Xbox Series S matches Series X on performance, but runs at 1440p instead of 4K

Xbox Series S is about as powerful as Xbox Series X in everything but 4K resolution support, according to a new explainer from Microsoft.

Microsoft gave more details on the distinctions between the two consoles following the official reveal of the launch date for Xbox Series X earlier today. Xbox Series S is being positioned as the wallet- and space-friendlier version of the two consoles, but that doesn't mean it will be less potent overall.

The news post from Microsoft states that "Xbox Series S delivers the same next generation speed and performance that define Xbox Series X" with a similar CPU and "identical I/O performance". The main difference, according to Microsoft, is what resolution each console is built to run your games.

• See what you'll be able to play on day-one with our list of Xbox Series X launch games

"Through talking to our customers, we found that many of our fans prioritize framerate over resolution, so we wanted to build a console that didn’t require a 4K TV," Microsoft said. "Xbox Series S delivers approximately 3x the GPU performance of Xbox One and was designed to play games at 1440p at 60 frames per second, with support for up to 120fps."

The post adds that improved efficiency and the Xbox Velocity Architecture will let the console "deliver performance and experiences well beyond the raw specs". Power aside, Xbox Series S will also launch with a smaller SSD storage drive of 512GB, compared to Xbox Series X's 1TB SSD. However, you'll be able to expand it with the same Seagate Storage Expansion card, or hook up an external hard drive to play previous-gen Xbox games.

It's also launching exclusively in Robot White, along with its bundled-in next-gen Xbox controller, while Xbox Series X will only be available in black.

These naming conventions for Microsoft's next consoles are already making my head hurt. 

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.