Xbox Series S specs leak surprise - it's great news for gamers on a budget

Microsoft's rumoured digital-only console has a few surprises up its sleeve

Xbox Series S
(Image credit: u/jiveduder)

The Xbox Series X is set for a November launch alongside the PS5, and while Sony has made no secret of the fact it's taking a leaf out of Microsoft's book with the introduction of a digital-only console in the same vein as the Xbox One S, Microsoft has been keeping surprisingly quiet about its own rumoured digital-only console. 

The Xbox Series S is reportedly a smaller, less powerful console than the Xbox Series X, with no disc-drive – the next-gen equivalent of the Xbox One S. It's existence has been all-but-confirmed thanks to a Robot White controller spotted doing the rounds, and now we have the specs to flesh out the picture. 

Between TweakTown and The Verge's Tom Warren, we've got a fairly detailed idea of what the new budget console will bring to the table, and the first bit of good news is that the hardware will be capable 4K gaming using checkerboard rendering – the same technique the PS4 Pro uses to upscale game graphics.  

Having a cheaper 4K gaming option is great news as Microsoft is putting an end to the Xbox One X, and Xbox One S production; that means the pricier Xbox Series X – potentially coming with a price tag of $599 – isn't the only machine in the Xbox ecosystem capable of supporting 4K gameplay. 

According to Warren, the Xbox Series S will offer 20 compute units (CUs) which he's alluded to before, and while the CPU will be the same as the Xbox Series X, the GPU will be less powerful, with four teraflops compared to the Xbox Series X's 12.

While we previously thought the Xbox Series S could struggle to run next–gen titles, the CPU specs are reassuring, as is the RDNA 2 GPU, and 10GB of GDDR6 memory. 

We're expecting the console to come in at around $100 less than the Xbox Series X, which seemed reasonable when we thought the Series X would be sporting a $499 price tag. If the recently rumoured price of $599 is the one we end up with, and the PS5 ends up coming in at the $499 mark, we're not sure gamers are going to be happy to fork over that kind of cash for a less powerful piece of hardware when they can jump over to Sony and get a next–gen console with all the bells and whistles for the same price. 

Microsoft is expected to unveil the Xbox Series S this month, so hopefully we won't have too long to wait before we get the official lowdown from the tech giant itself. 

Source: OC3D

Shabana Arif

Shabana worked at as News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.