Set to arrive in Australia on November 10, Microsoft's Xbox Series S is now officially available for pre-order from this morning, with retailers opening their digital doors today at 8am AEST.
The Xbox Series S specs and price were officially revealed earlier this month, and Microsoft seems to have nailed the delicate balance between the two, offering a cheap new Xbox for those that don't care about having a disc drive.
Xbox Series S, previously dubbed 'Project Lockhart' costs 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.
Although it's a definitely step down from the Series X in terms of overall grunt, the disc-less Xbox Series S's specs are substantially more powerful than its (now discontinued) forebear, the Xbox One S All-Digital console, and the CPU, GPU and SSD storage only trail what you'll get from the Series X.
Interested to know more? Here's everything we know about the Xbox Series S, including where to pre-order right now.
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Xbox Series S pre-orders in Australia
Xbox All Access in AU: (opens in new tab) (PRE-ORDERS OPEN)
For those who want to avoid dropping a huge amount of cash in one go for either an Xbox Series X or Series S, an Xbox All Access subscription may be the best option. In Australia, prices start at AU$33 per month for Series S (opens in new tab) and AU$46 per month for Series X (opens in new tab). If you're keen, click the button below to visit the Telstra site to pre-order right now – note that you'll need to be a Telstra post-paid mobile or broadband customer to sign up.
Microsoft Store (opens in new tab) (PRE-ORDERS OPEN)
Just like with the Xbox Series X, Microsoft has the most stock on offer for its less-expensive and disc-free Xbox Series S console. Pre-orders are now open, and if you order from the Microsoft Store, you're guaranteed free shipping of console to anywhere in Australia.
Harvey Norman (opens in new tab) (PRE-ORDERS OPEN)
Go Harvey! The Australian retailer has secured a large allocation of Xbox Series S consoles for pre-order, so if you're after Microsoft's new slim console, you better click on the link below and secure your unit now.
JB Hi-Fi (opens in new tab) (PRE-ORDERS OPEN)
Officially confirmed as one of the retailers set to open up pre-orders from September 22, JB Hi-Fi has a large allocation of Xbox Series S consoles as it is Australia's largest brick and mortar retail chain. That said, we advise you to act fast in order to secure your console.
EB Games (opens in new tab) (TAKING POST-LAUNCH ORDERS)
EB's launch stock is sold out, but throughout the day it's been periodically opening up access, letting people order for post-launch delivery 'sometime in 2020'. At the time of this update, the countdown timer says pre-orders will reopen at 3pm, but we'd advise checking the live page for the most up-to-date info.
Big W (opens in new tab) (PRE-ORDERS SUSPENDED)
While many people may have their eyes locked to retailers that specialise in gaming, it might be a good idea to keep Big W in your back pocket. Big W appears to have lots of stock on hand. Head over to the Big W website to pre-order now.
Amazon AU (opens in new tab) (PRE-ORDERS NOT OPEN YET)
Amazon Australia wasn't officially listed in Microsoft's list of official pre-order retailers, but as one of the country's biggest video game retailers, it should hopefully have plenty of Xbox Series S stock on hand for preorders . Based on Amazon AU's strategy for PS5 pre-orders, we think the Xbox Series S could come with exclusive offers for Prime members. Here's how you can sign up for an Amazon Prime membership (opens in new tab).
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.
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Xbox Series S price
Microsoft has quashed the endless speculation over the Xbox Series S price, revealing that the console will retail for 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 AU$749, the Xbox Series S undercuts it significantly by AU$250. The Xbox Series S will be a tempting proposition for those looking to experience next-gen games without breaking the bank.
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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, and thankfully, Australia is one of them. 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 AU$33 a month, with no upfront costs.
In Australia, Xbox All Access is offered exclusively through Telstra as an add-on to an existing post-paid mobile or broadband plan, with pre-registrations open now (opens in new tab).
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.
If you're worried about running out of disk space, Microsoft is also releasing a 1TB expansion card. An external hard drive can also be used to store Xbox One games and backwards-compatible titles.
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.
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