E3’s worst-kept secret is official.
Do you have your best shocked face ready? Microsoft just announced a slimmer Xbox One, the Xbox One S. Okay, so the surprise was kinda ruined by a month of leaks, culminating in a picture of the thing finding its way into the wild yesterday morning. But at least now that it’s official, we know exactly why Microsoft thinks you should buy a new Xbox.
The big-ticket item is 4K support. That doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to play games in crazy high-res, but if you have a fancy TV it’ll provide plenty of options to watch content at 4K. In addition to supporting 4K versions of Netflix and Amazon Video content, there’s also 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray support. The new console also supports HDR sets, and Gear of War 4 will be the first to support the wider color range.
The Xbox One, as attractive or unattractive as you think it is, is undoubtedly a large machine, especially compared with its main rival, the PlayStation 4. The Xbox One S is 40-percent smaller and can be safely used vertically with an official stand. Elsewhere there’s an integrated power supply, meaning no more brick, and the option to include a more capacious 2TB hard drive. It’s also mostly white — a colorway Microsoft debuted for the original Xbox One.
Other changes include a USB port in the front for easy access and the dropping of the Kinect port — there’ll be a USB adapter if you want to plug in Microsoft’s unloved camera accessory to the new machine. Oh, and there’s a new controller! It has textured grips, improved range and Bluetooth for easy connection to a PC or laptop without adapters. It’ll be bundled with the new console, but you’ll also be able to buy it separately.
The Xbox One S launches this August. It’ll start at $299 for the 500GB version, a 1TB version will cost $349, the 2TB version (called the “launch edition”) will set you back $399.