The Xbox Series S has always lacked something Xbox Series X owners take for granted. It's not the extra 8 teraflops of processing power, or the true 4K resolution. It's the disc drive, which for Series X owners means you can play second-hand games you've been gifted or bought for yourself at a fraction of the digital retail cost.
So I have to admit that I'm a bit meh about the newly unveiled Xbox Series S 2023. It doubles the storage to 1TB and it comes in a nice-looking black finish. But there's still no disc drive.
Why I'm feeling disc-appointed by the new Series S
My youngest has a Series S, and it's really frustrating that I can't share my old favourites with him. Sure, some of them are on Game Pass. But you can't currently share Game Pass with other family members here in the UK (my youngest doesn't live with me all the time), and some of the games I think he'll love aren't on the service. Had the new Series S offered a disk drive, I'd have happily upgraded his Xbox and sold the current one to someone with a Game Pass sub.
But it doesn't, so I won't. I suspect that the main market here is people still hanging on to their Xbox One consoles rather than current owners; the $349 / £299 RRP doesn't get you a more powerful console, just more storage and a different colour, so if you're running out of room the Seagate Storage Expansion Card, while still overpriced, is a lot cheaper.
The new Xbox Series S will ship on 1 September and you can pre-order now from Xbox.com or the Microsoft Store.