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Why the Xbox Series S is a Better Buy

How Xbox Series S provides that next gen experience without breaking the bank

By Paul DouglasPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 5 min read
Why the Xbox Series S is a Better Buy
Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

On the morning of September 22nd 2020, I woke up at the crack of dawn with one goal: snag a Xbox pre-order. I switched on my computer, filled my screen with browser tabs for shopping sites, and refreshed over and over again. My screen happily informed me one is in my basket. When the confirmation email came, I felt like a child at Christmas. Even though it’ll be awhile before I actually see it, it didn’t matter. I snagged a Xbox Series S.

All good things come to those who wait. And on November 10th, the courier brought me a tiny box containing my Xbox Series S. I’ve read the reviews and knew it would be small, but nothing quite prepared me for how small it would be. I placed the unboxed Xbox next to a TV magazine, amazed to find it smaller in width and height.

One of the cool things about the Series S is that it is on par with the size of the Nintendo Switch and consoles of old, such as the PS2. The PS3 and Xbox 360 were far larger and let’s not forget the bulk of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, most people struggling to fit them into their TV cabinets.

I love the compact nature of the Series S, but I must admit in the beginning, I had a fair amount of trepidation. How could something this small play next-gen titles with any success?

With the Xbox Series S set up and ready to go, I downloaded by first Xbox Series X/S game: Dirt 5. It took what felt like a millennium, but was around an hour on my 50mbps connection. Now for the moment of truth. I took a deep breath, launched the game, and felt my worries melt away.

By Pedro Bariak on Unsplash

The game looked stunning. The bright colours, the water effects, shading, particle effects, weather — all combined to draw me into a beautiful next-gen world. From playing the Xbox One S the day before to the Xbox Series S a day later made the differences between them stark and wonderful. For £249.99 (UK), this little console already was outperforming my every expectation.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, in the first couple of weeks, Dirt 5 was eminently playable and beautiful. However, there were moments where it suffered frame-rate dips that put a damper on the fun. I do, however, put this down to the game itself rather than the console, because after a few Dirt 5 updates, the experience became buttery smooth.

With the Xbox Series S set up and ready to go, I downloaded by first Xbox Series X/S game: Dirt 5. It took what felt like a millennium, but was around an hour on my 50mbps connection. Now for the moment of truth. I took a deep breath, launched the game, and felt my worries melt away.

Time for the next game. I downloaded the X/S optimized version of Gear 5 with Game Pass. I never played this game before, last having delved into the Gears universe with Gears of War on Xbox 360. Immediately, I was blown away by how beautiful it looks and how smoothly it ran. It was a next-gen experience, and one that was even better than I expected.

Like everyone else, I had studied the spec sheets for the Xbox Series X, Series S, and for the PlayStation 5 before I made my decision to go with the Series S. This was partly because of the price, I have to admit.

To take full advantage of the full 4K resolution and 120hz refresh rate that the more expensive consoles are capable of, you need the very latest and most expensive televisions. These can cost over £1,000 in themselves, and at the time of writing this article there are fairly few on sale.

Most people like myself can neither afford nor justify such as expense. With COVID-19, a lot of us have had to tighten our belts and be more careful about how we spend our money. A next-gen console for £249.99 (UK) — rather than £449.99 (UK) — and one that provides us with a true next gen experience that is well above that offered by the Xbox One S is money well spent.

From personal experience, buying them as soon as they are released can be problematic. For example, few exclusive games are released in the first year to take advantage of all that extra horsepower. This is especially so in this generation where most of the games I want to play such as Dirt 5, Star Wars Squadrons, Cyberpunk 2077, etc. are available for the previous generation of consoles, too.

By Aditya Rathod on Unsplash

Aesthetics and size also factored into my decision. I like the smaller size of the Series S, which is perfect for my living room and TV cabinet. I find it more beautiful than its sibling and competitors. Many people and reviewers I have read have bemoaned the fact that the storage is only 500GB rather than the 1TB on the Series X. I have found this a non-issue for myself.

At the moment I have 6 games downloaded on my Series S with a little space to spare. I would only play 2 or 3 games at a time, right now they are Dirt 5 and Gears 5. The other 4 games I downloaded in advance so I can choose my next one and enjoy it straight away when I have completed the current games. I, therefore, find the storage perfect for my needs.

If you run out of storage, you can uninstall a completed game and simply reinstall it at a future time when you fancy giving it another go. And hey, for the cost of the console, cheaper than the Nintendo Switch, I don’t find this much of a sacrifice.

Final thoughts

Am I happy with my purchase? A definite yes! Would I recommend it to others? A definite yes!

The final decision on what to buy is a personal one, of course. It will depend on how much you can justify spending, your playing style, the type of games and indeed the size of games you like to play and indeed if you are a real hardcore gamer or an enthusiastic casual gamer like myself. There is no wrong answer, but for myself, I am extremely happy with my purchase. I am going to finish typing right now because my little white console is calling me.

I originally published this article on Medium 2021:


About the Creator

Paul Douglas

I have always loved to write, especially poems and short stories. I also have an abiding love for technology and gaming. I love to share my outlook with others.

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