An updated Xbox One has been rumored for almost as long as an updated PlayStation 4 so we were definitely expecting to see a 4K-ready Xbox One at Microsoft’s E3 keynote. What we ended up seeing was not one, but TWO new Xbox releases in the next two years. Microsoft revealed a very extensive plan on taking on the console wars and redefining the Xbox from being a great media center to becoming a gaming behemoth.
The Xbox One S, where the S must stand for Small because Microsoft has gone and shaved a big chunk off the design to deliver a very sleek gaming box. Microsoft says it’s 40% smaller than the original Xbox One and it also gets rid of the ugly power supply brick being replaced with just a cable, like the PlayStation 4. The new Xbox comes with a refreshing coat of white paint that Microsoft is calling ‘Robot White’. The highlight of the new system is its compatibility with 4K displays, being able to support 4K Ultra HD including 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray as well as HDR capabilities for gaming and video. One of its USB ports has been moved to the front for easy access along with the controller pairing button and an IR blaster. Kinect users will miss their dedicated Kinect sensor port which now requires a USB adapter. Can’t imagine there are too many Kinect users out there anymore and with Microsoft’s HoloLens, Kinect won’t be much more than a back shelf item.
The Xbox controller sees a slight refresh as well. It’s coated with the Robot White color and has a nice new textured grip at the back that’s supposed to feel better than its predecessor. The controller will also have Bluetooth built in for better range and the ability to be used on Windows PCs.
The Xbox One S will be available in the United States in early August and comes in 3 versions: 2 standard editions with a 500GB and 1TB hard drive and a Limited Edition with a 2TB hard drive. We haven’t heard yet on local availability and pricing but we can be sure Microsoft won’t make us wait too long. The prices start at $299 for 500GB, $349 for the 1TB and $399 for the 2TB.