This little bit of news travelled fast! After a substantial leak that verified the look of Microsoft’s smaller next gen machine, it was FINALLY confirmed with not only a price but the launch date too. Apparently the official announcement was meant to be next week but Microsoft decided to take the initiative after the leak and it may have been a really great move.
Early renders of the Series S pegged it as being more like the Series X if it were cut horizontally to make a cube but the final product is more of a vertical slice of the Series X. And at 60% smaller too it’s going to make for a nice compact machine for anyone fully invested in a digital catalog (no optical drive here). The big black vent on its side has already spawned plenty of memes but a few wise commentators have pointed out it probably helps to make it more obvious it’s for much needed ventilation so you know to keep that side clear of obstruction. If it’s anything like an Xbox One X there’s a fair bit of work done to make that tiny box run cool and quiet so anything to help it run better in the long term is probably a wise move.
The $299US price sets quite a benchmark and seeing as its capabilities match the Xbox One X easily (and possibly surpass it) it’s understandable why Microsoft decided to phase out their last performance champion when they did to avoid any confusion. Its big brother, the Series X, is looking to be at the $499US price range when both these consoles arrive on November 10. Surprising that they waited so long to make the announcement as there is a good chance the S model will be the winner here by a substantial margin – it may not be a 4K native console (it upscales though) but if it can provide comparable quality for a much lower price few will complain. A few more details regarding the console specs are in the below video which also demonstrated a substantial boost to load times for existing games such as The Outer Worlds.
On top of that it was also announced that Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will soon get the EA Play (nee EA Access) bundled in too. It may not mean a huge amount to those not overly fond of EA’s games or history but it does have one thing that might mean something to people… Star Wars games. It may not be exclusive but it becomes far more accessible to new owners and adds a whole lot of additional value to their subscription service.
If Microsoft got their math right in the performance scaling between the two consoles the Series S could be a great deal for plenty of players who don’t use physical media or aren’t worried about the resolution difference. And with its upscaling capabilities it may be perfectly fine for a lot of 4K TV owners too… you may not even notice a huge difference with the X unless you’re Digital Foundry. With there being only two months now until launch we will soon see if it catches on with gamers but it seems to be off to a good start.