New Xbox Series S adds much-requested feature, but not the one you wanted

We think some gamers are going to be disappointed by the 2023 Xbox Series S

Xbox Series S in black on a black background. How much more black could it be?
(Image credit: Microsoft)

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 or the Microsoft Store.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (