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Forums - Microsoft Discussion - Xbox Series S refresh

ArchangelMadzz said:
scrapking said:

That makes sense from a western world viewpoint.  But the long-term future of the Series S may lay in India, Brazil, and similar, where incomes are much lower and/or import costs much higher.

This is assuming the price of the X will drop down to match the price of the S, as a full replacement.

And Phil Spencer and others at Microsoft have said that one of the reasons they did the Series S was because they don't expect significant price drops this generation.

That said, despite credible rumours that it's being considered, I personally don't think the gap needs to be filled between the Series S and the X.  A smaller (and disc-less) X makes sense to me, even though it probably won't be a lot cheaper (optical drives aren't THAT expensive these days, are they?).  I think losing the optical drive would do more for size reduction than it would cost reduction.  And size reduction is valuable, Microsoft already has an advantage over Sony in that regard this gen, and it makes sense to press that advantage.  That and it would push up digital sales definitely, and Game Pass attach rate probably.



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SvennoJ said:

Nah, I don't want to use a USB port for that, nor have an external HDD on top or beside / behind the console. Plus copying from HDD back to SSD takes long as well, might as well install from disk. And I hate trying to find something in a menu, while I can pick out the game I want blindfolded from the shelf. I deleted a game so it could patch the others, problem solved. The PS5 only lists a couple games on the menu bar (can't find how to make it work like ps4, maybe you can't yet?) so no point installing more or it's having to browse the game library again.

(I hope you meant TB :p)

Heh, yes, I meant TB, not GB!  Good catch!  :)

Fair enough if you don't prefer an external drive plugged in.  But copying from an external drive back to the SDD would be vastly faster on average than re-installing from disc, and the older the game gets the bigger the advantage of copying from an external drive becomes.  On the external drive it can (optionally) keep the game up to date as patches come out.  Whereas re-installing from disc will trigger a growing cascade of patches and other updates as the game gets older.  Hell, there are AAA games that have a single GB on the disc, almost all of the game has to be installed from the cloud even if you have the disc.  And that's BEFORE content updates and any patches enter the picture.

Whereas moving an average AAA tile from a USB SSD might take 8-ish minutes, and from a USB HDD might take 20-ish minutes.  Even if you have Gigabit internet or better, installing from disc would likely take far longer due to the downloads required.

It does occur to me that the external drive doesn't need to be plugged in all the time, either.  You can copy to it, and unplug it when you're done.  You can later copy back from it, and again unplug it when you're done.  Most systems have both front and rear USB ports these days.  If you only plug the USB drive in when you're copying a game back or forth, it's not a lot different than hunting down the disc and putting it in the drive.  Other than you'd probably wait longer if installing it from disc, on average.

To each their own, everyone has different preferences, and I prefer the advantages of selecting from the (virtual) fronts of boxes for digital games over the spines of physical game boxes.  And I'm on a Series S so I can't speak to how the PS5 organizes digital games.  But I can say that copying back from an external drive is going to be objectively faster, on average.



DonFerrari said:
SvennoJ said:

True, yet Series S 500GB for $249 will sell more than Series 1tb for $299. It's the 'get in the door' machine. Price is the most important factor. And MS is already going to offer a cheaper 512GB expansion.

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2021/10/21/new-seagate-storage-expansion-cards/

$140 for 512 GB
$220 for 1TB (current price at bestbuy)
$400 for 2Tb

So cheaper storage is already coming. I guess MS rather have you buy a cheaper Series S with the cheaper storage expansion option. Next to controllers, the margins are on those expansion cards.

Sure. I do agree with you for sales it is better to drop the price than to increase the storage. It will only be a matter of MS satisfied with the sales curve or needing to reduce the price to meet it. If they are satisfied and want to just revamp while having more profit they'll double the SSD size, if they aren't then they cut the price while keeping the SSD size. But I have no doubt at one point before the end of the gen we will have the Series S or equivalent with a 1Tb SSD and Series X with 2Tb.

@SvennoJ, I'm not sure the margins on the expansion drives are necessarily very high.  The prices aren't very far out of line with other very high speed SSDs.  Let alone ones as tiny as these (the expansion drives are ridiculously small, I was blown away when I finally saw one in person).

@DonFerrari, I'm 100% confident we won't see a 1 or 2 Tb (terabit) Xbox Series system!  ;)  As for a 1 TB Series S, that's wouldn't surprise me as price on drives fall, especially since it's a digital-only system.  A 2 TB Series X?  I have my doubts about that.  Despite the Xbox One and One S coming in 2 TB versions, when the One X came out it only ever came out in a 1 TB variant, and there were only 1 TB variants of the One S by the end as well IIRC.  With external storage options for running back-compat games and storing games that require a velocity drive, and expansion cards for those that want them, I suspect the 1 TB max is likely here to stay for the foreseeable future. 



VAMatt said:

[...] MS talked in the middle of last generation about an end of generations. They had to move off of that because they needed a clean break from their relatively lackluster Xbox One sales. But, I do think it's very likely that this is the last clear new generation of consoles from Microsoft. From here it will just be price drops of the existing machines and introduction of higher spec models at the top of the price spectrum.

I do think it's likely that the current series X is the last machine that they will release with a disk drive. Maybe there will be one more, but we are definitely near the end of that, for better or worse. 

I think the one variable with whether we get Xbox Series iterations forever, or get a whole new generation, would be a significant architectural change.  Whether that moving away from Zen/RDNA, or something even more exotic like moving to Arm (ala Apple's introduction of the M1).

I think a more powerful Xbox Series console is a sure thing, but whether it's 3 years from now, 5 years from now, or some other number, who knows.  I agree with those who say that even Microsoft doesn't know right now when something like that might happen.

Just as we got the One S before the more powerful One X, I think we'll likely get a Series S refresh before we get an even more powerful Series X.



SvennoJ said:

That would be a shame (no more disc drive). There are still many parts of the world with limited internet and even though my internet is fine, the lower storage this gen has only made physical releases more important to me. Plus I use the consoles as (4k) blu-ray players as well. If the Series S had a disc drive I would have snapped one up for my home theater (1080p projector).

[...]

I suspect that the optical drive will stick around for the Series X for a while, as losing it wouldn't let them shrink the console enough, nor drop the price enough, to come up with a compelling option.  Sony only manages it by selling the PS5 Digital at a loss.

However, for those exact same reasons, a Series S *with* an optical drive makes a lot of sense.  If and when they can cost-reduce the Series S to $250 USD or less, a $299.99 Series S with a BD drive could be compelling for some people (especially people who are fine to go digital now, but have huge collections of physical OG Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games that they'd want to run on their new Xbox Series console).  I'd actually love to see a Series S with an optical drive and a Series X without one.  Maybe a Series S Disc, and a Series X Disc-less, would be all we'd need as in-between options.  If we presume we won't see any new systems until some future point where Microsoft has caught up with initial demand, so 2023 at the earliest, perhaps we'd be looking at:

$249 Series S Disc-less
$299 Series S Disc
$499 Series X Disc-less
$549 Series X Disc
$599 Series X Disc special editions

That sounds like a lot of SKUs until you consider how many SKUs Microsoft has tended to have in the past.  Remember when you had the HDD-less Xbox 360, then the basic Xbox 360, the Xbox 360 Elite, plus special editions?  And later on, variations with and without Kinect?

Then on with the Xbox One we had 512 GB, 1TB, 2TB, and Hybrid Drive variants (anyone remember THAT crazy model?!), plus special editions, and that was all before we had the One S and One X and their variants.  No way is my suggestion crazier than what Microsoft has actually done in the past.  :)

If you really wanted fewer SKUs, you could get rid of the standard Series X Disc and only have:

$249 Series S Disc-less
$299 Series S Disc
$499 Series X Disc-less
$599 Series X Disc special editions



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What do I think it might be called? Or what do I think it should be called? Because those are two different things. I think if will probably be called the same thing. But I think it should be called Xbox 4 (standard and Pro, if you want to differentiate between the two), as that would make my life and everyone else's that routinely converse in the gaming industry that much easier. lol



scrapking said:

Heh, yes, I meant TB, not GB!  Good catch!  :)

Fair enough if you don't prefer an external drive plugged in.  But copying from an external drive back to the SDD would be vastly faster on average than re-installing from disc, and the older the game gets the bigger the advantage of copying from an external drive becomes.  On the external drive it can (optionally) keep the game up to date as patches come out.  Whereas re-installing from disc will trigger a growing cascade of patches and other updates as the game gets older.  Hell, there are AAA games that have a single GB on the disc, almost all of the game has to be installed from the cloud even if you have the disc.  And that's BEFORE content updates and any patches enter the picture.

Whereas moving an average AAA tile from a USB SSD might take 8-ish minutes, and from a USB HDD might take 20-ish minutes.  Even if you have Gigabit internet or better, installing from disc would likely take far longer due to the downloads required.

It does occur to me that the external drive doesn't need to be plugged in all the time, either.  You can copy to it, and unplug it when you're done.  You can later copy back from it, and again unplug it when you're done.  Most systems have both front and rear USB ports these days.  If you only plug the USB drive in when you're copying a game back or forth, it's not a lot different than hunting down the disc and putting it in the drive.  Other than you'd probably wait longer if installing it from disc, on average.

To each their own, everyone has different preferences, and I prefer the advantages of selecting from the (virtual) fronts of boxes for digital games over the spines of physical game boxes.  And I'm on a Series S so I can't speak to how the PS5 organizes digital games.  But I can say that copying back from an external drive is going to be objectively faster, on average.

The cascade of patches is luckily a thing of the past. Everything I've re-installed from ps4 only had one patch to bring it up to date, GT Sport included. (A big patch sure, but actually faster since the longest process is making a copy of the game first. Re-install and it only has to make a copy of the base game at release) PS3 was never fixed though, re-installing GT6 takes a full day of patch after patch.

Re-installing from disc also lets you start the game with only a small part copied, but that's only useful if you don't want to wait for the patches to make it up to date. PS4 let you play while still installing the rest from disc in the background, PS5 the same. (Yet patches can't be applied until everything has been copied)

A Series-S with disc would be very tempting. Series-X slim revision would do as well. The thing just doesn't fit in my AV cabinet. The PS5 slides in on its side. If I move the PS3 to a thinner gap, WiiU to a different room, then there would be a similar sized space for a Series-X slim next to the ps5. Yet as it is now, the Series-X would be too tight of a fit and as it's just a big rectangle it would block all airflow.



SvennoJ said:

The cascade of patches is luckily a thing of the past. Everything I've re-installed from ps4 only had one patch to bring it up to date, GT Sport included. (A big patch sure, but actually faster since the longest process is making a copy of the game first. Re-install and it only has to make a copy of the base game at release) PS3 was never fixed though, re-installing GT6 takes a full day of patch after patch.

Re-installing from disc also lets you start the game with only a small part copied, but that's only useful if you don't want to wait for the patches to make it up to date. PS4 let you play while still installing the rest from disc in the background, PS5 the same. (Yet patches can't be applied until everything has been copied)

A Series-S with disc would be very tempting. Series-X slim revision would do as well. The thing just doesn't fit in my AV cabinet. The PS5 slides in on its side. If I move the PS3 to a thinner gap, WiiU to a different room, then there would be a similar sized space for a Series-X slim next to the ps5. Yet as it is now, the Series-X would be too tight of a fit and as it's just a big rectangle it would block all airflow.

Yes, I know some games on some systems get all updates combined into one download.  But that download would still tend to get larger over time.  And that furthers my belief that copying the game over from a USB drive would be a lot faster than reinstalling from an optical disc + download, even if you're allowed to start playing partway into the install.  I mean, copying from a USB SSD I might be playing the full complete game within 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the game.  And as I say, you don't necessarily need to keep the USB drive constantly plugged in, you can plug it in as necessary (just as you would insert the disc in only when necessary).  To each their own about what they prefer, I mention it again only in the interest of addressing your comment about the respective speed of re-installing from disc vs. from USB, since I believe an external SSD remains objectively the fastest option regardless of personal preferences.  :)

I did prefer the Series S, in part because it was available sooner (if I'd waited for a Series X, I'd still be waiting!) and in part because it's smaller (like you, I have a small space that I need to use it in).  My TV is 4K and 120 Hz, but is only HDMI 2.0 so I unfortunately have to choose between 4K or 120 Hz.  Since I decided to favour 120 Hz over 4K, I get about 90-95% of the Series S experience on that set (vs. maybe getting 40-60% of the PS5 or Series X experience on that TV in 120 Hz mode).  Definitely need HDMI 2.1 in my next set.  :)

Last edited by scrapking - on 13 November 2021

JackHandy said:

What do I think it might be called? Or what do I think it should be called? Because those are two different things. I think if will probably be called the same thing. But I think it should be called Xbox 4 (standard and Pro, if you want to differentiate between the two), as that would make my life and everyone else's that routinely converse in the gaming industry that much easier. lol

Heh...   can't argue with you on any of the above!  :)  Microsoft has some good consoles and gaming services IMO, but paired with some terribly confusing names!

The saving grace of the "Series" systems naming convention would be only if it truly becomes a series of consoles, with all future iterations building off of them being part of the S series or the X series.  Hence my pet preference for them retconning the One S and One X into the first "S" and "X", meaning the next refresh would be the "S3" and the "X3".  That would merge all of Microsoft's consoles into two series of consoles with numbers that make some kind of sense, at least back to 2016.  :)



scrapking said:
DonFerrari said:

Sure. I do agree with you for sales it is better to drop the price than to increase the storage. It will only be a matter of MS satisfied with the sales curve or needing to reduce the price to meet it. If they are satisfied and want to just revamp while having more profit they'll double the SSD size, if they aren't then they cut the price while keeping the SSD size. But I have no doubt at one point before the end of the gen we will have the Series S or equivalent with a 1Tb SSD and Series X with 2Tb.

@SvennoJ, I'm not sure the margins on the expansion drives are necessarily very high.  The prices aren't very far out of line with other very high speed SSDs.  Let alone ones as tiny as these (the expansion drives are ridiculously small, I was blown away when I finally saw one in person).

@DonFerrari, I'm 100% confident we won't see a 1 or 2 Tb (terabit) Xbox Series system!  ;)  As for a 1 TB Series S, that's wouldn't surprise me as price on drives fall, especially since it's a digital-only system.  A 2 TB Series X?  I have my doubts about that.  Despite the Xbox One and One S coming in 2 TB versions, when the One X came out it only ever came out in a 1 TB variant, and there were only 1 TB variants of the One S by the end as well IIRC.  With external storage options for running back-compat games and storing games that require a velocity drive, and expansion cards for those that want them, I suspect the 1 TB max is likely here to stay for the foreseeable future. 

At the start of their gen both X1 and PS4 were 500Gb consoles, their refreshs were 1TB.



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