UPDATE: Xbox Series S preorders are now available in NZ! Check out our list of local retailers below for direct links, or if you're interested in Xbox Series X click here (opens in new tab).
Xbox Series S pre-orders in New Zealand
Microsoft Store (opens in new tab) (PRE-ORDERS OPEN)
Just like with the Xbox Series X, Microsoft will likely have the most stock on offer for its less-expensive and disc-free Xbox Series S console. Pre-orders are open as of 7:30am NZST, and if you order from the Microsoft Store, you're guaranteed free shipping of the console to anywhere in New Zealand.
JB Hi-Fi (opens in new tab) (PRE-ORDERS OPEN)
Officially confirmed as one of the pre-order retailers, JB Hi-Fi is likely to have a large allocation of Xbox Series S consoles as it's one of New Zealand's largest brick and mortar retail chains. That said, we advise you get in early to secure your console.
EB Games (opens in new tab) (MORE STOCK AT 2PM)
UPDATE (10:30am NZST): EB appears to be releasing stock in batches, with 8am and 10am allotments now sold out. A countdown timer says preorders will reopen at 2pm.
New Zealand's largest gaming retailer will be accepting console trade-ins towards the Xbox Series S, bringing down its price by a significant amount. If you choose to trade in your Xbox One S console, you'll get the Xbox Series S for NZ$299. This deal is only for online pre-orders, so we imagine these will go quickly.
Harvey Norman (opens in new tab) (PRE-ORDERS LIVE)
HN is another big NZ retailer that’s on Microsoft’s official ‘nice (places to pre-order)’ list, and given its size it should have a fair bit of stock on offer, too.
Mighty Ape (opens in new tab) (COMING SOON)
As mentioned on our Xbox Series X page above, Mighty Ape has confirmed it will be opening preorders today (September 22), but that its Series S stock may be limited. Get a wriggle on if you want to secure one.
Set to arrive in New Zealand on November 10, Microsoft's Xbox Series S will be officially available for pre-order from this coming Tuesday, September 22, with retailers opening their digital doors from 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' will cost NZ$549. 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 on September 22.
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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 S will launch right alongside the more expensive Xbox Series X.
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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 NZ$549 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 NZ$799, the Xbox Series S undercuts it significantly by NZ$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, New Zealand 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 NZ$39 a month, with no upfront costs.
In NZ, Xbox All Access is offered exclusively through Spark as an add-on to an existing post-paid mobile or broadband plan, with pre-registrations open now.
Xbox All Access – available to eligible Spark customers (opens in new tab)
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 New Zealand, prices start at NZ$39 per month for an Xbox Series S and NZ$52 per month for a Series X – each on a 24-month plan. If you're keen, click the button below to visit the Spark site and find out more – note that you'll need to be a Spark post-paid mobile or broadband customer to sign up.
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.
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.