Details on Project Scarlett, the code name for Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox, have been around since 2018. Last year, we learned that Project Scarlett may actually be two consoles: Xbox Anaconda, which is now known as the Xbox Series X, and Xbox Lockhart. As of this evening, Lockhart finally has a face. We have our first look at the Xbox Series S.
— Brad Sams (@bdsams) September 8, 2020
Brad Sams published the first look at the Xbox Series S over at Thurrott earlier this evening. What we’ve got appears to be a slide leaked from a future Microsoft presentation. The slide shows the console, which seems pretty compact, next to an Xbox controller and a $299 price point. The naming convention might cause a little confusion, as the Xbox Series S appears to be the successor of the Xbox One S. The consoles are both more affordable, slightly less powerful versions of their generation counterpart.
There are two big things to note here. First, the Xbox Series S is a bit smaller than the Xbox Series X. Another leaked clip, from Twitter user WalkingCat, compares the size of the two boxes.
The size of the Xbox Series S seems to suggest a lack of disc drive (anecdotally, Jez Corden at Windows Central confirmed this in a follow-up tweet). Microsoft was taking this path already, as later versions of the Xbox One S were all-digital and lacked a disc drive. It also matches up with Sony, who announced a digital PlayStation 5 would launch alongside the PlayStation 5.
Second, a $299 price point is low. There is a lot of speculation around the unrevealed price points of both the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5. A Bloomberg report reported that the PlayStation 5 costs around $450 to manufacture. Rumors have put the PS5’s price point anywhere from $400 (the launch price of the PS4) to over $500. A next-gen Xbox console almost $200 under the PlayStation 5 would be a huge boon for Microsoft. The company spent a lot of the Xbox One’s lifespan building back good will after a infamously bad console launch.
We are still missing key details about the Xbox Series S, including full specs and an official launch. Tonight’s leaks support reports of a September showcase for the official unveiling of the Xbox Series S. It is currently unknown when we will receive more official information.