The Xbox Series S specs and price have been revealed, and Microsoft seems to have nailed the delicate balance between the two to offer a cheap new Xbox if you don’t care about having a disc drive.
Xbox Series S, previously dubbed ‘Project Lockhart’ will cost $299.99 / £249.99 / AU$499. It’s the cheaper, digital-only alternative to the Xbox Series X. Yes, Microsoft is releasing not one but two next-gen consoles this year. Now, with the full Xbox Series X price and release window announcement, we’re well on the way to the next generation.
This disc-less, next-gen Xbox Series S specs are substantially more powerful than the (now discontinued) Xbox One S All-Digital console, and the CPU, GPU and solid state disc drive storage only trail what you’ll get from the Series X.
Interested to know more? Here’s everything we know about the Xbox Series S.
Xbox Series S release date
Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox Series S (Project Lockhart) is indeed real, and that its digital-only next-gen console will arrive on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.
That means the new Series X will launch right alongside the more expensive Xbox Series X – both coming right before Black Friday 2020 on November 27.
Xbox Series S price
Microsoft has quashed the endless speculation over the Xbox Series S price, revealing that the console will retail for $299.99 / £249.99 / AU$499 via its official Twitter account. This falls in line with the Xbox Series S being a lower-cost alternative to the Xbox Series X.
If we compare it to the Xbox Series X’s price of $499 / £499 / AU$749, the Xbox Series S undercuts it significantly by $200. In the US, the Xbox One S’s RRP was $100 less than that of the Xbox One X at launch, while the Xbox One S All-Digital’s launch RRP was $200 less than the Xbox One X’s. The Xbox Series S will be a tempting proposition for those looking to experience next-gen games without breaking the bank, then.
Xbox Series S on Xbox All Access
The Xbox Series S will also be available on Microsoft’s Xbox All Access subscription service in select regions, including the US, UK and Australia. Xbox All Access bundles together the console with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on a 24-month plan (giving you access to the latter for the duration) at a price of $24.99 / £20.99 / AU$33 a month, with no upfront costs.
Xbox All Access is offered through various different providers, depending on your region, so if you’re in the UK or US you’ll want to check the official Xbox site for more details. If you’re in Australia, Xbox All Access is offered through Telstra, with pre-registrations open now.
Xbox Series S: specs
Microsoft has revealed exactly what its cheaper Xbox can do in the console’s official launch trailer, which you can watch below.
- CPU: Eight-core 3.6GHz (3.4GHz with SMT) custom AMD 7nm
- GPU: 4 teraflops at 1.550GHz
- RAM: 10GB GDDR6
- Frame rate: Up to 120 fps
- Resolution: 1440p with 4K upscaling
- Optical: No disk drive
- Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
The Xbox Series S is up to 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X, making it the smallest Xbox ever made. Games will target a resolution of 1440p instead of 4K on Xbox Series X, and will be capable of 120fps.
There’s also support for ray tracing, 4K media playback, 4K game upscaling, variable rate shading and variable refresh rates – same as on Xbox Series X. The console is all-digital, meaning there’s no disc drive, and has a custom NVME 512GB SSD.
If you’re worried about running out of disk space, Microsoft is also releasing a 1TB expansion card. An external hard drive can also be used to store Xbox One games and backwards-compatible titles.
The Xbox Series S will also support Spatial Sound, including Dolby Atmos, and Dolby Vision via streaming media apps at launch. Dolby Vision support for gaming will also come first to next-gen Xbox consoles in 2021.
Xbox Series S: a digital gateway
The Xbox Series S will primarily act as a digital gateway for both Microsoft’s game-streaming service, Project xCloud, and its ever-growing Xbox Game Pass service (which now also includes EA Play for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Game Pass for PC subscribers).
Project xCloud aims to leverage Microsoft’s existing data centers across the globe, literally loading up servers with the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles, and using these to run the games streamed directly to your mobile device of choice.
This means that gamers will be able to play the likes of Halo Infinite, Forza and other classic console and PC big hitters on their phones, tablets or Windows 10 computers.
Meanwhile, Xbox Game Pass is essentially a Netflix for games, allowing subscribers to access lots of Xbox games digitally. The service has grown massively since its launch in 2017, boasting over 10 million subscribers.
Services such as Project xCloud and Xbox Game Pass prove that physical discs aren’t always necessary, with Microsoft offering plenty of content for those who choose to go digital-only. Xbox Series S will undoubtedly take this initiative into the next generation, proving that these services alone can support a next-gen console.