The main downgrade on the tiny new console is the SSD. The Series S has just 512GB of storage, compared with 1TB for the Series X (and 825GB for the PlayStation 5). The Series X will have a custom port that allows for storage expansions and it’s possible the Series S will have this functionality as well, though Microsoft has not confirmed that just yet.
Rumors about an all-digital next-gen Xbox have been swirling for ages, as Microsoft has focused on expanding its online services, encouraging cross-console play, and building out Game Pass, which this year crested 10 million subscribers. Its most inclusive tier, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, costs $15 per month, and includes Xbox Live Gold and instant access to Microsoft’s digital library of more than 100 titles. Microsoft’s mobile game-streaming technology, Project xCloud, will go live for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers on September 15th, making 36 games playable on mobile devices in select countries across North America, Europe and South Korea.
The Series S is a machine built to sell Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions, and Microsoft has been laying that groundwork for years.
There’s still no word on a release date or price point for the Series X, though a report from Windows Central this morning suggested the new console would land on November 10th for $499. Other parts of that report, including details about the Series S, were indeed accurate.