Microsoft's next flagship console, the Xbox Series X, will launch November 10 and retail for $499 or $34.99/month with Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold for 24 months on financing with Xbox All Access. Following today's price announcement, it was also revealed that the unit will be available for pre-order on September 22. We think it's one of the best deals in gaming.
The Series X, along with the smaller, cheaper Series S, will be the successor to Microsoft's Xbox One line, first introduced in 2013. On nearly every spec, the Series X has its main rival, the PlayStation 5, beat. On price, the lower-power Series S likely has the PlayStation 5 beat. Then there's the incredible value that is Xbox's subscription service, Game Pass (which now includes EA Play).
Load out — The higher-end Series X hardware will feature 4K graphics at 60fps, with 4K and 8K UHD media playback and both 8K and 120fps gaming support. The machine will feature 12 teraflops of total computing power, hardware accelerated ray-tracing, variable rate shading and refresh rate, a 1TB NVMe custom SSD, 16GB of GDDR6 memory, a Blu-Ray drive, USB 3.2 external HDD support, and dynamic latency input
It will be compatible with all Xbox One games, including some with free next-gen enhancements thanks to Smart Delivery, and hundreds of Xbox 360 and OG Xbox games. You'll even be able to use your Xbox One controllers to play some couch co-op with friends on launch day. Yeah, it's a beast.
Infinite — Some of the key titles coming to the console include: Halo: Infinite, Fable, Forza Motorsport, State of Decay 3, The Medium, Avowed, Psychonauts 2, and Everwild among others. While normally AAA game prices can add up, all titles announced by Microsoft during the console's initial reveal will also come to Xbox's subscription service, Game Pass (and EA Play), for only $15 a month. Game Pass also enables players to use Microsoft's cloud streaming service to play their games from any screen they happen to find themselves in front of. It's the best bang-for-your-buck in gaming history.
Jump in — Speaking of saving some cash, the Series S will also be launching alongside the Series X for only $299. The main differences between the units are the lower price, smaller size, the lack of a disc drive, and the supported resolution for gaming dropping from 4K to 1440p. In our opinion, 4K is stunning if you have the TV for it but 1440p scaled up to 4K, which is still better than standard HD, also looks great.
The Series S will feature 4 teraflops of computing power, 120fps support, 4K UHD media playback, hardware accelerated ray-tracing, variable rate shading and refresh rate, a 512GB NVMe custom SSH, USB 3.2 external HDD support, and dynamic latency input. The Series S will also be compatible with all Xbox One games, as well as hundreds of Xbox 360 and OG Xbox titles. Reminder: The best thing about backwards compatibility is that, at many retailers, gamers can trade in their last-gen hardware for a discount on the Series X or Series S and still be able to play their old games.
Achievements — On paper, both the Series X and the Series S seem like incredible value for the price when compared to the PlayStation 5. There's also currently no plans for Sony to beat the fantastic deal Microsoft can offer with Game Pass, as its rival PlayStation Now subscription pales in comparison. The console's financing option ($34.99/month) works out to be $840 when all said and done but because it includes Game Pass, EA Play, and Xbox Live Gold, it's actually quite a value at that price.
However, Microsoft isn't always known for having the best exclusive games and unfortunately just delayed its flagship launch title Halo: Infinite. Every game that is coming the Series X and Series S will also be available on the Xbox One and Windows PCs for the foreseeable future — so if you've already got those platforms, do you really need to spend the cash on this just yet? The PlayStation 5 will have games that can only be run on the PlayStation 5, so while it's likely to be more expensive, you'll have to look at the titles on offer, your current set up, and your bank account to make that calculation for yourself.
Jump Ahead — The Xbox Series X and Series S will be fantastic next-gen additions to any gamer's living room, and, finally, won't break the bank. While it remains to be seen just how this generation will shake out in the end, we're hopeful that Microsoft's efforts to bring next-gen gaming to consumers wherever they can meet them, be that on cutting edge hardware, last-gen boxes, PC, or on their mobile phone or tablet through the cloud, will mean the end of the console wars.