It’s time! The next-generation is happening and Microsoft have jumped first, with the Xbox Series X and the Series S set to launch on the 10th November 2020. The Series X will retail for £449 or $499, while the Series S weighs in at £249 or $299. There will also be a 24-month subscription offer bundling a console, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and EA Play together starting from an exceedingly tempting $24.99 / £20.99 per month for Series S, and $34.99 / £28.99 per month for Series X.
After yesterday’s leak it was probably inevitable that this was all going to come rushing in, but the rumours of a PlayStation 5 announcement may have also had them biting the bullet in an effort to steal a little bit of that next-gen thunder.
This is the tweet…
Xbox Series X: £449 (ERP)
Xbox Series S: £249 (ERP)
Release date: November 10th
Pre-order starts September 22nd | #PowerYourDreams
— Xbox UK (@xboxuk) September 9, 2020
The full specs of the Series X and Series S can be seen in the table below – the Series X is now apparently just a tiny bit more powerful. Both will allow the developers to take advantage of DirectX raytracing so lighting and sound react much more naturally in the game environments.
|Xbox Series X||Xbox Series S|
|CPU||8-Core Zen 2 @ 3.8Ghz / 3.6Ghz w/ SMT||8–Core Zen 2 @ 3.6Ghz / 3.4Ghz w/ SMT|
|GPU||RDNA 2 GPU – 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz||RDNA 2 – 20 CUs @ 1.565 GHz|
|GPU Power||12.15 TFLOPS||4 TFLOPS|
|Memory||16 GB GDDR6||10 GB GDDR6|
|Memory Bandwidth||10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s||8GB @ 224 GB/s, 2GB @ 56 GB/s|
|Performance Target||4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS||1440p @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS|
|Internal Storage||1 TB PCIe Gen 4 NVME SSD||512 GB PCIe Gen 4 NVME SSD|
|I/O Throughput||2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed)||2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed)|
|Expandable Storage||1 TB NVME Expansion Card||1 TB NVME Expansion Card|
|Optical Drive||4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive||Digital Only|
|Video Output||HDMI 2.1 – Up to 4K at 120Hz, 8K, VRR||HDMI 2.1 – Up to 4K at 120Hz, 8K, VRR|
|Backward Compatibility||Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox||Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox|
|Availability||10th November 2020||10th November 2020|
|Price||$499 / £449 / €499||$299 / £249 / €299|
Writing on Xbox.com, Jason Ronald, Director of Program Management for Xbox Series X said, “Backwards compatible games run natively on the Xbox Series X hardware, running with the full power of the CPU, GPU and the SSD. No boost mode, no downclocking, the full power of the Xbox Series X for each and every backward compatible game.”
The Xbox Series S will be priced at $299 / €299 / £249, coming out on 10th November alongside the Xbox Series X. The console will be 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X, and all-digital with no disc drive, which we could already tell from the initial imagery.
While this all started off as yet another major PR blunder and leak from Microsoft, it’s to their credit that they simply turned it around into an announcement. Of course, to then have even more details slip between their fingers is a further embarrassment, when the company has been in a tense (and frustratingly boring) standoff with Sony over announcing the release date and price of their respective consoles.
While long speculated, the two-pronged attack on the next generation is now confirmed, with Microsoft targeting both the high end and the lower end of the spectrum. It’s a fascinating approach, with the Series S able to cater to people on a tighter budget, those without 4K TVs, or those thinking about picking up a secondary console to pair with a PS5, PC or something else. Let’s see how it pays off.
Meanwhile, in the land of Sony, a regional GAME store claimed that there was a big PlayStation 5 announcement coming today… It looks like Microsoft decided to beat them to the punch?