Microsoft (MSFT  ) has revealed a "slimmed down" version of its next-generation Xbox, which is roughly half of the price of its flagship Xbox Series X unit. Microsoft has also revealed the prices of its next-generation consoles, which has prompted Sony (SNE  ) to drop the price of its PlayStation 5 to compete.

Microsoft's Wednesday announcement dropped the release date for its next-generation Xbox console, with a separate announcement revealing a "slimmed down" version of the console for roughly half the price. The Xbox Series X, the flagship console for the upcoming generation at Microsoft, is priced at $499, while the newly revealed Xbox Series S is priced at $299.

The Xbox Series S is a "slimmer" unit lacking several features found on the full Series X to compensate for its lower price. According to a comparison on Microsoft's announcement, the Series S has downgraded hardware, such as a smaller CPU and GPU. The Series S will also come with less storage and will lack a Blu-Ray drive, requiring all games to be digitally purchased. Microsoft has stated that the Series S will still perform far better than the Xbox One, but at a lower resolution than the Series X.

To sweeten the deal, Microsoft also released a third announcement that unveiled a partnership with publishing giant Electronic Arts (EA  ). The partnership will allow Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers access to EA Play, a similar subscription-based gaming service with access to over 60 major EA published titles. Like games available on Game Pass, EA Play games will be accessible on Xbox Series X, S, and One consoles, as well as Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft's latest partnership is only the latest move by the tech giant to give it an edge over competitor Sony; it was announced back in July that Microsoft would offer a bundle including Game Pass access, as well as access to xCloud, Microsoft's cloud-based game streaming service.

Following Microsoft's lead, Sony announced that the PlayStation 5 will cost $499.99 and launch on November 12. Sony is also offer a $399.99 Digital Edition of its console, pulling the two rival consoles into a new consumer choice battle.