In terms of releasing consoles, Microsoft has E3 all to itself. The company announced the Xbox One S at its press event yesterday and now the console is available for pre-order from the Microsoft Store and Amazon.
The launch of the Xbox One S guarantees that Microsoft is the only company with a new console for consumers to consider, at least until the Holiday Season. Sony will likely unveil its super-console PS4 NEO by then and it will be a different matter, but for now Microsoft can push its new product as the newest console on the market.
If you are interested in the Xbox One S, then you can hit up Amazon and the Microsoft Store for different versions of the console. However, it is worth noting that no release date has been offered yet, although August seems the most likely launch cycle for the console.
Microsoft is offering the 2TB version of the One S on its website, at a cost of $399.00, while Amazon has made the 1TB version available on pre-order for $349.00. There is a standard version with 500GB of storage, this will cost $299.99.
While it is hard to imagine that the Xbox One S will have a lasting effect on increasing Xbox One sales to compete with the PS4, it does represent a compelling gaming option. For a start, it is not a massive black slab like the original Xbox One, it is 40% smaller and it the tiniest gaming machine Microsoft has ever crafted.
Luckily the small size does not take away the power. The slick design houses the same performance we are used to from the massive normal Xbox One, while some new features include a new redesigned controller, an IR blaster, and support for 4K displays and will support 4K television content. It is worth noting that this is not a 4K gaming machine.
Not to worry though, because Microsoft used its E3 event to confirm the existence of the Xbox One Project Scorpio, a console we have discussed in-depth. Scorpio is a super console, not a new generation, but not an Xbox One .5 either. Instead it will play 4K games and feature a core of eight central processing units, and a six teraflop graphics processor.
Sony will beat Microsoft to the 4K gaming punch with the launch of the PS4 NEO this year, with Scorpio penciled for a release for “Holiday 2017”. That at least gives the Xbox One S time to breathe and it feels like its own console and not a stop gap until Scorpio lands.
E3 also have Microsoft the chance to elaborate on its Universal Windows Platform (UWP), where the company announced a player can buy one copy of a game and play it on Xbox and Windows 10 PC. The first title to get this cross-platform treatment was Gears of War 4, which was also unveiled at the E3 press conference.
So which console will you get? Are you happy with the Xbox One, or do you want the Xbox One S? Possibly you will wait it out until Scorpio drops next year. Either way, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said all games will be compatible across all versions of the Xbox One family.