A leak posted on Thurrott showing the Xbox Series S threw fans in a tizzy late Monday night, and it eventually led to Microsoft’s confirmation of the long-rumored console.
The Xbox Series S, a budget-friendly version of its upcoming Xbox Series consoles, will go on sale for $299. Once codenamed Lockhart, the Xbox Series S is 60 percent smaller than its bigger brother and it has a custom 512 GB NVME SSD. The new type of hard drive is one of the bigger selling points of the upcoming next-gen consoles. The Xbox Veolcity Architecture offers improved load times and seamless game switching. It’s one of those features that is supposed to change how games are made eliminating the need for developers to hide load times through different techniques.
The new console will be all digital, meaning players will get their games via download instead of the traditional disc drive. The visuals will be 1440p at 120 FPS. It’s a step below 4K but the high frame rate will standout if one has a monitor that supports it. More importantly though, the console will have DirectX Ray Tracing, Variable Rate shading and Variable Refresh Rate. These features will define the visuals of the upcoming generation of consoles. Ray tracing will have the most impact graphically out of those three, making reflections and the way light plays on objects more realistic.
Xbox Series S
All-digital next-gen console
Faster load times
Higher frame rates
Richer, more dynamic worlds
Next generation gaming performance
In our smallest Xbox ever#PowerYourDreams pic.twitter.com/5GxCBiSVtO
— Xbox (@Xbox) September 8, 2020
When it comes to digital media, the Xbox Series S will support 4K streaming playback. That means you can likely binge Netflix shows on your fancy 4K television. Meanwhile though games won’t naturally support 4K, it can be upscaled via the console.
Lastly, the Xbox Series S will be able to play more than 100 titles via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. That means it will have a decent library on launch for players who subscribe to the service.
With this move, Microsoft plants its flag on next generation of consoles. The Xbox Series S sets a baseline price of $299 for consumers to experience a new wave of games. According to a Windows Central report, both the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X will arrive Nov. 10, 2020, and that the Series X will cost $499. Now that the industry has that mark, Sony will likely release the prices for its PlayStation 5 consoles soon, reacting accordingly.
From the specs, it sounds like the Xbox Series S would be best for a desktop experience rather than one in the living room. Players can get the most value from the console if they can pair it with a QHD monitor that also supports high refresh rates of 120 Hz or higher. That will give players the smoothest experience with that available technology. Although it may not look as pretty in a lower resolution, players will definitely appreciate a silky frame rate coming from their games.