Xbox users will have more than one option this coming generation. Although this had been rumoured and almost taken for granted for some time, we didn’t know for sure until just recently, when Microsoft made a big announcement on a seemingly random day.
Through digital means, Microsoft revealed their long rumoured and much talked about Xbox Lockhart, which is actually called the Xbox Series S. The name is fitting given that the company’s flagship next-gen console will be called the Xbox Series X, and isn’t a surprise by any means. After all, the Xbox One has a model called the Xbox One S, and both look similar. Furthermore, a Reddit user recently purchased an Xbox Series X controller that said it was compatible with the Xbox Series S as well. At least he says he purchased it.
The Xbox Series S will retail for $299.99 USD and $379.99 CAD, and will release on November 10th. This likely means that the Series X will launch on the same day, with an assumed price tag of $499.99 USD. Here’s hoping that will translate to $579.99 CAD in Microsoft’s eyes, as a direct conversion would be even more expensive north of the border.
So, what should one know before deciding whether to buy the S or the X?
While the X will be the more powerful of the two, and will target 4K gaming, the S will offer “next gen performance in the smallest Xbox ever.” It’s been designed to play next generation games at a lower resolution, and with less GPU power under the hood. Thus, the performance won’t be as strong or as pretty as that of its bigger, more expensive brother. It will, however, feature a custom NVME SSD powered by Xbox Velocity Architecture, seamless game switching, frame rates of up to 120FPS, and gaming at up to 1440p. That, as well as DirectX ray-tracing, variable rate shading and a variable refresh rate capability.
The S is also going to be nearly 60% smaller than the massive-looking X, although both share a pretty similar general design.
Most notable is the fact that it will be all digital. Yes, this is Microsoft’s answer to those who want to be digital only, as well as Sony’s smaller, digital-only PlayStation 5 model. Removing the disc drive, or keeping it out of the plans altogether, likely helped them keep this console as small as it is.