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Microsoft announces Xbox One S console

Microsoft announces Xbox One S console


On Monday during its E3 press conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft announced a redesigned, smaller version of its Xbox One console that will go by the name Xbox One S. The refreshed console is 40 percent smaller than the original and features a much-needed Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive, support for 4K (3840x2160p) video output over HDMI 2.0b and support for High Dynamic Range (HDR).


The updated console features the same performance specifications as the original Xbox One from November 2013, only this time with a refeshed AMD APU at a smaller design node, HDMI 2.0a output with 4K (3840x2160p) HDR support, an infrared (IR) baster, an internal power supply, redesigned wireless controllers with Bluetooth support – and most importantly, the inclusion of an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive.

Microsoft’s current Xbox One is powered by an eight-core 1.75GHz AMD Jaguar APU (two quad-core modules) with 8 GB of DDR3 RAM and 68.3 GB/s of memory bandwidth. We expect Microsoft will still use an AMD APU for its refreshed console, perhaps a Bristol Ridge part, but this has yet to be confirmed. In May 2016, the company lowered the price of its Xbox One 500GB unit to $299 and 1TB bundles to $319, paving way for a few Xbox One S SKUs at a $50 lower introductory price point.

Xbox One (outside) versus Xbox One S (inside) – 40 percent smaller footprint

One of Microsoft’s first steps to achieving a smaller physical footprint was by removing the bulky 9.3-inch power brick and replacing it with smaller internal power circuitry. The new base model will get a 500GB hard drive, the same as the original Xbox One, but will increase maximum storage capacity from 1TB to 2TB on higher-priced SKUs. The base 500GB model will sell for $299 / £249 pounds / €299 euros, the 1TB model will sell for $349 / £299 pounds / €349 euros, and the 2TB model will be a limited edition SKU available in select markets for $399 / £349 pounds / €399 euros.

Ultra HD Blu-ray drive in 2016 is a smart move
The inclusion of an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive is actually a strategic decision which we are glad to see Microsoft has implemented in a minor hardware refresh. While the company is preparing to launch a significantly overhauled, 6-teraflop, VR-ready Xbox at the end of 2017 codenamed “Project Scorpio,” it was important at this point for a market leader to introduce the Ultra Blu-ray disc format at the lowest possible price point. Curently, Samsung, Panasonic and Philips are the only three manufacturers with Ultra HD Blu-ray players (Sony has proposed one), but they are all upwards of $399. Meanwhile, not a single original design manufacturer (ODM) has released an Ultra HD Blu-ray ROM drive for PC (we contacted Sony on the matter, and they have declined to comment for now).

Microsoft has a great opportunity on its hands to show some leadership in the Ultra HD Blu-ray market in the same way Sony introduced the original Blu-ray disc format at the lowest introductory price with the PlayStation 3 in 2006.


New Xbox Wireless Controller and controller “Design Lab”
In addition to the new 40 percent smaller console, Microsoft is also launching a redesigned controller with a textured grip and a steamlined white design. The new controller will be available in August for $59.99 / £49.99 pounds / €59.99 euros.


Microsoft is also opening up an online Xbox Controller “design lab” where users can select from a variety of 8 million color variations to customize the controller body, D-pad, thumbsticks, button layout and other features. The Xbox Design Lab is open for orders now in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico for $79.99, while laser engraving is also available for an additional $9.99.

The Xbox One S 2TB Launch Edition is currently available for pre-order on the Microsoft Store website for $399 with a launch scheduled for August 31st. The company claims the 500GB and 1TB models will arrive soon after, probably a few weeks after the first 2TB units have shipped.


Source: Fudzilla.

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