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By Rich Woods
New Xbox Series S orders might arrive after the holidays
by Rich Woods
Microsoft released its Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles on November 10, and as you probably already know, they've been super-hard to get. Pre-orders came and went quickly, and while the new consoles do show up at online retailers occasionally, you have to jump on them quickly before they're sold out again.
On Microsoft's own website, the Xbox Series S is currently in stock, but there's also some bad news. The company has added a note to the listing to say that the new gaming console won't ship until the end of December. The Xbox Series X listing just points to other retailers, which are all sold out.
It would seem that Microsoft is just going a different route than other retailers, simply pushing back shipping time based on availability. What other retailers are doing, and what Microsoft usually does, is simply say that something is sold out until there are more available.
But the bad news is that if you want the next-gen console, you might not get it in time for the holidays if you order from Microsoft. As always, if you're trying to get your hands on these hot items, you're best off keeping an eye on all retailers.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft says the Series X|S was the most successful Xbox launch ever
by Rich Woods
Today, Microsoft announced that its Xbox Series X|S launch this week was its most successful Xbox launch ever, providing very few specifics. For example, the company confirmed that it sold more units than it has in any previous launch. Naturally, it did not say how many were sold, nor how many were sold in previous launches.
The Redmond firm also said that the Xbox Series S added the highest percentage of new players out of any of Microsoft's consoles at the time of launch. Note that this doesn't say the most new players, but rather the biggest percentage of new players. Again though, it doesn't say how many new players there are, or even what the percentage is. Presumably, Microsoft just did the math on how many consoles were linked to an Xbox Live account that had never been linked to a console before.
Out of both of the consoles that launched, the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S (there's no actual brand to identify the new generation), 70% of the new devices are using Xbox Game Pass, and Microsoft said that this includes new and existing subscribers. Again, there are no other specifics here.
The one specific that Microsoft actually gave was that 3,594 games were played, which is more than played at any previous Xbox launch. This is possible because this is the first Xbox console to be completely backward compatible with the one that came before it. Other than games that require a Kinect, you can play anything that was supported on the Xbox One, including thousands of Xbox One games, hundreds of Xbox 360 games, and dozens of Xbox games.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft's next-generation Xbox consoles are available today
by Rich Woods
Microsoft's next-generation Xbox consoles, the Series X and the Series S, are finally available today. If you pre-ordered them, they should be arriving at your doorstep any minute now. Unfortunately, if you missed out on pre-orders, you're going to have a tough time finding one in stores. Your best bet is probably to keep checking online retailers.
The Xbox Series X was first teased in June 2019 as Project Scarlett, and the Xbox Series X branding showed up that December. Over the next year, the specs were detailed, such as a 12TFLOP GPU and a custom AMD Zen 2 octa-core CPU. Also, for the first time, it comes with an SSD, and all of that combines for much faster load times, and new features like Quick Resume, which lets you pick up a game right where you left off, instantly.
The Xbox Series X is the successor to the Xbox One X, offering 4K resolution, high frame rates, and beautiful HDR, but the Xbox Series S is the successor to the Xbox One S. It has a 4TFLOP GPU, and supports up to 1440p gaming. The Series S isn't just lesser though, because it's also smaller than the Xbox Series X, not having as much of a footprint on your living room setup.
Another key feature of the new Xbox generation - which doesn't actually have a name so for now, it's being called Xbox Series X|S - is caled Smart Delivery. Microsoft is dedicated to the idea that you shouldn't have to abandon all of your games in order to move to the new generation, so if there's an Xbox Series X|S version of a game you own, you'll automatically get it.
If you want to check out the Xbox Series X|S, you can try the following retailers. The Xbox Series S is $299 and the Series X is $499.
Microsoft Store Amazon Best Buy GameStop Xbox Series S Link Link Link Link Xbox Series X Link Link Link Link
Make sure to check out our Xbox Series X review before you buy.
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By Rich Woods
5 things you need to know about the Xbox Series X|S
by Rich Woods
After well over a year of anticipation, Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are launching today. Naturally, we've already reviewed the more powerful Xbox Series X, but in case you don't want to read through the whole thing, we've put together a roundup of the top five things you should know about the Xbox Series X|S.
1. The experience is the same
Probably the biggest thing to know is that the experience is completely the same. The Xbox Series X|S has the same Windows 10-based software that you'll find on the Xbox One, so if you're upgrading from the previous generation, there's nothing new to get used to. The Dashboard has been revamped recently, but that's for both generations.
The games are the same too. They're faster and with better graphics, even if developers haven't optimized them, but the Xbox Series X|S can play every game that was playable for the Xbox One family, unless it requires a Kinect. That includes thousands of Xbox One games, hundreds of Xbox 360 games, and dozens of original Xbox games.
It's almost like when the Xbox One X came out, with existing games getting enhanced. The difference now is that game developers can actually charge for the enhancements if they like, or sell a game that only works for the new generation.
2. The controller is finally modernized
With the new console comes a new controller, and while it doesn't come with any crazy design changes, there are a few key ones. For example, it finally has a USB Type-C port. This probably doesn't sound significant to most, since most people probably just use the controller wirelessly and use disposable battery, but it's also a big deal for some.
If you use a wired connection at times, it can be really annoying these days to go and find a micro-USB cable. I think that a lot of us definitely have more USB Type-C cables around in 2020. Previously, you needed to spend a couple hundred dollars on an Elite Controller to get USB Type-C connectivity.
The new controller has some other perks as well. It has a new D-pad that's more similar to the Elite Controller, textured triggers, and a Share button. It's definitely a solid improvement. Sadly, the Xbox Design Lab isn't open for the new controllers just yet.
3. There's no Kinect support
Microsoft made some missteps with its Kinect camera, one of them being that it was mandatory with the original Xbox One. The bundle would run you $499, and it upset gamers that they couldn't purchase the console without the Kinect. Eventually, the two items were sold separately, with an Xbox One coming in at $399. Then came the Xbox One S, which removed the Kinect port, and Microsoft even gave out free adapters. Kinect production ended in 2017, and the new generation doesn't support it at all.
It's a shame too, because it wasn't just about games that would map your motion. It could do other things. It gave you voice control over your console, so you could just walk into a room and say "Xbox on", and your console and TV would turn on. Sadly, Microsoft never solved this by adding microphones to the console.
4. There's no HDMI in port
Another key feature of the Xbox One was HDMI pass-through, and it was pretty great. It had an HDMI in port, so you could plug your cable box into it, letting you watch TV through your Xbox. This was another thing that worked great with the Kinect, because you'd be able to use a voice command like "Xbox, watch NBC", and it would tune into NBC.
Just like Kinect support, the HDMI in port is gone too. If you want to watch TV through your Xbox, you'll need to use an app that can do it.
5. The Xbox Series X is big
Definitely something you need to know before you buy is that the Xbox Series X is big, whether you stand it up or put it on its side. I ended up putting it on its side because standing up, it's just too big. But that's where the Xbox Series S comes in. The Series S doesn't have 4K gaming support, but it's much more compact.
This is something that you're going to put in your living room, so you'll want to make a plan for it. The Xbox Series X is 151x151x301mm, so there's no way that it's flat in any way.
Those are my five things that you should know before buying the new Xbox consoles. If you've got anything to add, let us know in the comments!
Microsoft publishes known issues for Xbox Series X|S
by João Carrasqueira
Microsoft's next-generation consoles, the Xbox Series X|S, are set to launch tomorrow, November 10. As we lead up to the launch, Microsoft has revealed a list of bugs and issues you might run into on your new consoles when you get them in your home.
Perhaps the most notable issue is that you may experience corrupted images or no signal on your TV if you set the console to 4K resolution at 120 frames per second with variable refresh rate enabled. This can happen even if your TV supports this input, and the issue affects TVs from LG, Samsung, and Vizio. Updating the firmware on your TV might help, but you may have to settle for a lesser image mode if it doesn't. Here are the potential workarounds described by Microsoft:
This might be a bit of a bummer if you're buying the console because of these new graphics capabilities, but for most people, it's unlikely you'll have a TV that supports this kind of video output right now. Microsoft also notes that HDR game captures may look too dark when recorded on the new consoles, but a fix is in the works.
Another big new feature of Xbox Series X|S is Quick Resume, which lets multiple games be suspended in the background and resume instantly when you want to go back to them. This feature also has issues with "a select number" of games, so it may not work perfectly right now, but Microsoft is working on a fix on the platform level.
There are other issues, too. First off, the EA Play app is not available for Xbox Series X|S yet, so you won't be able to use it. Your subscription will still work, however, and you can download free trials or games included in the subscription from the Microsoft Store.
If you're more into media consumption, the BBC iPlayer app is also not available as of yet, though Microsoft announced last week that all media apps available on Xbox One would also work on the new consoles. Microsoft says it's working with its partners to add support for the new consoles to BBC iPlayer. Additionally, the PeacockTV app may display "occasional pixelated frames", but otherwise it should work as intended. A fix is also being worked on for this.
Finally, you may see a black screen when trying to play a DVD or Blu-ray movie on the new consoles, but this should be fixed by removing the disc, restarting the console, and inserting the disc again.
While some of these issues may be somewhat disappointing to see, they shouldn't detract from an otherwise solid evolution of the Xbox experience, which our own Rich Woods noted in his review of the Xbox Series X.