The Xbox Series S is underpowered. It’s not a true ‘next-gen’ console. It’s holding back developers. These are all arguments that are regularly levelled at the Xbox’s smallest ever console. But this is far from the truth. The Xbox Series S is arguably one of the most progressive home consoles ever released. Read on to learn why.
The Xbox Series S in the Modern Industry
As it stands, this is an entry-level console for modern gaming. Most retailers are offering the console for a price comparable, if not cheaper, than Xbox One X and Xbox One S. Despite not supporting a disc drive, the game is fully compatible with all Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S games digitally. Furthermore, it’s also compatible with all Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S controllers and headsets. This makes it a cheap option for upgrading or as a second – or even third – home console. Got an Xbox Series X in the living room? Great! How about that 1080p TV in the bedroom? Here we have an ideal option.
This is basically where the console stands today. It’s entry-level for more casual gamers, and the core audience are opting for it as a second (or more) console for elsewhere in the house. Given the low cost of the console, this is entirely feasible.
The Xbox Series S in the Future
However, while the little console is undeniably second-best right now, that’s not to say it will remain that way in the future. Microsoft has become very aggressive with their Xbox Game Pass strategy in recent years. The Xbox Series S is key to that. While you can download every game on Xbox Game Pass to the console and play perfectly well in 1080p, there is a future in which downloading will become largely irrelevant. Xbox Cloud Gaming, wrapped up as part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription package, is gaining significant ground. It’s even possible to play Xbox Series X|S exclusive games on Xbox One consoles via the service.
Stability and lag are issues at present. While it’s often difficult to play games which require twitch-based reactions, such as Halo Infinite or Forza Horizon 5, single-player games or strategy titles are generally perfect. And given Microsoft’s passion for this technology, it’s only a matter of time until these issues are illuminated.
At that point, you’ll have a small unintrusive box capable of playing everything it’s bigger brother can, at the same quality, without the much heavier financial investment required.
The Xbox Series S as a Primary Home Console
While we wait for a streaming-only future, Microsoft is keen to make the console a more viable option even at this point. Microsoft has filed a patent that describes a system for use of an external disc drive to authenticate an Xbox game. This would allow the player access to the digital version of that game through the Xbox Games Store. This simple addition is incredibly relevant to those who already have an extensive catalogue of Xbox games. It lends back to that original point of offering a cheap way to modernise your gaming setup. Or even add an additional console to your collection without the heavy initial investment.
Ultimately, the Xbox Series S is a console designed to get into homes now with one eye on the future. By the time console upgrades become obsolete – which is a timeline that has been argued about since the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 era – the Xbox Series S will stand tall as a system perfectly capable of playing everything that comes its way. The little box of streaming capability will remain fresh for decades to come.