As well as unveiling the long-rumored console, Microsoft surprised us all last week by revealing the Xbox Series S price. As an entry-level system, it aims to get players into the next generation for as little as possible; in fact, it costs a similar amount to the old Xbox One X. In addition, it's much less expensive than the more powerful Xbox Series X and is significantly cheaper than the PS5 as well. Not bad going.
To be precise, the Xbox Series S price is $299 in the US,and £249.99 in the UK. By comparison, the Xbox Series X price and PS5 price are almost twice as expensive. Even the more affordable PS5 Digital Edition is a good $100 / £100 more. If cost is your main concern, it's hard to argue with the Xbox Series S price. It's comfortably the most affordable next-gen console we've had in a long time.
Convinced? You can put down pre-orders for both versions of next-gen Xbox this September 22. The consoles will then launch at the beginning of November (November 10, to be precise).
Either way, the Xbox Series S price announcement has been a long time coming. Microsoft and Sony have been playing a game of chicken to see who reveals the price of their console first, and it's good to finally be done with the long wait. Thanks to the two of them having aimed for a 'Holiday 2020' release date, they'd started to cut things fine.
For more details on the Xbox Series S price and what deals might be available at launch, read on. In the meantime, sign up for email alerts below if you want to be kept up to date on all things next-gen.
Xbox Series S price - how much does it cost?
Unlike the Series X, we now have an official Xbox Series S price. If you're in the US, it'll cost you $299. As for UK readers, it'll be £249.99. Considering the fact that it'll still play next-gen games (albeit digitally due to the fact that it doesn't have a disc drive), that's pretty amazing value for money.
Alright, so it's not as powerful as the Series X. But that's not a totally fair comparison. The Series S is an entry-level next-gen system and is a hell of a lot more affordable as a result. And considering all the must-have games that are coming out for next-gen systems - from Cyberpunk 2077 to Fable - that's no bad thing.
Will there be any other Xbox systems in the near future? Probably not this year. We suspect the Series S and X are going to be the only ones on offer this Holiday season because they fit such clear roles. You get the Series S if you want an entry-level system and aren't fussed by the latest tech, or you buy the Series X if you want the full next-gen experience without limits.
No matter what, we'll be able to try the consoles for ourselves this November 10.
What about Xbox Series S bundles and deals?
Will we be able to pick up Xbox Series S bundles on launch day? Almost certainly. There are more than enough new games arriving at the same time, so it'd make sense for some to be included as an incentive (Assassin's Creed Valhalla, we're looking at you). However, the S being digital-only may throw a slight spanner in the works. Redeemable game codes with the console are usually dictated by Microsoft, meaning you're unlikely to find retailers cobbling together offers that get you the console and other upcoming Xbox Series X games for less.
Not that you'd get bundles for a reduced cost anyway. Price-drops are almost non-existent in the early days of a console's life-cycle, so Xbox Series S deals will be a similar price to all the items bought separately. If you want to save money, you're more likely to get discounts on Xbox Live Gold deals or a few free months of Xbox Game Pass.
No matter what, don't expect Halo Infinite to launch with the console at the end of this year. The game's been delayed to 2021, so we won't be playing Master Chief's latest mission with any Xbox Series S bundles this year.
Where can I place an Xbox Series S pre-order?
As of right now, you can't pre-order the Xbox Series S anywhere - sorry. That's likely to change in the coming days, though. Microsoft promised more details 'soon' during their reveal, so we'll almost certainly be able to put down our hard-earned cash before long. The hold-up is probably due to the company wanting to announce the Xbox Series X cost before making pre-orders live for both.
When they are, you can guarantee that they'll be found at the usual suspects - in the US, you're looking at Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Gamestop. Because they're the biggest chains, they're likely to have the most stock. Just be careful when it comes to Gamestop. Coronavirus has hit the high street hard, so certain branches might shut down before the holiday season arrives.
As for the UK, your best best are going to be Amazon, Currys, Argos, and Game for much the same reason (although Game may also close stores due to COVID-19, so beware). In addition, the likes of TheGameCollection, AO.com, and Base.com are probably going to get a fair amount of Xbox One S stock. Keep an eye on John Lewis, too. Its electronics feature a free 2-year guarantee at no extra cost.
Naturally, Microsoft itself will also offer pre-orders via its online store if all else fails. Besides the current Xbox One consoles, it provides deals on the best Xbox One accessories. Don't expect any sort of discount, though.
Xbox Series S - what's the difference?
This is where things get interesting - what makes the Xbox Series S different to the Series X? For starters, it's a sizeable 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X and doesn't have a disc drive. It'll still manage next-gen games, though. A leaked trailer highlighted the specific tech inside, from a custom NVME 512GB SSD powered by Xbox Velocity Architecture to graphics capable of DirectX ray tracing, 1440p, and up to 120 frames-per-second.
In short, the Xbox Series X is still capable of cool next-gen features such as variable-rate shading, ultra-low latency, and blindingly fast loading times. It reduces loading to a few seconds instead of minutes, so our gaming experiences will change for the better on Series S.
All this means that games will run better and faster on Xbox Series S than you'll be used to on the current Xbox One X or PS4 Pro. Just remember, it won't be able to match the more expensive Xbox Series X graphically - it's simply not as powerful. Games will still look great, of course, but they're limited at 1440p instead of 4K. That won't matter too much if you don't have a 4K TV, but it's something to bear in mind in terms of future-proofing (on the plus side, Microsoft says that the Xbox Series S supports 4K streaming media playback and 4K game upscaling).
Saving money on accessories and games
As we mentioned in our guide to PS5 vs Xbox Series X, backward compatibility is a big feature of next-gen. Microsoft has been banging the drum of Xbox Series X backward compatibility for some time now, and that'll presumably be the case for the Series S as well.
It'll make a huge difference. Rather than having to buy extra controllers, accessories, or subscriptions, you'll be able to carry them over to your new console. All of your existing Xbox One peripherals and services like Game Pass are forwards compatible, allowing you to use everything from Xbox One external hard drives to Xbox One headsets on Series S. Many current-gen games are getting a free next-gen upgrade, too. It's all a handy way of offsetting the Xbox Series S price.
We'll update this page as and when deals appear for the Xbox Series S. Be sure to drop back in every now and then to stay in the loop! Don't forget to sign up for email alerts via the link below, either.
Wondering what the difference will be between current and next-gen games? We break down just how important ray tracing will be for Sony's PS5 and Xbox Series X.