September 8 – Microsoft revealed it would launch a new console called the Xbox Series S for $299 today on Twitter. The Big Tech firm made the announcement after images and pricing information for the new system leaked online Monday. Industry watchers expect the console to serve as a stripped-down version of the company’s forthcoming Xbox Series X.
Reports a budget-friendly next-generation Microsoft video game platform first emerged in December 2018.
Xbox Series S Leaks and Offical Confirmation
Late Monday night, Brad Sams tweeted images and video featuring the Xbox Series S’s form factor and its launch price. The leaker’s content revealed a platform that seemingly lacks a disc drive and is much smaller than the Series X.
Shortly afterward, Windows Central affirmed Sams’ report and added more new details about the system.
👀 Let’s make it official!
Xbox Series S | Next-gen performance in the ˢᵐᵃˡˡᵉˢᵗ Xbox ever. $299 (ERP).
Looking forward to sharing more! Soon. Promise. pic.twitter.com/8wIEpLPVEq
— Xbox (@Xbox) September 8, 2020
The site noted Microsoft would sell the Series S for $299 or $25 a month through an Xbox All Access membership. The publication also predicted the system would boast 4 TFLOPS in processing power, AMD RDNA 2 chip architecture, and an NVMe SSD. With those technical specifications, the console will feature capabilities similar to the Series X but with one-third the processing power.
Windows Central also claimed the Series S would be available for purchase on November 10, 2021, along with its larger counterpart. The blog noted the Series X would retail for $499 at launch or $35 a month through Xbox All Access.
Early Monday morning, Microsoft confirmed the Series S’s design and price point but did not touch on the system’s capabilities. But the Windows maker did note that it offers “next-gen performance.” That indicates the console will be able to run upcoming cross-platform and Series X exclusive titles.
The company also pledged to share more details on its “smallest Xbox ever” soon.
Is the Xbox Series S a Worthwhile Buy?
Since Microsoft has not released a full rundown of the Xbox Series S’s features, it is hard to gauge its appeal. However, credible leaks and Microsoft’s disclosures about the console makes it possible to draw some conclusions.
On the plus side, the Series S’s pricing makes it a much more affordable option than the Series X. For cost-conscious gamers, the system provides affordable access to next-generation exclusives like “Resident Evil Village” and the new version of “Fable.”
Depending on contract length, the Xbox All Access subscription program makes the platform more enticing from a financial perspective.
The Series S’s comparatively small design also allows owners to integrate it into their entertainment centers without significant hassles.
However, the lean console has a few drawbacks that offset its cost and size advantages. For one thing, the system’s apparent lack of a disc drive means it cannot play physical media. For gamers with extensive Xbox One and Blu-ray collections, that exclusion could be a deal-breaker.
Another problem is the Series S’s rumored performance. Early reports indicate the system has considerably less power than its bigger sibling and cannot render games in 4K. Some consumers may not object to that issue because their TVs have comparatively low screen resolution. But others may balk at paying $300 for a new console that does not offer a robust generation to generation upgrade.
That said, the Series S could become the gaming equivalent of the iPhone SE in the post-pandemic economy.