First Xbox Series X hands-on revealed — here's how it stacks up

Xbox Series X
(Image credit: Unbox Therapy)

We know the Xbox Series X is going to be a tall but reasonably slim machine, and we know the Xbox Series S is around 60 percent smaller than its more powerful sibling. But what do the two look like in real life? 

Well, box-bothering tech YouTuber Unbox Therapy has the answer, as he got his hands on dummy units of both consoles and compared them side-by-side. While we’ve seen renders of how the two consoles stack up, this real-world look shows just how small the Xbox Series S is.

Not only is it noticeably shorter than the Xbox Series X, but the Xbox Series S is significantly slimmer. It looks a lot like a more traditional, under-the-TV box than the Series X, which resembles a compact PC more than a games console. 

In the flesh - or plastic - the Xbox Series S looks like an evolved take on the Xbox One S, though plenty of people have pointed out that it looks a little like a bookshelf speaker, or that its circular black vent looks a little like a front-loading washing machine. We think it looks rather neat though, as not only is it pretty compact, it also has that pleasingly minimal design seen in Microsoft’s Surface range of devices, the latest being the Surface Duo

Despite its svelte size, the Xbox Series S will be targeting gaming at 1440p and 60 frames per second, with some titles ramping up to 120fps. The native 4K Xbox Series X has the edge, but it’ll cost $499 compared to the Xbox Series S' $299 price tag, when both launch on November 10. 

While the Xbox Series S looks huge in comparison, its minimal monolithic aesthetic is also reasonably pleasing to the eye, if you like the pared-down design. And for people who like to keep consoles out of sight, the Xbox Series X looks like it could easily sit behind a TV rather than need a shelf on an entertainment unit. 

Furthermore, in other videos we’ve seen of dummy units of the Xbox Series X compared to other consoles, Microsoft’s flagship console doesn’t look that big. It certainly seems more compact and neater than the VCR lookalike original Xbox One. 

If you want a visually striking next-generation console, then you’ll have to look at Sony's PS5. It sports a design with sharp edges yet a curving two-tone body that has divided opinion at Tom’s Guide. But with the promises of a suite of exclusive games and 4K power, the PS5 will have a lot of appeal even if it’s hidden away in an entertainment center. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.