Xbox Series X|S is Now Available*

Posted on November 10, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S with 32 Comments

* 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.

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (32)

32 responses to “Xbox Series X|S is Now Available*”

  1. mebby

    Man. This was my 2nd impulse buy attempt. Next time it won’t be an impulse buy.

  2. rfeeley

    I understand we are in middle of a pandemic, but I still am leaning towards opinion that Microsoft should provide more information on time range when more product is expected and how much. Additionally, I don't claim to know their motive here. Maybe they want a false scarcity to create demand before they get Christmas supply to customers. Maybe I'm giving them too much credit. Short answer is I know nothing and obviously should not have started this rambling post. :)

  3. remc86007

    I managed to get a Series X ordered with All Access through Gamestop last night. No estimated shipping date. Anybody hear anything on shipping dates from Gamestop?

  4. Vladimir Carli

    Here in Sweden the series X is sold out but the series S is widely available. Maybe something in the distribution went wrong

  5. sammyg

    Loving the XSX so far. Download speed are now faster, getting 500Mbps. Games start faster from my external SSD.

    First game I tried was BFV. The "Auto HDR" feature was on by default and it made that game look washed out. I play on a 27inch 1440p IPS gaming monitor. Anyhow I turned that off and it looks good again. Game felt smoother. I am sure at times it would drop below 60fps on my X1X but not anymore. I was rocking almost a 3 to1 KDR in the match I was on and the game just felt faster overall.

    COD MW broke, re downloading now. Its a known issue on Xbox where part of the game is missing. Instead of a single download there are 9, 1 big, 8 smaller.

    AC Vahalla is going to be installed today so I can check out a next gen game.

    Game on!!!!!

  6. curtisspendlove

    I’m glad (and a little envious that) some of you were able to order last night. I was not. I spent three very frustrating hours trying to order from any of five sites and encountered nothing but various errors.

    Love or hate Apple, I believe even Paul once mentioned, they are *excellent * at taking your money.

    I’m willing to bet within a pretty short time of their presentation just ending I’ll be able to go in and pre-order any of the new Macs they just announced.

    And if they somehow didn’t make enough, they’ll still take my money, and ship the effing thing out when it rolls off the production line.

    What is so hard about storing an order in a database. Last time I checked, Microsoft makes a pretty good database server and web development language. Maybe they should hire a few people who know how to use them together so they can get more money and have better “customer sat” (to borrow a phrase Mr. Tim Apple tends to overuse).

  7. sharpsone

    Guess I'll have to buy Series-X the old fashion-way and sit outside of a box-store before launch....if they have them available that is. The last time I had to go this route was with 360 and that didn't work out well as my console was a day one build with RROD. Not gonna fall into pay-more trap online. It's just not worth if Halo was available then yes I'd be crazy enough to jump in. Oh well guess it's me, Reagan and some Cold War antics.

  8. wosully

    It is disappointing they don't just add us into a queue where they estimate the shipment time. Their loss I think.

  9. Jester

    I managed to get one from the MS store this morning. Took awhile to get through checkout. Delivery says 11/12, I guess we'll see.

  10. LT1 Z51

    Mine doesn't arrive until tomorrow... Sad face.

  11. scovious

    I was lucky to get a preorder but I guess due to unprecedented times shipping has been delayed until the end of the week. Could be worse, for example I could be Apple trying to get attention on a day focused on Gaming!

  12. gwmitchell

    Complete mess in the UK, online retailers and physical shops had none. Sad if this turns out to be a marketing gimmick to just get the "Sold out in minutes" headline.

  13. rjzakowski

    I preordered mine a few weeks ago with Best Buy. I picked it up early this mornin.

  14. ecumenical

    Managed to snag one from the "launch" stock last night on Won't arrive until nearly Christmas they say but hey, good enough!

  15. ken10

    "Power your dreams, because dreams dont require an actual console"

    I mentioned this on another thread. Third party retailers are already listing them for >$1000 each including one that listed at $2999.99. I've been checking multiple channels, because I want one for the family. But the console market before Christmas seems to be reserved for those looking to make a quick profit. Happy Holidays...

    Update: I watched about 9 Wal-mart stores in a 50 mile radius say they had in stock quantities all morning from 5 am. ~45 minutes BEFORE noon when they went on sale, they were all sold out. When noon came - nothing was available. This "game" is getting old.

  16. skyczy08

    This will go down as the worst console launch. ever. period. I don't care how good these boxes are, there's no games, and no boxes to buy anyways. Laughable

    • christianwilson

      In reply to skyczy08:

      I won't say it is the worst ever. There have been some rough ones. I remember Sega Saturn had a surprise launch that did not work out so well. I also remember many, many console launches where you couldn't find them on shelves with any regularity for months (PS2 and Wii come to mind). This generation launches at an odd time in history where manufacturing, shipping, etc. are all disrupted, which does it make worse.

      But I agree with you. I'm excited because it is a new generation of consoles, but, I know I won't be able to get one for a while unless I am very lucky and even if I did acquire one, I see nothng new and compelling to play on it yet.

    • glenn8878

      In reply to skyczy08:

      It's a good launch for Microsoft. Sold out and it's full of holes.

    • thretosix

      In reply to skyczy08:

      I'm seeing articles with over 50+ games either being added or upgraded for the Series X|S on Day 1. It supports over a thousand games through backwards compatibility. There is also Game Pass. Not sure where you heard there are no games. I'm receiving mine today so there are consoles. You seem to have a pretty extreme take on this.

      • Paul Thurrott

        There are ... games. There are 30 ish optimized games. But there are no new and exclusive games.
      • christianwilson

        In reply to Thretosix:

        I think if you look at it as a traditional launch, then yes, there is not yet a "killer app" that you need the new consoles to play. That feels weird.

        This generation of Xbox tells a different story, though. This isn't a hard cut off from the previous generation to the next. This is the start of a gradual transition into the next generation of games. The AAA X|S exclusive games will come. The early adopters that want the best performance possible will buy into the new hardware as quickly as they can. The back catalog will look even better than ever, GamePass will provide a stream of new games to play. The average consumer will upgrade when they see an absolute must have game that doesn't work on the Xbox One.

        I may have poorly worded my original response to skyczy08. I don't think this is a bad launch. It's just different than what we've seen before.

        • thretosix

          In reply to christianwilson:

          Everyone has different wants and needs. Even the PS5 has 1 exclusive and 1 next gen remake which is nice to have, but not anything to make someone hold off getting a Series X. Most consoles don't even reach their potential until years after launch. Like anything else tech related anyone who gets a new console now are early adopters. There are third party titles and new games being launched early enough in the cycle especially considering the limited availability of the consoles anyways. I've personally pre-ordered Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. I have a gaming PC but it is a couple years old and the Series X will actually play games better than my current PC. I guess it is all perspective. I just find this argument of early exclusives 'for me' isn't a reason to buy one or not. For me I have plenty of games that will be enhanced, features like quick resume, and Game Pass to enjoy on the new system. I see plenty of games, many I have never played now available I can't wait to get my hands on.

    • sammyg

      In reply to skyczy08:

      I had one pre-ordered, got it yesterday and I bought one at Midnight last night (CST) from Target, picked it up today and 9:45am.

      Downloading AC Vahalla right now.

  17. wolters

    Thanks for confirming this. I didn't get a pre-order in time and I've been refreshing Best Buy's site all morning to see when it no longer shows SOLD OUT. I don't NEED this and can wait but disappointing I cannot get one on launch day.

  18. murray judy has instructions for getting a new console. The following made me laugh:

    Haven’t pre-ordered yet? Don’t worry

    • sammyg

      In reply to murray judy:

      I ordered a second console last night, for my son for Xmas. Anyhow I had Best buy, Walmart, Target, GameStop, Amazon, NewEgg and B&H all open.

      Walmart popped up and said today at 12pm EST, closed it. BestBuy crashed before midnight, with an error message, once every 5-8 refreshes brought it back up, I finally did get into BestBuy and got a sold out, worst experience of the bunch. NewEgg, Gamestop and B&H all never changed. They were up but nothing changes.

      Target, 3 min after midnight I got the "Pick it up" button for my local store and was checked out in 30 seconds. Picked it up this morning. Super easy.

    • Paul Thurrott

      That's a typo. It should read, "Worry."
  19. devlife

    @paul the "visit the Xbox website" has a period at the end of the URL and leads to a 404.

  20. geekwithkids

    It's funny I pre-ordered the Series X (well wife did) but it looks like it wont arrive until tomorrow and this bothers me... which is just silly because Its not going to be opened till christmas day.... (Well I might convince my better half to let me opening it up and do some updates before then so it'll be ready to go christmas day.)

  21. jim_butts

    My only complaint about the series X launch is that I'll have to reconfigure my whole setup as I use the xbox 1 video passthru, so I'm in no rush (unlike previous gen) to get one.