UPDATE: We have made a correction to the Telstra pricing as per the Xbox Official Site
While you probably already know about the Microsoft Xbox Series X being on it’s way as the next gen successor to the Xbox One X and competition to the PlayStation 5 for your dollars this Christmas, you might have missed the slightly complicated announcement of a second next gen console being leaked then announced also this week – The XBox Series S.
Confusing naming convention aside for keeping track of XBox generations the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S represent the new generation of XBox consoles due out later this year. We already know quite a bit about the games from the not-E3 XBox Games Showcase that was streamed iate the end of July but with XBox next-gen no longer being a one horse race it’s probably important to look at the real differences between the 2 consoles.
THe Xbox Series X is without question aiming for the serious gamer. With 12 TFlops of GPU, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD drive along with the dreams of “virtually no more loading screens” the console had it’s official price dropped by Microsoft overnight at $749 AUD. So what is this Xbox Series S about?
The much smaller Xbox Series S is the little sibling to the Series X at only 60% of the size and the smallest xbox ever. With 4 TFlops of GPU (vs 12), 10GB of Ram (vs 16) and 512GB of SSD (vs 1TB), the Series S is definitely much less powerful than the black monolith of the Series X but will still be considered Next-Gen in terms of support for the upcoming slate of gaming titles. But the real differences you might want to hear is that the Series S will only run 1440p aka 2K @ 60FPS vs the Series X being a 4K capable gaming option.
So why would you opt for the Series S over the Series X? Aside from price with the Series S coming in at $499 AUD as officially announced overnight the other difference between the two consoles is that the Series S does not include an optical drive with no 4K UHD Blu-ray. This makes it the fully digital download option which is pretty important given that there is more than one way to get your hands on the new Xbox.
For the first time Microsoft are offering contracts on their consoles much like a mobile phone. Telstra has already been identified as the partner for Australia and from today you can pre-order your Xbox Series X from them for a monthly fee of $34 a month in something called Xbox All Access.
Xbox All Access bundles all the online service subscriptions for Microsoft including Xbox Gold (needed for playing online), Game Pass (giving you access to a catalogue of games to play) and EA Play (the EA version of Game Pass that includes early access for a lot of titles). While Game Pass has been around for some time in the last few months it has changed from a bunch of back catalogue games that you probably have already played to be larger and include newer release titles that are maybe on your to-play list.
If you have an existing Xbox and opted in for all of those subscriptions it would run you $15.95 a month for the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate that includes Gold (currently $1 as an introductory price) and another $6.99 for EA Play. But with the
$34 $46 a month cost you get an Xbox One X + the subscription services already included as part of that month fee leaving you to paying effectively $23.06 per month on a Series X or $10.06 on a series S hardware during the contract.
While the cost of the consoles for an outright purchase are a lot more than we had thought they would be given the late entry that is clearly geared towards Game Pass the option of upgrading your Xbox like your mobile phone will no doubt have more than a few people casually adding an Xbox pre-order to their existing Telstra bill (do check the T&Cs)
Both consoles are expected to release on November 10th for Australia with pre-order open from most of the major retailers and Telstra already offering the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S subscriptions preorder. Now the ball is in Sony’s court with the price of the PlayStation 5 (both Disc and Disc-less) pending.
Xbox Series X ($749 AUD) and Xbox Series S ($499 AUD) are slated for November 10th release