Microsoft has revealed its next generation Xbox, and for the first time, there are two of them at launch—Xboxes? Xboxen? But while the PlayStation 5 essentially comes in “disc” and “disc-free” versions, there are actually several big differences between the smaller Xbox Series S and the larger, more powerful Series X. Let’s break them down.
One of the best deals in gaming is about to get even better. Today, Microsoft announced that multiple versions of Xbox Game Pass will soon come with EA Play, another subscription service run by a completely different publisher, at no extra cost. Star…
After finally spilling the beans on the cheaper variant of its new Xbox yesterday, Microsoft is ready to lay out the whole enchilada. It’s been officially confirmed: the Xbox Series X and disc-free Xbox Series S will be on sale starting November 10th, for $499 and $299, respectively. Pre-orders for the hardware will begin September 22nd.
That’s half of the layout for this holiday season’s console conundrum. Sony’s up next, having shown off the PlayStation 5 and a cheaper PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, but not giving a specific price or date for either. Rumors have been fling that Sony won’t be able to beat Microsoft on price, especially for the cheaper disc-free option.
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Xbox Series X: $499 (ERP) Xbox Series S: $299 (ERP)
Microsoft’s economic advantage doesn’t end with the hardware. The company is pushing the Xbox Game Pass hard, after a year of adding new titles and features like mobile game streaming. The Xbox All Access service is a monthly subscription that includes an Xbox Series console, Game Pass Ultimate, and full online play, with a cell-phone style interest-free payment plan. The Xbox Series X plus Game Pass will be $35 a month for two years, with the Xbox Series S being just $25 a month. That’s an incredible value considering the 100+ games in the Game Pass library, which is now bolstered by EA Play being included.
For comparison, the Game Pass Ultimate is $15 a month on its own. So over two years, buying an Xbox Series S outright and subscribing to the service costs $660, while the zero interest financing is only $600. The Xbox Series X doesn’t save quite as much, just $20 over the course of two years, but it’s still telling that there’s no downside to the payment plan.
By focusing on both affordability and a low-cost subscription for popular and new games, Microsoft is making a compelling offering for the next generation. It will be interesting to see how Sony and Nintendo respond.
We’re finally getting down to the wire for the next generation of game consoles. After months of leaks and one big leak over the long weekend, Microsoft has officially announced the Xbox Series S, the smaller, less expensive version of the Series X. The company confirmed that it will retail for $299.
👀 Let’s make it official!
Xbox Series S | Next-gen performance in the ˢᵐᵃˡˡᵉˢᵗ Xbox ever. $299 (ERP).
The Series S will not be equipped with a disc drive, like the PS5 Digital Edition and the currently-sold Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. You can see that it’s more of a conventional shape than the skyscraper layout of the Xbox Series X, and based on the controller next to it, quite a bit smaller, too. Based on the orientation of the Xbox logo in the corner, it looks like you can lay it on its side or stand it up, in the style of the PS2 and Xbox 360.
That’s about it in terms of confirmed data. A leaked commercial posted to Twitter this morning indicates that the Series S will be capable of “1440p at up to 120FPS”, along with ray-tracing and and a 512GB flash-based SSD storage. That’s impressive compared to current consoles, which tend to chug on 4K resolution, but the tiered nature of the console would mean that it would have to be much less powerful than the Series X. The latter uses a custom CPU and GPU from AMD rated at 12 teraflops with 16GB of GDDR6 RAM. There’s no indication of the comparative power of the One Series S, though presumably it would play the same games.
Other leaks this morning indicate that the Xbox Series X (man, those names are extremely Microsoft) would be $499, launching at the same time as the Series S on November 10th. Those are unconfirmed at the time of writing, but would make sense. Sony has yet to confirm a price or date for the PlayStation 5 (and its presumably cheaper Digital Edition).
Today Microsoft unveiled its new Xbox experience, promising faster load times and a more intuitive experience whether you play on a console, PC, or mobile device. The changes will start rolling out over the next few weeks, and will be welcomed given the console’s current user experience.
Microsoft’s focus on an improved user experience will also translate to the new Xbox Series X when it comes out later this year, as well as to Project xCloud and the Xbox mobile app, so things look consistent and intuitive no matter where you’re playing from. “The overall layout of most of the console pages remains familiar, just faster and more focused,” said Chris Novak, Head of Xbox Research and Design. The redesign will include tweaks to make text more readable, on-screen elements easier to understand, and to provide a faster and more appealing experience overall.
Speed is one of the defining features of the Series X, and Microsoft also wants to keep it at the foreground of the new Xbox experience. The Xbox Velocity Architecture and Quick Resume technology will help your games download and launch faster. Your Home screen will load 50% faster when first booting it up and it’ll load nearly 30% faster when returning to it from a game which will, together, use up 40% less memory.
Earlier this month, Microsoft also announced the new Microsoft Store, which was revamped so it would load faster and make searching for and downloading games more efficient. It also made it easier to identify games that are discounted or otherwise included in any active memberships you have, like Xbox Game Pass.
The new Xbox mobile app for Android and iOS makes it easy to share awesome game clips you just saved on your console online or with friends, and chat with friends or launch parties at home or on the go. Notifications will be consolidated and streamlined across all platforms, and chats and parties will now be able to be accessed from a single tab in the console Guide.
We are looking forward to seeing these new updates roll out over the next few months, and to see Project xCloud in action on September 15.
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