Microsoft has today taken the wraps off its new gaming console called the new Xbox One S. It basically takes the design cues of the original Xbox One, shrinks it down, and gives it a fresh coat of white paint that Microsoft calls “robot white”. The new console is 40 percent smaller than the original Xbox One and also gives you some choice on how to display it, thanks to an optional vertical stand just like we’ve seem with Sony’s PS4.
So what is new in the XBOX One S? First, Microsoft has added support for 4K Ultra HD video support (including 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray) and HDR capabilities for both gaming and video. Which means game makers can now crank up the picture quality to the maximum supported by current TVs. Microsoft has also gone the PS4 route and put one USB port at the front for easy access, along with the controller pairing button, and there’s a new built-in IR blaster. One thing has been removed, however: the Xbox One S doesn’t include a dedicated Kinect sensor port. So those who want to hook up a Kinect for voice controls you’ll need a separate USB adaptor. Xbox head Phil Spencer said at the launch that;
“The Xbox One S for us was a realization that first, we want to make a smaller Xbox, but there was also some capability that we saw growing out in the market around HDR and 4K video. So we said, if we’re going to do an upgrade to our console, let’s go ahead and embrace some of the technologies that are coming and make those part of our core SKU.”
The Xbox One S controller
A Slightly refreshed controller
It’s not just the console that’s been refreshed: the Xbox One S also comes with a slightly upgraded version of the Xbox One controller. It comes in the same white color scheme as the console, as well as new textured grips on the back and the addition of Bluetooth, which both adds more wireless range and means you can use the controller wirelessly with a Windows PC. It’s a small and welcome upgrade.
A special, limited edition launch edition of the Xbox One S will be available in early August with a 2TB hard drive for $399. Two standard versions will be available soon after: a 500GB edition for $299, and 1TB for $349.