Will the Xbox Series S play Xbox Series X games and support 4K?

The Xbox Series S has been officially revealed. Following several leaks early this morning, Microsoft decided to confirm the existence of the hardware, blowing the lid off one of its next-gen systems in the process. But will the Xbox Series S be the right console for those looking for a more budget-friendly step into next-gen? Or are buyers certain to be left behind compared to Series X and PS5 players? Here’s everything you need to know about the Xbox Series S, including its price, whether it will play next-gen games, and if it will support 4K HDR.

Will there be Xbox Series S 4K HDR support?

xbox series s specs

  • The Xbox Series S will boast a 1440p resolution at up to 120 FPS.

However, it will be able to upscale to 4K despite not supporting a native 4K resolution, with 4K streaming media playback available.

It won’t have HDR, though it will feature raytracing, variable rate shading, and a variable refresh rate.


Will the Xbox Series S play Xbox Series X games?

xbox series s xbox series x

  • Yes, but this may not be the case for every Xbox Series X game that’s released in the future.

Xbox has previously stated that it wants its games to be playable across all of its consoles, from the Xbox One through to the Xbox Series X. However, during July’s Xbox Games Showcase, the company changed its verbiage to say that the Xbox Games Studios games announced would be coming to the Xbox Series X and PC.

So are the other Xbox consoles being left behind? Microsoft is still being vague about this. In a statement released to The Verge, Microsoft stated that developers would get to choose if their games would exclusively release on Xbox Series X, or if they would release across each Xbox console.

“Our future Xbox Game Studios titles are being developed natively for Xbox Series X. We will continue to invest in tools for devs to scale across consoles. Which consoles each studio/game can support will be based on what’s best for their game and their community at launch.”

This suggests that Microsoft would allow developers to opt to not release a game on the Xbox Series S, if the studio felt that it needed to make use of the Xbox Series X’s full power. As this decision is being left up to game studios, it remains to be seen if the Xbox Series S will wind up playing every game that the Xbox Series X can, or if the Series X will eventually have exclusive games unable to be played on the Series S.


How much will Xbox Series S cost?

  • The Xbox Series S price will be $299.99 in the US and £249.99 in the UK.
  • The Xbox Series S will also be available as part of a payment plan for $25 per month, as opposed to the Xbox Series X’s $35 per month plan.

This is a huge deal for Microsoft, offering a true budget entry into next-gen gaming. Considering the sheer wealth of games available via Xbox Game Pass, those without the cash to splash on the Xbox Series X and PS5 will still be able to jump into a robust library of next-gen games with the Series S and Microsoft’s monthly subscription service.

Will it support physical games?

  • The Xbox Series S will be digital-only.

Considering that it features a 512 GB SSD with seemingly no options for upgraded storage, owners of the Xbox Series S will likely have to invest in additional storage. It’s unclear if it will also support the Xbox Series X’s memory card-esque hard 1 TB SSD, though it’s imaginable that this will be the case in order to allow players to expand their storage space.