Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will be released on November 10, 2020 for $499 and $299, respectively. Now that you may wonder when pre-orders will go live, which console is the best buy, and what financing options Microsoft and other third parties might be offering.
When do Xbox Series X and S pre-orders open?
While we know the price and release date for each Xbox console, pre-orders haven't begun just yet. Pre-orders for the Xbox Series X and S will open up on September 22, 2020 on the official Xbox website. This is less than two months before the console comes out, but it should give gamers ample time to decide whether they want one of Microsoft's next-generation consoles or not.
If you're in North America, major retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and Amazon all have pages ready to go for Xbox Series X and S. You can't put money down just yet, but many of them let you sign-up to get an email notification when pre-orders do go live.
Is the Xbox Series X or the Xbox Series S a better fit?
Who should get an Xbox Series S — The Xbox Series S is the cheaper alternative to the Series X and will likely be the cheapest next-generation console on the market, presumably even cheaper than the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. For the same price as a Nintendo Switch, this console can power 1080p 120 FPS gameplay and supports ray-tracing. It's less powerful than the Xbox Series X but still compatible with all of the same features and exclusives that will come to Microsoft's next-generation system.
If you're a more casual gamer looking to save some money or just get your feet wet in Microsoft's gaming ecosystem — and are interested in the Game Pass — then the Xbox Series S is probably the better choice. Yes, it's a bit less powerful than the Xbox Series X or PS5, but towards the start of the generation, you likely won't notice much a difference.
Who should get an Xbox Series X? The Xbox Series X is Microsoft's most powerful next-generation console, but it also comes in at a higher price tag of $500. It's technically a more powerful machine than the PS5, and is attempting to support up to 8K when it comes to resolution and 120 FPS when it comes to the frame rate.
Because of this, the Xbox Series X is a better choice if you're a more hardcore Xbox gamer or are just looking for the most powerful game console on the market. It's a bit more costly, but it should work well for you throughout the entirety of this console generation as the standards for the resolution, frame rates, and graphics for games improve.
It's also worth noting that the Xbox Series X might wind up being cheaper than the PlayStation 5, and it boasts a more robust albeit less elegant processor. In short, the Series X might be the most cost-effective next-gen console purchase of them all.
Xbox All Access and other financing options
While both consoles cost hundreds of dollars, Microsoft is offering a monthly financing option for both platforms. This service is called Xbox All Access and allows consumers to purchase an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console in addition to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate by paying a monthly fee over the course of two years with no interest.
Xbox All Access for the Xbox Series S will cost $24.99 a month for two years. For Xbox Series X, it's a monthly fee of $34.99 for two years instead. The $200 price difference between the two next-gen consoles seems like a lot at face value, but spread out across two years and bundled with Game Pass, the Xbox Series X begins to look like the more appetizing option. If you're already budgeting the $25 a month for a new console, what's another $10 a month?
In North America, Xbox All Access will be available through Microsoft's Store, Target, Best Buy, GameStop, and Walmart. The service will also be available in 11 other countries this year and even more in 2021. According to Xbox Wire, Xbox All Access will be available at Telstra in Australia, EB Games in Canada, Eliganten in Denmark and Sweden, Gigantti in Finland, FNAC in France, Spark in New Zealand, Elkjøp in Norway, Media Expert in Poland, SK Telecom in South Korea, and at GAME and Smyths Toys in the UK this year.
Venture Beat reports that GameStop is also considering installment plans like Xbox All Access or rent-to-own plans for next-generation consoles, but nothing is officially announced yet. It's also a safer bet to stick with Xbox All Access anyways, as that service will already be available through GameStop.
Xbox Series X|S will be released on November 10, 2020.