After much anticipation, Microsoft finally lifted the lid on its Christmas console release plans, announcing a new Xbox, the less powerful Xbox Series S, as well as the prices for both next generation consoles.
Big brother the Xbox Series X will be £449, while the Series S, which lacks a disc drive and some of the more impressive frills, costs £249.
On top of that, the Xbox All Access programme makes the barrier to owning one of these beauties lower than usual, with monthly finance options to spread the cost over two years.
So, the big question this week is: Which is the right console for you? We put our heads together to try to make sense of it all.
Is there a tiny Master Chief lurking somewhere inside the Series X amongst all that impressive tech?
James has already covered the technical specs and objectively weighed the pros and cons of each new Xbox, so I’ll mostly leave that alone.
Personally, I’ll be opting for the Xbox Series X at launch. As one of the diehards that the more powerful console is aimed at, it’s really a no-brainer. I’m someone that wants to get the most out of their game collection, and also a 4K TV owner, which makes Xbox Series X’s targeted 4K resolution a winning feature.
That being said, the Xbox Series S presents outrageously good value for money. A next generation console that costs less than the Nintendo Switch and the same as a PlayStation 4 will be too good a deal to pass up for many. Throw in the optional Xbox All Access financing plan, which includes Game Pass Ultimate and more than enough games to keep you busy, and Microsoft has somehow managed to make next-gen gaming affordable in the midst of a financial crisis.
With Apple stubbornly blocking xCloud streaming on iOS devices, I’ve been looking to buy an Android device that allows me to take Xbox gaming on the go. Since something capable usually costs more than a Series S and is subject to streaming stability, I’m considering also grabbing one of the budget-friendly consoles as a travel companion for extended time spent away from home.
Its suitcase-friendly size and low price point could make the Series S the perfect travel companion.
Considering both of my previous two Xbox consoles - a limited edition Halo 5-themed base model and a Project Scorpio edition Xbox One X - cost me 500 euros (I was living in Europe at the time of purchase), the fact that I can upgrade to a next-gen Xbox for just £249 is utterly bonkers.
Although leaks and rumours had all but confirmed the existence of the Series S before its official reveal earlier this week, I hadn’t given it much thought, and it was pretty much a given that I’d be picking up a Series X at some point.
Now, however, Microsoft have given me a real dilemma. On paper, the Series S seems like a perfect fit; it’s cheap, it’s streamlined, it’ll presumably run next-gen games just as well as the Series X (at least performance-wise) and I don’t own a 4K TV or plan on getting one any time soon. Did I mention it’s cheap?
The only caveat is the missing disc drive. Granted, I’ve not bought an Xbox game for a while thanks to Game Pass, and those I have bought were usually digital purchases picked up during a sale, but it’s a big omission for someone who likes collecting physical copies of games.
The cause of, and solution to, a lot of next-gen dilemmas.
Will you be opting for the Series S or Series X this November? Let us know your thoughts below.