The new Xbox Series S is surprisingly small, both in terms of its $299 price and its dimensions. I’ve been playing around with a nonfunctional Xbox Series S this week, and I’m genuinely surprised Microsoft has managed to fit the same Xbox Series X CPU and lots of other next-gen technology into something that uses space and wealth so economically.
The Xbox Series S is just 275mm (10.8 inches) tall, 151mm (5.9 inches) deep, and 63.5mm (2.5 inches) wide in a vertical position. Microsoft has placed rubber feet in both vertical and horizontal positions. And unlike the Series X, I think the Xbox Series S looks great in both orientations. This also allows the Series S to fit comfortably within most TV stands.
The Series S is only a few millimeters taller than an Xbox One X and exactly the same height as an Xbox One S. The key difference is the overall volume, which makes it tiny in comparison to the Xbox One X.
The most attention-grabbing feature of the Xbox Series S design is the giant black circle that’s part of the cooling and fans for the Series S. It maintains airflow by aiming to the side when stood vertically or upward when laid horizontally. The Xbox Series S looks like it will have plenty of additional cooling from the sides, top, and rear, regardless of its orientation. The Xbox Series S design looks very similar to the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which shares a similar aesthetic.
Microsoft hasn’t discussed the rear ports of the Xbox Series S, but I can confirm there will be two USB ports, an HDMI 2.1 out, an Ethernet port, the same Xbox storage expansion slot found on the larger Series X, and the usual power port. Microsoft has also added raised Braille bumps next to the ports on both the Xbox Series S and X — a nice touch for accessibility. There’s also a single USB port at the front of the Series S.
Microsoft is using the same Xbox Series X CPU inside the Series S only clocked 200MHz slower at 3.6GHz (3.4GHz with SMT). The Series S GPU works out to 4 teraflops of performance, designed to provide 1440p gaming at 60fps and beyond. There’s also 512GB of SSD storage and 10GB of GDDR6 RAM.
The Xbox Series S is certainly visually impressive, and the specs sound like they should deliver a great next-gen experience for 1080p or 1440p gaming for a budget-friendly $299. If you don’t need 4K gaming, then the Xbox Series S looks like an obvious choice to buy, especially if it lives up to Microsoft’s promise of three times the GPU performance of the Xbox One.
We’ll need to review the Xbox Series S to analyze performance fully, but it looks like Microsoft’s next-gen console will deliver a lot of value — especially if you combine it with the company’s Xbox Game Pass subscription.
The Xbox Series S will launch on November 10th, priced at $299. Preorders will begin on September 22nd.
Photography by Tom Warren / The Verge