Xbox Series S design, pricing and November release date confirmed by Microsoft [Updated]

Updates: Well, the cat is well and truly out of the bag. Microsoft have now confirmed almost everything you need to know about the Xbox Series S console, its design, price and availability.

The Xbox Series S will be out on 10th November – almost certainly alongside the Xbox Series X – and will be priced at $299 / £249.99 / €299. It’s not sure if this is a fully global launch, but the date has been declared by US and UK Xbox accounts on Twitter and it’s in the reveal trailer.

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The launch trailer digs into the capabilities of the device, which targets a 1440p resolution with upscaling for 4K, but allows for up to 120 FPS with variable refresh rate support via HDMI 2.1, and also features DirectX Raytracing support. The console includes a custom 512GB SSD, which is half the size of the one found in Xbox Series X.

Some elements are still unconfirmed, such as how powerful the CPU and GPU is in relation to the Xbox Series X, though all reports up to now point to the CPU being an absolute match and the GPU being cut down to 1/3rd the power. This alongside the SSD should allow for all Xbox Series X games to run with not compromises outside of the resolution and visual fidelity.

Microsoft initially responded to the overnight imagery and pricing leaks this morning with the following tweet, but that then spurred the leakers on to release the full reveal trailer, almost identical to the one above. The difference? Well, their said “coming November 2020” and Microsoft’s official one reveals the full release date for 10th November.

The original post follows:


The long rumoured, speculated and leaked Xbox Series S has seemingly been fully revealed over the weekend, with a number of sources popping up to reveal the console’s design and its all-important price point. So, let’s get that point out of the way. How much will it cost? $299.

The Xbox Series S is a more compact design that the Xbox Series X, somewhere between the the proportions of an Xbox One S, but with the depth of an Xbox Series X. The biggest space saving seems to come from the lack of an optical disk drive. The design is sure to be polarising, with a white body and a circular black vent on the larger face.

Brad Sams broke the story, and while he only had a single image as his proof, this was followed up by a snippet of video, potentially from a presentation or reveal of the console. He was further backed up by WindowsCentral.

Windows Central also claimed that the Xbox Series X price would be a rather competitive $499, alongside the Series S $299. In both cases, Microsoft will also offer an Xbox All Access financing option, set at $25 per month for the Xbox Series S and $35 per month for the Xbox Series X.

And while all of this is kicking off, what has Microsoft got to say for itself?

The Xbox Series S is expected to be a lower powered version of the Xbox Series X, keeping many of the same attributes, such as the ultra-fast SSD storage and Zen 2 CPU, but compromising on the GPU side of things, reportedly only around the 4 TFLOP mark compared to the Series X’s 12 TFLOPs. Where the Xbox Series X is expected to deliver a native 4K resolution, higher frame rates and ray tracing, the cut back “Lockhart” could sacrifice these to reach a lower price point for those buyers without a 4K TV or without as exacting demands from their games graphics, while retaining the minimal loading times and enhanced game worlds that the CPU could provide.

Source: Brad Sams, WindowsCentral

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25 Comments

  1. I just don’t see where this fits in at all.

    If people want to upgrade, surely they’re going for the series x. Kids will get laughed at for having this.

    It looks bleeding awful too.

    • I believe X Cloud will eventually run Series X games, at that point you’ll be able to run the full fat games on the skimmed milk console.

      Not that Microsoft have said X Cloud is coming to the consoles but I can’t see them not doing it..

      • The Internet infrastructure just isn’t there for this. Streaming 4ktv often has little hiccups, add in to that the delay on button presses and a lot of games become unplayable.

        I don’t bother with playstation remote play for this exact reason, I have decent broadband, about 10ms ping, 200mb download, 20mb upload, but the lag on remote play is just awful.

      • It’s got several markets. Firstly, not everyone has a 4K TV, but also it could be a much cheaper second console, and a gateway to Xbox Game Pass and what Microsoft are (slowly) building with their first party studios.

        But most importantly, it’s just a lower priced option that doesn’t have an expiry date like a PS4 or Xbox One does. It can play all of those games and will also play everything to come through the Series X lifetime.

      • What percentage of people aren’t using 4K TVs now? The vast majority being sold now are 4K, but there’s a lot of old TVs still in use.

        I think you’re right about it being a cheaper second console, especially with Game Pass. Let’s see how it sells next year, once a whole load of people have been using a PS5 for a year and then want a cheap second console.

      • No idea on the percentages, but 2020 was predicted as the tipping point. 4K TVs have been relatively affordable the last few years, but it depends on if and when people can afford to upgrade when 1080p is still good enough for a lot of content. Broadcast TV, streaming, etc. 4K has typically been a further upgrade and expense.

      • Most folk don’t upgrade their TV until it breaks so I reckon there will be a big percentage that don’t have a 4k set.
        But if I didn’t have a 4k TV I would rather buy the XSX so I would be ready for the better graphics when I next upgrade.

    • My main console will be PS5 because I’m invested in the PlayStation exclusives. I would be tempted to get this as a second console though if there were any must play exclusives on Xbox. Cheaper than forking out for the big version when I am only going to be playing a few games on it.

  2. An electric hot plate to cook breakfast and still game, genius!

    • It’s actually perfect for me I want to play the series exclusives but don’t want to pay full whack again after buying a PS5.

  3. I like it. $300 for next gen gaming is very reasonable.

  4. Ridiculously good price if that console can truly give next gen performance.

    It’s tiny compared to the Series X and PS5 as well, and that’s definitely not just down to losing the optical drive. A lot less cooling going on with that box.

    Very interested if it’s really able to compete. And even if it can’t, I’m still happy- because the PS5 is going to have to compete with that price!

  5. Is it modelled on a AM radio from the 70s???

  6. That’s very attractively priced, and I imagine means the Series X will be $499 based off the rumours. I’m not sure about the design, but at least there’s plenty of air vents there!

  7. So they couldn’t be arsed actually designing the Series X, and it looks like a big black fridge with a dent in it.

    And now they’ve clearly decided the reaction to the PS5 design was so great that they need something in black and white. An old radio? Yeah, that’ll do it. Although some parts of the internet think it looks like a washing machine.

    It really does look terrible.

    The price is interesting though. Allowing for VAT, that $299 should be about £24 more than the £249 they’ve announced, which is nice of them. But for something not a huge amount more powerful than the One X. Or less powerful if you want to just look at the number of Flops. Which would be silly, but seems to be the important thing for MS. (That’s going to come back and bite them on the arse, isn’t it?)

    I guess if the Series X price is $499 that’ll be £429 here again? A price that worked well for them last time ;)

    Sony clearly don’t want the PS5 to cost more than the Series X, so $499 as well? And $399 for the digital version? Maybe £349 and £429? Or if they want to throw money at it, maybe $50 less? Possibly hitting £299 and £399?

    The digital version of the PS5 is the one Sony need to price right. Less than Series X and not too much more than Series S and they get that “full next gen consoles are a bit expensive, but that Sony one is twice as powerful for not much more” market. If only they’d said “here’s a digital version, but you can buy a Blu-ray drive and plug that into a USB port if you want”. (Yes, USB is more than fast enough)

    I think the Series S will do well for MS. Especially with Game Pass. I’m kind of tempted, but a year or 2 after I get a PS5. (At which point the Series X might be cheaper too). I think it’ll seriously hurt the Series X sales, handing Sony a win there. But then MS can just combine the 2 and claim they’ve sold more. So everyone wins?

    And it might not be great for games that have to run on both the X and S. I get they’re aiming the X at full 4K and the S at 1080, and it’s possible developers might do a decent enough job of handling that. But it might hold the Series X back a bit too.

  8. So 60% smaller, up to 1440p at 120fps with ray tracing, upscaling to 4K for games, and full 4K streaming video. And a 512GB SSD.

    I’m guessing that’s “1440p, 120fps or ray tracing, pick one. Maybe 2 if you’re lucky”.

    It’s actually looking pretty good for the price. Does somewhat blur the lines between a next-gen console and a big upgrade to the current gen. But overall, well done MS.

    • Yeah, they’re all “up to” specs. 120fps is just a part of HDMI 2.1 spec, ray tracing just a part of the RDNA 2 GPU architecture. The real target seems to be 1440p upscaled to 4K, with performance modes beyond that. That’s pretty much a match for the One X in terms of resolution, and we’ll just see what settings devs cut back in the name of performance.

      • If it could do 1440 at 120fps, it could easily do 4K at 60fps. So clearly not going to do 1440 and 120fps at the same time.

        And really, who’s going to notice the difference between native 4K and upscaled 1440?

        How many TVs have HDMI2.1 yet anyway? I know the answer! Spent hours last weekend looking at TVs because someone wants a new TV and he dragged me along to help investigate. Not many of them. Not at sensible prices. But 4K TVs are cheap now at least. (Cheaper if you don’t mind sitting directly in front of them because the viewing angle is about 5 degrees)

      • Well no, it’s not doing 1440p and 120Hz, unless it’s a less demanding game. It’ll likely be 1440p30 or 1080p performance mode. That gives benefits to playing at 1080p, and is in the “close enough with fancy upscaling” range that the PS4 Pro has inhabited the last few years.

        You still want HDMI 2.1, because it’s the standard going forward. On this machine, you want it for variable refresh rate, as opposed to the bleeding edge 120Hz support.

  9. MS’s gaming division has big pockets and spend a heck of a lot of money on game development (hardware and software) but I think the console design department must be the least funded going by the design of their next gen boxes.

  10. The design looks a bit horrible but the price will certainly be appealing.

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