Xbox Series X vs. Series S, explained: The biggest differences to know, including price, memory & more

There are two versions of the next-gen Xbox releasing this week — the Series X and Series S — in the biggest worldwide occasion for video games in years.

In recognition of the contrasting desires of intense and casual consumers, Microsoft is targeting separate price points for devices carrying different degrees of hardware innovation. The rival PlayStation 5 is taking the same approach.

It’s reminiscent of the computer, tablet and phone industries, which have popularized selling regular and pro models of top products.

Xbox console variants are coming out in the U.S. on Nov. 10. Each one ships with one controller and an HDMI cable.

Below you can find additional details about the pair of Xbox systems:

What is the Xbox Series S?

The Xbox Series S is the cheaper of two 2020 Microsoft console releases. While it doesn’t have all of the features of the Xbox Series X, it is a significant step forward from the much older Xbox One.

Xbox Series X price vs. Xbox Series S price

The Xbox Series X is $500, while the Xbox Series S is $300. For comparison, the price of Xbox One at release was $500, which equates to about $558 in today’s money when accounting for inflation.

This year’s models, then, are probably a better value than the console that came before them.

When is the new Xbox release date?

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S come out on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Differences between new Xbox consoles

Below is the technical comparison prospective buyers need to consider before choosing their Xbox.

The Series S looks different, too, coming in white rather than the black Series X and taking up much less space than its counterpart. In fact, the Series S is the smallest Xbox ever produced.

What does this mean for the future of gaming?

Disks are dead.

Well, not quite yet, but they’re probably going to be extinct in the video game realm fairly soon. The Xbox Series S is another example of their downward trend. There are several financial advantages for console makers in straying from game disk sales and few major drawbacks for consumers. Without used game sales of physical disks, more people will be forced to buy games new online. Plus, having a virtual store at the fingertips of gamers is likely more enticing for regular purchases than asking consumers to head to brick-and-mortar outlets to get games.

Game collectors will probably mourn the decline of discs the most, as having the long-term tangible joy of a physical copy can’t be replicated by download-only editions.

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