Xbox Series S one year later — does it still hold up? | Laptop Mag

by -263 views

Xbox Serial South one year later — does it still concord up?

Xbox Series S
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

I grew up with PlayStation, but afterward 12 months, information technology’s go clear to me that the
Xbox Series Southward
is going to turn some heads.

In example you’ve been living under a stone, the Series S is the budget version of two consoles that Microsoft launched in November last year. At $299 (£249), this is a far more than ideal price point to the 500 bucks expected of people looking for the 4K cream of the crop in the
Xbox Series X

  • Why I regret buying the Xbox Series X
  • The best laptops of 2022

Does this cheaper setup compromise on besides much to be a real next-gen experience? Could this be an ideal buy for PlayStation gamers who desire to dip their toes into
Xbox Game Pass? I bought i a yr agone, then let’southward notice out.

Xbox Series S:  The console

Going in the opposite management of my thoughts on the PS5’southward hardware design, I initially thought the Xbox Series Southward looked weird. This pocket-size oblong with a giant black circular grill on top reminds me of the drive-thru speaker box that I’d apply to order a Quarter Pounder with cheese.

Xbox Series S review

Xbox Series S

(Image credit: Laptop Magazine)

Over the last 12 months, however, it’s grown on me. The modest size and weight is and then much more convenient, the box shape is surely a little more than durable than Sony’due south fly-tipped system, and it’s restrained arroyo to design makes the box blend into any Tv stand or desk-bound with ease. It doesn’t draw attention to itself, and permit’southward be honest, that’s all you desire from a games console.

A quick shout-out to 1 of my favourite elements of the Xbox Serial systems, which is the versatility of play. Plugging in my USB keyboard and mouse has been a breath of fresh air across games like
Halo Space
and Gears Tactics that do work with controllers, only can experience a piffling clunky. It means yous can turn your panel into a low-cost gaming PC.

Every bit for what you’ll find under the hood and how it performs, the custom AMD 7nm CPU and RDNA 2 GPU with 10GB GDDR6 video memory produces four teraflops of visual power. Compared to the 12 teraflops of the Series X, that sounds paltry, even to those who had no idea what a teraflop was until they bought the console (me).

In existent-world apply, notwithstanding, that difference is not equally desperate as the numbers propose. Sure, at that place are some variable resolution changes (Forza Horizon five runs at 1440p at 60 frames per 2nd on the Series X, compared to 1080p 60 fps on the Series S), and you tin can notice some slight visual downgrades upon closer inspection. But, for typical gameplay without stopping to look at wall textures, this is good enough.

Xbox Series S review

Xbox Series S

(Image credit: Laptop Magazine)

1 problem I’ve ran into constantly this year is a lack of space. For this new generation, 512GB is just not enough and the use of proprietary storage expansion cards drives the cost upwards drastically for extra room. To put it into context, if y’all bought a Series Due south ($299) and a 1TB retentiveness card ($219), that ends up being $18 more than only buying a Series 10.

I get that Microsoft may be tactically twisting your arm into getting the more expensive machine, only that imbalance needs to exist addressed.

Xbox Series S: The games

I think everyone on all sides of these so-chosen console wars can agree on 1 matter: the PS5 had stronger launch titles than Xbox Series X/S, only the tide is starting to change.

While Sony started strong with the likes of Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, the pre-installed Astro’s Playroom and even Bugsnax, Microsoft’s library consisted of the standard launch array of third-party titles and upgrades to pre-existing exclusive games like Forza Horizon four.

Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4

(Epitome credit: Microsoft/Xbox)

The huge choice of games bachelor to play on
Xbox Game Pass
did a great chore of making up for this shortfall, just the lack of games that felt “side by side-gen” was apparent. But in the space of just a few short months towards the end of 2022, Xbox Game Studios have exploded out of the gates with hit after hitting — all playable on Game Pass.

Starting from July, we got
Microsoft Flight Simulator, Psychonauts 2, Forza Horizon five, Grounded and Halo Infinite, to name simply a few. This monthly subscription service is starting to come into its own with AAA experiences like these, roofing a wide swath of genres.

Oh, and did I mention the ease of accessing developer tools and unlocking your console’s capabilities further? Before this twelvemonth, I wrote nearly
turning my Series S into a retro emulator, which took around an hour to practise and goes beyond the incredible level of backwards compatibility Microsoft has made bachelor on the Serial Due south; to become an all-round game preservation machine.

Xbox Series S:  The futurity

The biggest news near Xbox this year has not been its 20th ceremony or any of the big game launches. Information technology’due south been about acquisitions and the backside-the-scenes work existence done to ready for the war of console supremacy.

Xbox Series S review

Xbox Series S

(Epitome credit: Laptop Mag)

Through the sheer forcefulness of $7.five billion, Microsoft picked up Bethesda, which increased the number of teams nether the Xbox Game Studios umbrella to 22. This is a different arroyo to PlayStation Studios, which is (mostly) a smaller grouping of game studios that have worked with Sony for far longer, merely at that place’s no doubt that all the internal manoeuvres are starting to work in Xbox’s favour.

Casting an eye over the future of Xbox exclusives, here’s what you’ve got to expect forward to:
Hellblade Two, a new
Gears of War, Forza Motorsport 8,
Elder Scrolls Half dozen, Wasteland 3,
Avowed, The Outer Worlds ii,
Perfect Dark, State of Decay 3,
Redfall, Indiana Jones, and so much more that hasn’t fifty-fifty been announced all the same.

The big win here is that all of these games are going to be bachelor mean solar day one on Game Laissez passer — that unique selling point is unmatched. Take it from someone who is a PlayStation gamer get-go, that’s incommunicable to ignore. The fact that you can jump into it with a $300 console is an incredibly tempting purchase, which I and many other Sony fans made.

Bottom line

Throughout the year, I dreaded writing this piece considering of 1 elementary fright: at some point, this is non going to be powerful enough for this new generation. While the teraflops differ greatly, the visual divergence is not as stark every bit I initially feared. The huge diverseness of games look expert and play not bad, with things set to merely become improve in terms of exclusives and graphical allegiance.

Tactically, Microsoft has played a blinder. This is the trojan horse for introducing PlayStation gamers to the incredible Game Pass service, fabricated even more tempting past the fact the Xbox Serial Southward is regularly in stock and chances are you’re not going to be able to become a PS5 for a few months.

Unlike the 4K powerhouse in the Serial X, which is clearly targeted to the core Xbox fan base, this is a depression-cost shot across the bow of Sony’south authorization. The future is bright for this trivial white machine.

Jason England

 Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his part as a writer at Laptop Mag. He specializes in finding the best deals to brand sure you lot never pay more than you should for gadgets! Jason takes a particular interest in writing and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, yous’ll discover Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking virtually eating pizza if he isn’t already.


Posted by: