Xbox Series X Pre-Order Guide: Retailer Sign-Ups, Release Date, And More


Since the reveal of Xbox Series X at The Game Awards 2019, Microsoft has slowly revealed more and more information about its next-gen Xbox console. Not only have we seen what the Xbox Series X and its controller look like; we've also learned details about the console's specs and how the Xbox Series X will handle backward-compatibility. The Xbox Series X launches later this year, and while it's not available to pre-order yet, you can sign-up for notifications from a number of different retailers. Here's what we know about Xbox Series X's release date, price, and more.

When will Xbox Series X be available to pre-order?

While we don't have an exact pre-order date for Xbox Series X, several retailers--including Best Buy, Target, and GameStop--are now letting people sign up to be notified when the Xbox Series X becomes available for pre-order. (You can also sign up for PS5 pre-order notifications.) We would have expected pre-orders to go live around E3 2020 in June; however, the event has since been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, Microsoft has confirmed it's having its own Xbox digital event in place of an E3 conference, so it's more than likely Xbox Series X pre-orders will go live around that time.

With the state of the world, it's hard to be certain about anything at this moment, and the Xbox Series X pre-order date could come later than expected because of stock restrictions or other concerns. Either way, you can still sign-up below to be notified as soon as Xbox Series X goes up for pre-order.

Xbox Series X release date

Thankfully, we do know the Xbox Series X is releasing later this year: Holiday 2020, to be exact. While the current pandemic has raised some questions about production and delays, Microsoft hasn't announced anything in that vein. Xbox head Phil Spencer recently spoke to IGN about a "plan B" if the pandemic forces them to stagger the Xbox Series X's launch. Spencer believes it's important to have a simultaneous worldwide launch for the Xbox Series X, especially in the age of social media, as the Xbox One's staggered launch only hurt the console.

How much will the Xbox Series X cost?

We don't yet know the price for Xbox Series X. While the console was revealed months ago, Microsoft is holding off on revealing a price and opening pre-orders until customers know what they're paying for, the company told GameSpot. "We think, in the end, what people want from us is ... to put a controller [in their] hand," said Xbox partner director of program management Jason Ronald in a December 2019 interview. "People tell me, 'Hey, I want to pre-order right now,' and we definitely love that--like it's great to have those fans--but I also know that these investments aren't trivial for families. I want to be transparent about what our design goals are."

With E3 canceled, there's no telling when the first public demo of Xbox Series X might be, but it's clear the company plans to show the full range of Xbox Series X's capabilities before announcing a price. Xbox head Phil Spencer has said the company learned a hard lesson from the Xbox One generation about being more expensive and less powerful at the beginning. "We will not be out of position on power or price," he told The Verge, referring to Xbox Series X.

What we do know about the Xbox Series X

Following the Xbox One X, Microsoft is poised to once again have the most powerful console on the market. Its GPU has 12 teraflops of power, which is about 1 teraflop more than what Nvidia's RTX 2080 Super is capable of. The Xbox Series X is capable of displaying true 4K, performing up to 120 frames per second, and storing games on its 1TB custom SSD. The Xbox Series X will make use of propriety expandable storage cards to extend the amount of SSD space the console has. It's unclear if Microsoft will be the only company producing the special expandable storage (it's currently working with Seagate to produce the cards).

The SSD storage will be required for Xbox Series X-only games, though you'll still be able to use your Xbox One's external hard drives. These external hard drives can be used to store and play backward-compatible games from the Xbox One X, Xbox One S, Xbox 360, and original Xbox. You can also store Series X games on these external hard drives and then transfer them to Series X storage to be played. Speaking of, every game playable on an Xbox One is also playable on the Xbox Series X. Microsoft also said that there won't be any Xbox Series X-exclusives for the first year or two; Xbox One owners will also be able to play Microsoft's new games for the next couple years.

The Xbox Series X and its controller

As for the Xbox Series X controller, Phil Spencer said Microsoft didn't feel like it needed to start from "square one" with a new controller.

"We think we have a good controller in the market today," Spencer told GameSpot. "But there were certain things that we've learned through doing the Elite controller and just listening to fans. One of them is on the D-pad. We have a new hybrid D-pad that we've been working on and think is important."

The controller also adds a Share button and keeps the rumble triggers and haptic feedback. It's powered by two AA batteries as opposed to an internal battery that might lose performance and die over time. And you don't have to own an Xbox Series X to use the new controller: It's backward-compatible with the Xbox One. All Xbox One controllers, including both Elite controllers, are also compatible with the Xbox Series X. Be sure to check out our guide to the best Xbox One controllers that will be compatible with Xbox Series X.
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