It will also be able to render and run games at 4K without any upscaling. That means your games are going to be tack-sharp and look incredible on a 4K screen.
The Xbox Series X is $500, which is about what most next-gen consoles start at. You get 1-terabyte of storage (expandable to 1-TB) and a 4K UHD Blu-ray disc drive. It’s also backward-compatible with Xbox One and select Xbox 360 games.
Xbox Series S
The Xbox Series S is a much smaller, more affordable version of the Series X. It’s not as powerful, it doesn’t have as many features, but it will allow you to play next-gen games while saving a little cash. The Series S is an appealing option if you don’t have or don’t plan on upgrading to a 4K TV anytime soon.
The Series S can also run games up to 120 FPS, but only at a 1440 pixel resolution. Games will still be sharper and smoother than they are on current hardware, but the Series S won’t be running games at 4K. (It will upscale to 4K, but it’s not the same as what the Series X can do.) It is capable of streaming 4K movies from the likes of Netflix or HBO Max.
The Series S supports other next-gen graphical technology, like ray tracing. So your games are still going to be rich in detail and lovely to look at.
The Xbox Series S is $300, putting it in the same price bracket as a Nintendo Switch or Oculus Quest 2. You only get 512-gigabytes of storage, but you can also add another 1-TB with an expansion card. There’s no Blu-ray disc drive, so you can only play digital games from the Microsoft Store.
Should You Upgrade?
If you don’t own an Xbox One, the Series S or Series X will let you play Xbox games like the upcoming Halo: Infinite. Do note that most Xbox games are also launching on Microsoft’s Windows platform, so if you already have a gaming PC setup, there isn’t a strong reason to snag one of the new consoles unless you strongly prefer couch gaming.
Already own an Xbox One, One S, or One X? You don’t have to upgrade your console just yet. Most new games for the first year or two will still be available and playable on the Xbox One range, just not to their highest potential. You can also buy an Xbox One console since they’re often discounted to catch up on older titles, but don’t pay more than $200. Anything higher than that and you’re better off paying for the new Series S.
Where to Buy the Series X or Series S
The next-gen consoles are available for preorders now, and it officially launches on November 10. Included in the box are an HDMI cable, an Xbox wireless controller, and the console. Don’t forget you’ll likely want to pay for Xbox Live Gold for online play and Game Pass Ultimate, which lets you access more than 100 games for $15 per month instead of paying $70 on a new game every time (yes, expect newer games to cost that much).