I've seen the comparisons between the Series X and S but the the differences seem to only be noticeable on 4K TVs. I know about the disc drive and greater storage space, but is there any advantage to the way games will play in 1080p on a Series X than on a Series S? Would games have graphical or audio improvements on Series X, for instance?
If all I care about is how the games play, am I effectively throwing $200 away if I get a Series X over Series S to use on a 1080p TV?
I've been having this exact thought myself. I just invested in a new 1080p screen, so won't be on 4k for a decent while. For a TLDR, the biggest upgrades will come in back compat titles. But you'll also notice better lighting and rendering on next-gen games.
- Back compat on XSS will be One S versions. ie. If you jumped on Battlefield V for instance, you'd get like 900p rather than 4k supersampled to 1080p. If they released an XSS patch, though, this would get better.
- Same is true of X360 bc and earlier games. If you wanted to jump on Red Dead original, you'd need an XSX to hit 4k supersampled to 1080p. Otherwise you get basically the 360 version on Series S.
- "Enhanced" back compat versions, which aren't available on Series S (as far as I know), also deliver HDR/Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos to your 1080p screen. Meaning better colour and sound.
- For next-gen titles, you're hoping for potentially higher framerates, and better rendering and lighting effects like fuller raytracing. I expect the Series S to employ a lighter raytracing load as the generation progresses, such as screen-space only reflections or simplified reflection mapping.