Microsoft has launched the opening salvo in the current generation of console wars and as such dropped an atom bomb on the gaming industry. Today it has officially announced that both the premium Xbox Series X and the budget friendly Xbox Series S will launch for public consumption on November 10th. The Series X is priced at 499.99 and the Series S is priced at 299.99. Pre-orders for both systems will open to the public on September 22nd.
It was also announced that EA Play (formerly EA All Access) will now come bundled with Xbox’s Ultimate Game Pass completely free of charge. What is Ultimate Game Pass you ask? Well, Microsoft has a subscription on top of its own Xbox Live service, and it is called Game Pass. You pay a monthly fee and have access to an extremely large library of games that you can download and play at your own leisure. So long as your subscription stays active and you have a connection to the internet, your access remains constant. “Ultimate Game Pass” bundles both Xbox Live and Game Pass itself under one subscription fee for a slightly lower fee. Throwing in EA Play is just a cherry on top of the Ice Cream sundae.
What’s the difference between the Series X and the Series S? Why does the $100 dollar price difference matter? Well that really boils down to how much of a hardcore gamer/tech nerd you are. The Series X comes bundles with faster processing speeds, more advanced SSD for faster and nonexistent loading times, the most up to date WiFi 6 technology. It also comes loaded with a 1TB hard drive for you to save all your games and save files. It also boasts a presumed performance of up to 8k Gaming and certain games coming in at a whopping 120fps. Now that is best case scenario, but still those are truly next gen numbers that are more than worthy of the $500 dollar asking price.
The Series S has slightly reduced specs to fit it into the lower price point. Its hard drive space is about 512gb. Its processing power is slightly above 4 teraflops which is much smaller than the Series X 12 teraflops. It will render its games maxed out as a 1440p upscaled 4k resolution while targeting a 60fps margin. It is also an all-digital console with no disk drive in sight. I myself have been more akin to buying digital these days with the Covid-19 crisis still looming large over our daily lives, but I’ve always been a big proponent of buying physical media. Either way, the $299 price point with some next gen updates and the ability to play all next gen games is not something that cannot be ignored. Based on this information, I really feel like despite the Series X being the powerhouse…. the Series S is going to be the best-selling console this holiday season.
So, Xbox has completely dominated the news these past few days and finally given their fans something to salivate over. It’s only a meager month a change before these new consoles are finally in our hands and I for one could not be more excited. Sony has been quite adamant about not releasing any news on the PS5 this week and instead choosing to focus on PSVR, but with this news dropping out of Microsoft… something tells me we get something from then sooner than later.