The Xbox Series S is having a rough time when it comes to pre-orders. At least when compared to the more powerful Xbox Series X.
But it’s also suffering when compared to Sony’s digital only option too. So far, the PS5 has sold out of both versions, but the Xbox Series S is still readily available from most retailers – despite its rather attractive and reasonable price.
It seems like the lack of disk drive and reliance on digital games hasn’t been enough to stop players ordering the digital PS5. So what gives? Why is Microsoft’s digital only offering not making the same waves?
The Xbox Series S is less powerful than the Series X, it also has less options when it comes to backwards compatibility. But it’s largely the same console in many ways.
The Xbox Console Name Problem
It may be the branding that’s causing the issue. After all, Xbox does have a console name problem; something that led to many people pre-ordering the Xbox One S accidentally when pre-orders went live.
Do consumers simply not know what it is?
It’s also worth noting that the both versions of the PS5 look similar. They are the same shape and obviously different versions of the same console; this cannot be said of the new Xbox consoles.
The Xbox Series X is a large, long and squared, and the current design is all black. While the Xbox Series S is small, white and rectangular – it also looks a lot like the Xbox One S which also comes in white.
If this is the case, then it’s easy to see what's caused the confusion and impacted sales. But it’s not just potential customers who’ve given the Xbox Series S a lukewarm reception.
Has The Xbox Series S Confused More Than Just Players?
David Cage, who’s the founder and CEO of Quantic Dream has also criticised the console in a recent interview. He called the situation with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S confusing for developer and players, saying:
“When a manufacturer offers two consoles with different specs, there is a strong chance that most developers will focus on the lower-end version to avoid doing two different versions. I must confess that I am really not a big fan of this situation.”
“I think it is confusing for developers, but also for players, and although I can understand the commercial reasons behind this choice (a difference of €200 on the street price) I think the situation is questionable.”
Quantic Dream is the company that brought us narrative driven games like Heavy Rain and Detroit: Become Human. His comments suggest that the difference between the Xbox Series S and X, may be more pronounced than the one between both versions of the PS5.
His comments do seem to take a shot at Microsoft directly, and more specifically, the Xbox Series S’s lack of power when compared to its sister console.
We wonder if other developers share these feelings and if this will translate to the games when the console releases?
What is for certain is that it’s not going to help the Xbox Series S sell more stock.
You can also read our analysis of the Xbox name problem here.