The first year of the new console generation has been quite unlike any other – Xbox One and PlayStation 4 releases are still prolific and the hard cut-off on older hardware seen in prior transition phases simply hasn’t happened. Although there have been a small amount of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series exclusive, the new consoles are essentially getting beefed up versions of titles designed for legacy hardware. This puts Xbox One X and Xbox Series S into a particularly interesting situation: an older, but still potent GPU faces off against a less graphically adept, but arguably more rounded machine owing to its massively faster CPU and NVMe solid-state storage. However, Xbox One X can also run games from SSD, leading our latest thought experiment: how does a storage-enhanced One X fare against Series S?
The results are intriguing and in many way controversial – but this could apply to the whole concept of launching Series S in the first place in a world where a prior generation Xbox exists with more GPU horsepower, more RAM and much higher levels of memory bandwidth. Of course, we have Series machines replacing One equivalents and it’s Xbox Series X that is the successor to Xbox One X – the clue’s in the name. And by extension, we also need to be aware that One X and Series S target very, very different markets: we’re talking about a machine designed for the hardcore up against a console designed for a more mainstream audience, less likely to desire the clarity delivered by 4K resolution and higher-end rendering features.