Opinion: With a £250/$299 Console Microsoft may have turned the tide

Earlier today Microsoft’s previously extensively rumoured console the Series S was both confirmed to exist and priced, and the reaction seems to be incredibly favourable.

It seems safe to say that the Series S is cheaper than most expected (certainly here in the UK) and while Microsoft still are to confirm full details, it would appear that they have hit the magic formula:

Cheap enough, good enough and well supported enough.

The reaction to the console is making me wonder if the Series S will be Microsoft’s main console for a couple of years. While their much talked about shift to Gamepass and an end to generations has been extensively covered, I think that this price unveil has significantly shifted perception. As I type “Gamepass” is trending on Twitter - not Series S or Xbox, Gamepass.

Gamepass being a strong value proposition has never been in any doubt, but for those who are looking at premium experiences provided by the more expensive consoles due to hit the market this winter, I am still unconvinced that it will turn heads. For those who are more price sensitive, Microsoft may have hit the magic formula. Currently, months before it’s successor launches, the Xbox One X is priced higher than the price that will be charged for Series S. That is quite significant, a more powerful system for a lower price than a previous gen console in the same eco system.

This feels like something Microsoft should revel in and could exploit to great effect.

I even wonder if they should have pushed the Series S as their main platform and then unveiled the Series X later on (not that they’ve really shown much of substance for this system) when they have a more convincing premium experience for those who are a little less price sensitive.

If rumours that Microsoft are bolstering Gamepass further to attempt to cover the gap left by Halo’s no-show this launch are correct and the addition is significant, then Series S could move from No-brainer to essential for anyone who plays games casually or anyone who is yet to be seduced by 4k / can’t see the difference.

At this point, I think Microsoft could put the Series S on the market today and expect to sell significant numbers on the strength of existing and coming experiences - at half the expected cost of the “full fat” systems (and less than half the footprint too) this thing is almost certainly a hit, IMO.

Looking forward to seeing how the journey to November and beyond play out.


Where is the poll I can show my opinion?

No poll here, friend.

As Ive said many times hardware sales are going to be very close. I would not be surprised if Microsoft “wins” the generation.

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At $299, MS has justified the XSS’s existance.

Plain and simple.


I would say their price/value/power combination along with their best in industry services is a very convincing proposition.


Such a cheap machine with an attractive service like Game Pass opens up possibilities for people who aren’t looking at shelling out 600 or something to get a new hardware and games with it. It really is a world of difference for some people.


It will be interesting. It’s a deceptive cost for sure, but many consumers don’t really do research. No hardware-assisted features including software based ray-tracing (Direct X), a tiny SSD which means that you will be purchasing an expansion almost immediately. Seriously, if the expansion is anywhere north of $150 only an idiot would buy this when the Series X offers a three fold experience at only $200 more. But it’s meant to be a cheap alternative

I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole after the 1S … except as a media player. Oh wait, it doesn’t even have a Blu Ray drive. I’m just glad the X is there to meet my needs

I expect it to sell well though

Both 4 consoles are not out yet, how can they possibly turn any tide? We always only look into the vocal minority. We never saw numbers of the actual majority crowd how they think about their purchase. (at least I did not have this kind of info). If anyone has, please share!

The ssd size is slightly deceptive. Games on the next gen of consoles will benefit from a couple of space saving features. Firstly, current games are optimised for mechanical hard drive limitations. To reduce seek time data is duplicated so that the read head of the hard drive doesn’t have to travel so far to get to the data. This won’t be necessary on the newer drives.

Next, the games will compress and unpack incredibly quickly on the new hardware, meaning that game data can be stored compressed, saving space again.

Specific to the Series S, which will not play games at 4k, lower resolution textures will be stored rather than the high res ones on the Series X.

These things mean that you’ll get more games on the drive than you might expect and also that you might not get as many extra games installed on series X as you might think.

I believe you can still play X1 and older games from a USB drive as you can now. I think you can store SeriesX/S games on it too. It’s only the new games that need to be run on the new style drive.


MS were smart to start with their high end console. It appeals to the more “hardcore” gamers that watch events like the VGAs. It also helps them gain some mindshare by pushing the power angle. Granted they mostly wasted that with their last two shows but it was good for them while it lasted.

The people who don’t follow gaming news or will pick up a next gen console with less research will be the market to benefit most by the Series S. It’ll be the main seller, much like the standard PS4 and X1S sold more than the upgrade twins but there is still plenty need for the Series X.

Nah. They might have an edge in the USA and UK but they have little to no hope in selling more consoles through Eastern Europe and especially Japan.

It would take a MASSIVE shift for MS to win the generation. It would be fine to be more competitive, so that less games skip the platform. Hopefully the S can do “something” in Japan so more Japanese games are available. Size matters in Japan

Again, if they drop the MP paywall, they will have created a perfect entry point for your F2P gamers. Rake in that MTX money.


xCloud is very, very small :wink: That is the japanese “console”.


Agree that Microsoft moving to “win” the generation is incredibly unlikely (though I don’t believe they care about that, they’re both profitable and viable) but as for fewer games skipping the platform, barely any do and even fewer that would have appeal in western.(xbox) markets.

I don’t think Microsoft are going to change their fortunes in Japan, but for continuing to put their system out over there I guess they deserve some respect!

I thought they might do that, but now they have confirmed they’re not going to I assume it’s part of a strategy. To a certain extent I would expect most people to end up on Gamepass and keeping the gold sub paywall just makes Gamepass Ultimate seem more of a good deal.

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Its a good move but you still need to show stuff to generate the excitement - need to see games running on Series X and S - please just show them.

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It’s marketing now. The XSS+Gamepass is a killer but people can’t buy it if they don’t know it exists. They need to market this better than a Sony first party game.

I trust the hardware marketing team. XSX and now XSS presentation were both amazing.

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Xcloud. I don’t think people are seeing the big picture, still. The Series S will sell gangbusters. The Series X will see great sales as well. But for those who aren’t looking to buy consoles, mobile gaming will be a thing this gen. Microsoft has their bases fully covered.


Series S was always the most overlooked, under-estimated aspect of next gen. Packaged with Game Pass and an ever-improving Game Pass lineup, this thing is far more than a dark horse. Now just drop the paywall on free to play games, package Fall Guys and 3 months of Game Pass with it and sell it for $249 next Black Friday when Halo Infinite is also available on Game Pass.

Always said that the pricing would indicate how serious Microsoft still was about consoles. Apparently they’re still serious about it. No need to take a loss otherwise.