Welcome to August! It’s going to be an exciting one for tech. Not just because we’re five days away from the next Samsung Unpacked, but also because we’re expecting Microsoft to break its silence about the Xbox Series X pricing and availability.
But could Microsoft have another reveal planned for this month? An enigmatic tweet from The Verge’s Tom Warren has got people speculating:
there's more than 1 piece of Microsoft hardware rumored for AugustJuly 31, 2020
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Starting with the latter, if Microsoft really is going to formally unveil the Xbox Series X this month, then it would certainly make sense to fill punters in on the rumored cheaper next generation hardware at the same time.
The Xbox Series S, for those that don’t know, is likely to be an entry-level version of the Series X targeting 1080p gaming, rather than 4K. It’s also likely to be all digital, so Microsoft can recoup some of the costs of selling hardware on the cheap by being the only vendor for software and blocking out the pre-owned market.
With a rumored four teraflops of power, it’s supposedly some way behind the Series X’s 12 teraflops (and even the Xbox One X’s six), but at least one industry veteran believes that’ll be plenty, and to my mind there’s a chance it’ll ultimately end up replacing the old Xbox One.
But there’s also a very good reason that Microsoft may decide to hold off unveiling the Xbox Series S this month: cannibalization. The company wants as many people as possible to buy the more expensive Xbox Series X, and giving people cheaper hardware — especially when economists believe we’re months away from a full-blown recession — feels like a surefire way of undermining your main product. For that reason, it’s possible that Microsoft may hold the Xbox Series S back until excitable early adopters have already got their hands on the Series X.
That could mean that Warren is referring to the Surface Duo: Microsoft’s first smartphone since the Lumia 650 in 2016. Originally scheduled for “Holiday 2020”, we’ve already heard that Microsoft plans to move the phone’s release forward in a bid to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, and the tweet could simply be confirmation of that rumor.
Of course, the tweet doesn’t specify a number of reveals – just “more than one”, so it’s possible we’ll be treated to release dates and pricing info for the Xbox Series X, Series S and Surface Duo. If so, August could be a very memorable month indeed...