The Xbox Series S is positioned as a cheaper, more accessible Xbox Series X, but with less powerful performance. But a recently revealed spec has revealed that this performance is substantially worse in one key area.
According to a post on r/XboxSeriesX by Reddit user spead20 who alleges they have their Series S already, the 512GB SSD within the Series S only has 364GB of free space for games. After accounting for the space taken up by the operating system, the new console reportedly lets you use about 70% of the total advertised storage.
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The 148GB of OS comes with a precedent, as this is around the size of the Xbox One's OS. Similarly, the Series X, which comes with a 1TB SSD, apparently has 20% of it ring-fenced for the OS. A quick bit of path pegs the Series X software at around 200GB, which would make this claimed Series S figure more credible.
The silver lining here is that Microsoft has said that games on the Series S will take up less space than the same games saved to a Series X. That's because it's offering 1440p and 4K versions of each game, accounting for the two machines' divergent performance capabilities.
Of course if you want more room Xbox is happy to sell you one of its special memory expansion cards for £220/$220. These are very expensive, but since they use the same technology found in the main SSD, they are promised to be just as quick as the default storage. Alternatively, you can use any other USB HDD or SSD you might have, but this will only work for Xbox One games since Series X/Series S games require the new storage system in order to work properly.
On the other side of the next-gen console war, the PS5 also has an SSD — this one with 825GB of space. It also reserves about 20% for OS functions, leaving 625GB for games from what previous rumors tell us. It's a similar story to Xbox, but official expansions for the PS5's storage come in at $115 for an extra 500GB, a far more generous offer than Xbox's.
With games continually increasing in size to support fancier graphics and other features, buying extra storage may be a necessity for all but the lightest users of the new consoles. The PS5 and Xbox Series X are both releasing next week, so stay tuned to Tom's Guide for full coverage of all things next-gen.