(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft has officially unveiled the Xbox Series S - a cheaper, companion console to its next-gen flagship, the Xbox Series X.

Hardly a secret thanks to numerous leaks, the Series S is being tagged as "the smallest Xbox ever", yet is similarly next-gen. It seemingly comes without a disc drive, like the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition and rivalling PS5 Digital Edition, and will be priced at £249 ($299 in the US).

It is heavily rumoured that the Xbox Series X will be $499, but that is yet to be formally confirmed.

The announcement was made through the official Xbox Twitter and Instagram accounts, but possibly triggered by extensive leaks last night, which showed the "unique" design and price.

It has prompted online memes suggesting that it looks like a washing machine or loudspeaker. However, when you look at its direct predecessor, the Xbox One S, you can actually see it adopts a similar design trend. The One S also has a grille on the top (shown on the side when vertical), it's just the same colour as the rest of the unit.

We now eagerly await release date and pricing for the larger of the two next-gen machines - PS5 too.

We suspect the beginning of November will be a very interesting time.

Writing by Rik Henderson.