Xbox Series X Versus Xbox Series S: Which is Best for You?

As we head into the end of 2020, the console wars are heating up again. Both Sony and Microsoft are readying their latest and greatest consoles, and gamers everywhere are getting ready to preorder their console of choice.
This year, both major companies are releasing flagship consoles that will cost $499 US for the main model. That’s a pretty steep price point, and it seems like the companies know it.
For its part, Sony is releasing its $499 PlayStation 5 along with a cheaper $399 version that doesn’t have a disc drive. Budget-conscious Sony shoppers can save $100, but in exchange they have to be willing to download all their games rather than buy physical copies.
Not one to be left behind, Microsoft is also preparing a more budget-friendly edition of its next-gen Xbox. Your friends at Upsie have prepared this guide so that you can determine which new Xbox model is right for you, the Xbox Series X or the Xbox Series S.

Xbox Series X vs. Xbox Series S: The Main Differences

Microsoft’s flagship console is the Xbox Series X, retailing for $499. For that price, you get 4K resolution at 60 FPS with the ability to flex to 120 FPS. You get a 1TB SSD and a 4K UHD Blu-ray disc drive. You also get a whopping 16GB of GDDR6 RAM. And you get faster custom CPUs and GPUs.
The budget entry is significantly cheaper. At just $299, the Xbox Series S matches the price point of the Nintendo Switch, which is three years old by now. You still get a quality next-gen Xbox experience, but there are numerous trade-offs:
  • Less CPU and GPU power
  • 10GB GDDR6 RAM
  • 1440p @ 60 FPS (not full 4K resolution)
  • Half the onboard storage
  • No optical drive
If you’re looking for a more detailed comparison, check out PC Mag’s breakdown of the differences.

Pros and Cons of the Xbox Series X

The Xbox Series X is for the Xbox gamer who wants it all. In every way that it’s different, it’s better. It’s more powerful, it has more storage, and it gives you the flexibility of using physical media and digital downloads. If you can afford it, it’s the better choice for just about everyone.
There are only two cons we can think of. Obviously, that $499 price tag can be a lot to swallow. That gets you the console and one controller, and that’s it. Games, controllers, and digital content all cost extra. The second con, if you want to call it that, is size. The console is much larger than the Series S. That won’t be an issue for most, but if you’re seriously space-constrained, factor it in.

Pros and Cons of the Xbox Series S

We listed a bunch of trade-offs earlier, and those are the cons here. If you’re otherwise equipped for full-on 4K resolution, you might be disappointed by the lower resolution on offer here. Though, the truth is, many folks won’t notice this difference.
The Series S “skimps” on processor power and memory, but in real life you’re unlikely to notice this difference – at least not for a few years.
Do you ever swap game discs with friends, rent games, or buy used game discs? If so, you don’t want the Xbox Series S. Microsoft removed the disc drive, meaning you can’t do any of those things with this model.
All that said, Microsoft has packed an impressive array of hardware into this more affordable package. If you’re priced out of the Series X, the Series S is seriously worth considering.

Which One Should You Buy?

Our take: if you can afford it, you should buy the Xbox Series X. The Series S has its uses, but most gamers will be happier with the Series X. The Series X is also slightly more future-proof with the added processor speed and memory.

Protect Your Investment with an Extended Warranty

Whichever Xbox next-gen console you choose, one thing’s for sure. You’re making a major investment in your gaming hobby, and you want that investment to be protected. One of the best ways to create peace of mind about your new purchase is to get an extended console warranty.
The retailer you get your console from will probably try to sell you one, but those big retail warranties are usually far too expensive for what you get. Upsie saves big on overhead and passes that savings along to you. With Upsie, you can protect your new flagship console against failure and accidental damage. For example, an Upsie warranty for a $499 Xbox Series X is $48.99 for 2 years and $74.99 for 3 years, and your deductible is only $25.
Protect your investment and rest easy knowing you’ll always be able to keep playing. Get an Upsie warranty today.

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