Sony made its PlayStation 5 available to preorder last week. It didn’t exactly go smoothly.
On Tuesday, it’s Microsoft’s turn. After almost a year of buildup, the tech giant is ready to make its new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles available to the public—but unlike with the PS5, these preorders are set to go live at a specific, predetermined time.
As a service for those interested in the new machines, and to help them beat the inevitable shopping rush, we’ve compiled all the Xbox Series X and S preorder listings we could find in one place, just like we did with the PS5 last week.
Since Microsoft’s next-gen plan is a little less straightforward than Sony’s, we’ve also broken down the differences between the two consoles, what launch games and accessories to expect, what’s up with Xbox Game Pass and Xbox All Access, and other tidbits to help aid your decision. If you should get a new console at all is still another question, but whether you’re on the fence or already swayed by Microsoft’s pitch, feel free to bookmark this page and use it as a shopping resource.
Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.
How much do the new Xbox consoles cost?
The Xbox Series X costs $499. The Xbox Series S costs $299. Both devices will hit store shelves on November 10.
Where to preorder the Xbox Series X and Series S
In contrast to Sony’s chaotic PS5 rollout, Microsoft has confirmed the exact date and time its new Xbox consoles will be available to preorder: Tuesday, September 22, at 8am PT/11am ET.
We can’t promise that every retailer will adhere to Microsoft’s guidance exactly, but at that time the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S should be available to preorder at the following online stores:
We’ll update this list as more listings go live.
As we saw with the PlayStation 5’s launch, new game consoles tend to be extremely in demand, and we don’t know exactly how many consoles will be available, so we can’t say how long the new Xboxes will be in stock once they become available. If you’re really eager to grab a new device, it’s probably best to be signed in and ready to refresh those links above once preorders open up.
Where to preorder Xbox Series X and Series S accessories
If you’ve invested in controllers, headsets, or other accessories for the Xbox One, good news: Microsoft says any officially licensed Xbox One accessory that connects to the console wired or wirelessly via USB will work with the Series X or Series S. Headsets that connect over a 3.5mm port will still work fine as well. The only issues may arise with headsets that connect over an optical cable, since neither Xbox Series console has an optical audio port.
Microsoft has announced a couple of first-party accessories that will launch alongside the new consoles, though. One is a new Xbox Wireless Controller. It’s highly similar to the Xbox One’s gamepad but with a more circular d-pad, textured triggers and bumpers, a new “Share” button akin to what Sony has offered on its PlayStation 4 controller, an included nine-foot USB-C cable for playing wired, and Bluetooth for playing wirelessly. It’ll be available in black, white, or a new blue-and-white “Shock Blue” finish and start at $60. If you need a spare, here’s where it’s currently listed:
The new pad still uses AA batteries, though. If that irks you, Microsoft is selling a $25 “Rechargeable Battery,” which comes with a USB-C cable. That’s available here:
What is Xbox All Access?
Xbox All Access is a two-year subscription plan that lets you pay for a new Xbox console and Microsoft’s Game Pass Ultimate service in monthly installments. Think of it like the plans phone carriers offer for smartphones and cell service: instead of fronting a high cost upfront, you can spread the payment out over time.
We recently did the math on Xbox All Access and found it to be a good deal—as long as you already plan to pay for 24 months of Game Pass Ultimate. (Scroll down for more on that.) Microsoft is charging $25 a month for the Series S and $35 a month for the Series X. Over the course of the two-year plan, that comes out to a total of $600 for the former and $840 for the latter.
Given that Game Pass Ultimate typically costs $15 a month, this means that All Access subscribers can theoretically save money over time: $60 for the Series S, and $19 for the Series X. So if you don’t think it’s wise to drop $300 or $500 right away, you don’t have to.
That said, there are a couple caveats. Assuming you do want Game Pass Ultimate continuously for two years, discounts on the service are not exactly uncommon. All Access itself is financed through an external company. And not every retailer offers the plan in the first place; in the US, it’ll be available at GameStop (Series X and Series S), Walmart, Best Buy (Series X and Series S), and Microsoft’s own online store (Series X and Series S). But if you’re willing to trade upfront cost for being locked into a plan, this isn’t a raw deal.