It seemed very distant, but in reality the time has come: the Next-Gen has arrived, there are a few days left and we will finally be able to get our hands on these technological jewels. Certainly with the advancement of generations - especially now that there are also half-generation platforms - the gap between the previous and the next becomes less and less, and the evolution of quality and technology reduces its pace. There will obviously never be a real stop, but certainly what amazed us when switching from Xbox to Xbox 360 has now become less. There is no better way to start this journey than with the strangest console among those coming out: on the other hand it is easy to flex your muscles to bring quality above every level to TV, but certainly not proposing it. an entry level system, a budget price and accessibility that is mainly based on services (more than games). Let's talk about Xbox series s, console that we have been able to preview in the last few weeks and that finally, after hours and hours spent between games and dashboards, we can tell you about it.
Packaging and Design
Let's start with the basics: aesthetically, the product box is small and agile. With a trunk opening, the console is positioned immediately below with a covering cloth and a tag that invites players to enter the Next-Gen. Continuing, above this console we find a small closed compartment that contains a white joypad, High Speed video cable e supply. From an aesthetic point of view, the console shows itself in all its smallness: it is indeed 27.5 × 15.1 × 6.5 cm (weighs 1.93 kg), with a base as wide as a pad and a little less than two pads long, small measures for a console at its first launch. Speaking of color, the console features a sparkling white, solid and opaque, bright enough to create interesting chiaroscuro with ambient light.
Without an optical reader compartment, the platform shows a large black “disk” at the top that allows you to let air pass in the hardware components, while a sync button e the USB port input (not too quality, but it does the job). The various inputs and outputs of the console are positioned at the rear: we are talking about the power supply, HDMI, ethernet, two other USB ports and finally the input for memory expansion.
Speaking of memory, the console comes out with a 512 GB SSD, which turns into actual data 364 GB, a somewhat meager memory but if we think about how to use this platform, perhaps it also makes sense: on the other hand, it does not present itself as a console for hardcore gamers, but designed more for "casual" playability, perhaps using the Xbox Game Pass. Going down to the more technical side, here are the official, confirmed and current specifications:
- CPU: 8GHz 3.6X Core (3.4GHz w / SMT) Custom Zen 2
- GPU: 4 TFLOPS, 20 CUs @ 1.565 GHz
- Memory: 10 GB GDDR6 128 bit-wide bus
- Bandwidth: 8GB @ 224GB / s (Title Accesible Memory), 2GB @ 56GB / s
- Storage: 512GB Custom NVME SSD
- I / O throughput: 2.4 GB / s (Raw), 4.8 GB / s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)
The console finally presents compatibility with Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby TrueHD Atmos and L-PCM up to 7.1 channels, while the confirmed performances are 1440P (2K) at 60 FPS, with support up to 120 FPS. It also supports Native 4K if the developers develop games that reach that resolution on the Xbox Series S, and allows you to upscale the images to 4K TV. Finally, it remains compatible with Auto Low Latency Mode, the AMD FreeSync and the much talked-about VRR (Variable Refresh Rate).
If you are interested in all the news, reviews and previews on the Xbox Series X / S world, enter the page dedicated to the Microsoft console.
As for the joypad there is little to say: it has dimensions almost similar to the version of the previous console, if not for the depth, which instead makes the pad in the hand more compact. A new one finds space on the front share button, which will allow you to take screenshots and record videos easily, while the backbones are equipped with a small grip space that at the time was only present on the Elite Controller 2. From this fantastic pad it also takes the new directional cross, now compact, united and concave.
The console finally shows up very quiet: certainly the lack of a player avoids annoying disc reading noises, but the fan also produces very little noise. As for the heat, the console obviously heats up a bit if used, but the clever arrangement of the ventilation openings makes the air flow easier.
Services and Features
As we said the console, although it gives free access to the Xbox Store for the purchase of games, it becomes primarily designed for services and features that allow you to enjoy multiple games for the price of a subscription. Obviously we are talking about Xbox Game Pass, the true heart of this platform that is updated every month with new games, and which will soon also include the EA Play. The features of the console, however, do not stop there: there is in fact immediately to talk about the Smart Delivery, which allows you to have the Next-Gen version of the games bought on the previous generation. Between games released now and titles that will be updated specifically, obviously the gaming experience is improved: among all we can take for example Gears 5, a title that now in Versus allows you to reach up to 120 FPS, something that until a few months ago it was only the prerogative of PC Gaming. We tried other games like Forza Horizon 4, Sea of Thieves and Gears Tactics, and all of them come out improved (maybe only in frames or even in aesthetic quality). For this, we refer you to our articles and our Smart Reviews, which will tell you how these games improve on Next-Gen. Finally, if you are interested in a complete and updated list of improvements, here is the article for you. However, remember that the Xbox Series S, as well as the X, will be backwards compatible.
Speaking of aesthetics instead, the games take advantage of the Ray Tracing on consoles: this is currently still little used on these improved titles, but soon we will be able to try some games that support it and tell you about it in their reviews. From what we have seen, however, it is not just about aesthetics: both in terms of immersion and for the functions that can generate a reflection on a surface, this feature can really change some stealth or action dynamics, improving them and making them more realistic.
Another interesting feature is the Quick resume: this service, currently usable only on some games but soon implemented on all, allows you to resume a title in the exact point where you left it. So if you have played Gears 5 (title compatible with the service), then you want to move to Watch Dogs: Legion, and a few fifteen minutes later a friend of yours invites you to play Gears 5 again, by clicking on the game it will reopen where you closed it, with virtually non-existent loading times.
Xbox, with its two new consoles, is opening its world to the whole public: Next-Gen for Microsoft does not stop at two very different platforms designed for two different users. This is confirmed by the services, the desire to make their games available everywhere and the support that is given to their services. Xbox Series S is the perfect console for those who want to experience this ecosystem in a practical, economical way, but still with the highest level of quality. We therefore recommend this console to those who want to take advantage of the Xbox exclusives and the Game Pass: it is an excellent platform, and above all it highlights how Microsoft has thought of all the players, from those who want to spend hours online on Gears 5 to those who do. delight in some evening match.