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Opinion Trailer Hardware GamingBolt: A Year After Its Launch, Is The Xbox Series S Worth it?

IbizaPocholo

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In the here and now though, I very much doubt there are a lot of people out there who got an Xbox Series S and weren't happy with the purchase. A solid first year library, the value of Xbox Game Pass, and the console's cheaper price point are all crucial factors that have contributed to a great first year for it.

In the short term, we can probably expect at least 2022 to be another great year for the console- in fact, looking at how stacked 2022's lineup of games is, it's probably going to be a much, much better year for all consoles on the market. In the years beyond that, it's hard to be sure right now exactly how the Xbox Series S will fare.

Microsoft certainly seems confident in the console's ability to continue to be a viable alternative throughout the course of this entire console generation, and we certainly hope that turns out to be the case.
 

GametimeUK

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Value wise it depends on the person. It seems like a great entry price point on the surface, but the hard drive is so small. If you are only keeping a few games on there it's fine I guess, but once you expand your storage you're in the Series X price bracket and have around 500gb more than the Series X. Let's face it if I was spending that much on the console at that point I'd rather have the Series X as the graphic power is worth more than 500gb to me.
 
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MrFunSocks

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Value wise it depends on the person. It seems like a great entry price point on the surface, but the hard drive is so small. If you are only keeping a few games on there it's fine I guess, but once you expand your storage you're in the Series X price bracket and have around 500gb more than the Series X. Let's face it if I was spending that much on the console at that point I'd rather have the Series X as the graphic power is worth more than 500gb to me.
This is a bad argument because to upgrade that series X to get another 500gb storage you have to spend enough money where you could have bought another Series S.


It's a fantastic system for 1080p users and I don't care what any n00b says. Microsoft messed up the marketing by calling it a 1440p system though.
Did they? Seems any developers worth their salt are hitting 1440p/60fps on it.

Gamingbolt so I’m not taking their opinion for anything.
 
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Hoddi

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Did they? Seems any developers worth their salt are hitting 1440p/60fps on it.

Gamingbolt so I’m not taking their opinion for anything.
Sure, but it's exactly not a secret what kind of GPU is in this thing. I'm sure that some developers will make a few token gestures of having it run at 1440p60 or 1440p30 in the early years but I don't think it's realistic in the longer term.

The GPU is roughly on par with a GTX 1060 and I've used one with a 1440p monitor and it wasn't exactly great. It's still a fantastic 1080p chip though and still holds on to this day. Moving forwards, I absolutely think the S will be a 1080p system rather than a 1440p one.
 
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Tschumi

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I've got one coming tomorrow and I'm excited because it's apparently capable of emulating GameCube, and it'll play games that look good on my 4k hdr tv, if i can be bothered buying any next gen games (so far little has caught my eye from the xbox library, though I'll definitely do back compat)
 

Rykan

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It's not a good system. Its never been a good system. There is a good reason why the Series X is difficult to find and the Series S is sitting on shelves. Its a waste of money and a poor fit for anyone who understands value proposition.

For 300$, you're getting an underpowered machine with a tiny SSD and no disk drive that is trying to mimic a proper current gen experience. The only reason the Series S is able to keep up at all is because most games are still cross gen. Once next gen exclusive games become the norm, the difference will become all the more noticeable.

For just 100$ more, you can buy a PS5DE that comes with almost double the storage space. That difference alone is already worth the extra money, but unlike the Series S, the PS5DE actually has proper current gen specs. It destroys the Series S in terms of value.

I've heard the argument that its "A good fit for gamepass" as if removing the disk tray suddenly makes it perfect for a subscription service. Thing is, its not a good fit for gamepass. Its actually a terrible fit for gamepass. You'll be paying a subscrption fee to play the worst version of every game and you'll have to deal with a very small SSD for a service that encourages you to try and play lots of games.

I own a series X and its by far and away the best console ever made in terms of hardware and services. The series S is a trap that should be avoided. The price difference between the XSX and especially the PS5DE is too small to justify its shortcomings. It needs to drop at least another 50$ to become an okay value. If it drops down to 200$, i'd say its a good purchase and a reasonable alternative for what you're getting.
 
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dvdvideo

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It's a fantastic system for 1080p users and I don't care what any n00b says. Microsoft messed up the marketing by calling it a 1440p system though.

Did they though? Some games such as Cod vanguard run at 1440p. And it's really no different than series X saying 4k at 60fps, something that isn't present on a whole bunch of titles. (Or 8k or 4k at 120hz for that matter)
 

dvdvideo

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It's not a good system. Its never been a good system. There is a good reason why the Series X is difficult to find and the Series S is sitting on shelves. Its a waste of money and a poor fit for anyone who understands value proposition.

For 300$, you're getting an underpowered machine with a tiny SSD and no disk drive that is trying to mimick a proper current gen experience. The only reason the Series S is able to keep up at all is because most games are still cross gen. Once next gen exclusive games become the norm, the difference will become all the more noticeable.

For just 100$, you can buy a PS5DE that comes with almost double the storage space. That difference alone is already worth the extra money, but unlike the Series S, the PS5DE actually has proper current gen specs. It destroys the Series S in terms of value.

I've heard the argument that its "A good fit for gamepass" as if removing the disk tray suddenly makes it perfect for a subscription service. Thing is, its not a good fit for gamepass. Its actually a terrible fit for gamepass. You'll be paying a subscrption fee to play the worst version of every game and you'll have to deal with a very small SSD for a service that encourages you to try and play lots of games.

I own a series X and its by far and away the best console ever made in terms of hardware and services. The series S is a trap that should be avoided. The price difference between the XSX and especially the PS5DE is too small to justify its shortcomigs. It needs to drop at least another 50$ to become an okay value. If it drops down to 200$, i'd say its a good purchase and a reasonable alternative for what you're getting.

The problem with your position is that it bases everything on what you value. Most people who buy a series S don't want to buy a PlayStation because it's either unavailable or doesn't have xbox games and or gamepass. Getting DE is almost as likely as winning the lottery at this point, so that arguement is almost completely moot.

So you can say it's a better value until your blue in the face but it makes no difference to those buyers. The tiny ssd doesn't affect them nearly as much as you say, and the 1080p doesn't matter to them either.

Do I agree overall that the X is a better value long term, yes. (Or a ps5de if you want a playstation) But for some people, it really doesn't matter much.
 
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plip.plop

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I have one and an XSX. that thing is way faster than any of the last-gen systems and feels like a stop-gap (32x) for people that want next-gen features and better performance than last gen could ever hope to offer. It absolutely stomps the Xbox one X and PS4 Pro.
 

DarkMage619

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The XSS is clearly the best value in gaming right now bar none. There is no console or PC that provides more powerful for $300. Comparisons to other consoles falls flat seeing how the cheaper XSS offers more features and even more 120fps titles. If you take a $400 budget you get the system AND games which is far better than just getting a console alone.

Couple that with the fact that Game pass is unrivaled as a sub service your dollar goes even further. Plenty of people on this forum actually have and use the system and they can all attest to the value the XSS offers and I'd take their word over any person who doesn't own the console. I'm glad MS offered an alternative way to play current generation games and those options are going to broaden the appeal of the Xbox brand. If Nvidia can offer different performance levels for their graphics cards there is no problem offering the same options in the console space as long as they play the same games.

I hope more developers take advantage of the features the system has so we can really see what it can do. Forza Horizon 5 and Flight Simulator gave us just a glimpse of its potential. Looking forward to see what come in the future.
 

Rykan

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The problem with your position is that it bases everything on what you value. Most people who buy a series S don't want to buy a PlayStation because it's either unavailable or doesn't have xbox games and or gamepass. Getting DE is almost as likely as winning the lottery at this point, so that arguement is almost completely moot.

So you can say it's a better value until your blue in the face but it makes no difference to those buyers. The tiny ssd doesn't affect them nearly as much as you say, and the 1080p doesn't matter to them either.

Do I agree overall that the X is a better value long term, yes. (Or a ps5de if you want a playstation) But for some people, it really doesn't matter much.
Fair point, but the shortage is going to be a temporary problem and I still think most people would rather wait to get a much better product than settle for the mediocre experience that the series S offers.

I genuinely don't understand how people can say that the tiny ssd doesn't bother them. The actual space available on the thing is like 364gb of storage. If you have one go to game that you play as a live service game like a Destiny 2, or a Call of Duty game, thats already about a third to about half of your storage gone for that alone.

Also, the hardware difference between XSS and the PS5/XSX is way too big to just be a resolution difference. There are going to be way more concessions soon and most games already have more drawbacks than just resolution.

Sure for some people it doesn't matter much but I think the actual audience for it is very small and not worth the extra development time that developers have to spend to get their game to work on it. Raising the price by 100$ and making it an XSX without a disk drive, much like the PS5DE would have made it by far the best value of any console.
 
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gtrwll

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Well I’m definitely happy with it, I had the original Xbox One before and it felt like a significant upgrade from that.

The storage depends on what you do with it. I have 13 games installed at the moment, a mix of AAA and indies, and that’s more than enough for me.
 

Barakov

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Pretty thrilled with mine. Since I can't find a PS5 or a XSX, it'll do until I can find either one of those.

>Those SSD speeds
Can You Smell The Rock GIF by WWE
 

MrFunSocks

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i think the idea that the series S will struggle when cross gen is left behind is flawed. If anything it will come into its own then.

At the moment the next gen versions of games are basically just brute forcing higher resolution etc. With games designed for next gen only they’ll be making use of all the RDNA2 features like VRS, the SSD, etc.
 

DarkMage619

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i think the idea that the series S will struggle when cross gen is left behind is flawed. If anything it will come into its own then.

At the moment the next gen versions of games are basically just brute forcing higher resolution etc. With games designed for next gen only they’ll be making use of all the RDNA2 features like VRS, the SSD, etc.
If the XSS struggles in the future it will be the first time in history a system performs worse as a generation proceeds. In every other instance developers learn hardware and create new ways to maximize it. I guess people really think developers will never utilize the hardware features of the system and only create software that will be incapable of running on a device with the same CPU and SSD technology as the other systems. I find that doubtful.
 

Riky

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It's a great machine, I see it as a bedroom machine and a complimentary piece to my Series X.
You get the VA advantages of the Series X, it's as quiet as a Series X and is tiny with low power draw. I couldn't fit any other next gen console in the space I have in my bedroom, it's just perfect.
I use it on a 43" 1080p Sony Bravia mostly and it looks great, the boost in framerates over the One X is quite startling and I've really enjoyed going back and using the FPS boost feature on games like Far Cry 5 and Mad Max, they are so much better at double framerates.
Being able to keep what I'm playing presently on a storage card and just move from machine to machine in seconds is super convenient, how the save and file systems work on Xbox really make it so easy.
Recently been playing Far Cry 6, Forza Horizon 5, Battlefield 2042 and Vanguard on it and the 1440p output is becoming a reality.
In the future as last gen is left behind and game engines start to incorporate all the RDNA2 performance saving features like Tier 2 VRS, Sampler Feedback Streaming and Mesh Shaders I think we'll get some surprising results from this machine, this generation with the small increase in Ram is all about efficiency and that's what those features are all about.
Overall it's been a new direction for a console release and a really worthwhile one, it should do well this Christmas looking at the price and the supply situations.
 

DenchDeckard

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It's not a good system. Its never been a good system. There is a good reason why the Series X is difficult to find and the Series S is sitting on shelves. Its a waste of money and a poor fit for anyone who understands value proposition.

For 300$, you're getting an underpowered machine with a tiny SSD and no disk drive that is trying to mimic a proper current gen experience. The only reason the Series S is able to keep up at all is because most games are still cross gen. Once next gen exclusive games become the norm, the difference will become all the more noticeable.

For just 100$ more, you can buy a PS5DE that comes with almost double the storage space. That difference alone is already worth the extra money, but unlike the Series S, the PS5DE actually has proper current gen specs. It destroys the Series S in terms of value.

I've heard the argument that its "A good fit for gamepass" as if removing the disk tray suddenly makes it perfect for a subscription service. Thing is, its not a good fit for gamepass. Its actually a terrible fit for gamepass. You'll be paying a subscrption fee to play the worst version of every game and you'll have to deal with a very small SSD for a service that encourages you to try and play lots of games.

I own a series X and its by far and away the best console ever made in terms of hardware and services. The series S is a trap that should be avoided. The price difference between the XSX and especially the PS5DE is too small to justify its shortcomings. It needs to drop at least another 50$ to become an okay value. If it drops down to 200$, i'd say its a good purchase and a reasonable alternative for what you're getting.

Your logic is sound but there's more to it.

A ps 5 DE can't be found but more importantly no one is picking up a ps5 de and throwing it in a bag. Maybe a flight case or armoured suitcase.

The series s isn't much bigger than a stack if DVD cases. It's a little bad ass and perfect for a spare room or child's bedroom with gamepass.
 
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Chukhopops

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Whenever a topic is talking about the SS you get the same dumb arguments and they become less and less relevant each time. Just play Forza on it and you’ll see it does absolutely fine.

A Series S + GP is just ridiculous value for money and I wish something like that existed when I was a student or young active. Nothing comes even close to that value proposition.
 
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If youre looking for a 1080p system hat can sometimes hit 1440p, digital only, and focus on a small number of games, it's a good system.

Personally I'd pay the extra $200 US to get a much beefier system that's 3x the TF, double the SSD size and even has a 4k drive which gives flexibility for game discs and 4k movies (which I have).
 

GametimeUK

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This is a bad argument because to upgrade that series X to get another 500gb storage you have to spend enough money where you could have bought another Series S.
That's why I said it depends on the person, but if you need more than 500gb on the Series S and 1tb would be sufficient then the Series X is the more appealing of the two in my opinion as I'd rather have 1tb storage with Xbox Series X specs than a Series S with 500gb more than the Series X for roughly the same price.
 
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GHG

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The XSS is clearly the best value in gaming right now bar none.

Here's the thing about value - it should be pretty apparent when value exists and it somewhat speaks for itself (not only from the perspective of the product itself but also in terms of demand and buzz within the general public).

If people are constantly needing to be told something is the "best value" then it's probably not.

If Nvidia can offer different performance levels for their graphics cards there is no problem offering the same options in the console space as long as they play the same games.

In the GPU world performance per dollar metrics are more important than price alone.

That's why the cheapest GPU is never the most popular one and Nvidia's best seller tends to be their XX60 series GPU for each generation.
 
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acm2000

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With PS5 DE being just £100/$100 more, shows that the Series S is seriously overpriced. Pointless console in my opinion. It’ll really struggle with games in mid-gen to end of gen.
What has ps5 got to do with it? The series s is for people already in the Xbox ecosystem, cheap way to current gen, the second console in the bedroom, or for the kids who want to keep playing minecraft
 
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Kataploom

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Value wise it depends on the person. It seems like a great entry price point on the surface, but the hard drive is so small. If you are only keeping a few games on there it's fine I guess, but once you expand your storage you're in the Series X price bracket and have around 500gb more than the Series X. Let's face it if I was spending that much on the console at that point I'd rather have the Series X as the graphic power is worth more than 500gb to me.
What you don’t get is that people buying the S and getting the expansion unit is not only getting 500 gb more than an X, but also are paying for all the packages in two parts, the expense gets spred and that’s an advantage for budget players... If someone is purchase both at once I’d understand the concern.

I’m still thinking if getting one next year, I’ll probably will, I’ve never gotten into Gears or Halo franchises but always liked what I played of them.
 

dvdvideo

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It will be a good value at $200

What's funny about this, I think there was a 90% chance this was the intended sell through price for the series S until the pandemic/shortages hit, by about this time.
I suspect $249 was the planned launch price that was pulled back last minute as they realized they didn't need to sell it that low to move units.
 
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STARSBarry

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I'm grateful that this little machine exists! Got me into next gen with all the new console drought. Does everything that the Series X can do minus the extra beef the SX built in.

Dousent the Series X tend to have a 60 FPS mode for modern games? And a disk drive? So no blu-ray player you can use either. I mean those are both things the Series X can do.

I can go onto Amazon.co.uk right now and just buy a Series S for RRP, you have been able too for months now, Series X on the other hand is constantly out of stock. There dousent seem to be much demand or perceived value for the Series S either looking at the resale market, as its being sold below RRP unlike any other system (including the switch OLED). Second hand PS4 Pro's are going for the same price on resale as the Series S on ebay.
 
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Banjo64

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Pre-ordered mine for day one. It’s been everything I’ve expected and more. I paired it with an EX2510 (1080p 144hz monitor) and it’s rocked. Playing Gears 5 and A Plague Tale at 120fps, Forza Horizon 5, Flight Sim - I’ve been blown away.

The SSD paired with Quick Resume is godly.

Storage issue is over hyped on GAF, IMO, unless all you ever play is Warzone, Red Dead 2 and Forza Horizon 5 you’ll be fine. I have Forza Horizon 5 (over 100gb) and Battlefield 2042 installed on mine (over 50gb) and still have 200gb left:



You can use a regular SSD to play some S|X games and enhanced Xbox One/360/Xbox games. Here’s what fits on a 250gb drive with 60gb left over:



Would I have bought this if I had a 4k, 120hz VRR, HDR, Oled display? No. I would have bought an X. But, I wanted to play some last gen enhanced games at 120fps and this paired with my monitor has been perfect.

And yes, the PS5 DE is more power for your money. I’d definitely recommend buying both a PS5 DE and Series S like I have (if you don’t own a PC), both consoles for just over £600, amazing. But the Series S overall is still a much more budget friendly option with cheaper first party games and Game Pass.
 
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GametimeUK

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What you don’t get is that people buying the S and getting the expansion unit is not only getting 500 gb more than an X, but also are paying for all the packages in two parts, the expense gets spred and that’s an advantage for budget players... If someone is purchase both at once I’d understand the concern.

I’m still thinking if getting one next year, I’ll probably will, I’ve never gotten into Gears or Halo franchises but always liked what I played of them.
I think you misunderstand. I "get it" just fine. That's why I lead the point with "depends on the person". I get that splitting the purchase can be advantageous, but that doesn't rule out there are people who could afford both consoles, go with the Series S and split the purchase, figure the storage isn't suitable, upgrade the storage and then realise they may have been better off with a Series X instead.

So yeah, depends on the person and I get it that people like the Series S. My friend has one and loves it. I'm saying two things

1. It depends on the person (of course it does)
2. If I was buying it for myself it's a waste of money

Both are true.

(Edit) I recommend an Xbox for the games you mentioned and if the Series S is the way you get to play them then brilliant. Hope you enjoy the games.
 
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MadPanda

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Sure, but it's exactly not a secret what kind of GPU is in this thing. I'm sure that some developers will make a few token gestures of having it run at 1440p60 or 1440p30 in the early years but I don't think it's realistic in the longer term.

The GPU is roughly on par with a GTX 1060 and I've used one with a 1440p monitor and it wasn't exactly great. It's still a fantastic 1080p chip though and still holds on to this day. Moving forwards, I absolutely think the S will be a 1080p system rather than a 1440p one.


It's not a secret what kind of gpus are in xbox one and ps4 and still, look at gears 5, Forza horizon 5, tlou2, got etc which are achieved on 7770 and 7850 respectively. Try playing forza horizon 5 with a 7770 and tell us your results.
 
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Portugeezer

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It's not overpriced, XSX and PS5 are underpriced. If you have a 1080p TV and don't mind some games being 900p blurry, SS seems good.

The Ray tracing will forever be its weakness though, but time will tell whether or not that feature will be used in some meaningful way this gen. No disc drive also a big negative, you're locked to digital sales/gamepass which I am sure was the main point of MS making the console anyway.
 
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Riky

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Pre-ordered mine for day one. It’s been everything I’ve expected and more. I paired it with an EX2510 (1080p 144hz monitor) and it’s rocked. Playing Gears 5 and A Plague Tale at 120fps, Forza Horizon 5, Flight Sim - I’ve been blown away.

The SSD paired with Quick Resume is godly.

Storage issue is over hyped on GAF, IMO, unless all you ever play is Warzone, Red Dead 2 and Forza Horizon 5 you’ll be fine. I have Forza Horizon 5 (over 100gb) and Battlefield 2042 installed on mine (over 50gb) and still have 200gb left:



You can use a regular SSD to play some S|X games and enhanced Xbox One/360/Xbox games. Here’s what fits on a 250gb drive with 60gb left over:



Would I have bought this if I had a 4k, 120hz VRR, HDR, Oled display? No. I would have bought an X. But, I wanted to play some last gen enhanced games at 120fps and this paired with my monitor has been perfect.

And yes, the PS5 DE is more power for your money. I’d definitely recommend buying both a PS5 DE and Series S like I have (if you don’t own a PC), both consoles for just over £600, amazing. But the Series S overall is still a much more budget friendly option with cheaper first party games and Game Pass.

Nice setup.

I have a 1tb External SSD attached to mine for "Durango" enhanced Series titles like Sea Of Thieves and FPS Boost titles, you get the loading benefits pretty much the same as the internel.
 
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OrtizTwelve

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Series S owner since day 1 launch last year, no issues to report and I am happy with how everything runs and looks. Not once have I felt that I “needed” a Series X, at least not yet, and unlikely for some time.

For $299 USD, there is nothing currently on the market that can offer the same power, capabilities, and value for what it does. Good luck making a comparable gaming PC for that price with the same components. You can’t.

Yes, you can spend $100 more and get a PS5 digital edition. But for most consumers (the average consumer), $100 can be a big difference for this kind of purchase category.
 
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You can use a regular SSD to play some S|X games and enhanced Xbox One/360/Xbox games. Here’s what fits on a 250gb drive with 60gb left over:
I think the internal SSD (and Seagate card) do Series S/X optimizations. But you can run any game off an external SSD or HDD. But you are limited to One X and BC boosts. Not totally sure the exact parameters, but something like RTX is for sure an internal SSD/Seagate thing.
 

Banjo64

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I think the internal SSD (and Seagate card) do Series S/X optimizations. But you can run any game off an external SSD or HDD. But you are limited to One X and BC boosts. Not totally sure the exact parameters, but something like RTX is for sure an internal SSD/Seagate thing.
You can run a select few S|X enhanced games of any internal drive - it seems to be the ones with minor graphical upgrades and a framerate boost (Sea of Thieves, MCC, Ori and Rocket League as pictured). There’s a few others as well, you can see if they’ll work on an external by checking out the file type.
 
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Aion002

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Yes.

I still can't find the Ps5 and Series X consoles on stores around this part of the world.

Also, the difference on the price of the Series S and the others is huge in Brazil, the Series S is way more cheaper.

So in the availability and price aspect? Completely worth it.

On the console itself... Well, it's even better. The console is quiet, small, fast and on a 1080p display I have 0 complains about the graphics.

The only issue is the ssd being small, but thanks to Xcloud, I believe that this will be a non-issue soon.... Which kinda already is, since I have been using the Xcloud quite a bit on my tablet and smartphone for more games.
 

skit_data

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I might get one at some point a few years down the line when it has dropped in price ($250) and Xbox’s first party lineup have hit its stride. Right now I can’t justify the asking price, considering I got my PS5 DE for $50 more.
 

Banjo64

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13,582
645
I might get one at some point a few years down the line when it has dropped in price ($250) and Xbox’s first party lineup have hit its stride. Right now I can’t justify the asking price, considering I got my PS5 DE for $50 more.
If you sign up to Rewards and set Bing up as your default browser on your phone and computer you’d probably have well over £50 of credit saved up in a year. Probably more.

Since April I’ve made just over £65 but I do the 3 tasks a day and get some for playing Xbox too.
 
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