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Xbox Series S release date, price and specs - What we know so far

After months of rumors and speculation, Microsoft finally revealed the smaller, more budget-friendly cousin of the Xbox Series X: the Xbox Series S. Xbox fans had long wondered what it would look like (and if it even existed). It turns out the Series S is very real.

The Xbox Series S announcement comes with various pertinent questions. Will it release alongside the Xbox Series X, or will Microsoft stagger the launch? How much will you save by purchasing the Series S instead of the Series X? What hardware did Microsoft sacrifice to make the Series S smaller and more affordable? Will the Series S still feel like a next-gen upgrade?

Here's what Microsoft has established about the Xbox Series S so far.

When will the Xbox Series S release?

For quite a while, Microsoft kept the Xbox Series X's release date under wraps with just a generic "Holiday 2020" label. With the Xbox Series S announcement, the company revealed the official launch date of both upcoming consoles.

The end of the Xbox Series S World Premiere Reveal Trailer is punctuated with the words "November 10." But what about the Series X? On Sept 9, Microsoft confirmed both consoles will release on that date, just in time for gamers to line up in stores before the Black Friday rush.

Meanwhile, the launch date of Xbox Series X and S rival PlayStation 5 remains a mystery. While rumors suggest a potential Nov. 13 launch, this is nothing but speculation, albeit speculation that could be confirmed or denied in the coming days thanks to an impending announcement.

How much will the Xbox Series S cost?

The Series S will sit at $299, while the Series X will sell for $499. Microsoft disclosed the Xbox Series S price before it announced the Series X price, even though the latter console was announced first. On Sept. 8, the company proudly declared the Series S cost, which is the same as an Xbox One S bundle, but didn't reveal the Series X price until Sept. 9.

On Sept. 7, Forbes posted an article with leaked Xbox Series X and Series S prices. The article claimed the Xbox Series S would cost $300 and the Series X would cost a slightly more expensive $500. Forbes' predictions were on the money. Meanwhile, rumor has it the PlayStation 5 will cost approximately $500, with the PS5 Digital Edition clocking in around $350. If true, the $299 price tag for the Series S will make it the cheaper — and potentially more popular — option for holiday shoppers.

What are the specs for the Xbox Series S?

The main selling points of the Xbox Series S include its $299 price and point and more compact design. Microsoft says the console is "nearly 60% smaller than Xbox Series X." However, minimizing the form factor usually comes with a cost, such as weaker hardware or worse cooling.

The Xbox Series S will ship with a similar Zen 2 CPU to the Series X. However, the Series S GPU will only clock in around four teraflops as opposed to the Series X's 12.15. Regardless, both consoles are capable of rendering ray traced graphics. Moreover, the Series S will have 10GB of RAM — whereas the Series X will include 16GB of RAM — and the Series S will be all-digital to boot, so no disc drive. Both the Series S and Series X will ship with an SSD, but the Series X will sport 1TB of storage, whereas the Series S will only fit 512GB. At least both consoles will include a 1TB expansion card port.

Microsoft has also stated that the Xbox Series X is aimed at gamers who own expensive, top-of-the-line 4K screens, while the Series S will cater to audiences who have 1440p televisions.