That's because, according to the very latest leaks, not only could the console retail for a jaw-droppingly low price point of $200, which looks set to be markedly cheaper than the PS5 Digital Edition, but also that it looks set to share the exact same CPU as the Xbox Series X.
I’ve been reporting on Xbox Lockhart having a slightly underclocked CPU, but I now believe it’s the same speed as Series X. Just different GPU frequencies and CU counts 👍June 27, 2020
The news about the Xbox Series CPU comes courtesy of the The Verge's Tom Warren, who posted on Twitter (opens in new tab) that while he had originally stated that Xbox Lockhart (the widely reported code name for the Series S) would have an "underclocked CPU", that now he believes the CPU will be "the same speed as Series X".
The difference, aside from the Series S supposedly being a system that plays digital games only, is that the console's "GPU frequencies and CU counts" are not the same. In layman's terms this means that the the Xbox Series S will not be as graphically powerful as the Xbox Series X.
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Lower GPU frequencies and CU counts most likely translates as lower resolution gaming, with a resolution of 1440p reported as a target for Lockhart compared to the Series X's 4K resolution.
The fact that the Xbox Series S uses the same CPU as the Series X will come as welcome news to many Xbox gamers, though, as at the low price the incoming console has been rumoured to be retailing at, many will see it as a brilliant first or second console.
After all, if the Series S can be bagged for $200, then many gamers will be more than happy to trade-off 4K resolution if they can still play all the new Xbox Series X games. For those who can't afford the Series X, the fact that the S actually shares Series X hardware and is just not quite so powerful will no doubt be very attractive.
It also shows how serious Microsoft is taking the Series S in terms of its next-gen offering, which here at T3 we think is extremely smart. Gaming has been progressing toward digital systems and cloud streaming for years now, and while the enthusiast market is still there for top-tier physical gaming hardware, there is also now a massive market of casual gamers who prize affordability and gaming convenience above everything else.
The Xbox Series S seems, if these rumours are true, to be tailor made for that market, acting not as some token afterthought, but a crucial element of Microsoft's next-gen offering.
Here's hoping we hear something official from Microsoft about the Xbox Series S soon.