Microsoft have announced the pre-orders for the Xbox Series X|S console will go live in a week’s time on Thursday 22nd September at 8AM local time around the world. It seems all the retailers will go live at the same time rather than the staggered approach that was taken for PlayStation 5.
Participating retailers detailed by Microsoft are:
- UK (8AM BST): Microsoft Store, GAME, Amazon, Dixons, Currys PC World, Argos, John Lewis, Smyths Toys, VERY, AO, Tesco, Simply Games, ShopTo and other participating retailers
- United States (8AM PT / 11AM ET): Microsoft Store, Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club, Newegg, and other participating retailers
- Canada (8AM PT): Microsoft Store, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, EB Games, The Source, and other participating retailers
- Australia (8AM AEST): Microsoft Store, JB Hifi, EB Games, Telstra, Harvey Norman, and other participating retailers
- New Zealand (8AM NZST): Microsoft Store, JB HiFi, EB Games, Spark, and other participating retailers
It gets trickier in other regions though. For Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, you pre-orders start at 9AM CEST at Microsoft Store, Amazon, MediaMarkt, GameStop, FNAC, Elkjøp/Elgiganten, and other participating retailers. These will differ from country to country.
Obviously countries like the US and economic markets like the EU have been coordinated around the last time zone to reach 8AM – Pacific Time for the US, and UK time for Europe.
Microsoft are giving everyone plenty of warning so they are not caught off guard, Sony have been criticised for saying they would give plenty of notice before pre-orders go live but many retailers had sold out by the time people were even aware the console was up for sale.
The next-generation will get started 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 payment plans for bundles that include 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.
Those will be going live at the same time as other pre-orders, from the following retailers:
- United States (8AM PT): Best Buy, GameStop, Microsoft Store, and Walmart
- Australia (8AM AEST): Telstra
- New Zealand (8AM NZST): Spark
- UK (8AM BST): GAME and Smyths Toys
- Denmark (9AM CEST): Elgiganten
- Finland (9AM CEST): Gigantti
- Norway (9AM CEST): Elkjøp
- Sweden (9AM CEST): Elgiganten
The Xbox Series S is the smallest Xbox console yet, 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X, but coming with reduced power as well. It sports an 8-Core Zen 2 CPU, but this is clocked at 3.6Ghz or 3.4Ghz with SMT, putting it 200Mhz shy of the bigger console. That’s paired with a 20 CU RDNA 2 GPU at 1.565Ghz, which produces 4 TFLOPS of power. There’s also 10GB of GDDR6 RAM, with 8GB at 224GB/s (roughly half the speed of the Series X) and 2GB at a much, much lower 56GB/s on the Series S to cater for system processes. The 512GB SSD is an exact match for the speed of the Series X, and the console will take the same 1TB expansion card SSDs.
It’s now been confirmed by Microsoft, the Series S will not run the Xbox One X enhanced versions of games, and will instead revert to the base Xbox One S versions of the game. Even so, it will still make a step forward over the base Xbox One, able to steady or improve frame rates, dynamic resolutions and implement system level tweaks on texture filtering and Auto HDR.