Xbox Series X and Series S unboxing: uncovering Microsoft's next-gen consoles

Xbox Series X
(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have landed, and we know you can't wait to find out all about the consoles.

We've already given you a detailed look at the larger of the two, with our Xbox Series X hands-on preview, but here we'll take you through everything you can expect to get in the box of both the Series X and the smaller Series S. 

We've already unboxed the PS5 and got our first look at Sony’s next-gen hardware, so now it's Microsoft's time for the same treatment, and we can start to answer some key questions – like, for example, what comes inside the box? 

As it turns out, the answer is pretty simple: inside the box you get the console, a wireless controller, an HDMI cable that's HDMI 2.1-compliant, plus the power cord, batteries for the controller, and the user manual / warranty info.

The only difference between the Xbox Series X and Series S accessories is the color - the Xbox Series X Controller is black to match the console while the Series S Controller is white - but otherwise the contents are exactly the same.

Xboxes in boxes

While we can't talk too much about the Xbox Series S quite yet, we've already had extensive time with the Xbox Series X. In our hands-on preview of the console we call it "Microsoft's best console ever" thanks to its super-fast load times, surprisingly quiet fans, and incredible performance that we've previously only seen from gaming PCs. 

The big differences between the Series X and Series S are that the former has a 1TB SSD built-in and comes with a disc tray while the latter is reduced to a smaller 512GB drive and doesn't come with a disc tray. 

Thanks to big power differences inside the hardware itself, the Xbox Series S is only capable of 120 frames per second at 1440p, while the Xbox Series X can hit full 4K/120 and even 8K/60. 

The good news? Both consoles are capable of playing Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos games and movies, and the two consoles share the same library of games that stretch back all the way to the original Xbox.

We'll be putting both consoles through their paces over the next few weeks and will have more to share about them as we roll towards their November 10 launch date.

We're also making our predictions for upcoming Xbox Series X deals, though any bundles might be off the table until more stock arrives. 

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.