Sat. Oct 1st, 2022
Promotional image of video game console.
enlarge The Series S is nearly 60 percent smaller than the Series X, Microsoft says.

Microsoft

Sony made its PlayStation 5 available for pre-order last week. It didn’t exactly go smoothly.

It’s Microsoft’s turn on Tuesday. After nearly a year of construction, the tech giant is poised to make its new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles available to the public, but unlike the PS5these pre-orders are set to go live at a specific, predetermined time.

As a service to those interested in the new machines, and to help them beat the inevitable shopping rush, we’ve rounded up all the Xbox Series X and S pre-order lists we could find in one place, just like we did with the PS5 last week.

Since Microsoft’s next-gen plan is a little less straightforward than Sony’s, we’ve also broken down the differences between the two consoles, what launch games and accessories to expect, what’s going on with Xbox Game Pass and Xbox. All Access, and other tidbits to help with your decision. Whether you’d get a new console at all is another question, but whether you’re on the fence or already convinced by Microsoft’s pitch, feel free to bookmark this page and use it as a shopping resource.

Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation through affiliate programs for sales of links on this post.

How much do the new Xbox consoles cost?

The Xbox Series X costs $499. The Xbox Series S costs $299. Both devices will hit shelves on November 10.

Where to pre-order Xbox Series X and Series S

Contrary to Sony’s chaotic PS5 rollout, Microsoft has confirmed the exact date and time the new Xbox consoles will be available for pre-order: Tuesday, September 22 at 8am PT/11am ET.

We can’t promise that every retailer will adhere to Microsoft’s guidelines exactly, but at that point the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S should be available for pre-order at the following online retailers:

We’ll update this list as more ads go live.

As we saw at the launch of the PlayStation 5, new games consoles are generally in high demand, and we don’t know exactly how many consoles will be available, so we can’t say how long the new Xboxes will be in stock once they become available. become. If you real eager to grab a new device, it’s probably best to be logged in and ready to refresh the links above once the pre-orders open.

Where to pre-order Xbox Series X and Series S accessories

Microsoft's New Xbox Wireless Controller for Xbox Series X and Series S.
enlarge Microsoft’s New Xbox Wireless Controller for Xbox Series X and Series S.

Microsoft

If you’ve invested in controllers, headsets or other accessories for the Xbox One, there’s good news: Microsoft says any officially licensed Xbox One accessory that connects to the console wired or wirelessly via USB will work with the Series X or Series S. Headsets that connect through a 3.5mm port will also still work fine. The only issues can arise with headsets that connect via an optical cable, as neither Xbox series console has an optical audio port.

However, Microsoft has announced a number of first-party accessories that will launch alongside the new consoles. One is a new Xbox wireless controller. It’s very similar to the Xbox One gamepad, but with a more rounded d-pad, textured triggers and bumpers, a new “Share” button similar to what Sony has offered on its PlayStation 4 controller, an included USB-C three-meter cable for wired play and Bluetooth for wireless play. It’s available in black, white, or a new blue-and-white “Shock Blue” finish and starts at $60. If you need a spare, it’s currently listed here:

However, the new pad still uses AA batteries. If that annoys you, Microsoft sells a $25 “rechargeable battery” that comes with a USB-C cable. That’s available here:

What is Xbox All Access?

Xbox All Access is worth considering if you want a new Xbox but don't want to pay full price upfront, provided it's available in your country.
enlarge Xbox All Access is worth considering if you want a new Xbox but don’t want to pay full price upfront, provided it’s available in your country.

Xbox All Access is a two-year subscription that allows you to pay in monthly installments for a new Xbox console and the Game Pass Ultimate service from Microsoft. Think of it like the plans that phone companies offer for smartphones and mobile services: instead of paying high fees up front, you can spread the payment over time.

We recently did the math on Xbox All Access and thought it was a great deal, as long as you’re already planning to pay for 24 months of Game Pass Ultimate. (Scroll down to learn more.) Microsoft charges $25 a month for the Series S and $35 a month for the Series X. Over the two-year plan, that adds up to a total of $600 for the first and $840. for the last.

Since Game Pass Ultimate typically costs $15 per month, that means All Access subscribers can theoretical save money over time: $60 for the Series S and $19 for the Series X. So if you don’t think it’s wise to drop $300 or $500 right away, don’t.

That said, there are a few caveats. assuming you to do If you want Game Pass Ultimate for two uninterrupted years, discounts on the service aren’t exactly uncommon. All Access itself is financed through an external company. And not every retailer offers the plan in the first place; in the US, it will be available at GameStop (Series X and Series S), Walmart, Best Buy (Series X and Series S), and Microsoft’s own online store (Series X and Series S). But if you’re willing to trade up-front costs to be locked into a plan, it’s not a rough deal.

By akfire1

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