Microsoft to launch smaller version of its upcoming next-gen console for $299

Key Points
  • Microsoft said the new console, called the Xbox Series S, is the "smallest Xbox ever" and will cost $299.
  • The Xbox Series S is around 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X and won't come with a disc drive
  • Its unveiling comes after Microsoft was plagued by leaks about the more affordable machine.
Microsoft is launching its "smallest Xbox ever"—Here are the details

Microsoft confirmed Tuesday that it is set to launch a smaller, cheaper version of its upcoming next-generation console.

The company is currently gearing up for the release of its Xbox Series X device later this year, promising powerful specs and improved graphics quality in a bid to convince gamers to part with their cash for new gaming hardware.

It will go head-to-head with Sony's PlayStation 5, or PS5, with both consoles expected to hit shelves ahead of the holidays. You can check out a breakdown of the main differences between the Xbox Series X and PS5 here.

Microsoft teased the new device, called the Xbox Series S, in a tweet Tuesday. It said the Xbox Series S would be the "smallest Xbox ever" and cost $299. It later revealed that the console would debut on Nov. 10.

The company added that the Xbox Series S is around 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X and won't come with a disc drive, meaning users will have to download or stream games and movies. Sony has done something similar with the PS5, with both standard and digital-only versions of the console set to be released this fall.

For context, Microsoft has said the Xbox Series X will be four times more powerful than its predecessor, the Xbox One X. It'll come with an eight-core AMD Zen 2 processor — like the PS5 — but will have a better graphics card than Sony's rival machine.

With the Xbox Series S, there are also some impressive specs — such as support for realistic so-called ray tracing graphics — but it will have less internal storage. Microsoft has been heavily marketing its Game Pass Ultimate subscription service, which is set to include a cloud-gaming feature that lets users stream games from their phone or tablet, from Sept. 15.

Microsoft was plagued by leaks about the more affordable next-gen machine ahead of the announcement Tuesday. Windows Central — a publication that closely follows Microsoft news — reported overnight that the main Xbox Series X console would cost $499, while the Xbox Series S would come with a $299 price tag. 

Citing sources, Windows Central said that both consoles would have monthly financing options. Consumers would reportedly be able to buy an Xbox Series X for $35 per month or the Xbox Series S with a $25 a month plan. Microsoft said it had nothing further to share beyond its tweets Tuesday.

It's the first time either of the major console manufacturers have disclosed any pricing details for their next-gen devices. Sony unveiled the PS5 for the first time in June, but didn't reveal any pricing or release date information. According to Windows Central, both of Microsoft's new consoles are set to launch on Nov. 10.

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