Microsoft originally planned to release the Xbox Series X in August, according to a report from reliable tech blog Thurrot (via GameSpot). The Xbox Series S, a disc-less version of the next-gen console, would have followed in mid-October. Thurrot said in its report that “clearly plans have been adjusted since the conception of the hardware.” It’s unclear how early on Microsoft decided to push back the release of the Xbox Series X.
Depending on when exactly the company shifted the release date, this may explain why Microsoft unveiled the Xbox Series X so much earlier than the PlayStation 5. The company gave fans a first look at its next-gen console at last year’s Game Awards, a little over six months before Sony lifted the curtain on its own machine in June. Based on Thurrot’s report, it’s possible that Microsoft was ahead of schedule in the console war and meant to beat Sony to market with the Xbox Series X.
Publicly, Microsoft has kept the Xbox Series X release date close to the chest, maintaining that the console is coming in Holiday 2020 without committing to a specific date. Earlier this year, Microsoft briefly teased a “Thanskgiving 2020” release date on the Xbox Series X’s official website before switching it back to Holiday 2020.
There’s no indication that Microsoft is preparing to announce the launch date (or price) of its new console during a scheduled digital event in July when the company will talk more about the first-party exclusives coming to the Xbox Series X. Among the games to be featured is Halo Infinite, one of the console’s launch titles and, to many, the flagship title of this next era of Xbox. This is the first time an Xbox console will launch with a Halo game since the original Xbox.
Thurrot’s story comes on the heels of a report from Eurogamer claiming that Microsoft is set to unveil the Xbox Series S, also known under the codename “Lockhart,” in August. Thurrot corroborates Eurogamer’s story, saying that, while “the announcement timeline for Lockhart has been far more fluid than we have seen in previous years, fans should expect the reveal “sooner, rather than later.”
The outlet also speculated about the design of the Xbox Series S and how it might not just be “a smaller cube.” In fact, the disc-less console might not even be the same shape as its big brother.
Thurrot explains, “One thing that Microsoft mandates is when they let employees/third-parties travel with the hardware, they ask them to disguise the product. This is a standard practice in the industry but for the [Xbox Series X], Microsoft recommended employees put the hardware in a PC tower, subwoofer, or something else that is quite large. For [Xbox Series S], Microsoft has said that the hardware should be disguised by using [Xbox One] or [Xbox One X] covers which means the device is not the same shape as the Series X.”
One big difference between the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S, according to Thurrot, is the resolution you can expect from each console. The blog reports that the Xbox Series X will be optimized for 4K resolution while the Xbox Series X will only reach 1080p. This is, of course, all hearsay until Microsoft makes an official announcement.
We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.