Microsoft will soon open preorders for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, its next-generation console duo, on track for release this November. They’ve been a long time coming, shrouded in secrecy for months, and marking the next milestone leap in speed and performance. But with demand high and stock more restricted than ever, both upcoming consoles look to be hard finds headed into the holidays. Preorders for the new Xbox family are your only guarantee to receive either from launch, and you’ll need to jump on them fast.
With Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders going live soon, we’ve wrapped up all the latest on preorder dates and timings, so far.
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S preorder date and start time
The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorder start time in the U.S. is yet to be confirmed, although Microsoft promises to lock down release times shortly. The company stated it would “let you know the exact time pre-orders start for you soon” in a recent tweet, suggesting a unified launch within each region, but staggered based on local time zones. It leaves us waiting for more official details, but we do have some indication of when those preorders may hit online stores.
Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders appear set for 8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET on September 22 at most North American retailers. Best Buy Canada confirmed plans to open preorders at 8 a.m. PT in a recent blog post, while Target noted the same time on its Xbox Series X listing. Prominent gaming deals Twitter user, Wario64, also claims the same timings at GameStop in the U.S. However, with each retailer controlling its own preorder processes, timings may vary. We expect more on release plans over the days ahead, but it’s best to keep your calendars free on Tuesday morning.
For UK buyers, Microsoft has already announced Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S drop at 8 a.m. BST in the UK, with a parallel kick-off between top retail partners. It comes 8 hours earlier than the U.S. launch, meaning those across the pond will also need to wake up early with credit cards ready.
Where to buy Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S
The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will be available directly from Microsoft and via select third-party retailers. Most major retailers will take preorders for the upcoming consoles, although available stock will vary between websites or physical locations. However, physical Microsoft Store locations won’t accept preorders, following the recent decision to shutter brick and mortar presence. For more on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders at your preferred local retailer, reach out directly.
For those considering Xbox All Access, the official financing program for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, Microsoft has partnered with many retailers. In the U.S., that includes the Microsoft Store, alongside Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Walmart. It also extends the option to 11 other countries for launch, with a full list of local retailers available in our complete guide to Xbox All Access.
What you need to know about Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S
The Xbox Series X serves as Microsoft’s next-generation star, stowing flagship hardware to deliver the platform’s best. It targets 4K resolution, with several titles already hitting 120 frames-per-second (FPS), thanks to system-wide advancements. That includes the latest CPU and GPU architectures from AMD, a new custom solid-state drive (SSD) for storage, and removing other bottlenecks from the past generation.
Xbox Series S packs many of the same improvements, but scaling back the hardware to reach a lower starting price. The console features a near-identical CPU, the same SSD technology in a smaller capacity, and compatibility with all Xbox Series X games. The cost-saving comes from a slower GPU, with performance maxing out at 1440p at 120 FPS, geared toward lower-resolution displays. It’s also a digital-only console, removing the optical drive if you’ve dropped the spinning discs.
While our Xbox Series X versus Xbox Series S breakdown provides a deep dive, the choice primarily comes down to what you expect from your next-generation console. If you want the best possible graphics at 4K resolution, the Xbox Series X looks to deliver unmatched value, as the most powerful console in terms of raw specifications. But the Xbox Series S packs much of the same, ideal when searching for a more affordable alternative that’s guaranteed to play the newest games for years to come.
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