Microsoft confirms $299 Xbox Series S as leaks reveal Series X price, too

If you were expecting to pay a lot more for the new Microsoft Xbox Series X, think again.

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If recent reports and leaks prove true, Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles will launch on Nov. 10 for familiar prices: $499 for the Xbox Series X, and $299 for the Xbox Series S. After the leaks occurred, Microsoft itself confirmed the Xbox Series S’s existence, as well as its $299 price point. 

It looks like next-gen Xbox information is making its way out on the web: Windows Central says it’s received the Xbox Series X pricing and launch information; Thurrott’s Brad Sams says he’s confirmed the existence of the Xbox Series S; and the WalkingCat Twitter account has some images of the Xbox Series S comparing the size  of the (smaller) Series S console to the next-gen Xbox Series X, part of a new leaked commercial for the Xbox Series S that Microsoft eventually confirmed.  And Microsoft? After this reports surfaced, the company just went ahead and... tweeted it out.

microsoft xbox one s official Twitter / Microsoft

Microsoft’s Xbox Twitter account finally spilled the beans on the Xbox Series S.

Microsoft, of course, has confirmed the existence of the Xbox Series X, with a deep dive into its internals. To date, however, Microsoft hasn’t said anything beyond the fact that the console would launch during the 2020 holiday season, even with the COVID-19 pandemic lurking in the background. However, Microsoft launched the original Xbox One X at $499, and Windows Central says that’s going to be the price of the new Xbox Series X, too. Windows Central reported the Nov. 10 launch date, too.

xbox series s game controller Twitter / Microsoft

Microsoft has yet to confirm the price of the Series X console, the launch date, or the internal components of the Xbox Series S. Microsoft’s own disclosure of the Xbox Series S and its price adds to details revealed by the WalkingCat Twitter account on Sunday night, which posted a GIF file with a white Xbox Series S being compared to the size of the larger Xbox Series X. A still image of that GIF is posted at the bottom of this article.

What appears to be a leaked commercial from the WalkingCat Twitter account also reveals some previously unknown specs: a 512GB SSD, an "all-digital experience" that suggests the lack of an optical drive, and raytracing capabilities.

xbox one s specs and features Twitter WalkingCat Twitter / WalkingCat

Here's a summary of the new Xbox One S features.

Windows Central also says that it has confirmed that the Xbox Series S console doesn’t include an optical disc drive, as the leaked commercial implies. The site said it expects Xbox Series S performance to be about that of the Xbox One X. The image Microsoft shared of the more affordable console don’t immediately show a disc slot, unlike the Xbox Series X’s promotional images. 

Offering the Xbox Series X at $499 would, in some circles, be a deep discount to what Microsoft could charge for the console. Microsoft has said that its next-gen Xbox Series X console will offer 12 teraflops of performance, roughly twice that of the Xbox One X. Teraflops measure compute performance rather than actual gaming performance, but there was already a a vast gap between the performance of the Xbox One S (1.4 TFlops) and the Xbox One X (6 TFlops). The latter Xbox One X console has largely been sold out and discontinued, and available through Amazon’s Renewed program for $470.

xbox series s walkingcat Microsoft twitter Twitter / @_h0x0d_

Microsoft’s Xbox Series S, the cheaper, less-powerful version of the Xbox Series X, will reportedly include an interesting speaker-like grille on one side, and be slightly smaller than the Xbox Series X. It’s the “smallest Xbox ever,” according to Microsoft.

Not surprisingly, Microsoft will make the Xbox Series X part of its Xbox All Access program, Windows Central reports, a lease that allows a user to pay a small fee (about $31/mo for an Xbox One X) to lease a Microsoft console. The All Access plan also comes with 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Microsoft’s Netflix-like game subscription program. A $299 Xbox Series X paired with Xbox Game Pass already looks poised to provide stunning value, and offering it on a monthly payment plan would only make it more achievable for gamers to obtain.

Sony, of course, hasn’t announced the price of its next-generation PlayStation 5 console. Looks like the ball is in Sony’s court, now...or at least until Microsoft decides to tweet even more information.

This story was updated at 10:51 PM with new information.

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