It’s been a long wait, but today is the official launch of Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox Series X and Series S consoles. We’ve already reviewed the Series X last week, and we also plan to review the Series S which we’ve just received this morning.
The Xbox Series S is Microsoft’s $299 next-gen console that comes with no disc drive and a smaller 500GB SSD. Other notable differences with the Xbox Series X include a less powerful RDNA 2-based GPU and only 10GB of GDDR6 memory, but the consoles share the same custom-designed NVMe SSD and AMD Zen 2-based eight-core CPU.
We were pretty impressed by how Microsoft managed to cram so much power inside the Xbox Series X, which isn’t significantly bigger than the Xbox One X, but the Xbox Series S is Microsoft’s smallest Xbox console ever. The retail box itself is a bit smaller than the one for the Xbox Series X, and you can see some side-by-side comparisons below. If the back of the Xbox Series X retail box had a picture of Halo Infinite, the Xbox Series X box has a more inclusive picture showing different games above Xbox’s new “Power your dreams” motto.
I was glad to find the same attention to detail during the unboxing experience. The Xbox Series S is wrapped like a precious gift, and the HDMI and power cables, the white Xbox Wireless Controller, and AA batteries are hidden in a separate box above the console. The new controller looks really nice in white, though more on that later. The HDMI and power cables also look identical to the ones found in the Xbox Series X box, though the Xbox Series S actually comes with an HDMI 2.0 cable instead of the HDMI 2.1 one found with the Xbox Series X. It’s not clear why the Series S ships with an inferior cable, especially since the console supports the same HDMI 2.1 features as the Series X including 120FPS.
Again, the Series S is Microsoft’s smallest Xbox console ever, and it’s actually hard to imagine how small it is before seeing it. The dimensions are 6.5cm x 15.1cm x 27.5cm, and it weighs 1,92 kilos (4,25 lbs). It's the perfect console to put in your backpack if you’re travelling, or want to play the Xbox evangelist with your gaming friends. The console looks really nice in both the horizontal and vertical positions, and you quickly get used to the huge black circle that hides the console’s fan.
I did some side-by-side comparisons with both the Xbox One X and the Xbox Series X. The Series S is the console that is going to replace the Xbox One X on my desk, and I’m glad that the form factor is much smaller. Both consoles are about the same height in the horizontal position, but the One X is slightly longer and much larger than the Series S.
Next, you can see some side by side comparisons with the Xbox Series X. The latter is slightly taller than the Series S when both are in the vertical position, but both are about the same width. The two consoles look really nice to each other, and it’s pretty cool that Microsoft re-used the same black and white colours to distinguish them, as it did with the Xbox One X and Xbox One S before.
I also took some side by side pictures of the Xbox One X, the Xbox Series S, and the Xbox Series X, and I had some fun putting them on top of each other. The horizontal position was the most natural one for the Xbox One X, and you needed to purchase a stand separately to use it in the vertical position. Anyway, it’s pretty nice to see how the Xbox industrial design evolved over the years.
Lastly, you can find below some pictures of the Xbox Series S controller, which is identical to the one that comes with the Xbox Series X except for the robot white color that matches the one on the console. As a reminder, this new controller is slightly smaller than the existing Xbox One controller, and it comes with a new Share button, a USB-C port for charging, and textured grips on the triggers and bumpers
That’s it for our Xbox Series S unboxing, stay tuned to OnMSFT for our full review of the console that will be published very soon. If you received the Xbox Series X or the Series S today, let us know in the comments what you think of Microsoft's next-gen Xbox consoles so far.