The Xbox Series S is official and will be released on November 10 for $299. Microsoft confirmed the console's existence shortly after a high-res image was leaked by Brad Sams at Thurrott. As expected, the Xbox Series S (previously referred to as Lockhart) is a more affordable alternative to the Xbox Series X and the direct successor to the Xbox One S.
In a tweet, Microsoft announced the Xbox Series S as the "smallest Xbox ever" and revealed its price at $299. It also posted an image of the console, giving us our first official look at the next-gen machine. A few hours later, Microsoft released an official teaser trailer (see below) revealing its November 10 release date and a handful of features.
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👀 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/8wIEpLPVEqSeptember 8, 2020
The first thing that caught our attention is the large black circular grill vent on the side of the Series X. Contrasting against the white console, its strange appearance has led to a flurry of Twitter reactions with the Xbox Series S being likened to various objects from fencing masks to dishwashers.
More importantly, the image Xbox posted shows us how thin and compact the console is. The Xbox Series S is 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X, according to Microsoft. If renders of the PS5 are accurate, Sony's massive console will dwarf the Series S when it arrives later this year. You'll also notice that the console is positioned vertically (although the photo suggests you can place it on its side) and that there is no disc drive.
Xbox Series S price and features
Xbox confirmed the Series S will cost $299 when it's released on November 10. The Xbox Series X and PS5 are rumored to come in at around $499, so customers could save around $200 by opting for the Series S.
If you're all-in on subscriptions, Windows Central reports the Xbox Series S will be bundled in a $25 a month Xbox All Access plan that includes Xbox Live and Game Pass.
The trailer Microsoft uploaded to YouTube gives us an overview of the digital-only console's features. Those include the ability to play at 1440p resolution at 120 frames per second, DirectX RayTracing support, variable rate shading, variable refresh rates, "Ultra-low" latency, and a custom 512GB NVMe SSD.
The Xbox Series S will be capable of 4K media playback and 4K upscaling for games, the latter suggesting the console isn't powerful enough to natively play at 4K (as expected).
We're still waiting for more specifics. Previous rumors and leaks suggest it will deliver four teraflops of power compared with 12 teraflops in the Xbox Series X and 10.28 teraflops in the PS5. A more recent leak claims the Series S will push out 7.9 teraflops, which would make it more powerful than the Xbox One X (6 teraflops) and Xbox One S (1.4 teraflops).
We'll get answers to all of our burning questions in the coming weeks; Xbox promises to share more info "soon."
Updated on Sept 8: We've added the official release date and features for the Xbox Series S, which Microsoft revealed a few hours after our initial coverage.