Xbox Series S: Microsoft’s Affordable Next-Gen Console Revealed

by birtanpublished on October 5, 2020

hello and welcome to the pop-off pc mag show where we talk about video games news the industry trends and today new consoles i'm jordan miner i'm joined by matt buzzy we've come to talk about a very important topic that's been revealed today uh hyrule warriors 2 which has just been announced for the nintendo switch stream yes that's the most newsworthy thing that happened today no the xbox series s got uh announced finally officially uh after it was rev like leaked last night at like

Midnight by some insiders then microsoft put up like a cheeky tweet kind of referencing the fact that the week was true and then shortly after that this morning uh revealed it for real yeah so the cheaper xbox but like we can talk about the series a bit but like just the history of the reveal of this thing i also think it's kind of interesting this whole this whole lead-up is weird i mean we're this has to be the clue i i guess i can't back this up with facts

But this certainly feels like the closest we've gotten to a console launch with this few details including pricing and until really today uh definitive release date i mean to go back to hyrule warriors uh the gap between this that switch event was in january and then it came out in march um and that felt kind of strange too because that was announced like a few months before and but yeah it's weird especially for yeah doesn't mean coming for like a major you

Know hardware launch but just going back to kind of the history of this device um so there's always there was always the the idea that there was going to be two new xboxes um i think their names were lockheart and was it anaconda was that the other one does that sound right because i know the xbox one was durango and i love that but i think for these yeah and then projects there's a lot of names flying out for xbox but there was always this idea there's going to be two new xboxes the kind of the premium one and then a more entry-level one

And we've known about the xbox series x for since like the game awards last year um but you know but now we've just been waiting for this other shoe to drop this xbox series s um it was t it was like accidentally printed on some controller boxes or something there was other documentation that sort of uh hinted at it but now it's real um so yeah what you got you got some hot specs right yeah like any good leak it started off in weird ways like that yeah so this is an interesting one i think this

This generation of consoles um is going to be a bit strange i think there's always some sort of weird like straddle in the line period between console launches where you're half in half out of the new gen the old gen um this one's especially weird because as you said there's this cheaper xbox um which in some ways the evolution of the xbox one s that has existed right that was like the smaller cheaper cheaper box of the two um but that as usual like with the playstation slim that comes out

Years later after the console is launched it's not usually at the start where they offer this sort of like cut price or like slimmer like more affordable version of the machine so those also typically have the same specs it wasn't until we got like xbox one x and ps4 pro that we kind of started establishing like this one is actually just more powerful also isn't just like a form factor thing right they figure it's usually a couple years in when they figure out how to make the product they launch smaller without

Sacrificing power on this front it is different the the xbox series x will be the like the top tier like pc as close to pc gaming experience as you can get on a console whereas this at 299 which is pretty good price you can talk about that um gets you in the door above the power of the current generation so um it says up to 120 fps at 1440p uh directx ray tracing theoretically possible i don't know if that's gonna include using dlss to make that happen or not

Because um running ray tracing with any system is pretty demanding on even on pc um it's a variable uh rate shading and refresh rate um sort of some pc like features there um and this custom ssd which is something we've heard about the uh ps5 as well uh really hyping up these next gen um load times yeah this is kind of you know potentially defining you know like finding like kind of tangible feature as opposed to oh it

Looks better i guess right that's the one sort of thing i think the best example we've seen so far with that is the new ratchet playing on ps5 um you're gonna shift between those worlds like instantly rather than just like okay well like my witcher 3 menus will load more quickly like i don't know why you're saying that like that as if you wouldn't be excited by that because i play on pc and they've already been pretty fast that's why um yeah so like that's sort of the first like that's just a tangible

Thing like wow this this uh it's not just making my games as they were run more efficiently it's actually uh it's a new feature that wasn't really possible on the old consoles because the load time is now a feature but um yeah ps5 obviously doing that but i think that xbox still is trying to have like some sort of continuity with like kind of like more continuity the previous generation than before because it's all backwards compatible um

Again the fact that there's going to be a golf like that there's going to be like a meaningful difference in specs between the two of them um it's already i guess i already i feel gonna encourage developers to kind of make their games more scalable anyway um so i i feel like they're even still kind of not doing the kind of uh you know hard hard like break between transitions as we've seen in the past and i think sony is still doing their whole like we believe in

Generations sort of uh right right i think this will be a little a little confusing for a short period around the holidays when i think the people who are into this stuff will learn the difference very quickly i think maybe if you're if your parents or your grandma are going to try to buy someone a console they uh will be a little confused and there's the as i said the 1s from last gen which i brought it up can be a little confusing people might think that's the newer one but otherwise it's pretty clear like they're

Using as weird as these console names are they're using a similar format across the generations here um to kind of to kind of roll into the next gen uh slowly i guess um so we'll see yeah i think that series x we know a lot about but still you know uh tbd on some things is like the real like the 4k box that like the more enthusiasts gamer box this has upscaling for 4k so it like tricks you into 4k kind of like what

The last gen like pro consoles were able to do in some instances um so i mean we don't even really know all the specs for this thing yet i mean they put they put out some details but we don't know exactly what kind of like components he uses and stuff because there was the idea that potentially it would have like the same cpu as a series x but the gpu would maybe even potentially be weaker than the xbox one x which is kind of strange to me but yeah i guess at the price that's sort of the idea

It's not the enthusiast grade machine but it does get you in the door for the next generation um it's like a game pass box so yeah like you buy this thing relatively cheap comparatively to the the series x and then you uh you subscribe to game pass there's even a payment plan i was gonna say speaking of subscriptions yeah you can sort of subscribe to pay off this 299 console if you want which kind of like it's not alone obviously you'll own the

Thing at the end on like a subscription service but um you can sort of you're like paying to run these games out of the cloud over monthly fees it's kind of it's kind of a new shift yeah with the x cloud you know x cloud and game pass together um and obviously yeah with you know when streaming it doesn't matter what the actual stuff inside the box as long as the internet is good enough um obviously that's yeah it's gonna look

Pretty good uh what do you think about how it looks uh it's got a big speaker on it i just saw a tweet that compared it to a minion with its big old eyeball i won't be able to see that now yeah um shout out to brian altano at fellows of davis website ign nice he would do that um it's interesting i don't hate it it's kind of i kind of like how weird it looks um but it's a lot smaller than what looked like a very very big series x they in that

Trailer they kind of have a like a footprint where it fades into the uh series x and it's only really like a third of the size yeah you could like fit several inside of it if you were yeah which really highlights a how big that thing is b that this thing is is a fair amount smaller so three dvd cases stacked together remember that yeah that's how they yeah okay big debate um i like how weird looks too i think it's a cool middle ground between the xbox series just being just a big

Box and the ps5 being truly hideous i like i think i think it's a good middle ground of like being a box but it still kind of looks like something yeah the the speaker is like a weird retro feel even though the rest of it is like a modern like it's not even a speaker it's like a vent yeah it's not actually a speaker but it's gonna be called the speaker um i think it kind of looks like a like a kind of weird cool retro thing like i almost want a handheld version of this thing like to carry around like my boombox or

My walkman or something but um yeah it's kind of it's kind of cool um i think people are going to kind of dunk on it a little either for the look or people kind of look down their nose at a console that's 299 and isn't actually all that powerful but again let me tell you about the nintendo switch yeah right famous home of hyrule warriors too the enthusiast gamers always look down the nose at people about that stuff um and there are people out there who can't afford a 500 console like that's a big purchase

For a lot of people if that's what the series is being 500 bucks or more or even 400 i mean that's a that's a much bigger investment um and people kind of forget that not everyone wants to spend that much in the console a lot of the loudest sort of people about this topic are enthusiasts and it it seems crazy to not get the good one but the reality is a lot more people are a more casual than that and b don't have the money to just throw at whatever enthusiast machine they want yeah especially if they can pay it off

Over a monthly period um that's like way more affordable also also they don't they don't have 4k tvs or like really care about getting like 4k you know out of their boxes like 1080p it looks great um so 299 is a good price uh you know and now we know they're both coming out series a series x both coming out november 10th so i know when's coming out what it costs but beyond price um for a game console what are what are we gonna play on these boxes you know halo halo got pushed back

A lot of the other stuff is cross gen like cyberpunk and assassin's creed so you know it doesn't you know the price is one thing but again if you don't have anything you're going to play on it that's also kind of makes it a tough sell right uh yeah i think hello's doing a lot of the heavy lifting on what people are excited for with this console um now it is a bit of a i think both consoles ps5 as well kind of a little bit more over there i would say but now yeah um not much if you're going to buy this as

Your first xbox console in years um there's some things to catch up on and obviously if you just want to subscribe to game pass and play new things and play things that uh have come out in the last couple years and you've not been able to do that um especially at the 299 price point because then it's easier to do that um you can go ahead and play all that stuff uh it's nothing new i don't know if that's a reason to run out and buy a new console just to play things you can play elsewhere but if you don't have an xbox one

Um then you really have an option for a lot of those games so um there's that yeah but otherwise console launches are always a bit bit lackluster um so this is no different actually probably worse as you can see yeah yeah uh i don't know it's it's it's game pass is great and i think even on the reveal of the xbox one x they um didn't make the greatest case for the console itself it was more like a cool ad for game pass and that the games will look better on the new console but it didn't really

Compel you with a reason to buy the new hardware and that's even more true on this one where the uh or the hardware isn't like super impressive spec wise um it's impressive price wise if you want to get into the xbox door at all and you haven't been able to do that so uh the first year though not a lot of exclusives if that's your place to play game pass and cross platform i think that's that's kind of it yeah it's kind of like again like a ground floor thing like it will you know

Get you some form of these next-generation games but not you know in their their most um in their most not in the most powerful way but speaking of power you know the ps5 and the xbox series is are coming out this holiday but that's not you know that's not the only like exciting hardware thing happening in gaming um in these next couple of months here uh you talked about this last in the last episode but how do you

Like what are your thoughts on these consoles now kind of how they stack up in the light of these new these new nvidia cards and you know these these uh you know anticipated amd cards um yeah i mean the people i guess to start off the people who are shopping at 299 for a whole console probably not the same market as the people who are looking to buy you know a graphics card that costs two or three times that um but for the value they offer for the power compared to last generation i mean

Reviews are still pending we've seen some early returns and we have some testing ourselves we're doing we have early numbers but um they're really impressive compared to the already very expensive cars from last generation um but if you are looking to get into pc gaming right now uh or you haven't upgraded your car in years these new gpus look like really really good values um way more power for the same or less price the 3080 um in particular and the 3070

Um we haven't reviewed or seen yet ourselves but for a less expensive uh price it has a lot more power than certainly the xbox series s will offer and tbd i guess on the series x but um i expect both of those gpus have far more power even than that console does uh if if those are on console with the 2080 and the 2080 ti that would still be pretty good for a console but i'm not sure they can touch this sort of new uh new console

New gpu launch especially with things like rtx and um dlss and all these fancy things that can make your game run a lot higher especially at 4k um i think you know no no real head-to-head competition there but again you can get the whole console for less than you can the price of one of these gpus so uh those are somewhat different markets but there's some cross over there i don't know yeah it feels more i don't know it feels still to me it still feels more

Competitive maybe it's just where i'm at in my life but i don't know i feel it feels more competitive to me than maybe he has in the past especially yeah like the series x is 500 and the you know ps 500 is still like a lot of money so it's like if i'm gonna spend that much money i could spend a little more and get a lot more and maybe like future proof myself a little bit but yeah that's always my sort of logic maybe not the best you know uh financial advice to give to people but it's my it's my logic with technology

Um if i'm gonna buy a new laptop or i wanna buy a new graphics card it's gonna be my thing that i use every day for four or five years um a little bit more now get me that much and more enjoyment and performance over a long period and like microsoft especially doesn't care like half of their you know all their first party stuff is going to also be on pc anyway so it's like you could buy their 301 through 300 box or you know go all out and get the most

Powerful thing you can still play their games you can see you were the you your flight sim review caught it but like you said it felt like a truly next generation experience so like go and build yourself a machine that's gonna kind of do justice by that i know i already have a very high energy gaming desktop and i'm still like looking at ways to upgrade just because flights in is is a pretty demanding game um i think stuff like that can push it if you want that experience and you want

The uh and you're eyeballing the series x but you know you can probably afford a gaming pc like you said it's that much more expensive but then you're all set up with a lot more extra features and all the same games so it's it is probably more appealing than ever especially with like the lower cost uh processors that are out ram's not too expensive right now um there's a lot of price good prices on ssds so yeah it's it's not as it's not as uh

Ominous as it once was to consider a gaming a gaming pc build that's good because there's plenty of other ominous stuff going around in the world yeah so it's a weird strange times but you know video games they're back they're coming out xbox coming out this november you know i'm sure we'll have plenty of coverage on that once once we see that they're real and we have them in our hands i'm sure we'll have plenty of coverage of that but matt buzzy thank you for joining us

Um thank you for having me this is the pop off and yeah we'll see you talk to you next time

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