Xbox Series S pre-orders are on their way, and it’s now just a matter of hours before the cheap Xbox hits the shelves for the first wave of early buyers. That means it’s time to prepare for the big day, and with Xbox Series X pre-orders coming in significantly more expensive, there’s going to be some competition out there. The Xbox Series S specs and price were announced earlier this month, and Microsoft seems to have nailed the delicate balance between the two to offer a cheap new Xbox if you don’t care about having a disc drive.
Xbox Series S, previously dubbed ‘Project Lockhart’ will cost $299.99 / £249.99 / AU$499. It’s the cheaper, digital-only alternative to the Xbox Series X. Yes, Microsoft is releasing not one but two next-gen consoles this year. It’s worth noting, however, that certain features like 4K gameplay aren’t available from cheaper Xbox Series S pre-orders, as that lower price tag makes way for less powerful specs in the budget model.
This disc-less, next-gen Xbox Series S specs are, however, substantially more powerful than the (now discontinued) Xbox One S All-Digital console, and the CPU, GPU and solid state disc drive storage only trail what you’ll get from the Series X.
We’re rounding up everything you need to know about Xbox Series S pre-orders right here, as well as going into more detail on exactly what you get for your cash in terms of Xbox One S specs, features, and the release date just below.
Xbox Series S pre-orders
Xbox Series S pre-orders will launch at the same time as the fully fledged Xbox Series X. That’s tomorrow, September 22 at 8am PT (11am ET) / 8am BST. We’re showing you exactly how to get your hands on one of these early orders just below, but with the Series X coming in at a $200 premium, there’s likely going to be some competition for Xbox Series S pre-orders this week.
We’re not likely to see the same scramble offered up by PS5 pre-orders last week, but there’s no telling how much stock retailers will hold for these first few days. Microsoft has announced which retailers will be offering up Xbox Series S pre-orders this week, so you’ll want to sign up for notifications where you can. We’re showing you exactly where to head first here – balancing likely stock amounts, potential incentives, and the competition you’ll be facing at each store.
Xbox Series S pre-orders in the US
Xbox Series S pre-orders will go live at Microsoft at the same time as the main console, so head over to Microsoft direct for your first shot at picking up the cheaper console this week.
Best Buy is currently offering email notifications for Xbox Series S pre-orders, helpful if you’re looking for instant information as soon as those doors open. Best Buy saw an enormous amount of interest when it came to PS5, so this is likely to be a competitive store come September 22.
As a massive retail giant, Amazon is likely to have plenty of Xbox Series S pre-orders already on the books. That means there will be more consoles up for grabs here, but be warned you’re going up against a large number of fellow shoppers as well. Amazon doesn’t currently have a dedicated page for the Xbox Series S, but we’ll be updating as soon as one appears.
Newegg was listed by Microsoft has having Xbox Series S pre-orders already on the books, though we’re not seeing a dedicated page yet. Stay tuned, because Newegg might be one to go to in the rush of competition.
GameStop will no doubt be offering its fair share of Xbox Series S pre-order slots as a gaming-focused retailer. You might also have a better chance at securing yourself an extra incentive as well. You can get your name down to be the first to know when those order books open on September 22.
Xbox Series S pre-orders in the UK
Xbox Series S pre-orders will be available from Microsoft’s UK store this week as well, so you’ll want to be ready at 8am BST tomorrow to get one of the first shipments from Microsoft direct.
Xbox Series S pre-orders will also be available at Amazon, and as one of the most popular retailers in the country there will not only be a good amount of units available, but also plenty of fellow shoppers trying to pick one up. That means there will be high competition here.
Currys is currently offering a sign up notification service so you can find out when Xbox Series S pre-orders go live at this particular retailer as soon as they hit the shelves. Keep checking back tomorrow, though, as we’ll be bringing you all the latest stock updates as well.
John Lewis has also been named by Microsoft as a retailer carrying Xbox Series S pre-orders this week. That means you might also be able to take advantage of the excellent electrical warranties this particular shop offers.
If you’re heading to Very on September 22, you’ll want to be one of the first there. Register your interest in Xbox Series S pre-orders here to get an email notification as soon as the order sheet is posted.
AO are also offering Xbox Series S pre-orders this week, and again there’s no landing page as of yet. It’s likely to expect a single product page here, so we’ll stay in touch when things start to shift on September 22.
Xbox Series S release date
Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox Series S (Project Lockhart) is indeed real, and that its digital-only next-gen console will arrive on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.
That means the new Series X will launch right alongside the more expensive Xbox Series X – both coming right before Black Friday 2020 on November 27.
Xbox Series S price
Microsoft has quashed the endless speculation over the Xbox Series S price, revealing that the console will retail for $299.99 / £249.99 / AU$499 via its official Twitter account. This falls in line with the Xbox Series S being a lower-cost alternative to the Xbox Series X.
If we compare it to the Xbox Series X’s price of $499 / £499 / AU$749, the Xbox Series S undercuts it significantly by $200. In the US, the Xbox One S‘s RRP was $100 less than that of the Xbox One X at launch, while the Xbox One S All-Digital’s launch RRP was $200 less than the Xbox One X’s. The Xbox Series S will be a tempting proposition for those looking to experience next-gen games without breaking the bank, then.
Xbox Series S on Xbox All Access
The Xbox Series S will also be available on Microsoft’s Xbox All Access subscription service in select regions, including the US, UK and Australia. Xbox All Access bundles together the console with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on a 24-month plan (giving you access to the latter for the duration) at a price of $24.99 / £20.99 / AU$33 a month, with no upfront costs.
Xbox All Access is offered through various different providers, depending on your region, so if you’re in the UK or US you’ll want to check the official Xbox site for more details. If you’re in Australia, Xbox All Access is offered through Telstra, with pre-registrations open now.
Xbox Series S: specs
Microsoft has revealed exactly what its cheaper Xbox can do in the console’s official launch trailer, which you can watch below.
- CPU: Eight-core 3.6GHz (3.4GHz with SMT) custom AMD 7nm
- GPU: 4 teraflops at 1.550GHz
- RAM: 10GB GDDR6
- Frame rate: Up to 120 fps
- Resolution: 1440p with 4K upscaling
- Optical: No disk drive
- Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
The Xbox Series S is up to 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X, making it the smallest Xbox ever made. Games will target a resolution of 1440p instead of 4K on Xbox Series X, and will be capable of 120fps.
There’s also support for ray tracing, 4K media playback, 4K game upscaling, variable rate shading and variable refresh rates – same as on Xbox Series X. The console is all-digital, meaning there’s no disc drive, and has a custom NVME 512GB SSD.
The Xbox Series S will also support Spatial Sound, including Dolby Atmos, and Dolby Vision via streaming media apps at launch. Dolby Vision support for gaming will also come first to next-gen Xbox consoles in 2021.
Xbox Series S: a digital gateway
The Xbox Series S will primarily act as a digital gateway for both Microsoft’s game-streaming service, Project xCloud, and its ever-growing Xbox Game Pass service (which now also includes EA Play for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Game Pass for PC subscribers).
Project xCloud aims to leverage Microsoft’s existing data centers across the globe, literally loading up servers with the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles, and using these to run the games streamed directly to your mobile device of choice.
This means that gamers will be able to play the likes of Halo Infinite, Forza and other classic console and PC big hitters on their phones, tablets or Windows 10 computers.
Meanwhile, Xbox Game Pass is essentially a Netflix for games, allowing subscribers to access lots of Xbox games digitally. The service has grown massively since its launch in 2017, boasting over 10 million subscribers.
Services such as Project xCloud and Xbox Game Pass prove that physical discs aren’t always necessary, with Microsoft offering plenty of content for those who choose to go digital-only. Xbox Series S will undoubtedly take this initiative into the next generation, proving that these services alone can support a next-gen console.