* With the caveat, of course, that you can’t actually buy either console as you read this: They’re both already sold out, and some preorders are now stretching into late December.
“The future of gaming starts today with the launch of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, bringing the most performant, immersive[,] and compatible next-generation console gaming experiences to players around the world,” Microsoft’s Will Tuttle announced. “The launch of these next-generation consoles is the continuation of our vision of an entirely new future for players, one that puts you and your friends at the center of your gaming experience.”
The Xbox Series X costs $499 and is described as “the most powerful next-generation console,” with 12 teraflops of GPU power enabling up to 4K resolutions at 120 frames-per-second (FPS). The Xbox Series S, meanwhile, costs $299 and is described as “the smallest-ever Xbox console,” delivering next-generation performance at a more affordable price. Both consoles provide variable refresh rates, Quick Resume, and Smart Delivery capabilities.
That’s all well and good. But Microsoft’s new consoles do suffer from a few obvious issues, the biggest of which is that you can’t find one: If you visit the Xbox website, at least here in the US, you’re told you can “buy now” but neither console is actually available, either as a standalone purchase or via the Xbox All Access subscription, from any of the linked retailers.
That could change over time, and the All Access options, in particular, should at least allow you to get into the queue assuming such a thing becomes possible.
Also problematic, of course, is that there are no Xbox Series X|S exclusive titles at all, and existing games that have been optimized for the new consoles are few and far between. Microsoft cites about 30 titles that are optimized now, including Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and Gears Tactics, among others, but none of them are new. Additionally, hundreds of Backwards Compatible OG Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games will see minor improvements when run on the new consoles.
And let’s not forget that Sony, of course, will soon launch its next-generation PlayStation 5 console family too.