Since Microsoft revealed the Xbox Series X at last year’s Game Awards, the company has been slowly releasing information about its next-gen console and games lineup. We’ve seen what the Xbox Series X controller looks like, learned details about the console’s build and specs, and how the Xbox Series X will handle backward-compatibility. Last week, Microsoft revealed another wave of games coming to Xbox Series X and showed off some of its first-party titles, including Halo Infinite, Fable, and Forza Motorsport. If you missed the stream, we have a roundup of every Xbox Series X game that was announced. As expected, no hardware or price information was revealed in the event.
The Xbox Series X is still expected to launch later this year, and while it’s not available to pre-order yet, you can sign up for notifications at a number of different retailers. Microsoft will be releasing updates every month as part of a new “Xbox 20/20” showcase during its Inside Xbox show, so expect more games and hardware information to come as we get closer to the Xbox Series X launch.
When will Xbox Series X be available to pre-order?
While we don’t have an exact pre-order date for Xbox Series X, several retailers are now letting people sign up to be notified when the Xbox Series X becomes available for pre-order. (You can also sign up for PS5 pre-order notifications.) As the Xbox Games Showcase on July 23 focused on just games, we expect the Xbox Series X price will be announced in August, and pre-orders will likely go live then as well . If you want to be ready for the exact moment Xbox Series X pre-orders become available, you can still sign-up below at Best Buy, GameStop, and Target to be notified as soon as listings go live. Amazon and Walmart have placeholder listings as well, but no sign-up options are available. Of course, Microsoft will likely announce the Xbox Series X pre-order date ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about pre-orders going live at a moment’s notice–Sony has confirmed as much for the PS5.
Xbox Series X placeholder pages at each retailer:
Xbox Series X release date
Thankfully, we do know the Xbox Series X is releasing later this year–its current release window is Holiday 2020. While the coronavirus pandemic has raised some questions about production and delays, Microsoft hasn’t announced anything in that vein. In fact, it’s looking very likely November will be the release month for Series X , according to Bloomberg tech reporter Dina Bass. In an interview with Microsoft CFO Amy Hood, Bass asked if the “new console” was still on track for the “November holidays.” “Her answer was the single word ‘yes,’” Bass tweeted afterward.
Xbox head Phil Spencer recently spoke to IGN about a “plan B” if the pandemic forces them to stagger the Xbox Series X’s launch. Spencer believes it’s important to have a simultaneous worldwide launch for the Xbox Series X, especially in the age of social media, as the Xbox One’s staggered launch only hurt the console.
How much will the Xbox Series X cost?
We don’t yet know the price for Xbox Series X. While the console was revealed months ago, Microsoft’s plan has been to hold off on revealing a price and opening pre-orders until customers could know for sure what they’re paying for, the company told GameSpot. “We think, in the end, what people want from us is … to put a controller [in their] hand,” said Xbox partner director of program management Jason Ronald in a December 2019 interview. “People tell me, ‘Hey, I want to pre-order right now,’ and we definitely love that–like it’s great to have those fans–but I also know that these investments aren’t trivial for families. I want to be transparent about what our design goals are.”
While the coronavirus pandemic has canceled events like E3 that might have allowed fans to get a hands-on demo of the Xbox Series X, it’s clear Microsoft wants to show the full range of Xbox Series X’s capabilities before announcing a price. Xbox head Phil Spencer has said the company learned a hard lesson from the Xbox One generation about being more expensive and less powerful at the beginning. “We will not be out of position on power or price,” he told The Verge, referring to Xbox Series X.
Microsoft has said it knows exactly what consumers see as a “reasonable” price point for consoles, and it sounds like the Xbox Series X will be on the higher end of normalcy.
What we do know about the Xbox Series X
Following the Xbox One X, Microsoft is poised to once again have the most powerful console on the market. Its GPU has 12 teraflops of power, which is about 1 teraflop more than what Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Super is capable of. The Xbox Series X is capable of displaying true 4K, performing up to 120 frames per second, and storing games on its 1TB custom SSD. The Xbox Series X will make use of propriety expandable storage cards to extend the amount of SSD space the console has. It’s unclear if Microsoft will be the only company producing the special expandable storage (it’s currently working with Seagate to produce the cards).
The SSD storage will be required for Xbox Series X-only games, though you’ll still be able to use your Xbox One’s external hard drives. These external hard drives can be used to store and play backward-compatible games from the Xbox One X, Xbox One S, Xbox 360, and original Xbox. You can also store Series X games on these external hard drives and then transfer them to Series X storage to be played. Speaking of, every game playable on an Xbox One is also playable on the Xbox Series X. Microsoft also said that there won’t be any Xbox Series X-exclusives for the first year or two; Xbox One owners will also be able to play Microsoft’s new games for the next couple years.
The Xbox Series X and its controller
As for the Xbox Series X controller, Phil Spencer said Microsoft didn’t feel like it needed to start from “square one” with a new controller.
“We think we have a good controller in the market today,” Spencer told GameSpot. “But there were certain things that we’ve learned through doing the Elite controller and just listening to fans. One of them is on the D-pad. We have a new hybrid D-pad that we’ve been working on and think is important.”
The controller also adds a Share button and keeps the rumble triggers and haptic feedback. It’s powered by two AA batteries as opposed to an internal battery that might lose performance and die over time. And you don’t have to own an Xbox Series X to use the new controller: It’s backward-compatible with the Xbox One. All Xbox One controllers, including both Elite controllers, are also compatible with the Xbox Series X. Be sure to check out our guide to the best Xbox One controllers that will be compatible with Xbox Series X.