After finally spilling the beans on the cheaper variant of its new Xbox yesterday, Microsoft is ready to lay out the whole enchilada. It’s been officially confirmed: the Xbox Series X and disc-free Xbox Series S will be on sale starting November 10th, for $499 and $299, respectively. Pre-orders for the hardware will begin September 22nd.
That’s half of the layout for this holiday season’s console conundrum. Sony’s up next, having shown off the PlayStation 5 and a cheaper PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, but not giving a specific price or date for either. Rumors have been fling that Sony won’t be able to beat Microsoft on price, especially for the cheaper disc-free option.
This is the tweet…
Xbox Series X: $499 (ERP)
Xbox Series S: $299 (ERP)
Release date: November 10
— Xbox (@Xbox) September 9, 2020
Microsoft’s economic advantage doesn’t end with the hardware. The company is pushing the Xbox Game Pass hard, after a year of adding new titles and features like mobile game streaming. The Xbox All Access service is a monthly subscription that includes an Xbox Series console, Game Pass Ultimate, and full online play, with a cell-phone style interest-free payment plan. The Xbox Series X plus Game Pass will be $35 a month for two years, with the Xbox Series S being just $25 a month. That’s an incredible value considering the 100+ games in the Game Pass library, which is now bolstered by EA Play being included.
For comparison, the Game Pass Ultimate is $15 a month on its own. So over two years, buying an Xbox Series S outright and subscribing to the service costs $660, while the zero interest financing is only $600. The Xbox Series X doesn’t save quite as much, just $20 over the course of two years, but it’s still telling that there’s no downside to the payment plan.
By focusing on both affordability and a low-cost subscription for popular and new games, Microsoft is making a compelling offering for the next generation. It will be interesting to see how Sony and Nintendo respond.