What Is the Newest Xbox Model Out Now?
Microsoft has been a dedicated competitor in the console wars for decades, with Sony’s PlayStation as their biggest competition. The Xbox series has been in production since 1996, starting with the first Xbox console. Today, the latest models are the Xbox Series X/S.
Both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S saw a simultaneous release, with the latter being the budget-friendly model and weaker in terms of hardware and performance. Read on to find out their specifications and features.
Xbox Series X
The Xbox Series X currently wears the crown for the ultimate Xbox console. Speed and power are the names of the Xbox Series X’s game, so you can expect it to load games quickly. It’s almost like playing on a powerful gaming PC.
Here are some important specifications:
- Custom AMD Zen 2 processor with eight cores and 3.8 GHz processing speed
- AMD RDNA 2 GPU that reaches 12 teraflops and has a 1.8 GHz speed
- 16GB of RAM
- 1TB of storage
- 4K60FPS resolution, maximum 8K120FPS
With these specs, you’ll need enough room to store the components, and the cuboid console is a relatively large housing. However, it’s not excessively so despite its density so that you can carry it around if needed. It can be oriented vertically and horizontally, with the former being better for the cooling system.
As the Xbox Series X can output to 8K, you’ll need at least a 4K monitor to enjoy games in their full glory. Unfortunately, 8K is rather steep, so few players opt to get an 8K screen.
These monitors take advantage of the Xbox Series X’s HDMI 2.1 port, which allows for the theoretical maximum resolution of 8K120FPS.
Other ports include two USB 3.1 ports, an Ethernet port, and a proprietary PCle SSD expansion.
Microsoft and Xbox know that many gamers today love graphically-intensive and impressive titles, so the Xbox Series X was designed to fulfill these demands. Depending on the game, you can expect 4K60FPS video output most of the time. These resolutions are only possible thanks to the 12 teraflops the GPU can reach.
Some titles like Gears of War 5 have been fully-optimized for the Xbox Series X, allowing them to run at 4K60FPS without much trouble. However, the developers compromised between resolution and framerate, lowering the resolution to 1440p (2K resolution) when there’s a lot of action on the screen. That way, you can enjoy a consistent 60FPS for most gameplay situations.
This “dynamic resolution” means the console doesn’t deliver a 4K60FPS or higher experience 100% of the time. Regardless, you still enjoy cutting-edge graphics, especially when the title supports the proper resolution.
Gears of War 5 can even reach 4K120FPS, though that will require a powerful monitor to accommodate the extra performance.
Other games that aren’t fully optimized for the Xbox Series X may reach 4K but not have a 60Hz refresh rate. One example is Red Dead Redemption 2, which runs at 4K30FPS. However, you should be able to play it at higher framerates if Rockstar decides to release an update for the console.
The Xbox Series X also loads games at least twice the speed of the Xbox One. Large open-world titles like Red Dead Redemption take almost a minute and a half to load on the Xbox One X, but the Series X can take you from the main menu to save a file in 38 seconds.
Additionally, one of the features the Series X shares with the Series S is backward compatibility. It can run older titles at higher graphical settings, so your favorite Xbox 360 title may get a boost if it’s optimized. Even unoptimized games experience incredible loading times and a lack of frame drops. Although they may not be running at 4K60FPS, they can still benefit from the boost.
Both consoles also have Quick Resume, an innovation that lets you run several games at once and switch between them quickly. You won’t have to restart games this way, and it even works after turning the console off. The downsides include a general lack of games that support this feature and occasional crashing. Still, Quick Resume is promising, and Microsoft intends to improve upon it.
Overall, the Xbox Series X is a powerful gaming workhorse that pushes the limits of console gaming. Its library of games is steadily expanding too.
Xbox Series S
The Xbox Series S is the optimal choice for those who aren’t looking to play video games at 4K resolutions. It can still play many of the same titles as the Series X, and it has identical backward compatibility. Though the console costs less, it doesn’t disappoint – for its class.
Specifications for the Series S:
- Custom AMD Zen 2 processor with eight cores and 3.8 GHz processing speed
- AMD RDNA 2 GPU that reaches four teraflops and has a 1.6 GHz speed
- 10GB of RAM
- 512GB of storage
- 1440p60FPS resolution, maximum 1440p120FPS
1080p gaming is slowly becoming obsolete, even though it remains the gaming industry’s standard. 1440p or 2K gaming is also much more accessible now, as many mobile phones and 2K monitors are seeing price reductions. Consequently, you won’t have to spend extra on your setup with the Series S.
The Series S is a smaller console than its big brother, partly due to having no Blu-ray drive. As a digital-only console, you’ll need extra storage space, which is possible via a 1TB hard drive extension.
Microsoft calls this console the smallest Xbox ever, a testament to the company’s innovative technologies. Even at this reduced size, the Series S has a powerful cooling system that somehow manages to run quietly.
The ports include three USB 3.1 ports, an Ethernet port, and the HDMI 2.1 port aside from the power port. It’s not too different from the Series X in this regard.
Many games will run at 2K60FPS courtesy of the GPU, though only a few older ones can reach 2K120FPS. The performance heavily depends on the game’s optimization and age, as newer games are more demanding.
Some games are optimized for the Series X/S, and those titles allow the Series S consoles to shine. Games will look gorgeous and stack up well compared to the costlier console. The textures are beautiful and clear without losing much, so you won’t notice a drastic difference.
It’s a relief to see the Xbox Series S displaying games without compromising too much in performance. The framerates tend to stay at 60FPS or 120FPS if supported. However, colors, darkness, and finer details aren’t always shown well.
The Series S has excellent output and efficiency for a console at this price point. It might be small, but it packs a mean punch compared to superior consoles.
Loading times on the Series S are slightly slower than the Series X, but the differences aren’t worth complaining about. It’s only in terms of seconds, which are negligible.
Compared to the Xbox One, the Series S displays better lighting, framerates, and textures than its previous generation.
An Interesting Rumor
Recently, there have been rumors that the Xbox Series S will get a hidden upgrade, though we still don’t know when it will happen. The story also states that Microsoft intends to give the console a smaller chip with increased power efficiency. Beyond this information, nothing else is known at this point.
It’s not unusual for consoles to receive upgrades like this after release. The Nintendo Switch has received upgrades twice since 2017. The PS5 has also received a new heatsink but nothing else.
The Nintendo Switch OLED only sports some quality of life changes and a new screen, as it doesn’t have increased processing power or GPU specs. However, Nintendo will likely release a “Switch Pro” or “Switch 2” in a few years.
Before you get too excited, remember that it may be possible to see a new Xbox Series X with an improved chipset, but it’s also likely that it won’t offer much improvement.
However, a leak says we’ll get a stronger Xbox Series S in 2022, promised to have a 6nm AMD Zen APU and 50% faster speeds. It won’t replace the original Series S but will be a middle-ground console between the current two.
The same leak promises a mightier Series X in 2023, but it’s not clear how much of an improvement there will be.
Gamers often compare the Xbox Series X with the PS5. The two console lines have been competing for years, and it doesn’t look like it will stop soon. While the Series X/S are the latest models, there might be a new variant on the horizon.
What do you want to see on a potential new Xbox Series X model? Do you think there will be a Pro version of the console? Let us know in the comments section below.
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