Microsoft has opened Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders, providing your chance to lock down its two next-generation gaming consoles ahead of their November debut. The company approaches the next iteration in the Xbox family with twin devices, promising industry-leading power, while also catering to the masses with an affordable all-digital alternative. With preorders now rolling out across retailers, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know to lay down your cash.
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S preorders LIVE in UK
Microsoft has opened Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders in the UK, with the company providing the first opportunity to lock down your console in Europe. U.S. preorders are on track to follow, scheduled for an 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT start.
The full next-generation experience.
Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s new flagship, as its most powerful console with over 12TF GPU performance and a custom SSD. It boasts up to 4K resolution and 120 FPS, full backward compatibility across four generations, and ray-tracing support.
Experience next-gen gaming for less.
Microsoft serves the next-generation for less with its budget-friendly Xbox Series S. The console packs the same high-performance CPU and SSD technology as Xbox Series X, while scaling back the GPU and removing the disc drive.
With high demand for next-generation consoles and supply unexpected to last, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders look set to sell out fast. When preorders open for you, a fast checkout is recommended to secure your console.
Where to find Xbox Series X, Series S in stock
Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders are scheduled to go live simultaneously across retailers in each region, making it crucial to have your cash ready once the time comes. But the stock will go fast, and we’ve committed a full-time team to track Xbox preorders through the day. You can see where Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders remain in stock with our easy tracker, providing up-to-the-minute updates among leading retailers in the U.S., Canada, and the UK.
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S UK preorders — 8AM BST
Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders open a few hours earlier in the UK, adjusting for local time zones. Microsoft and third-party partners will open sales at 8 a.m. BST, priced at £449 for Xbox Series X, and £249 for Xbox Series S.
Microsoft also opens Xbox All Access to the UK for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders on September 22. Microsoft won’t offer the service itself, partnering with GAME and Smyths Toys to enroll buyers in its 24-month payment plan, instead.
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S preorder start date and time
Microsoft has unveiled that Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders are scheduled open throughout September 22, 2020. The pre-purchase opportunity comes just seven weeks before their scheduled November launch across the globe, expected to touch 36 existing Xbox One markets.
Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders go live at 8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET on September 22 in North America, Microsoft has confirmed. That includes both the Microsoft Store and top third-party retailers, with a simultaneous rollout in the U.S. and Canada. With timing now locked down, it’s best to keep those morning calendars clear.
Microsoft also has separate international plans, scheduling a synchronized morning launch among partnered retailers several countries. That puts the Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia several hours before U.S. preorders in an attempt to account for local time zones, meaning an early morning also awaits those in each region. Here’s the full breakdown, with times in their respective time zones:
- United States | 8AM PT / 11AM ET
- Canada | 8AM PT / 11AM ET
- United Kingdom | 8AM BST
- Europe | 9AM CEST
- Australia | 8AM AEST
- New Zealand | 8AM NZST
- Middle East | 9AM CEST
- Africa | 9AM CEST
Preorders for both next-generation devices have been a long time coming, with a steady stream of teasers over recent months, but pricing and availability shrouded in mystery. With both Microsoft, and closest market rival, Sony, previously cautious to locking down launch plans first, it concludes a lengthy standoff between the hardware manufacturers.
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S release date
Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S both target a November 10, 2020 release date. The next-generation duo launch in parallel, providing two separate hardware configurations, tailored to different audiences, with their respective price points.
Microsoft looks to debut both consoles in existing Xbox One markets with a simultaneous global launch across multiple continents. It contrasts the Xbox One launch, which notoriously witnessed a staged rollout, excluding many markets in its early months and years.
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S price
Unlike traditional next-generation console launches, Microsoft debuts Xbox Series X alongside a more affordable Xbox Series S. The company has revealed that Xbox Series X will cost $499 in the U.S. In contrast, its smaller sibling, Xbox Series S, costs $299. It brings both consoles in line with the Xbox One S and Xbox One X pricing when they first released.
Both Xbox One and Xbox One X were positioned at $500 from launch, so this isn’t a surprising move on Microsoft’s part. It also ends the stand-off between Sony and Microsoft, waiting to see who would announce a price first. Sony has also revealed its PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition pricing, divided into $499 and $399 price points, respectively.
Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S pricing varies worldwide, and we’ve wrapped up a comprehensive list of RRPs for both consoles in top regions.
|Region||Xbox Series X||Xbox Series S|
|United States (USD)||$499||$299|
|United Kingdom (GBP)||£449||£249|
|New Zealand (NZD)||$799||$549|
|South Korea (KRW)||₩598,000||₩398,000|
Microsoft is also offering both consoles through its aforementioned 24-month financing plan dubbed “Xbox All Access.” Those eyeing Xbox Series X can purchase the console at $35 per month, or $25 per month, with 0% APR payments. Xbox All Access also includes its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription over that 24-month window, bundling Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live Gold, and EA Play on PC, alongside cloud streaming on Android devices.
However, before entering Xbox All Access, understand that purchasing any device through monthly installments comes with serious risks. While the low entry price proves alluring, and Microsoft provides zero-interest plans for all buyers, you’re locked into regular payments for two years. Xbox All Access often comes out cheaper than paying upfront but make sure you can cover the expense for the entire plan.
Where to preorder Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S
Microsoft looks set to debut preorders for both Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S simultaneously, ahead of their listed November releases. Orders for upcoming consoles will be taken via the Microsoft Store and third-party retailers in your local region.
There’s no better place to shop than Microsoft, providing an opportunity to reserve directly from the manufacturer itself. The online storefront is among those first opening preorders, with the first batch scheduled to arrive in homes on November 10. That also comes with Microsoft Store benefits, including its Microsoft Rewards system that provides points with each purchase. The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S won’t be available via physical Microsoft stores, following its decision to shutter all brick and mortar locations.
Preorders also launch through a variety of third-party retailers. Every retailer has an allocation of units, and with demand expected to exceed supply, it’s crucial to act quickly to order through your preferred retailer. Enquire with retailers in your region for more details on their release plans for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
Select retail partners also allow the purchase of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S through Microsoft’s official Xbox All Access financing program. Xbox All Access spans 12 countries this year through the Microsoft Store and select retailers.
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S countries and markets
Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S debut across an extended list of markets compared to Xbox One back in 2013. The previous Xbox generation notoriously started with just 13 regions, excluding many consumers deeply rooted in the Xbox 360 family. Microsoft has now reinvented its approach, with sights set on 36 markets.
The expanded rollout sees the company provide full coverage for North America, with an expanded European presence. The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S also push into Asia, with Japan and South Korea on the launch roadmap. Preorders for all launch countries are expected for September 22, with regional details dependent on local retailers.
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S bundles and deals
Source: The Source
Microsoft launches Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S with one edition of each console, expected to ship just two stock-keeping units (SKUs) throughout the launch window. Past Xbox One consoles saw multiple versions, whether game bundles or limited-edition redesigns, but they’re uncommon within each console’s first year on the market. Microsoft isn’t diverging from the trend, especially given the global market’s current challenges.
While Microsoft hasn’t detailed any planned Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S bundles, they may be available. Third-party retailers have previously packaged their consoles with games, accessories, and subscriptions, creating their own custom bundles to upsell customers. We recommend visiting your local retailer online or in-store for additional details on available promotions on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders.
However, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S won’t see discounts anytime soon. It’s the norm with any new console, but especially the case with Microsoft’s latest hardware family. “When we looked at trends and silicon and hardware costs in this generation, we saw that we weren’t going to see the kinds of decreasing costs that we saw in prior generations,” said Liz Hamren, head of Xbox platform engineering and hardware at Microsoft, in a leaked press briefing. “And that led us to realize that we could deliver a fully next-gen, more accessible console at the beginning of a generation.”
Microsoft likely sees a loss on every next-generation Xbox console, making higher revenue through supporting software and services instead. That means both Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S look to deliver outstanding value but may disappoint those looking for discounts and promotions soon after launch.
How to buy Xbox Series X, Series S via Xbox All Access
Microsoft also opens Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders with plans to revive Xbox All Access, its 24-month financing program, designed to spread to cost for next-gen hardware. The all-inclusive contract bundles either device with its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, with no interest or hidden fees. Pricing comes in two flavors, with Xbox Series S costing $25 per month, while Xbox Series X comes in at $35 per month.
Xbox Game Pass includes various Microsoft gaming services, headlined by its Xbox Game Pass library, granting unlimited access to hundreds of Xbox and PC games. The Netflix-style service now even includes all Microsoft-published titles like Halo, Gears of War, and Forza on launch day, as well as Electronic Arts titles with the new EA Play deal. It also includes Xbox Live Gold, providing access to online multiplayer on Xbox consoles, and Xbox Game Pass’ cloud gaming on Android devices.
However, buyers should understand that Xbox All Access comes with risks. This isn’t your average subscription service, where you can cancel at any time. Xbox All Access is a 24-month contractual obligation, where Microsoft pulls in an external financing agency, including a credit check to determine eligibility. It eases the initial investment, but you’ll need to pay on time every month, adding up over time.
But if you’re able to cover the monthly cost, Xbox All Access proposes an attractive deal. The overall cost for Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, and your Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, actually end up slightly cheaper than buying upfront in most regions.
While Microsoft first offered a limited trial for Xbox All Access with Xbox One, the company soon expands the program to 12 countries, via Microsoft and third parties. The storefronts and financing agencies backing Xbox All Access varies between regions, with a full list of global retail partners below:
- Australia: Telstra
- Canada: EB Games
- Denmark: Elgiganten
- Finland: Gigantti
- France: FNAC
- New Zealand: Spark
- Norway: Elkjøp
- Poland: Media Expert
- South Korea: SK Telecom
- Sweden: Elgiganten
- UK: GAME, Smyths Toys
- United States: Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Microsoft Store, Walmart
For more details on financing the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S through Xbox All Access, check with your local retailer.
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S best accessories to buy
With Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders on the horizon, there’s also an extensive lineup of Xbox Series-compatible accessories to consider alongside your preorder. Microsoft has pledged to full backward compatibility with its latest consoles, extending to controllers, headsets, and storage devices. It means that buying accessories for Xbox One today guarantees value following the switch in 2020 or beyond. We’ve rounded up some of the best products you can buy today, pairing perfectly with Xbox Series X or Xbox Series X.
Best Xbox Series X, Series S headset: LucidSound LS35X
The LS35X remains an in-house favorite at Windows Central, locked among the best Xbox One headsets with its leading wireless audio. LucidSound delivered its best with these cans, with high-quality metal and plastic construction, both lightweight and comfortable. The earcup and coolant gel also make these easy to wear for extended periods, complementing 15-hour battery life.
Audio fidelity won’t disappoint, bringing out all the details from footsteps and reloads, while still rendering the full glory of epic soundtracks. Hassle-free wireless completes the package, leveraging the same Xbox Wireless connection used by your Xbox controller, eliminating dongles and docks. For those looking for the best headset money can buy, the LS35X remains one to beat.
Best Xbox Series X, Series S controller: Xbox Elite Controller Series 2
Microsoft revived the Xbox Elite controller with a second revision in 2019, changing its ultra-premium gamepad with a reinforced design and new features. The returning staples all hold up, with customizable sticks, buttons, and rear paddles, complemented by its robust in-hand feel through metallic accents and rubberized panels. The company also beefed up the battery, added a charging dock, and introduced more customization tweaks, distancing this from your average controller.
The Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 makes an attractive product even better, improving the original in countless ways. It also works with Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, given Microsoft’s promise for backward compatibility, including accessories. This product even influenced many of the next-gen Xbox controller changes, if you can live without a “Share” button.
Best Xbox Series X, Series S USB storage drive: Samsung T7 SSD
The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S heavily rely on their custom SSD solutions, which means your existing hard drives won’t feature the same compatibility as Xbox One consoles. Xbox Series-optimized titles mandate the internal SSD to run, or an SSD expansion card that’s yet to go on sale. But an external USB SSD pairs great with next-gen consoles, capable of running any Xbox One, Xbox 360, or original Xbox titles via backward compatibility. You can also store Xbox Series titles on USB devices when not in use, and transfer them to the internal SSD when needed.
Samsung’s T7 500GB external drive could be for you, packing above-average speed below $100. It doubles the storage of your Xbox Series S, making it great for offloading multiple titles.
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S: Which is for you?
Microsoft enters the next generation with a two-pronged approach, divided between the Xbox Series X flagship and the more affordable Xbox Series S. It comes with the company looking to serve enthusiasts with the most powerful console on the market, while still providing a more budget-friendly alternative for the average consumer. The upcoming devices represent sizeable leaps over Xbox One, embracing the same shared values. Check our full breakdown of Xbox Series X versus Xbox Series S for additional context.
Xbox Series X represents Microsoft’s next-generation frontrunner, ushering hugely revamped hardware to increase performance, reduce loading times, and 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.
The Xbox Series S arrives with a similar premise but scaled back with reduced graphical power and near half the retail cost. The compromise comes with the hardware inside the box, with a lower-spec GPU, reduced RAM, and smaller-capacity NVMe SSD. The console also pulls the disc drive, making this a digital-only variant.
Xbox Series X targets 4K resolution at 60 FPS, with many titles already pushing further with up to 120 FPS outputs. The Xbox Series S scales back to 1440p resolution and 120 frames-per-second, but with shared features like variable refresh rates (VRR) and ray tracing. Both consoles feature the same SSD speeds at different storage volumes, meaning identically speedy load times, while eliminating a past bottleneck.
While the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S provide a firm divide in the Xbox console family, much of the Xbox One experience still translates. The consoles feature full backward compatibility with games that work on Xbox One and all accessories like controllers and headsets. The only difference comes with the Xbox Series S’ disc-less design, cutting off any physical disc-based media.
Games designed around Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will feature exclusive upgrades, outpacing their Xbox One counterparts. And while upcoming titles like Halo Infinite will offer a cross-generation experience bridging Xbox One and the Xbox Series family, future projects will eventually be exclusive to the next generation of consoles.
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