(Pocket-lint) - Xbox's all-singing, all-dancing next-generation games console, the Xbox Series X, will be released in November. However, did you know that there's another, cheaper next-gen machine too?

A sister console will be available in the form of the Xbox Series S - a slightly cut back next-generation machine for those on a tighter budget.

Here then is everything you need to know about it.


What is Xbox Series S?

It was during E3 2018 when Phil Spencer first teased what was coming next from Xbox. He suggested that there could be more than one machine on the horizon at the time and that has proved to be the case.

Previously going by the codename "Lockheart", the Xbox Series S is a digital-only, next-gen machine. It offers a trimmed back experience in comparison to the Xbox Series X, but still features advanced gaming tech and is a more affordable option.

Xbox Series S specs and hardware

  • 1440p gaming at 60fps (up to 120fps supported)
  • Ray-tracing support
  • 512 SSD storage
  • No disc drive
  • Dolby Vision and Atmos gaming

You can see the full Xbox Series S spec list below:

  • CPU: 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU @ 3.6GHz (3.4GHz with SMT enabled)
  • GPU: AMD RDNA 2 GPU, 20 compute units @ 1.565GHz
  • GPU power: 4 TFLOPS
  • SoC: Custom 7nm Enhanced SoC
  • RAM: 10GB GDDR6 (8GB @ 224GB/s, 2GB @ 56GB/s)
  • Performance target: 1440p @ 60fps, up to 120fps
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen 4 NVME SSD (2.4GB/sec uncompressed, 4.8GB/s compressed)
  • Expandable storage: 1TB Expansion Card (matches same spec as internal)
  • Display out: HDMI 2.1

In terms of hard numbers, the Series S has 4 teraflops of GPU processing power. That's dramatically lower than the Series X (which has 12 TFLOPS) and even lower than the Xbox One X (with its 6 TFLOPS). But, if you consider that the PS4 Pro has just over 4 TFLOPS of GPU power, you can see that it's still very impressive for an "entry-level" machine.

It runs a similar processor as the Series X, a custom eight-core chip running at 3.6GHz - or 3.4GHz with multithreading.

There is 10GB of GDDR6 RAM (with 8GB at 224GB/s).

As a next-gen console, the Xbox Series S sports DirectX ray-tracing abilities (like its more capable sibling) and SSD storage for faster loading and instant-on game resumption - albeit with 512GB of space rather than 1TB.

Its maximum resolution for gaming will be 1440p, rather than full, native 4K, but will run games natively in 60fps. There is further support for up to 120fps - although likely at lower resolutions.

There will be variable rate shading and refresh rate too, which should make for a smoother gaming experience.

Dolby and Xbox have announced that as well as Dolby Vision support for video, the console is the first (alongisde the Series X) to run games in the enhanced HDR format too. Dolby Atmos for video and gaming is also supported.

Xbox Series S release date

  • 10 November 2020 release date
  • Pre-orders open now

The Xbox Series S will launch on 10 November 2020 alongside the Xbox Series X.

Pre-orders for the console are available. You can check out the latest deals and availibility here.

Xbox Series S price

  • £249 / $299

The Xbox Series S will launch at a very reasonable £249 / $299 - making it an ideal upgrade for an Xbox One S.

The main Xbox Series X is priced at £449 / $499.

Both consoles are available as part of the Xbox All Access payment plan too, which costs from £20.99 / $24.99 per month for 24 months with no upfront fee. That includes membership to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which will soon add EA Play to the lineup.

Writing by Rik Henderson.