What should you choose, the Xbox One S or the Xbox Series S console? Which one offers better performance? What are the most significant differences and advantages of the two models? Which wins in the price competition, and which one is the most convenient?
We present a comprehensive comparison of Microsoft’s two bestsellers – Xbox One S and Xbox Series S – to make your choice easier.
A bit about the Xbox One and the Xbox Series
The Xbox One is the third generation of video game consoles produced by Microsoft. The official presentation of the console took place on 21 May 2013. On 22 November 2013, the hardware was made available in 13 countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, and in September 2014 the console manufacturer made the product available in a further 26 markets.
The Xbox Series is a video game console that is the successor to the Xbox One. It was manufactured by Microsoft and released on 10 November 2020. The console – then still codenamed ‘Project Scarlett’ – was first announced at the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo. On 8 September 2020, Microsoft announced that the console would go on sale in two variants: the entry-level Xbox Series X and the slightly weaker Xbox Series S, formerly known as ‘Project Lockhart’.
Xbox One S – basic information
Microsoft announced the Xbox One S, on 13 June 2016 at E3 2016, as a new version of the Xbox One console with a refreshed chassis. The new case features a white colour, is 40% smaller than the original version and allows the console to be placed vertically. The capacitive, touch-sensitive buttons have been replaced with physical ones, the side USB port and controller sync button have been moved to the front of the case, and the external power supply has been ditched in favour of an integrated one. The new model also does not have a dedicated port for Kinect, it can be connected via a USB adapter.
The new version supports 4K videos (network streaming and 4K UHD Blu-ray playback). It also provides support for High Dynamic Range technology. Games can only be upscaled to 4K resolution. The hardware is available in 500 GB, 1 TB and a special edition with a 2 TB drive. The console hit shops on 2 August 2016. The Xbox One S All-Digital version, which lacks an optical drive, was released on 7 May 2019. Game saves are stored in the cloud, and the console comes with digital versions of Minecraft, Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 3.
Xbox Series S – basic information
The Xbox Series S is comparable in terms of basic hardware to the Xbox Series X, just as the Xbox One S works with the Xbox One X. Although it runs on the same processor with slightly slower clock frequencies, it uses a slower GPU, a custom RDNA2 with 20 CUs at 1.55 GHz for 4 teraflops, compared to the Series X’s 12 teraflops. It comes with 10 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD with a raw I/O bandwidth of 2.4 GB/s and does not include any optical drive, requiring the user to purchase all software from digital distribution. It is designed to render games at the default resolution of 1440p, with support for scaling to 4K, at 60 frames per second, although it can achieve up to 120 frames per second at this resolution. Otherwise, the console has all the equivalent features as the Xbox Series X, including ports, expansions and game support.
The Series S unit is approximately 60% smaller in volume than the Series X and measures 275 × 151 × 63.5 millimetres in portrait orientation. The Series S came in a matte white chassis along with a matching controller, differentiating it from the matte black that the Series X can use.
Xbox One S vs. Xbox Series S
We’ve divided our comparison into several thematic segments, such as graphics, controllers, CPU and memory.
The Xbox Series comes with the latest version of Microsoft’s Xbox controller, with some subtle improvements including a better grip, tweaked analogue sticks and a new button finishes to make them easier to press.
However, the good news is that all controllers from the Xbox One era onwards would work with all Xbox consoles in the future, meaning that your existing Xbox One S controllers would work on the new console, and the new controller would also work on the older technology. Therefore, you can easily build your own Xbox controller from scratch on AimControllers, or customize your Xbox controller so that your latest Xbox custom controller fits you perfectly on both the Xbox One S and Series S consoles.
Processor and memory
The Xbox Series S and Series X share the same octa-core processor, which runs at 3.6GHz or 3.4GHz with multi-threading. It is a big improvement compared to the One S, which has a custom octa-core processor running at 1.75GHz.
The Xbox One S and All-Digital Edition each have 8 GB of DDR3 RAM and 32 MB of ESRAM, with a bandwidth of 68 GB/s and 219 GB/s respectively. The S-Series, by comparison, has 10 GB of GDDR6 memory running at 224 GB/s, scaling according to the target resolution, which is a slight boost.
The difference in graphics between the Xbox One S and Xbox Series S is significant. The older Xbox One S console cannot output 4K video outside of menus, instead using 1080p, and while most games run silently on it, its developer lifespan is coming to an end.
In contrast, the Xbox Series S supports 4K output using scaling and widely targets 120 frames per second at 1440p, which is a big step forward. There is still ray tracing support, but the performance is much better. There’s not much to say here, the Xbox One S doesn’t live up to its successor in terms of graphics.
Microsoft Xbox Series S vs. Microsoft Xbox One S – conclusions
Although you can buy a Microsoft Xbox One S console for next to nothing right now, it’s nonetheless worth saving up a little to buy the Microsoft Xbox Series S, as it allows you to enjoy the latest games, better graphics and performance.