It looks like Microsoft just lost (or won) the game of pricing chicken they have been playing with Sony for the past few months. While the main details of both companies next-gen consoles mostly been in the wild for some time, they have kept shtum about the pricing and release dates… until Microsoft got their arm twisted by some leaks that were released last night.
Cut to this morning and we were greeted by some playful tweets by the official Xbox account, which all but confirmed that the leaks were true. A trailer (you can view it below) was released shortly afterwards along with a few other details:
Firstly, the consoles are releasing on the 10th November 2020, which was roughly the timeframe that was to be expected. The cheaper Xbox Series S comes in a considerably smaller form factor than any Xbox that has come before it, in short, the thing looks like a speaker. It will cost $299 (£249) and here is what you can expect for your money:
- The Xbox Series S is All-Digital, so there are no optical drives here.
- While the above sounds like a good idea, the Custom 512GB SSD might be lacking in the storage department, especially when the inevitable huge Call of Duty patches hit. It will be interesting to see how affordable the storage expansion options will be in the future.
- The console is capable of driving a 1440p resolution at up to 120fps – probably closer to 3fps if DirectX Raytracing is enabled, I kid! I kid!… or do I?
- 4K playback of streaming media is no problem and furthermore the 1440p image of games can be up scaled to this resolution.
As someone who is unlikely to buy an Xbox in any shape or form next generation, I can honestly say that this little console is going to be great value to the majority. The lower than anticipated price tag combined with a Game Pass subscription (that gives newcomers access to a huge library of at least 100 titles on day one) will make it a winner this Christmas.
I’m now even more eager to see what Sony’s answer to this is going to be.