Xbox Series X preorders: Why you can’t buy the next Xbox yet

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Preparations remain underway for Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s next-generation console succeeding Xbox One, positioned as its top-tier flagship for 2020. It opens the year with an early glimpse of its promised 12 teraflops (TF) of performance, wrapped in a sleek all-black tower-style casing, and a refreshed Xbox controller to match.

The Xbox Series X is expected to go head-to-head with the Sony PlayStation 5, kicking off a new hardware cycle scrambling for performance. Microsoft has detailed sizeable CPU and GPU upgrades under the hood, looking to support improved resolutions, framerates, and overall graphical fidelity. And while details on preorders and pricing remain shrouded, we’ve wrapped up everything we know so far.

Microsoft soon hosts its next Xbox Series X event, with a scheduled July showcase to focus on upcoming in-house blockbusters, with exclusives from Xbox Game Studios. That includes the highly-anticipated launch pairing Halo Infinite, flanked by other flagship franchises like the long-rumored Forza Motorsport 8. We also hear rumblings of a few surprises, whether a new Fable entry, the return of Perfect Dark, or other secret projects in the pipeline at Microsoft.

But the Xbox Series X’s July showcase focuses almost exclusively on the games, setting the stage for its top titles headed to the next-generation console. That makes the chance of Xbox Series X preorders relatively slim, considering a rumored August event also sits on the horizon, potentially host to the alleged Xbox Series S “Lockhart” console. A setting with a hardware focus would make sense, but that’s not saying an early arrival is impossible.

Xbox Series X preorder date: When do they go live?

While pledging to deliver Xbox Series X this year, Microsoft is yet to open preorders for the console. With a formal price yet to be unveiled, we’re yet to receive the opportunity to lock down a payment – assumedly on hold until closer to launch.

With the Xbox Series X reveal, GameSpot sat down with Xbox partner director of program management, Jason Ronald, discussing the team’s current stance of preorders. “We think, in the end, what people want from us is … to put a controller [in their] hand,” Ronald told GameSpot. “People tell me, ‘Hey, I want to pre-order right now,’ and we definitely love that–like it’s great to have those fans–but I also know that these investments aren’t trivial for families. I want to be transparent about what our design goals are.”

So, when will Xbox Series X preorders go live? That’s currently unclear, with Microsoft remaining coy on plans and when future updates are expected. With Xbox Series X hardware specifications now locked down, preorders inch closer than ever. For context, Xbox One preorders went live in June, while Xbox One X preorders went live in August, providing a firm track record for summer availability. We’re still expecting preorders to drop this summer, providing a significant window ahead of release.

Where to preorder Xbox Series X

Xbox Series X Game Awards

Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox Series X console drops holiday 2020, with preorders still to come.Source: Microsoft

Microsoft plans to sell Xbox Series X directly via the Microsoft Store, with third-party favorites like GameStop, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart also set to allow buyers to preorder. While formal Xbox Series X preorders are yet to surface, many storefronts planning to stock the console already provide email sign-ups.

Sign-ups provide the opportunity to receive the latest on placing a preorder from your favored retailer, registering your interest, and subscribing to future email updates.

Xbox Series X pre-order sign-ups

All retailers will likely notify budding buyers in advance of preorders going live, with additional details as Xbox Series X further progresses.

Xbox Series X price: How much will it cost?

Microsoft is yet to unveil pricing for Xbox Series X, and with the cost of Sony’s PlayStation 5 similarly a mystery, it appears both console makers remain at a standoff. For Xbox Series X, Microsoft cautiously positions the console on the market against PlayStation 5, especially with rumors of a cheaper “Xbox Series S” model codenamed Lockhart.

Both Xbox One and Xbox One X were positioned at $500 from launch, with a similar ballpark increasingly likely the next console, give or take $100. Whether the Xbox Series X sees a dedicated reveal event this spring, similar to the original Xbox One, or Microsoft shelves the device until E3 in June, expect to more on pricing and how to place your order in 2020.

Xbox Series X: What you need to know

Xbox Series X represents Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox flagship, ushering hugely revamped hardware to increase performance, reduce loading times, and much more. The console features top-tier hardware, including the latest AMD Zen 2 processor and Navi GPU architectures, flanked by a custom NVMe solid-state drive (SSD) with speeds up to 40 times faster than Xbox One X.

While the Xbox Series X provides a firm divide in the Xbox console family, much of the Xbox One experience still translates. The console features full backward compatibility with games that work on Xbox One, as well as all accessories like controllers and headsets.

However, games designed around Xbox Series X will feature exclusive upgrades, up to 8K resolutions and 120Hz refresh rates. And while Halo Infinite will offer a cross-generation experience bridging Xbox One and Xbox Series X, future games will eventually be exclusive to the next generation of consoles.

For the latest on Xbox Series X ahead of its holiday 2020 release, check out our extensive roundup of everything we know.

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