Xbox Series X, Xbox Series SSource: Microsoft

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

Xbox Series SSource: Microsoft

Microsoft has confirmed Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders go live on September 22, 2020. The Microsoft Store and numerous third-party retailers aim to open orders on Tuesday, with a simultaneous release across major storefronts expected within each region. It contrasts the PlayStation 5 launch, which rolled out across retailers with staggered availability, making it harder for many to put their name to a console.

Save big on these VPN services ahead of Black Friday

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders go live at 8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET on September 22 at top North American retailers, Microsoft has confirmed. That backs our previous reporting, which saw Target, Best Buy Canada, and GameStop independently announcing the same launch hour. We expect more on release plans over the days ahead, but it's best to keep your calendars free on Tuesday morning.

For other regions, Microsoft has announced Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders adapt around your local time zone, but with the same parallel kick-off between top retail partners. They come several earlier than the U.S. launch, meaning those across the pond will also need to wake up early with credit cards ready. Here's the full per-region breakdown of Xbox Series preorders and their timings.

Region Time Preorders Start
United States 8AM PT / 11AM ET
Canada 8AM PT / 11AM ET
United Kingdom 8AM BST
Europe 9AM CEST
Australia 8AM AEST
New Zealand 8AM NZST
Middle East 9AM CEST
Africa 9AM CEST

Check our full explainer on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders for everything you need to know before placing your order.

Where to buy Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S

Xbox All Access for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series SSource: Microsoft

Microsoft launches Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S across most existing Xbox One markets this November, spanning 36 countries and hundreds of retailers. That's a vast improvement over the Xbox One, which saw just 13 launch regions, handicapping its international reach from day one. The new Xbox lineup now covers all of North America, a sizeable portion of Europe, and some top markets in Asia.

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

Xbox Series X TopSource: Microsoft

With the next Xbox and PlayStation headed to market this November, new advances in console hardware look poised to shake up the gaming scene. Microsoft enters the next generation with two devices, between its Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. While the Xbox Series X promises industry-leading power at $499, the affordable sister console comes in at just $299. The company now attacks the latest titles from both angles, catering to enthusiasts and budget-conscious buyers.

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.

Xbox Series X/S


We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.