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Why the Xbox Series S is the gaming console to get this Black Friday

Next-gen consoles are in high demand right now, here's why the Xbox Series S might just be one of the best buys of Black Friday 2021.

Xbox Series X Console

It’s a frustrating time for gamers looking to migrate to next-gen consoles. The PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X are both generally out of stock in most places, most of the time.

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However, the under-appreciated little brother of the Series X – The Xbox Series S – is easy to get hold of and delivers a fantastic next-gen gaming experience. There are even one or two Black Friday deals to be had on Microsoft’s little white console.

First off, it’s only fair to acknowledge the downsides, and there have to be some, given the £200 difference between the Series X (£450) and Series S (£250) RRPs. The Series S delivers full HD gaming, not the full 4K of the Xbox Series X. However, it can still stream 4K video. The real downside of the Series S is lower frame rates, with far fewer games optimised to run at 120FPS on the Series S than on the Series X. This can make everything seem a little less ‘next-gen’ and even leave gamers at a slight disadvantage in fast-twitch online shooters.

As long as you’re not a competitive eSports player, though, or a real stickler for frame rates, you’ll be delighted with what the Series S offers. Its super-fast SSD has your games loaded up and ready to play in a matter of moments, and the selection of games on offer is becoming more and more enticing. While the lack of 4K gaming is a shame, games still look good on the Series S, and we may see a solution to this in future, thanks to cloud-based game streaming.

To return to the cons for a moment, though, the Series S does pack a smaller hard drive than the Series X, but that’s relatively simple to augment in future. It has 512GB compared to the 1TB in the larger console.

However, the growing popularity of cloud gaming means that a big hard drive might not matter at all in the near future. Microsoft’s own cloud gaming service is currently in beta, but platforms like Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now have already shown off the rich possibilities of the format. Cloud gaming could also see the Series S deliver better visuals and frame-rates in future, with much of the computing done in the cloud rather than by the machine itself.

In another notable win, Microsoft recently bought ZeniMax Media and its subsidiary companies – including the likes of Bethesda – for $7.5 billion. This means that future instalments of the Elder Scrolls, Doom and Fallout series are all likely to be Xbox and PC exclusives. That’s a huge win over the PS5, and if you’re a fan of those series, it’s worth adding to your calculations.

  • Looking for gifts for gamers? Check out our tech gifts guide

The Series S is also 60% smaller than the Series X. This isn’t a major factor, but it certainly helps if you’re short of space around the TV.

So all-in-all, what the Series S can deliver is next-gen gaming and great titles at a slightly lower resolution than the Series X or PlayStation 5. The promise of cloud-based gaming in the future gives an edge to the Series S offering. If you’re a believer that cloud-based gaming is likely to become far more mainstream in the near future, then the Xbox Series S is more than capable of giving you everything you need to play the biggest new titles, just as they were intended.

Even if the cloud-based gaming revolution takes a little longer to arrive, the Series S is a great way to sidestep the stock shortages, price-hiking and general stress of trying to pick up a PS5 or Xbox Series X. Due to shortages, our team recently saw one site selling the PS5 for over £700 and another offering the Series X for £599. Compare that to the circa £250 asking price of the Xbox Series S, and the value offering is clear.

Looking for the latest offers? Head to our live Cyber Monday deals coverage.

Black Friday Xbox Series S deals

While the Series X and PS5 are in too high demand to see any seasonal discounts, there have been some tempting deals on the Series S. Take a look below for the latest and greatest in Series S discounts and deals. Head to our Black Friday gaming deals, Black Friday gaming chair deals, and Black Friday PS5 deals pages for more offers.

Phone and Xbox Series S bundle deals at EE

Xbox Series S Black Friday

You can bag an Xbox Series S, three months’ Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and unlimited gaming data in these phone bundle deals from EE. A new phone and a new console? Sounds pretty good to us. These offers start from £29 per month and include phones such as:

  • Oppo A54 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
  • Google Pixel 6
  • Oppo Find X3 Lite 5G

Shop the Xbox Series S bundles at EE

Where to get a PS5 or Xbox Series X

If you’re determined to get your hands on a PS5 or Xbox Series X, then we’re on hand to help. Use the links below to check up on our Black Friday PS5 page and PS5 stock page – both are updated regularly and will help you find and make the most of any stock drops during the seasonal sales.

Read more on Black Friday 2021

Our team of tech enthusiasts will be closely monitoring smart TV deals during Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year to bring you the best offers and discounts. For more on the busy sales period, why not check out our comprehensive deals coverage:

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For the latest news, reviews and deals, check out the RadioTimes.com Technology section. Don’t miss our guides to the best budget smartphonesbest budget tabletsbest budget wireless earbuds and best budget smartwatches.