Microsoft shakes up Xbox lineup with new all-digital consoles

Microsoft has invigorated the Xbox Series X|S console family, unveiling new models targeted at a wider range of gamers during the Xbox Games Showcase 2024. This announcement comes at a crucial time for the gaming industry, which is facing a downturn with publishers grappling with softer sales.

“Xbox is passionate about building a community of gaming that connects players all over the world across a wide variety of games and devices. This includes giving players more ways to join console gaming with Xbox as the best way to enjoy the diverse experiences crafted by game creators. This holiday, three new Xbox Series X|S console options will join our current lineup, featuring the same speed and performance with more design, storage, and price options to fit your needs,” Roanne Sones, Head of Xbox Devices, wrote in a blog post on the matter.

The most significant addition is the all-digital Xbox Series X. This disc-less variant sheds the traditional disc drive but retains the same potent performance as the original model. Clad in a sleek white finish that matches the existing Xbox Series S, this console caters to gamers who primarily rely on digital downloads for their gaming library. The 1TB SSD offers ample storage space for downloaded titles, and the $449.99 price tag positions it as a compelling value option for budget-conscious gamers.

For gamers seeking a premium console experience, Microsoft introduces the Xbox Series X – 2TB Galaxy Black Special Edition. This limited-edition offering boasts a unique aesthetic, featuring a captivating black design embellished with a shimmering green and grey pattern inspired by constellations. Beyond aesthetics, this special edition console boasts double the storage capacity of the standard model (2TB). This caters to gamers who amass extensive digital libraries or require additional space for high-resolution game assets. The package also includes a matching controller, further enhancing the premium experience. However, this exclusivity comes at a cost, with a price tag of $599.99.

Similarly, the popular Xbox Series S is also receiving a cosmetic refresh. A 1TB white version of the console will be available for $349.99, offering an alternative to the existing black model. This caters to gamers who prefer a white aesthetic for their entertainment setup and allows for a more cohesive look within a white-themed gaming environment. The addition of the white variant broadens the appeal of the Xbox Series S, potentially attracting a wider audience seeking an affordable, stylish entry point into next-generation gaming.

While the focus of the showcase was on the immediate future, Microsoft President Sarah Bond also hinted at the company’s commitment to the next generation of Xbox consoles. She emphasized that Microsoft is “hard at work on the next generation.” All three new consoles – the all-digital Xbox Series X, the Xbox Series X – 2TB Galaxy Black Special Edition, and the white Xbox Series S – are expected to launch during the holiday season of 2024. However, the launch will be limited to select markets initially. Specific details on pre-order availability and regional pricing will be announced by Microsoft in the coming months.

The Xbox Games Showcase wasn’t just about hardware. Microsoft also unveiled a slate of exciting new game titles. Gamers can look forward to the highly anticipated sequel “Gears of War: E-Day,” marking a significant return to the beloved franchise. The classic “Fable” franchise also received a reboot announcement, generating excitement among fans of the role-playing genre. Additionally, the prequel to the popular shooter “Doom: The Dark Ages” was revealed, offering a glimpse into the franchise’s lore and gameplay.