Microsoft, Announce the Xbox Series S Already (Premium)

2020 has been unusual for a number of obvious reasons, but the video gaming world has been held captive for months as Sony and Microsoft warily circle each other with their respective next-generation video game console announcements. The stakes are high: Microsoft lost the current-generation, and decisively, in part because of massive marketing and go-to-market mistakes from which it never recovered, and neither firm wants to self-victimize itself by making the same mistakes this time around.

But that reality has led to the silliest launch year antics we’ve ever experienced. Robbed of in-person events like E3 at which these companies traditionally bare all in an orgasmic ritual that dates back to the early 1990s, Sony and Microsoft have instead been dribbling out information carefully and in small doses. But this collective tentativeness just highlights how insecure each is about its product lines, and it leaves a leadership gap that I’m sure Nintendo is all too eager to fill.

I’m a bit more interested in what Microsoft is doing, frankly, so I’ll focus on the software giant here. But make no mistake, Sony, with its scattershot approach to launching the PlayStation 5, and it’s utter silence on a true game streaming service, is just as rudderless.

Microsoft’s year of stupidity has revealed itself in many forms over time, from an introduction to Halo: Infinity that was so lackluster I can’t believe Microsoft went public with it to an unwinnable war with Apple over getting Project xCloud into the iPhone App Store. But the biggest transgression, by far, has been its mishandling of the reveal of its next-generation consoles. Right, I wrote consoles. Because there are two of them.

You’d never know that from Microsoft’s public missives, of course. To date, the firm has only acknowledged the Xbox Series X, a high-end console that will offer a consistent quality of 4K/60 fps and will replace the Xbox One X in the market. But what Microsoft has never publicly discussed is a lower-end and less expensive version of the console called the Xbox Series S that will replace the Xbox One S, currently Microsoft’s best-selling console.

This is dumb on a number of levels, the most obvious being that Sony has already announced both of its consoles already: The firm will ship one PlayStation 5 model with an optical drive and one without, and the lower-end version will of course cost less. (Sony, like Microsoft, has yet to discuss pricing. More on that in a moment.)

Worse, we’ve known about the Xbox Series S for almost two years: Brad first revealed the existence of the second next-generation Xbox console, codenamed Lockhart, in December 2018.

“Lockhart … is an ‘arcade’ version of Anaconda [the higher-end console],” he wrote at the time. “Microsoft refers to Anaconda as Scarlett Pro and Lockhart as Scarlett Arcade. Think of Lockhart as the successor to the Xbox One S, whereas Anaconda is the successor to the X...

Gain unlimited access to Premium articles.

With technology shaping our everyday lives, how could we not dig deeper?

Thurrott Premium delivers an honest and thorough perspective about the technologies we use and rely on everyday. Discover deeper content as a Premium member.

Tagged with

Share post

Please check our Community Guidelines before commenting

Windows Intelligence In Your Inbox

Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thurrott © 2024 Thurrott LLC