Microsoft's all-digital console, the Xbox Series S, positioned itself as a budget-friendly option for casual gamers. The Series S offered many of the same benefits and features as its beefier counterpart, the Xbox Series X, but with less powerful internals and a more affordable $299 price tag.
Thanks to images and reports Microsoft uploaded to the FCC that were accidentally published, it appears the console is getting a mid-gen refresh that'll boost the console's specs without affecting its $299 price. In addition to a Series S update, Microsoft also has refresh plans for the Xbox Series X console and the controller that pairs up with both consoles.
While Microsoft hasn't officially announced anything yet, these documents came directly from the company, and it's not likely that much will change in between now and the Xbox Series S launch later this year. Here's everything we know right now about Microsoft's upcoming Xbox Series S console, codenamed "Ellewood."
Price and availability
Right now, the Xbox Series S "Ellewood" update is positioned to sell for $299, the "same low price" as the existing base model. For this price, the refreshed Series S will include the updated controller and increase storage. Currently, the 1TB Series S sells for $349, $50 more than this updated version will cost.
According to the schedule laid out by Microsoft, we can expect to see an announcement for the Series S "Ellewood" console and the Series X "Brooklin" console at the same time. The updated Series S console is slated to launch first, towards the end of August, with the updated Series X console launching 60 or more days after, roughly at the end of October.
Visually, the refreshed Xbox Series S won't look much different. It'll still sport a slim form factor and a speaker-like body encased in white. However, one design change that's worth noting is the use of over 30% post-consumer recycled plastic in the console's housing. The console's packaging will also be 100% recyclable, part of Microsoft's effort to be more sustainable.
In the photo above, the new Series S console appears to have a USB-C port on the front, but it's not mentioned in the detailed specs table.
There aren't too many amazing performance upgrades coming to the new Series S console. However, for the same cheap price as the base model, you'll now get 1TB of storage rather than 512GB, an included USB-C to USB-A cable, and support for Xbox Wireless 2, Bluetooth 5.2, and Wi-Fi 6E.
The 2024 Series S and X consoles will be the first to receive Bluetooth support, but it's not clear yet whether this support will be for audio accessories and Xbox-only controllers, or possibly extend to third-party controllers as well. Then, the Wi-Fi 6E radio will allow for "better throughput, latency, and interference mitigation."
Although there aren't any hardware upgrades for the Series S, it'll feature a new low-power standby mode that's 20% of the current console's standby mode.
The upcoming "Ellewood" Xbox Series S console isn't getting as much of a facelift as the "Brooklin" Series X console, but it's still receiving plenty of exciting improvements. If you've been wanting to buy a Series S console recently, it's definitely worth waiting for the updated version to launch later this year.
You'll get double the storage (1TB), which would currently cost you $50 extra with the existing 1TB Carbon Black Xbox Series S. Plus, the new Series S is equipped with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, so your gaming sessions will be smooth and you'll be able to wirelessly connect headphones and a controller. It's basically a win-win-win situation.
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