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The Next-Gen Wait Is Finally Over…Almost

After months of waiting on Sony and Microsoft to see who would blink first and finally reveal their next-gen console launch plans and pricing, a late-night leak forced Microsoft’s hand and pushed their reveal plans forward a week.

Hot on the heels of a leak by Brad Sams that detailed the Xbox Series S, the lower-powered option in Microsoft’s next-gen plans, the Xbox Twitter account released the full pricing details for the console. Hitting Canadian shelves at $379, the Series S is a digital-only console – no disk drive included to play physical games.

The Series S is also the smallest console Microsoft has ever built, smaller than even this generation’s Xbox One S model, but it packs a lot of power in a small frame. Games will be rendered on the Series S at 1080p or 1440p, and it’s targeted at people with older TVs or who play on a monitor, though it will also upscale to 4K for those with a 4K TV. Though it targets a lower resolution, it supports all the other next-gen bells and whistles – raytracing, low latency output, up to 120 fps framerates, and faster load times thanks to the built-in SSD.

The following day, Microsoft unloaded the second salvo in what it had planned for a big day of reveals – the Xbox One X pricing and release date for both consoles. The Series S bigger brother will cost gamers $599 Canadian when the two options hit shelves November 10th and will have Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – running at 4K 60 fps – and Gears Tactics among the launch day titles.

They also announced the expansion of Xbox All-Access from a US-only program to one that will run in 12 countries, including Canada. The program allows gamers to pick up a new console on a payment plan much like those used for mobile phones. The two-year plans include the console – gamers can pick either the Series S or the Series X – and two years of Game Pass Ultimate, for a monthly fee for $24.99 USD (approximately $33 Canadian) for the Series S or $34.99 USD (roughly $46 Canadian) for the Series X. It’s unclear what Canadian pricing will wind up being, but the US pricing represents a savings of $20 total over the two-year span. It’s worth noting that Canadians are already getting a currency conversion break on the Series X which should be about $60 more expensive dollar-to-dollar,

Microsoft wasn’t quite done yet, also announcing that EA’s subscription service EA Play – formerly EA Access – would also be getting rolled into Xbox Game Pass at no additional charge. The EA service allows gamers 10 hour demos of new titles, 10% discounts on purchasing games, and an extensive selection of older titles (just shy of 90 at last count) in the EA Vault they can download and play anytime they want.

All in all, it’s a little disappointing that Microsoft couldn’t carry out their plan of revealing this all in one event, but at long last, the wait is over…almost. We still don’t know what Sony’s next-gen plans are, but I’d expect to hear that very, very soon.