After months of waiting for any major announcements regarding the next-generation game system, Microsoft once again takes the first step ahead of Sony. Shortly after it officially announced the existence of the long-speculated Project Lockhart console, which turned out to the Xbox Series S, it followed with another for the Xbox Series X. Now, the gaming industry knows the roadmap and pricing for both systems. Sony, on the other hand, might have just lost its momentum once more.

The aggressive pricing of the Xbox Series S at $299 has definitely shocked consumers, who expected it to cost around $399 or more. However, unlike the performance of the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition – which should be on par with one another -- Microsoft's budget-friendly model is less powerful. However, what makes it an attractive option is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, which provides access to a library of free games and the Project xCloud cloud streaming service.

Preorders for the $499 Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S begins on Tuesday, Sept. 22, and will ship on Nov 10. This seems to line up with what previous leaks indicated about the possible release window and pricing. It was likewise confirmed that both platforms will be available through Microsoft's Xbox All Access programme. Additionally, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members get to enjoy EA Play as a free add-on, notes The Verge.

Meanwhile, given its apparent lack of first-party titles upon release, Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed Valhalla" has been moved to launch alongside the game systems. As for the PS5 Digital Edition, Sony might not be able to match the $299 price point of the Xbox Series S. Still, fans are reportedly getting frustrated over the lack of communication from the manufacturer.

Xbox Series X user interface gets preview
Those who have signed up as Xbox Insiders can enjoy an early access preview of the new UX on their Xbox One, Xbox One X, and Xbox One S. Photo: Microsoft

Earlier, there were rumours that Sony might have a surprise planned for this week. Unfortunately, the sudden reveal of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S might have prompted it to rethink its strategy. In fact, box arts for upcoming PS5 games, "Sackboy: A Big Adventure," "Gran Turismo 7," and "Demon's Souls" among others supposedly cropped up on Amazon Australia's pages. This might have been scheduled ahead to coincide with a major announcement, but was changed at the last minute.