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The Xbox Series S is down to $229

The Xbox Series S is down to $229

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It’s $70 off at Dell, which is nearly enough to buy an expansion card when storage space eventually runs out.

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Even if you already own an Xbox, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to buy one as a backup.
Even if you already own an Xbox, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to buy one as a backup.
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Update January 26th, 11:29AM ET: Dell’s promo for the Xbox Series S has ended; however, you can still pick up Microsoft’s console at Dell, Best Buy, and other retailers for $299.99.

We’ve seen the original Xbox Series S in white dip below the $249.99 mark over the past several months. But if you missed out on those opportunities, Dell presents another with a sale that brings Microsoft’s entry-level gaming console down to $229.99. That’s a $70 discount compared to its retail price. We’ve seen it as low as $199.99, but it’s possible we won’t see it that low again until the refresh becomes available, so you might consider just spending the extra $30 now.

The white Xbox Series S lying horizontally.
$220

The Xbox Series S is smaller than the 4K-capable Xbox Series X, but it can still play the same digital games — albeit topping out at 2560 x 1440 QHD resolution. The so-called “Starter Bundle” doesn’t include any extra hardware, though, it does come with three months of Game Pass Ultimate. Read our review.

The Xbox Series S gets you most of the way as far as current-gen gaming consoles are concerned. It plays the same games as the Series X, but you’re losing a disc drive, 4K resolution (it tops out at QHD but retains up to 120Hz variable refresh rates), and you’re only getting 512GB of storage, less whatever the system needs for itself. As a bonus, it’s much easier to fit on your entertainment stand.

The Series S isn’t the system for physical copy collectors and serial Blu-ray hoarders, but its other deficiencies are somewhat forgivable. For instance, while 4K gaming sounds like a big deal (and it is), you’ll be surprised how well most modern TVs can upscale content. Most people I know with the Series S don’t feel their experience is so lacking that they’ll spend more to upgrade.

Microsoft’s white Xbox Series S sits alongside a bigger black Xbox Series X on a wooden coffee table in a living room
The Series S loses the disc drive, 4K output, and half the storage of the Series X, but it’s half the price and less than half the size.
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Storage is a trickier solve and arguably the biggest downside for most people. With triple-A games regularly exceeding 100GB and increasingly stretching upward of 150GB, you’ll need to be selective about what stays in your daily rotation. For what it’s worth, I have close to 2TB between my Series X’s internal storage and the 1TB expansion card, and as a frequent gamer, I’m still constantly scavenging for space.

You can add an affordable external hard drive to store extra games on — moving them back and forth locally is faster than redownloading them, at least — but you can only play Xbox Series X / S games from internal storage or an officially licensed storage expansion card. Seagate and Western Digital are still the only manufacturers making those. They’re so expensive that you’re usually better off going for the black Series S with 1TB of storage ($349.99), but with this sale you can get the 512GB Series S and a 500GB WD expansion card for $40 less than the 1TB Series S.