Xbox Series S 1 TB Like
Essentially the same solid value relative to the Series X
Broad ecosystem, from cloud gaming to Game Pass
Media can stream at 4K
Game resolution tops out at 1440p
Loses the optical audio output
For this console generation, Microsoft took the unique approach of releasing two Xboxes with one almost half the price of the other. The $300 discless Xbox Series S and $500 Xbox Series X came out in 2020, and three years later, a new Series S is out — with one big upgrade and a slightly higher price.
The Xbox Series S 1TB launched on Sept. 1 for $350, slightly more than the original $300 Series S, which is still available to buy and will sometimes go on sale for $250. The new variant doubles the internal storage of the original S and comes in matte black rather than white. There are no other differences between the two versions.
A new Xbox is here.
I spent some time with the new Series S console, and there are no noticeable differences from its initial setup to playing the games. It has all the same components: an eight-core custom AMD Zen 2 CPU and a custom RDNA GPU with 10GB of GDDR6 RAM that delivers a max resolution of 1440p. The only way you’d be able to tell the difference is by checking the storage space available — or by knowing that only this newer model comes in black.
That prompts the question: Who is this console for?
At launch, the Xbox Series S was marketed at the budget-conscious customer who didn’t need a console with monster power and who didn’t plan to buy a lot of games that would take up storage space. The strategy appears to have paid off. A leaked presentation from last year showed that the Series S sold almost double the Series X.
Since its release in 2020, however, there have been two significant updates to the Xbox Series ecosystem. First, the price of storage expansion cards has dropped. Both the S and X have expansion slots that fit a card that can double the storage of the console and that perform as if they’re native system storage. When the consoles were first released, expansion card prices were exorbitant, with a 512GB card going for $150. Now the same card costs $80 and takes literal seconds to plug in the back. Someone who already has the Series S will have little reason to spend another $350 for what amounts to the same console, rather than just paying the $80 to bump the storage up to 1TB.
The Xbox Series S 1 TB (right) next to its older brother, the Xbox Series S.
The second is the growth of Xbox Cloud Gaming, though technically it’s still in beta. Subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate can stream more than 100 games directly to their console without taking up any of a Series S console’s valuable storage space. Lately, however, long queue times made it difficult for gamers to stream whenever they want.
So who is the ideal buyer for the Xbox Series S 1TB?
It would be someone who doesn’t mind sacrificing resolution, doesn’t want to spend $500 on a game console and wants a bit of peace of mind knowing they won’t have to be picky on what games they download to their Xbox Series S or having to frequently delete the older ones.
Or they’re someone who just likes the matte black color.