Xbox Collection S Overview: Spectacular, however not value it in the long term

“The limitations of the S Series become more apparent the longer you use them.”

  • Incredibly portable

  • Good price

  • Great design

  • Not worth the savings

  • Not enough space

The Xbox Series S is an incredible piece of technology in many ways. Next-generation features like instant charging into an incredibly compact and affordable device are undoubtedly helping to fill a niche in the market that the more expensive PlayStation 5 or the heavily underloaded Nintendo Switch can’t reach.

Despite the things I like about the Series S, I can’t help but feel that the tradeoffs it makes aren’t worth the $ 200 savings, especially if you’re from an upgrade in the In the middle of the cycle like the Xbox switch to One X or the PlayStation 4 Pro.

The S series is initially a show stopper

I received my S Series in the same shipment as the X Series, and I was honestly more impressed with the former than the latter when I unboxed the two consoles. It brought me back when I moved to America and my original PAL PlayStation 2 wouldn’t work here, so I had to get myself a PlayStation 2 NTSC Slim. I was impressed with how something so small can play all of these incredible games, and while the S Series doesn’t shrink to nearly the same size as the slim PS2, it’s still impressive to have something more compact than most textbooks.

Xbox Series S review

Then I booted it up and still it was as snappy as the Series X. I was able to download a system update in a flash and manage the entire setup via the much more handy Xbox app. Navigating the menus and downloading games from my library were just as quick, and to my delight, some of the titles were ten gigabytes smaller thanks to the lack of 4K textures.

I was impressed with how something so small could play all of these incredible games.

Then I came across the first catch in the S series. That annoying 512 GB SSD. It’s not even 512 GB – it’s more like 370 GB of usable storage. I had six games installed and already ran out of space, even with the smaller installation files. Luckily I have unlimited gigabit internet in my apartment, but that’s an incredible niche thing when you are talking about nearly half of the US population who play video games. Most people don’t have the luxury of being able to conveniently delete and re-download games.

There’s an option to store more games, but it’s a $ 220 Seagate expansion card that provides an additional 1TB. If you’ve spent the money on both this and the console, you’re actually seeing more expensive value for money than if you just bought a Series X, which comes natively with 1TB of storage, a drive, and much better ones Hardware.

The severely limited memory allocation was more of a problem than I thought, but perhaps the system’s performance would be impressive enough to make this a product I could recommend?

The differences in visual quality are palpable

The first game I played in my Series S was Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and at first I thought something was wrong. Not only did it look worse than the Series X, which was to be expected, it also looked worse than on my One X.

Xbox Series X versus S.

The One X was the system I had played the game on for review, so I was well acquainted with it at the time. This last-generation system used dynamic resolution while gaming – sometimes it ran at 4K and sometimes closer to 1440p depending on what was happening on the screen. It seems that the game would run at 1740p on average.

However, the S series limits the game resolution to 1440p. I would have hoped Valhalla would then be able to push to 60 frames per second on the console, but it was locked at 30 fps. Switching to the Series X, which runs the game at a constant 4K60 value, was a drastic change, but even when I looked at them side by side on my last-gen One X, I was a little surprised at the limited performance.

The first game I played in my Series S was Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and at first I thought something was wrong. Not only did it look worse than the Series X, which was to be expected, it also looked worse than on my One X.

There is a way to run Valhalla on the S Series at 60 fps, but you’ll need to change the system level resolution to 1080p. Not only is this inconvenient, but it’s also a huge visual drop, especially since it also turns off the game’s HDR.

The other games that I luckily tried didn’t have as dramatic a difference as Valhalla. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War may have lacked ray tracing and 120 fps modes, but it still felt visually competent enough that it was an immersive console experience. And I was happy to see that the S series still offers the ability to expand the game’s field of vision. This is a huge benefit that was only granted to PC gamers until this new generation.

Xbox Series S horizontal

Gears 5 was the most indistinguishable of all games when compared between the Series S and the Series X. And while Dirt 5 ran at a nice 120 fps on the smaller console, the drop in texture quality was pretty noticeable.

Only a handful of people should pick up the S series

Checking a device like the S series is something I have to change my mind about. Got to think about the wider range of gamers who don’t make a living playing video games and may not have high-speed internet or a 4K OLED TV to enhance their experience.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War may have lacked ray tracing and 120 fps modes, but it still felt visually competent enough that it was an immersive console experience.

With all these factors in mind, I still think most people shouldn’t pick up an S series. If you want an Xbox, go for the much more impressive X Series. Here is a list of the types of people who should pick up a Series S:

  • When you have extremely little space
  • If you have to travel a lot with it
  • When you buy it as a second console
  • When you buy it for your kids

I still have arguments for each of these Prople categories as to why they should still apply to Series X. The S series is small, but not so incredibly small compared to the X series that it can travel with you or find space in your home for that, it’s much easier for that than the X series.

Buying it as a second console for another TV in the house is also not worth it. The Series X boots up in seconds after a full shutdown, and a feature like Quick Resume, which lets you switch between games exactly where you left off, works even if you unplug the system. If you only move your Series X between rooms, there will be only the slightest inconvenience that would otherwise be avoided by an additional Series S.

Xbox Series S top to bottom

The category that I think best fits a Series S needs is the purchase for your children. That’s the strongest argument in favor of the console, but for me there is one unanswered question that changes my thoughts about it. Will Xbox roll out more series consoles later or will there be another update during the cycle?

In this case, the S Series is a compelling buy when purchasing a system for your youth. As a teenager, Microsoft may have released an even more powerful console or a more powerful Series S that would turn a smaller investment into a smart move for just a handful of years.

The thing is, I’ll be 50/50 when we get this update with this generation of consoles. By the time the original Xbox One and PS4 were released, the transition from 1080p to 4K was already underway, and those systems weren’t equipped for it. That’s why we have the One X and the PS4 Pro.

This time around, both systems support 8K, which is far from mainstream as 4K back in 2013. While both the Series X and PS5 may not be able to play native 8K games, companies are making advances in machine learning You upscaled 8K files that look as good as the native resolution. They are impressive to the point where this hardware can possibly perfectly meet those technical requirements.

Ultimately, new consoles aren’t a given for the next few years, and while now, roughly four years later, your child may be more than happy with a Series S, it will be extremely nondescript.

Our opinion

I really like Serie S and if I had never played Serie X I might feel different. But I’ve played Series X, and I think for the majority of people the additional cost of $ 200 for everything the console can do that its younger siblings can’t. If the S Series is $ 199 and additional storage isn’t that expensive, we might have another conversation.

Is there a better alternative?

The Xbox Series X is superior in almost every way, even at a steeper price point.

How long it will take?

Years in theory, but over time its limitations will quickly become noticeable.

Should you buy it?

I really think that only parents with young children who are just starting out to play video games should invest in the console.

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