Microsoft has officially announced the Xbox Series S - the second of its next-gen consoles set for launch later this year. Impressively, it comes with a price tag of £249, meaning it's on a par with the current-gen hardware.
Leaked overnight by journalist, Brad Sams, Microsoft confirmed the news this morning via a tweet. We don't know full details yet such as what to expect from the hardware but we can glean a few details. For instance, Microsoft has declared it the smallest Xbox ever and as the picture demonstrates, the console doesn't look much wider than the controller with the entire length only looking a little over two controllers in size. There's also a rather large vent on one side which we're assuming is fan-related, and there's no sign of a disc drive which is likely to help keep costs down.
Otherwise, it looks remarkably like a regular Xbox One. Microsoft has promised more details to be released soon about the console with the expectations being that the hardware will be a tad slower than the full Xbox Series X. Current rumours suggest that the Xbox Series S will be capable of four teraflops while the Xbox Series X will offer 12 teraflops. It also looks likely to offer a custom NVMe 512GB SSD which we're expecting to fill up fast, 120FPS at 1440p, 4K upscaling for games, and support for 4K media playback. The SSD capacity is likely to mean you should budget for extra storage space if you plan on playing more than a few games.
Analysts such as Brad Sams reckon that the point of the Xbox Series S is to appeal to those with 1080p displays with those wanting the full 4K experience needing to upgrade to the Xbox Series X. Rumours suggest that the Xbox Series X may be priced at $499 but there's no guarantee of this yet.
Sources close to Windows Central also reckon that both consoles will launch on November 10th but again, this is far from confirmed. The same sources have also suggested that the console will be available for $25 monthly payments through an Xbox All Access scheme that includes Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass, although we don't yet know if that would make its way to the UK and Europe also.
More details about the hardware specifications to the Xbox Series S would be useful, so it's clear what it lacks for the price (besides a disc drive), but either way, this is a highly competitive sounding price for a launch console. Microsoft maintains it will offer "next-gen performance' for this price so it should still be a decent proposition even with less powerful hardware than the Xbox Series X.
The next-gen console wars look like they're heating up. Expect more word from Sony soon enough about the PlayStation 5.
April 16 2021 | 18:20