Microsoft's affordable Xbox Series S draws new players to Xbox ecosystem
Microsoft taps a new demographic with its $300 console and Xbox Game Pass subscription.
What you need to know
- Microsoft has announced new details around its Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launches, stating it saw "more new consoles sold than any prior generation."
- The company suggested its more affordable Xbox Series S drew an influx of new players previously not invested in the Xbox ecosystem, although failed to provide sale figures.
- It also stated its Xbox Game Pass subscription service saw a 70% attachment rate through the launch window.
Microsoft launched its Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles last Tuesday, its duo of next-generation home consoles, establishing foundations for the next decade of its video game platform. The two-pronged approach pitched two devices targeting distinctly different audiences, between its $500 flagship geared towards enthusiasts and an affordable system available for $300. The company has now expanded on those initial launch metrics, stressing high demand for its latest hardware this holiday.
Microsoft states Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S represented its best console launch to date, with "more new consoles sold than any prior generation," in its first 24 hours on the market. The news also bodes well for its budget-friendly Xbox Series S, with the device pushing the "highest percentage of new players for any Xbox console at launch."
Xbox Series X allocations significantly overshadowed Xbox Series S, according to our sources, but its smaller console appears to be a hit with new users entering the Xbox ecosystem. The company still refuses to share hard numbers — its latest console sales figures were reported in its FY15 Q4 earnings — but suggests its lower upfront cost will draw new players to the platform. It also stated that Xbox Game Pass has seen a 70% attach rate on the new consoles, aiming to provide a library of titles while reducing initial costs to the consumer.
In recent years, Microsoft has steadily expanded its Xbox gaming platform, branching its once console-centric ecosystem to new platforms like PC and mobile. The latest investments in its cloud streaming architecture, Project xCloud, aim to reduce friction for new users, eliminating the need to own dedicated hardware. And as noted in our Xbox Series S review, we expect its affordable next-generation console to fulfill a similar role, with high interest among casual users and families on a budget.
But with new Xbox consoles hard to find and demand further accelerated by current world events, it reassures that more consoles will continue hit retailers. "We know that not everyone was able to get an Xbox Series X|S immediately and are working tirelessly with our partners around the world to bring as many new consoles to as many of you as possible over time," said CVP, Gaming Experiences & Platforms at Microsoft, Liz Hamren, in a blog post.
You can check the latest on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S stock here for your chance to pick up either of the newest Xbox consoles.
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Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.