The current generation of consoles has been out for over 2 years. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X were released but due to stock issues and computer chip shortages there were few adopters. When they were released I was very much of the opinion that I would stay on the PC wagon. But with due to higher cost of living. I wanted to game on a more energy efficient console. Enter the Xbox Series S.
After the set up process I was greeted with the Xbox One dashboard. Coming from the clean less busy PlayStation ecosystem it was a let-down. However, this is purely my opinion. If I had spent more time on the Xbox One last generation I don’t think it would be such a disappointment.
The other blotch on the Xbox Series S was the small size of the SSD. Considering it is meant to be a digital only console, it would have been nice to include at least 1TB minimum. If you were to install Forza Horizon 5 and The Master Chief Collection you would not have space left for any more games. Combine that with Game Pass and you’ll be running low on space in no time at all.
Turning the Storage Issue into a Plus
I’ve struggled with Game Pass and other video game subscription services since their inception. I always find myself overwhelmed by the choice and feel the need to play as many games as I can while I have the subscription. With the Xbox Series S, I am limited to a few triple A games and a few indie titles. So far I’ve been playing the Mass Effect Legendary edition and have been having a blast with it.
Being able to limit yourself to a few games means you can get the most out of them. It really does feel like I’m back in 00s and enjoying games again. Without feeling too constricted. There is an option to expand the internal SSD which I may look into later. Especially if the games start to increase in size.
Game Pass and Series S a Match Made in Heaven
The Game Pass is the perfect companion for the Series S. Since you are limited to digital games, having a huge catalogue means you will always find something to play. There are plenty of recommendations out there depending on your favourite genre. I may provide a guide later.
So far I’ve played Forza Horizon 4 & 5, Mass Effect, The Master Chief Collection and Hot Wheels Unleashed. Forza Horizon 5 is the one I keep going back to, time and time again. It runs so smooth on the Series S, with far shorter load times compared to the Xbox One S. With games such as High on Life and Hi-Fi Rush on Game Pass, the amount of content to play is exceptional. The only downside is that there is no Final Fantasy games.
The Series S is a tiny console. Smaller than the Xbox One S and packing current gen performance. It is perfect for the space conscious gamer. I have it next to the gaming PC and the PC towers over it. The only issue is that it is a huge temptation while working my 9-5.
Not only is it a small console, it is also more energy efficient than most consoles currently available on the market, with a maximum of 74W per hour while playing games. Compare this to Xbox Series X which is 153W, more than double the energy. Of course the Series X has better performance, but is it really double the performance? I really don’t think so. I’m even considering replacing the living room Xbox with one.
In the UK and elsewhere energy prices are soaring, by having a console that can play current generation games at lower energy consumption is a huge plus. If you are climate conscious since the console is disc-less there is no need to buy physical discs which means fewer trips to the shops or online deliveries.
My only concern is that it is less powerful than the Series X. And there is every chance that future games will only run on the Series X. This isn’t currently the case, and Microsoft have made it clear that developers need to optimise their games for both versions. Which will increase development costs. There is even talk of a separate disc drive being developed for it.