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The Xbox Series S Is For Gamers Who Hate Upgrades

Illustration for article titled The Xbox Series S Is for Gamers Who Hate Upgrades

Photograph: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo

When my mother moved again in 2007, she determined that dwelling in a brand new home after 30 years within the previous one warranted a brand new TV. Made sense—ours have been all from the ‘80s. She purchased a elaborate (for the time) Sony with 1080p decision, and 13 years later, I’m nonetheless making an attempt to persuade her to improve. If my mom have been a gamer (I guarantee you, she is just not), I might inform her to get the Xbox Sequence S. The cheaper different to the Sequence X could be very engaging and really quick, however Microsoft reduce lots of corners to get the associated fee to only $300, and I simply don’t suppose it’s price it for most individuals.

If I have been a toddler begging for an Xbox for the following gift-giving vacation, I might doubtless ask for an Xbox One X (read the review here), and be very put out when the Xbox One S arrives. My mother and father, like Microsoft, would level out that it performs all the identical video games, is half the scale, and prices $100 much less. What’s the large deal?

The issues are within the smaller issues. With assist for a variety of streaming apps, together with Apple TV, the Xbox Sequence S could be an ideal console to do double responsibility as a set-top machine, as a result of it powers on simply as quick and is navigable with the controller or the suitable distant. However there’s no UHD Blu-Ray participant—that’s solely within the Sequence X. It has a 512GB drive, and you’ll spend $220 for an additional 1TB storage device from Seagate or carry your personal USB 3.1 exterior drive for added storage. By comparability, the Sequence X has a 1TB drive that may assist twice as many copies of Name of Obligation earlier than filling up. The Sequence S powers on almost as rapidly because the Sequence X, which is twice as quick because the Xbox One X when chilly booting video games or restarting, and masses ranges in a fifth the time of the Xbox One X. But it’s additionally a few seconds slower than the Sequence X, on common—most likely owing to it utilizing 10 GB of GDDR6 reminiscence. The Sequence X has 16 GB.

However the true downside is the graphics. It’s supposed to do 1440p at 60 frames per second—the Sequence X does 4K at 60 fps. Microsoft notes that the Sequence S can do 4K when supported by the developer, however I undoubtedly observed hiccups in Gears 5—little moments when the sport would stutter or battle. That’s regarding as a result of it additionally seems to run at a barely decrease high quality than the Sequence X, which Digital Foundry noted appears to run Gears 5 at settings equal to Extremely on the PC. Snow didn’t look as fluffy as my character trudged by way of it, shadows weren’t as detailed, and generally there was bizarre artifacting. These items wasn’t tremendous noticeable, and I needed to hop between the 2 and take a lot of screenshots to verify I wasn’t simply imagining issues.

I nonetheless want extra time with the Sequence S and the suite of extra graphically demanding video games with ray tracing assist, like Watch Canines: Legion and Cyberpunk 2077, to definitively say the Sequence S sacrificed visible high quality, however my time with the console to this point undoubtedly raised alarms.

However again to the decision downside: 1440p is a very bizarre decision to ship a console with. Whereas that’s the decision most avid gamers on displays choose, most avid gamers with displays are additionally utilizing huge PC rigs. In tv land, 1440p is just not a decision anybody ships with, and 1080p is just about nonexistent at this level, too. Which means in case you’ve purchased a TV within the final couple of years, or plan to purchase one ever once more, you’ll be shopping for a 4K set and counting on the Sequence S to upscale content material. Counting on the TV to deal with upscaling duties might lead to lag, which the Sequence X|S accounts for. Possibly it’s the gadget blogger in me, however I feel completely the fuck not. Why save $100 to purchase a machine that upscales after I can spend the additional $100 and get one which not solely handles 4K natively but in addition has assist for 8K ought to these video games ever ship.

The enchantment of the Sequence S, I feel, isn’t just for harried mother and father seeking to save a benjamin throughout a Black Friday deal, however for individuals who simply by no means improve. Whereas I’ve slagged on the Sequence S loads right here, it nonetheless renders a a lot, a lot prettier recreation than the Xbox One X, even on my 4K TVs. And just like the Sequence X, it additionally helps the entire digital library, going again to the unique Xbox. In case you are nonetheless caught on an Xbox 360 or an earlier era Xbox One, that is an improve in each kind and vogue and you’ll not remorse it.

However it’s best to most likely nonetheless get an Xbox Sequence X.


  • It’s just like the Sequence X however smaller and extra lovely. Go learn the Sequence X evaluate right here.
  • It helps 1440p natively, not 4K, and there’s no UHD Blu-Ray participant. Nonetheless, it additionally helps all the opposite stuff, like HDR, Dolby Imaginative and prescient, variable refresh charges, and even Dolby Atmos.
  • Microsoft didn’t skimp on the ports: It has all the identical ports because the Xbox Sequence X, and even has 802.11ac wifi (although 802.11ax would have been nicer).
  • If it can save you up one other $100, the Sequence X is the higher deal.

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Alex Cranz