Well that escalated quickly, didn’t it? No sooner had details of Microsoft’s Xbox Series S leaked out than the Twittersphere lit up with reaction, memes and some bona fide comedy gold. If we were measuring core fan sentiment (which we do), it would be firmly in the ‘meh’ range.
It turns out that what we have with Series S is a cheaper, smaller, less powerful, optical disc-less version of the full fat Series X (also confirmed for launch November 10th, pre-oders from September 22nd). According to some, it also looks a bit odd. Like an intercom
“yeah can I get ᵘʰʰʰ six piece chicken tendie meal” pic.twitter.com/5cRoHpXkPU
— chloe naylor (@echochlo) September 8, 2020
Or washing machine
— Mark Medina | IGN (@Mark_Medina) September 8, 2020
At this point, a big hats off to the Xbox social team. Usually companies ignore rumours/leaks, but Xbox basically shrugged their shoulders, lol’ed and revealed that the rumours were true. They even took piss out of themselves:
Didn’t know if we should Say Anything but FYI the S doesn’t stand for Speaker. https://t.co/20Il7KgHNO
— Xbox (@Xbox) September 8, 2020
It’s almost like Fall Guys has make companies realise that their corporate accounts can actually have a personality.
But back on topic, we’re not too sure looks are really relevant here. Switch notwithstanding, name us a console launched in the last 15 years that couldn’t be described as a bit, well, unwieldy. Ugly, even.
And here’s the thing. Jokes side, the Series S isn’t aimed at the core Xbox/gamer fanbase at all. What Microsoft is doing is making its hardware brand more accessible to more households. Which, in the age of injecting streamed media into people’s teleboxes, is the quite obvious but no less smart objective.
At £249 it’s cheaper than the Nintendo Switch and will be available on 24-month finance to further remove the fiscal barriers that parents often face during a Q4 console launch. Throw in an ‘all you can eat’ game pass and that’s Christmas all wrapped up.
We’re not even sure that the fact it’s less powerful than the upcoming Series X should be that controversial either. If you look around, the car industry has been slicing and dicing its models and their performance forever; it’s standard practice in the home computing space; and, if you look at iPhone and Android, there’s something for everyone packaged around certain core functionality.
Slightly less powerful than Series X but can run the same games, more or less? As parents, sign us up. Over to you, PlayStation guys…
But new games and consoles are nothing if not fuel for opinions, so here are the Top 5 reactions we’ve plucked from the internet…