying a piece of hardware; you’re investing in an ecosystem that will continue to deliver new games and experiences for years to come.

10. Pros & Cons:


  1. Affordable Entry into Next-Gen Gaming: The Xbox Series S offers a more budget-friendly option for gamers looking to experience next-generation gaming without the high price tag.
  2. Compact and Space-Saving Design: Its sleek and compact design makes it easy to fit into smaller entertainment setups, saving space and providing versatility.
  3. Impressive Load Times and Performance: The Xbox Series S delivers snappy load times and smooth performance thanks to its SSD and custom GPU, enhancing the overall gaming experience.
  4. Extensive Backward Compatibility: It offers a robust library of backward-compatible Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox games, allowing you to enjoy your existing game collection.
  5. Xbox Game Pass: The Xbox Game Pass subscription service provides access to a vast library of games, including new releases, offering exceptional value for gamers.


  1. Limited 4K Gaming Capabilities: Unlike its sibling, the Xbox Series X, the Series S doesn’t support native 4K gaming, which may disappoint gamers seeking the highest resolution and graphics quality.
  2. Smaller Storage Capacity: The Series S comes with a relatively small 512GB SSD, which can fill up quickly, especially when downloading larger games. External storage options are available but at an additional cost.
  3. Not Ideal for Enthusiasts Seeking Top-Tier Graphics: Gamers who demand the absolute best graphics and performance may find the Xbox Series S lacking compared to the more powerful Xbox Series X or other high-end gaming PCs.

12. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q1: Can the Xbox Series S play physical discs?

No, the Xbox Series S does not have an optical drive, so it cannot play physical discs. Games must be downloaded or streamed digitally.

Q2: Can I upgrade the storage of the Xbox Series S?

Yes, you can expand the storage of the Xbox Series S using compatible external SSDs or HDDs connected via the USB ports.

Q3: Is Xbox Game Pass included with the purchase of the Xbox Series S?

No, Xbox Game Pass is a separate subscription service. However, Microsoft often offers bundle deals that include Game Pass with the purchase of a console.

Q4: Does the Xbox Series S support 4K gaming?

No, the Xbox Series S is primarily designed for 1440p gaming, although it can upscale some games to 4K.

Q5: Is Xbox Live Gold required to play online multiplayer games on the Xbox Series S?

Xbox Live Gold is not required for free-to-play online multiplayer games. However, it is required for most other online multiplayer games.

11. Final Thoughts:

In my opinion, the Xbox Series S is a remarkable gaming console that punches above its weight in every aspect. Its powerful hardware, exceptional performance, and stunning graphics make it a formidable contender in the console gaming arena. The extensive game library, with the added value of Xbox Game Pass, ensures that you’ll never run out of exciting adventures to embark upon.

The controller is a joy to use, the design is sleek and compact, and the build quality is top-notch. With a range of connectivity options and storage expandability, the Xbox Series S is a versatile and future-proof gaming console.

Perhaps most importantly, the Xbox Series S offers incredible value for the price, making it accessible to a broad audience of gamers. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the world of gaming, the Xbox Series S has something to offer.

In a gaming landscape that can sometimes feel overwhelming, the Xbox Series S stands out as a beacon of affordability, accessibility, and quality. It’s not just a gaming console; it’s an invitation to join a thriving gaming community and embark on countless adventures.

So, if you’re looking for a console that delivers outstanding performance, an extensive game library, and unbeatable value, the Xbox Series S is the answer to your gaming dreams. Get ready to immerse yourself in a world of gaming excitement and adventure like never before!

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