The Xbox Series S is an all-digital console, which means that it will not ship with a disc drive. That also means that you will not be able to use the Xbox Series S to play Blu-ray discs, modern video game discs, or discs for backward compatible Xbox titles. You will, however, be able to use it to play any compatible digital games, access any compatible media streaming service, or play any games featured in the Xbox Game Pass library.
The value of such a console depends on your needs, but it should be noted that one of the Xbox Series X’ biggest selling points is its extensive backward compatibility functionality. The Xbox Series S’ all-digital format means that your ability to access older Xbox titles will be severely limited.
The Xbox Series S Has A Much Smaller SSD
We’re still waiting on Microsoft to confirm some of these specifics, but initial reports indicate that the Xbox Series S will ship with a 512GB SSD while the Xbox Series X will feature a 1TB NVMe SSD.
The extra storage space offered by the Xbox Series X could end up being a big deal (especially if download continue to grow in the next-generation), but if the Xbox Series S supports expandable storage (which it likely will), then its smaller SSD could just prove to be a minor inconvenience.
The bigger issue here could be the “quality” of the Xbox Series S SSD. While Microsoft isn’t leaning as heavily into the functionality of their next-gen SSD as Sony has been with the PlayStation 5, it will be interesting to see whether or not the Xbox Series S SSD is roughly comparable to the Xbox Series X SSD from a performance perspective.