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June 17, 2021
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The compact Xbox Series S launches Nov 10 with promises of 'next-gen performance'

September 8, 2020 | By Chris Kerr

The long-rumored Xbox Series S has been officially unveiled by Microsoft. A number of leaks had all but confirmed the existence of the slimline console, which promises to deliver "next-gen performance in the smallest Xbox ever."

The all-digital unit will likely be a cheaper alternative to the flagship Xbox Series X, and will retail for $299 when it eventually hits shelves. Although Microsoft hasn't shared any concrete tech specs, a leaked advertisement indicates the Series S will support 120fps at 1440p, DirectX raytracing, variable rate shading, 4K upscaling, and 4K media playback. 

It will also apparently pack a custom 512GB SSD, and will seemingly come bundled with an Xbox gamepad that looks strikingly similar to the one that was spotted in the wild earlier this year. The console itself looks to be a lot thinner than the brick-like Xbox Series X, and sports a circular vent on its side as well as a rectangular vent on top. 

That compact design and (relative) low cost of the Series S makes it a perfect vehicle for Xbox Game Pass subscribers and more casual players who might not want to go all-in on an expensive next-gen upgrade. 

(Update 12:45 ET: Xbox has officially unveiled more details about the Xbox Series S, including the announcement of a November 10 launch. So far, that date is only confirmed for the Series S while price and launch plans for its more powerful sibling remain unknown.

The rest of the World Premier Reveal Trailer now embedded above still shies away from Series S technical specifics but lists a Custom NVME SSD powered by Xbox Velocity Architecture, "incredibly fast load times", and frame rates up to 120 FPS as key features for the entry-level console. In the trailer Xbox reaffirms the console's promise of "next-gen performance" and angles the all-digital device as system built to complement its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription service.)

A recent Windows Central report suggests the Xbox Series X will retail for $499 when it launches in November, and if that rumor proves accurate the Series S will be a good value proposition for consumers with a more conservative budget.

Of course, it's worth taking these rumblings with a pinch of salt until we hear more from Microsoft, but with that November launch window fast approaching, we'd expect the company to share more details sooner rather than later.

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