This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
Microsoft has announced the price and release date for the Xbox Series X, the top of the next generation of gaming consoles.
The Xbox Series X will be priced at $499. That's $200 more than the lower-priced Xbox Series S. The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will be released on November 10, with pre-orders starting on September 22.
In Japan, the Xbox Series X will be priced at 49,980 yen and the Xbox Series S at 32,980 yen, with pre-orders starting on September 25.
At the same time as announcing the release date, Microsoft also revealed measures to make the new Xbox easier to get hold of, as well as major enhancements to its flagship subscription gaming service, Xbox Game Pass.
The Xbox All Access purchase plan, which has been available in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and a few other countries, will be expanded to 12 countries from the end of this year (not including Japan). For $24.99 per month, with no upfront costs, the split plan includes the Series S console, Xbox Game Pass, and Xbox Live Gold for online play ($35 per month for Series X).
The service, excluding the cost of the console, is worth $15 per month, so by paying $10 per month for the console, you'll have access to the next generation console and unlimited gameplay in the subscription catalog from day one.
The other is that titles from EA Play, an unlimited-play subscription service from leading publisher EA, will be available to Game Pass users at no additional cost.
More than 60 Xbox / PC games, including some of the biggest AAA titles and series, will suddenly be available to play in addition to the Game Pass catalog.
Detailed specs of the Xbox Series S were also revealed. Compared to the higher-end Series X, the CPU is roughly the same, the GPU is down a third in performance with a lower number of units and frequency, and the RAM is 10GB compared to 16GB, but with less than half the bandwidth. The storage speed is the same.
The difference between the 4K resolution targeted by the Series X and the native 1440p of the Series S is simply about 2.3 times as many pixels (8.3 megapixels vs. 3.7 megapixels). 4K vs. Full HD would be four times as much.
The fact that the Series S is about 1/3 of the Series X in TFLOPS, a measure of GPU performance, and less than half as fast in RAM speed, which is important for transferring high-resolution textures, seems to be a judgment as the Series S targets 1440p to Full HD.
On a TFLOPS basis alone, which is often described as an "unrealistic metric," the Series S is not only well below the current-generation Xbox One X (6TFLOPS), but also has a GPU performance comparable to the PS4 Pro (4.2TFLOPS). However, we are wondering how the amount of memory, speed, and the generation difference in GPU architecture will be reflected in the actual gameplay, and in a sense, we are more concerned about its capabilities than the Series X.
Nevertheless, Microsoft is not targeting a demographic that wants top performance, but customers who prioritize value for money, what they can get for a certain amount of entertainment budget. This is the demographic that would be happy to get the "latest console of the winter" at an affordable price, and would want a box that allows them to play the latest games in a comfort level above current consoles and enjoy online video services on their TVs.
This strategy of attracting people who traditionally wanted a next-gen console but waited a year to see how much it would cost, or waited for a lower price or cheaper version two or three years later, can be seen in the company's focus on its All Access plan, which includes the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate game subscription service and the price of the console, for a total of $25 per month with no initial cost.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.