Xbox Series S Specs: The Same CPU as a Series X, but Lower Resolutions

Microsoft has provided the official specs for the Xbox Series S, and it’s basically an Xbox Series X that renders at 1440p instead of 4K. The digital-only console targets the same performance and tech as it’s ‘full fat’ sibling, just rendered at a lower resolution. That means up to 120 frames per second gameplay and ray tracing.In a new Xbox Wire post, Microsoft explains that the CPU in the Series S is “similar” to the Xbox Series X. In the introduction video for the console, director of program management for Xbox, Jason Ronald, said: “Xbox Series S leverages the same 8-core Zen 2 CPU architecture as the Xbox Series X, running at 3.6GHz.” Importantly, the Series S has identical I/O performance to the Series X. That makes it easy for developers to create games for Xbox without worrying about the two consoles; the games will just render at 1440p on the Series S instead of 4K.Xbox's full Series X vs. Series S tech specs list.

Xbox’s full Series X vs. Series S tech specs list.

Xbox Series S uses the same Xbox Velocity Architecture for its custom NVMe SSD storage, and so achieves 40x the I/O bandwidth of the Xbox One. That means faster loading, steadier frame rates, and the ability to ‘Quick Resume’ multiple games you have paused. That’s all the same as the Xbox Series X. While the Series X only has 512GB of on-board storage compared to the Series X’s larger 1TB, it does support the Seagate Storage Expansion Cards, just like the Series X. You can simply slot one of these 1TB drives in for expanded storage. Games optimised for Series S and X, which use the Velocity Architecture system, must be played from these SSD drives. However, backwards compatibility games can be played via USB 3.1 hard drives that you can plug into the console’s regular US port.

Alongside visual tech like hardware accelerated DirectX Raytracing and Variable Rate Shading, the Xbox Series X has the same Spatial Sound audio systems as the Series X, with support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision.

Explaining that the key difference between the Series S and Series X is resolution, Microsoft says “Through talking to our customers, we found that many of our fans prioritize framerate over resolution, so we wanted to build a console that didn’t require a 4K TV.” While the Series X renders at 1440p, it still provides 3x the graphical performance of the Xbox One. The Series S is designed with 1440p and 60fps in mind, but can support up to 120fps. (To set your expectations correctly, we’ll likely be looking at less graphically-intense games running over 60fps, rather than the latest AAA games).

Update: Microsoft has now officially released the previously leaked trailer (watch it below). In addition, the company has added a release date – November 10.

Original story: Xbox Series S’ specs have seemingly leaked through a trailer, saying that the console will feature a 512GB SSD, run games at 1440p up to 120 frames per second, and will support raytracing.

After a series of leaks and a confirmation that the console will arrive at a $299 / £249.99 price point, a trailer posted on Twitter seems to go into some finer details:

A list of Xbox Series S details includes:

  • All-Digital
  • 1440p at up to 120FPS
  • DirectX Raytracing
  • Variable Rate Shading
  • Variable Refresh Rate
  • Ultra-Low Latency
  • Custom 512GB SSD
  • 4K Streaming Media Playback
  • 4K Upscaling for Games

The trailer also shows how the console is 60% smaller than Xbox Series X, and explains that its SSD uses the same Velocity Architecture as Xbox Series X’s equivalent – which should mean short load times and seamless game switching.

Despite all of the new information today, we still don’t know how to pre-order an Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, but Xbox says we’ll hear more “soon” – so we’ll hopefully learn about that in the not-too-distant future.

Confirmed Xbox Series X Games

Joe Skrebels is IGN’s Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to newstips@ign.com.


[promo keywords="" brand="" category="" rows="" start=""]