If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
Getting a preorder now ensures you’ll receive the new system the day it’s released without having to go to a store, and can begin playing as soon as possible. We’ve put together his FAQ to explain everything you need to know about Microsoft’s new consoles, including when and where you can preorder the hardware, which games will be available, and any extra hardware you may need to make the most out of these new systems.
Stock will be pretty limited, but Microsoft may make more consoles available for preorder closer to the system’s launch. Still, the best chance you have to play the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X on release day is preordering them right now.
When Will The New Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X Be Available For Preorder?
Preorders for the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X will go live at 11 a.m. ET, (10 a.m. CT, 9 a.m. MT, 8 a.m. PT) on Tuesday, September 22. The consoles will be officially released on November 10.
Where Will I Be Able To Get The New Consoles?
The Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X will be available for preorder at a bunch of retailers. You can find the appropriate links to each one below.
Xbox Series S: Microsoft.com, Walmart, GameStop, Best Buy, Target
How Much Do The Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X Cost?
The Xbox Series X will be available for $499.99, and the Xbox Series S will be available for $299.99. Microsoft is also offering a payment plan that breaks the price of the console into 24 payments, and comes with a subscription to Xbox Game Pass, a Netflix-like service that gives you unlimited access to a library of over 100 games.
The payment plan is available at Microsoft’s website and costs $34.99 per month for the Xbox Series X and $24.99 for the Xbox Series S. This payment plan is a no-interest loan, so you have to be approved by Citizen One (the bank Microsoft has partnered with for this program), and must make the payment every single month or risk paying interest.
What Are The Differences Between The Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X?
The Xbox Series S is a lower powered console designed to play games in 1440P (better than HD, but not quite 4K) at up to 120fps. It’s most powerful than any current-generation video game console, but won’t offer the same level of performance as the Xbox One X or PlayStation 5. This system comes with a 512GB (gigabyte) SSD and no disc drive, so you’ll have to download all of your games digitally. Despite its budget-friendly price, the Xbox Series S will deliver excellent performance whether you’re playing on a 1080P or 4K TV.
The Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s most powerful video game console to date. It’s designed to play games in 4K at up to 120fps (frames per second), and will offer better graphics than both the Xbox Series S and Sony’s PlayStation 5. It comes with a 1TB (terrabyte) SSD (Solid State Drive) for digital game storage, and a Blu Ray drive to play physical discs. This flexibility and the additional space make the Xbox Series X a premium gaming device, and the right choice if you have a nice 4K TV, and want to see video games at their absolute best.
What Games Can The Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X Play?
Both the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X are backwards compatible with all Xbox One titles. If you’re upgrading from the previous-generation system, all of your games will be available for download immediately. The consoles will also be able to play older titles from the Xbox 360 (2005) and original Xbox (2001) that Microsoft has updated to work with the new system. Many of these older titles have been “enhanced,” to look better on high resolution TVs, so you’ll actually get a better experience than when you played them new.
Microsoft has announced that Fortnite, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Watch Dogs Legion, NBA 2K21, FIFA 21, Marvel’s Avengers, Yakuza: Like A Dragon, Dirt 5, Gears 5 (Enhanced Version), Tetris Effect, and, Gears Tactics will all launch along the new systems when they’re released on November 10. Other titles, including the next version of Halo will be available next year.
If you want to have a lot of games to play on day one, your best bet is subscribing to Xbox Game Pass, which will give you instant access to over 100 Xbox One titles (some enhanced to play better on the Xbox Series S or Series X). Games designed specifically with the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X in mind will be added shortly, and Microsoft has announced titles from EA and Bethesda (two of the biggest game developers) will be available as part of Xbox Game Pass.
Do I Need Any Special Hardware To Use The Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X
The Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X don’t need any special hardware to be played, but there are a few optional accessories that will make your experience even better.
The most important accessory is a 4K TV that supports HDR (high dynamic range), which will make colors and shadows look a lot more realistic, and a high refresh rate, which will make games look really smooth. The Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X can both take advantage of these two technologies, and you’ll notice a big difference if your older set doesn’t have these features. We recommend TCL’s 6-Series TV, which is available in both 55-inch and 65-inch sizes and has both tech features.
While both systems have a decent amount of storage, modern digital games take up a lot of space, so their internal SSDs will fill up fast. You can connect an external SSD to either system to add more storage. You don’t have to open up your system to perform this upgrade, just plug an SSD into one of its USB ports. We recommend SanDisk’s Extreme Pro Portable SSD, which comes in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB sizes, and has a very fast read and write speed.
Finally, both the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X support Dolby Atmos, the next generation of surround sound, so you’ll want an audio system that can keep up. If you don’t have a lot of space, we recommend Samsung’s HW-Q70 sound bar. The 3.1 audio system has speakers pointed toward you and above you, so you’ll be able to hear your games in 3D space. This sound bar can only simulate Dolby Atmos, but it’ll get you a pretty good experience compared to traditional surround sound. If you have enough space for a home theater system, and want the real deal, we recommend a set of Klipsch’s Dolby Atmos speakers and this receiver from Denon.