Microsoft announced two consoles today. The XBox One S which I mentioned yesterday and Project Scorpio. The S comes out in early August, but we won’t see Project Scorpio until Holiday 2017.
The XBox One S is exactly what we thought it would be, a smaller console with the ability to handle 4K video (by handle we mean the capability to output it, not play games in 4K), it’s also bringing along HDR support and an IR blaster on the front so you can control things without having a Kinect. The biggest change is that the power brick is now inside the box, no more brick that ways more than your XBox. Unfortunately all of this size meant something had to go, that something was a dedicated Kinect port. Which, for those of us who use Kinect kind of sucks, but Microsoft will be providing free USB adapter cables so you won’t lose the Kinect all together.
The S is brining along a new controller as well, not much has changed there, some tweaks to the feel of the sticks and rubberized back. The biggest addtion will be the ability to create a customized controller in just about any color you could want. So, what does all of this slim XBox goodness cost you ask. I’ll tell you, the first version available will be a 2TB version for $399.99, there’s also a 1TB version for $349.99 and a 500 gig version for $299.99.
Project Scorpio sounds amazing. Microsoft is billing it as the fastest console ever. They’ve gone to developers and asked them what they want from a console and they’ve tried to deliver. All they really gave us was hard technical numbers, 8 processing cores, 6 teraflops graphics performance, and 320GB/s memory bandwidth. Basically, incredibly powerful, for the technically minded Anandtech has a great article explaining what it all really means. The bottom line is it will be amazingly fast and capable of true 4K gaming and solid VR performance (probably with Oculus as a partner based the John Carmack appearance on stage at the keynote.