With “leaks” abound regarding Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S pricing, Microsoft went ahead and started confirming details on a random Labor Day night, and now the cat has fully emerged from the cozy little Xbox-shaped bag it was hiding in.
We now know that you’ll have to scrounge up at least $300 to join the next generation of Xbox with the 1440p-donning Series S. The Xbox Series X, meanwhile, is confirmed to weigh in at $500. If these figures mesh with your spirit, you’re probably wondering where you can secure a day one purchase.
Hoping to secure one ahead of launch date? Things are still a bit rocky in pre-order land. Retailers have regularly restocked units since the flood gates first opened and (quickly) shuttered, but unless you’re eagle-eyed, quick on your feet, and have all the time in the world to stalk Twitter feeds 24/7, it still feels bleak out there.
The best thing you can do right now is sign up for retailer notifications (links below) and keep tabs on new opportunities by following the official Xbox Twitter account and those of the retailers. Keeping an eye on stock trackers should also be part of your gameplan.
A successful purchase will hopefully secure your spot for a console to hit your doorstep on the United States’ November 10, 2020 street date. Otherwise, you can always try your hand at the brick-and-mortar stores day-of. It’s said there will be many more units on hand by then, so start planning your grand escapade right now.
You can get a next-generation Xbox starting at just $300. That’s the cost for the Series S, which incidentally mimics a mini subwoofer. You’ll get the same games and equivalent GPU features for graphical fidelity and gaming performance, but this one is only ideal if you aren’t ready to graduate to 4K.
Those looking for the best possible experience will want the Xbox Series X, and Microsoft has confirmed it’ll start at $500. This is the same sticker price the Xbox One and Xbox One X had at launch, which is just fantastic considering how much of a performance bump you’re getting.
Both consoles are available via Microsoft’s Xbox All Access program, which hooks you up with hardware and Game Pass for one low monthly cost. If you’re gunning for the Series S, that’s $25 per month, and Series X buyers can opt for a $35 monthly charge, both over 24 months. That works out to $600 and $860 respectively in the long run, which is actually about $20 cheaper than rounding this all up at full retail. Oh, and Game Pass also now includes EA Play, which makes this deal even better.
As mentioned before, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S mostly differ at maximum resolution—the former will support 4K (2160p), while the latter targets 1440p at a maximum 120 frames per second for gaming.
You’ll still get 4K upscaling for games on the Xbox Series S, though, including support for DirectX raytracing, variable refresh rate, and it can stream video in full 4K in supported media apps.
But there are other differences, such as the fact that the Xbox Series S won’t have a disc drive and its SSD tops out at 512GB as opposed to 1TB on the beefier Series X.
We’ll need to wait for more hard info to see just how much graphical and performance parity we’re talking about between the two, but it sounds like the Series S should provide a fully competitive next-gen gaming experience at an approachable price point.
It’s almost as hard to find Xbox Series X accessories right now as the console itself. Thankfully, most first-party Xbox One accessories will work just fine on the next gen models, including the $179 Xbox Elite Controller Series 2. You can also grab an ordinary wireless controller if you’re not interested in spending triple digits.
You’ll also find that many of the latest headsets will work with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S out of the box, like the Astro A50 Wireless Gen 4 or Turtle Beach’s Elite Pro 2. Feel free to stock up on these things as you need ahead of the consoles’ arrival.
Microsoft’s aim with the latest console gaming generation is to maintain as much cross-platform functionality as possible. This means most games launching within the first year of the Series X’s debut will also be playable on Xbox One. The kicker? Many of those games will automatically look and play better when and if you decide to upgrade to a more powerful console. Those are called Smart Delivery games, and just for you, we’ve already highlighted all eligible titles you can pre-order or buy today.
Choice titles include Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Halo Infinite. Microsoft also dropped a bombshell announcement that it acquired Zenimax Studios, the umbrella covering studios like Bethesda, Arkane, and more. With the news, Microsoft announced that new games, hopefully including Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield, will launch on Xbox Game Pass day one.
This deal was originally published in September 2020 and updated with new information on 10/23/2020.