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Xbox Series X was meant to release much sooner – here's why that changed

(Image credit: Microsoft)

We’ve known for a while that Microsoft’s Xbox Series X is due to release this holiday season (between October and December for all you non-Americans), but it seems that wasn’t always the case.

According to Thurrot’s Brad Sams, who is a known industry insider when it comes to Microsoft news, the original release date for the Xbox Series X was reportedly set for late August, but was ultimately scuppered by the Covid-19 outbreak. 

If Microsoft had released the Xbox Series X during the summer, it would have been a markedly different approach for the company and console releases in general. Historically, console hardware tends to release during November, although Nintendo did buck that trend recently by releasing the Nintendo Switch in March.

Covid-19 didn’t just affect the Xbox Series X launch, though. Microsoft’s heavily rumored Xbox Series S (or Project Lockhart) has also been impacted by the pandemic, and was due to release after the Xbox Series X in either October or November. The Xbox Series S will be a cheaper and less powerful version of the Xbox Series X, but Microsoft has yet to confirm its existence despite numerous leaks.

Change of plan

It would have been interesting to see whether getting the march on Sony’s PS5 would have paid off for Microsoft, even if it was just a few months head start. Incidentally, the timing of the Xbox Series S launch suggests Microsoft wanted to combat Sony’s new console with a cheaper model for consumers to consider. 

But alas, as Covid-19 continues to out stay its welcome, we won’t be playing the Xbox Series X in August. Instead, we’ll have to wait patiently for Microsoft’s next-gen console and hope that plans don't change again. We should hopefully find out more Xbox Series X information during the Xbox July event where Microsoft will show off first-party titles such as Halo Infinite and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2