What are the different Xbox Models? (Xbox Series X and S Model Guide 2023)

What are the different Xbox Models? (Xbox Series X and S Model Guide 2023)

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The Xbox Series S and X are the latest consoles from Microsoft and were released back in November 2020. These two Xbox models are distinctly different in terms of their performance and technical specs and there are also now models/revisions within the Series X and S classifications that are worth breaking down. We're going to run through the differences in design, price and technical ability of all currently available Xbox models from the current generation. If you're looking for information on Xbox One models then we already have an article breaking down all the different Xbox One Models for you to check out. Xbox's naming conventions have been more than confusing with moving from Xbox to Xbox 360 to Xbox One to Xbox Series X | S so we're going to try and give some clarity on everything to do with the latest generation which is Xbox Series S and X.

If you're in the market for an Xbox Series S or Series X console we've got some links that may be of use to you.

Table of Contents

Xbox Series X Console

The Xbox Series X is Microsoft's flagship console, being boasted as the most powerful Xbox ever (which it certainly is) and is battling with Sony's PS5 for the top spot. The Xbox Series X boasts a disc drive unlike the Xbox Series S meaning that it can play physical games and also doubles up as a Blu-ray player. Of the two consoles if power is what you're after the Xbox Series X is a significant upgrade boasting solid performance at 4K resolutions and being able to hit 60FPS in many titles. If you're playing at 4K then an Xbox Series X is the Xbox console you should go for, at lower resolutions an Xbox Series S may be enough. On top of enhanced performance being a focus of this console generation another large shift was moving from old slow hard drives to much faster NVME SSDs (solid-state drives). These make a massive difference in loading times in games making them no longer an issue like they were back on the previous generation of consoles. The Xbox Series X comes with a 1TB SSD as standard and you can easily increase this storage with expansion cards which come in sizes from 512GB to 4TB. These expansion cards are specifically designed for the Xbox consoles and are not regular-shaped NVME SSDs. This means you are limited to only expanding your storage in this manor and cannot simply buy an SSD.

When it comes to design the Xbox Series X is a bit of a beast coming in at 4.4 kg, dwarfing its smaller sibling the Series S. The base Series X console is solid black with an Xbox LED and disc tray on the front and its shape is a large cuboid.  It does have some green below its fan at the top that does contrast nicely but overall the design is one of minimalism and Xbox hasn't tried to stand out too much with the Xbox Series X. The console comes with an Xbox Wireless Controller which has been redesigned slightly from the Xbox One controller but honestly, with the Xbox controller, it's one of those "if it's not broke don't fix it" pieces of kit. The controller was great before and the redesign cleans it up a bit and it's just even better without needing to make huge changes.

The Xbox Series X is priced at £449.99 (RRP) and unlike the PS5 which has actually had its RRP increased the price has stayed the same. Official bundles like the Diablo IV and Forza Horizon 5 bundles priced the console at £479.99 alongside a new game which were both pretty solid bundles from the get-go. Compared to the Series S this console is almost double the price, but you're getting a lot more power, a disc tray and a larger storage capacity. The main reason for going for the Xbox Series X is the performance at 4K resolutions though, the jump from Xbox One to Xbox Series S may not be significant enough for a lot of people when compared to the jump to an Xbox Series X. The take-home point is that if you want to play at 4K you're going to want to go with the Series X.

Early on The Xbox Series X did have a couple of issues around stock but it has been readily available now for a good amount of time. However, if you're going to pick one up you're going to have an easier time grabbing one of the official bundles as these are normally just better deals than the console on its own and it seems Microsoft has definitely shifted stock more towards the Xbox Series X bundles. The Xbox Series X has not seen any model revisions to alter its manufacturing like the PS5 has and the model you're buying now is the same that was released back in November 2020.

Xbox Series X Technical Specs

CPU 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
Graphics (GPU) 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
Memory (RAM) 16 GB GDDR6
Internal Storage 1 TB Custom NVME SSD
Expandable Storage 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB Expansion Cards. Only one slot on the console
External Storage USB 3.2 External HDD Support
Maximum Resolution 8K (7680 pixels wide x 4320 pixels high)
Performance Target 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
Ray Tracing Yes
Backwards Compatible Yes
Release Date November 10th, 2020 worldwide release
Price £449.99 GBP / $499.99 USD / €499.99 EUR
Weight 4.4kg

Xbox Series X Official Bundles

There have been a couple of different Xbox Series X official bundles since its release but only one had a console with a limited edition design and this was the Halo Infinite bundle released back on November 15th of 2021. This special edition console now is out of stock everywhere as it was a limited release and can only be found as a refurbished, pre-owned console or new at a much higher price than RRP. Other than that the Xbox Series X bundles have had the exact same standard all-black Xbox Series X console.

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Xbox Series S 512GB

The Xbox Series S is Microsoft's all-digital console for the current generation. This means the console has no disc drive and is focused on playing digitally downloaded games. This means you cannot play any physical games on the Xbox Series S and it also cannot be used to play media like Blu-rays. It does however pair up very well with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate as a value proposition meaning you have access to a wealth of games including all first-party Xbox titles and a great selection of third-party Triple-A and indie titles.

When it comes to power the Xbox Series S is significantly weaker than the Xbox Series X and is not compatible with 4K, however, the Series S performs well if you're still using 1080p or 1440p resolutions for gaming. It is still a step up from the previous generation thanks to still taking advantage of a new NVME SSD and performance being better at 1080p and 1440p. The standard Xbox Series S comes with a 512GB NVME SSD which will soon get eaten up by all those downloaded games but you can expand this with the NVME expansion cards that were previously mentioned in the Xbox Series X section. There is also a larger Xbox Series S 1TB console which we have more info on below.

When it comes to design the Xbox Series S is much more sleek, weighing in at only 1.93KG which is less than half of the Series X. The 512GB Xbox Series S comes in all-white with a large black fan on the front. The console is definitely going to be less offensive and look better on most people's gaming set-ups just as a result of it being so much smaller. The Xbox Series S 512GB comes with the same redesigned controller for this generation of Xbox but with the Robot White colourway to match the console instead.

So obviously with the Xbox Series S being less powerful, there has to be a difference in the price of the console and there is one, and it's rather significant. The RRP of the 512GB Xbox Series S is just £249.99 which is almost half the price of the Xbox Series X. If you're still on 1080p/1440p resolutions and don't want to play physical games Xbox Series S is great value especially when paired with a membership to Xbox Game Pass. There's been virtually no stock issues for the Xbox Series S and it's always readily available.

Xbox Series S 1TB Black 

One of the fundamental issues with the original Xbox Series S was its rather small storage capacity of 512GB for a console that is solely able to play digital games. It's not uncommon now for games to reach sizes of over 100GB and that means your 512GB storage is going to get used up in no time at all. To alleviate this somewhat Xbox is releasing a new Xbox Series S model which comes with 1TB of storage as standard. This console is set to release on September 1st 2023. The 1TB Xbox Series S is going to be priced at £299.99 at release so you're paying around £50 more for this extra SSD space. Considering the 512GB Seagate Storage expansion card is around £150, this is certainly worth it over buying the 512GB Series S alongside an expansion card at the time of writing.

This Xbox Series S model is fundamentally the same when it comes to performance and the major change is this increased storage capacity. The other big change is the aesthetic of the console which is simply it now being all black as opposed to white with a black fan. It also will come as standard with the Carbon Black controller as the Xbox Series X does instead of the Robot White controller that the 512GB Xbox Series S comes with.

Xbox Series S Technical Specs

CPU 8X Cores @ 3.6 GHz (3.4 GHz w/SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
Graphics (GPU) 4 TFLOPS, 20 CUs @1.565 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
Memory (RAM) 10GB GDDR6
Internal Storage 512GB or 1TB Custom NVMe SSD. 1TB is exclusive to the Black Xbox Series S. Both can be expanded
Expandable Storage 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB Expansion Cards. Only one slot on the console
Maximum Resolution 1440p
Performance Target 1440p @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS
Optical Drive No Drive
Ray Tracing Yes
Backwards Compatible Yes
Release Date November 10th, 2020 worldwide release for 512GB Series S | September 1st 2023 for 1TB Xbox Series S
Price £249.99 GBP / $299.99 USD / €299.99 EUR For 512GB Series S
£299.99 GBP / $349.99 USD / €349.99 EUR for 1TB Series S
Weight 1.93kg

Xbox Series S Official Bundles

The Xbox Series S has had no limited edition consoles with special designs but there have been a couple of different bundles based around free-to-play games like Rocket League and Fortnite that come with special in-game skins and currencies for players to enjoy. 

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Which Xbox model is best for you?

With all that has been said there are some pretty easy prompts that can help you decide which current-generation Xbox model you should purchase.

I want to play physical games on my Xbox - you should buy the Xbox Series X console.

I want to watch Blu-Rays on my Xbox console - Xbox Series X is the way to go as you're not going to be able to play any DVDs or Blu-Rays on the Xbox Series S console.

I want to play games on my 4K Television or monitor - Once again go for the Xbox Series X, you'll need the increased power and performance to take advantage of your 4K resolution screen.

I want the best gaming performance possible - If you desire the best performance then you're gonna have to bite the bullet and shell out for the more expensive Xbox Series X. There is simply no competition when it comes to performance as the Xbox Series X is just far more powerful, and the price reflects this.

I am not overly fussed about performance and just want to play the latest Xbox games - If reaching the highest framerates and playing at higher resolutions does not bother you then you're going to be just fine going for the Xbox Series S, all games compatible for the Series X console will be playable on Xbox Series S.

I only play games digitally / with Xbox Game Pass - If you're not too fussed about the reduced power then saving some money and going for the Xbox Series S may be an attractive option here, but you could still go for Xbox Series X and play games digitally with improved performance. Both consoles benefit greatly when purchased alongside Xbox Game Pass, it's just the Xbox Series S is a much cheaper way of doing so.

I am limited on space for my Xbox console - The Xbox Series S is significantly smaller and slimmer when compared to the Xbox Series X model so this could be the better option if space is a deciding factor for you when purchasing an Xbox console.

Will there be more Xbox models?

We'd certainly expect more Xbox models in the future from Microsoft but it's hard to predict where they're going to take the platform next. Increasing the storage of the Xbox Series S was a pretty simple and smart move but most data has suggested that the Xbox Series S has been rather disappointing for Xbox. We'd expect that maybe Xbox is going to focus on the other side of things and the next model may be an even more powerful console and leaving the Xbox Series X as their mid-power console and the Series S as a lower-power one. This would give several price/performance entry points depending on consumer needs so that all can play the latest and greatest Xbox games. However, this is all just guesswork and we'll have to wait until probably 2024 now to see what Xbox's plans are for their next model consoles, with how unconventional Xbox are with their naming anything is possible!

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