Microsoft has recently launched their next generation of video game consoles with the introduction of the Xbox Series X and Series S and giving consumers a choice between power and affordability. The consoles launched on November 10, 2020, and since then, they have been very hard to come by.
With the launch of this new generation of video game consoles the Xbox Series X and S bring with them some substantial upgrades over the previous generations’ Xbox One.
The Xbox Series X is all about power and speed. With more powerful internals and processing power, this console can play games at up to 120 frames per second and allows for video display at up to 8k resolution, and allows games to be displayed in true 4k resolution.
The console supports ray-tracing for better lighting and reflection quality in games as well as HDR, or high dynamic range, which allows for a more vibrant range of color detail. It also has an optical disc drive that seconds as a 4k Blu-ray player. Games not only look better this time around but also load way quicker than the previous console.
The Xbox Series X also introduces the quick resume feature which allows players to switch between multiple different games and resume from where they last left off without having to load the game again. The Series X also comes with 1 terabyte of storage space. This power comes for $499.99.
This generation, Microsoft has launched a second console alongside the Series X called the Series S. This version of the console is offered as a more affordable alternative to the powerhouse that is the Series X.
The Series S is $299.99 compared to the $499.99 price point of the Series X. While these two versions do share some similarities such as the new quick resume feature high dynamic range support and ray tracing, at a price this low the Series S does come with some trade-offs when it comes to capabilities.
For starters, the Xbox Series S has weaker internals and processing power than the Series X and as a result, cannot play games at a 4k resolution and instead is only capable of playing games up to 1440p. Another trade-off is that the Series S does not have an optical disc drive. This means that no physical discs can be put in the system and instead games must be downloaded and bought digitally. It also only comes with 512 gigabytes of storage space which is significantly less than its Series X counterpart.
Justin Lancy, a game developer and current head of the Game Development Club at Fullerton College, offered his insight on the new generation of video game consoles.
“Speaking as a consumer as well as a developer I would say that in general, it would be best to wait till after the bugs have been worked out and the supply shortages have been resolved,” said Lancy.
Although the current total sales numbers for both are unknown, the launch of the Xbox Series X and S is the largest in Xbox history according to a tweet from CEO of Xbox Phil Spencer.
Assuming that independent developers will be using Unreal 5 for newer games, I look forward to seeing what can be made by everyone in the near future,” said Lancy.
Both the Xbox Series X and S are out of stock at nearly every retailer. Some retailers such as Walmart have confirmed a restock of both versions of the new Xboxes and PlayStation via Twitter as well as GameStop.