Microsoft opened the ball of next-gen consoles by releasing its Xbox Series a few days before the arrival of the PlayStation 5.
At the time of writing, it remains however complicated to obtain the new machines designed by the firm. of Redmond, the fault of particularly strong demand and a slowed supply chain during the health crisis. It’s time to take stock of Xbox Series availability, pricing, and services in these troubled times.
Are Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S Really Available?
It was not until September 9, 2020 to know Xbox Series X | S official release date.
They arrived in our stores on November 10, 2020 for a worldwide release. This means that the new Xboxes were available two days before the PlayStation 5 models in the US, and nine days before in Europe.
This end of the year, the number of consoles sold will be dictated by supply rather than demand (…) We need more machines. (…) It’s so hard to get your hands on a console right now, you know, I’m so sorry.
We’ve been making them for almost two months now and are doing our best to ship as many as possible to stores, but the demand is so high … Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft.
Yes, it is proving difficult to find new Microsoft machines in our stores. First of all, the second lockdown makes it harder to make game consoles available to potential buyers. We recall that Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the closure “non-essential departments of large surfaces“.
Several stores have nevertheless developed withdrawal systems intended for those who have already reserved their console. Then, on the Internet, it is also not easy to get your hands on the Xbox Series. As of this writing. lines, the main merchant sites such as Amazon, Ebay, or even others are out of stock.
Only the Xbox Series S seems to come back more regularly in the list of new available items.
Xbox Series X | S: what is the price?
In the past, Microsoft has accustomed us to releasing its consoles at 299 dollars (Xbox 360 Core System), 399 dollars (Xbox 360 Premium), 479 dollars (Xbox Original) or 499 dollars (Xbox One and Xbox One X). But until now, the American giant has never risked going beyond the symbolic bar of 500 dollars .
It is certain that a machine incorporating an AMD Zen 2 processor, a graphics card allowing ray tracing, GDDR6 and an SSD suggests a fairly high price. Many observers have imagined a price ranging between 500 and 600 dollars .
The suspense ended on September 9, 2020, when Microsoft officially announced that the Xbox Series X will cost $ 499.99, and the Xbox Series S $ 299.99..
The S Series’ price makes it an entry-level console for the next-gen. It is rather accessible because the console has revised its technical characteristics downwards compared to those of the Series X and the PlayStation 5, in addition to being deprived of an optical drive. Out of stock requires, some sellers do not hesitate to increase prices: on eBay, the Xbox Series X can be bought between 600 and 700 dollars .
The Redmond firm has also formalized the arrival of Xbox All Access. In principle, it is possible to get an Xbox Series X, as well as two years of Game Pass Ultimate.
Be careful, however, has announced that it has to postpone the operation because of the health situation. For its part, system authorizing Xbox All Access from November 10, for those who have already reserved one of the two consoles. The conditions can be found here.
How much do accessories cost for Xbox Series X | S?
An additional Xbox Series controller costs $ 59.99, but the Xbox One pads are compatible. The Play & Charge USB-C kit can be found at 22.99 dollars . A 1TB NVME SSD card costs a whopping $ 269.99. Sure Twitter Aaron Greenberg (Xbox Marketing Manager) explained that other cards designed by other brands would arrive later. We hope to see more affordable prices in the future.
Is the launch a success?
Releasing a game console during the coronavirus period has not helped manufacturers to set a price, and therefore to officially launch reservations. Sony and Microsoft alike have waited a long time to draw. The Redmond firm launched its reservations quite late compared to what was orchestrated with the Xbox One, since it was possible to reserve a One from June 2013 on Amazon, for a console release in November. of the same year (in the United States, in the United Kingdom, and in several European countries).
Xbox Series pre-orders began September 22, 2020. They arrived 5 days after PlayStation 5 pre-orders.
Microsoft posted a message on the Xbox official Twitter account to inform that demand for the Xbox Series X | S had reached a “record”. The announcement of the takeover of ZeniMax / Bethesda the day before the opening of pre-orders has surely given a boost to reservations. In the lines of Famitsu, Phil Spencer congratulated himself the good start of pre-orders in Japan. Today, we know that the Xbox Series has sold 21,000 copies in the land of the rising sun, which is far from a bad score for Microsoft. Regarding the rest of the world, the Redmond firm still does not give precise figures but is pleased “best launch in Xbox historyVGC revealed that 155,000 Xbox Series were sold in the UK on the launch day of the two consoles, representing all of the available stock.
The different services: All Access, Game Pass, xCloud …
- Xbox Game Pass (Console or PC) : Xbox Game Pass is a service that provides access to more than a hundred games (regularly updated) on your Xbox or on your PC, against a subscription whose price varies depending on the medium. The Game Pass Console or PC is worth 10 euros per month. Despite what is officially announced, it is currently more than 230 games that are playable on the Game Pass Console, and more than 190 games on the PC Game Pass, as you can see by going to this address. Important note, an Xbox Live Gold subscription is required to play online (7 euros per month). Finally, it should be noted that the Bethesda games will be part of the Game Pass / Game Pass Ultimate, Microsoft having bought the publisher on September 21, 2020.
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate : Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes Xbox Game Pass Console (€ 10 / month), Xbox Game Pass PC (€ 10 / month) and Xbox Live Gold (€ 7 / month) at a preferential rate of € 13 per month. It therefore allows access to more than 200 games included in the subscription and to play them online with friends. Please note that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes xCloud at no additional cost. Microsoft announced on September 9, 2020 that EA Play is coming to Game Pass Ultimate, again at no additional cost. This means that more than fifty titles designed by Electronic Arts join the Microsoft service, and that it will be possible to play for ten hours the new features of the publisher (such as FIFA 21 or Madden NFL 21) before you can buy them.
Game Pass or Game Pass Ultimate subscribers receive discounts (up to 20%) on certain games in the library, if they decide to purchase them rather than receiving them through the service.