As expected, Microsoft have announced some new hardware additions to the Xbox family during their E3 conference.
Xbox One S
Microsoft kicked off their conference with a bang, announcing a new slimmer version of the Xbox One to rapturous applause from the audience. Called the Xbox One S, new redesign is a "smaller, sleaker, sharper" version of the Xbox One modeled in a new distinctive "robot white" colour.
While the original Xbox One was a bit on the chubby side resembling a cumbersome VCR rather than a sleek current-gen games console, Microsoft has trimmed a significant amount of fat, and the result is an Xbox One that's 40% smaller than the original, making it "the smallest and most compact Xbox ever".
The Xbox One S contains an internal power supply along with 4K Ultra HD BluRay support and 4K content available on Netflix and Amazon Video. The Xbox One S will also support High Dynamic Range (HDR) for video and gaming, allowing for more luminous colours and a higher contrast ratio to make the visuals pop in games like Gears of War 4.
A limited launch edition of Xbox One S with a 2TB hard drive will be available in August for an ERP of £349.
New Xbox Wireless Controller
Included with the Xbox One S is the new redesigned Xbox One controller in matching white with a new textured grip for added comfort. It comes equipped with a bluetooth radio for easier wireless access to your Xbox One or PC, with twice the wireless range on Xbox One S, and a redesigned thumbstick for better grip. The new Xbox One controller will retail for £49.99 ERP in August.
Microsoft concluded their conference with a glimpse to the future by announcing Project Scorpio, the next Xbox console which will be released Christmas 2017. Microsoft say that Project Scorpio will be "the most powerful console ever created." That may sound like a tall claim, but the specs speak for themselves: Project Scorpio will have 6 teraflops of GPU allowing for 4K gaming and virtual reality support.
Microsoft were also keen to stress that no-one will be left out, as Project Scorpio will support all Xbox One games and accessories.
At this point, it's difficult to gauge what stage of development Project Scorpio is at compared to the PS4 4K. Rumour has it that Sony will have a headstart by releasing their new 4K ready PS4 this year, so time will tell if the Project Scorpio can outperform its rival – both in horsepower and sales.
How do you feel about the prospect of a mid cycle console upgrade? Is it too early or a worthy investment to fully realise 4K gaming and VR without compromise?
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