Microsoft confirmed the impending release of the Xbox One Slim, or “S,” at its Xbox E3 2016 briefing on Monday. The announcement comes just one day after word of the new model was leaked on the NeoGAF gamer community forums.
The original Xbox One is a black brick large enough to be reminiscent of old school Betamax video players, attached to another, smaller black brick that’s used as the system’s power supply. The Xbox One Slim is 40 percent smaller than the original console, and it has an internal power supply (i.e. no secondary brick). It also comes in white.
You will need a special adapter to connect a Kinect camera to the Xbox One S due to the removal of the dedicated Kinect port. The move marks Microsoft’s strongest admission yet that the gamer crowd has little interest in using the Kinect motion-sensing camera for gaming. Additionally, the Xbox One Slim will also offer bluetooth support to connect the console to Windows 10 devices.
In terms of video capabilities, the Xbox One S will offer 4k ultra HD video and Blu-ray support, and also support high dynamic range (HDR) rendering that will provide sharper levels of detail in games running on the system. Microsoft specified the use of the Xbox One Slim during stage demos of games at the Xbox briefing, implying that the Slim model contains superior hardware to its predecessor. (after all, you want to show your best stuff at E3, right?)
The console is designed to stand vertically as well as horizontally, more in line with the design of the Xbox 360 than the original design for the Xbox One. The Xbox One S will also be packaged with a streamlined new wireless Xbox One controller that features textured grips and increased range.
The Xbox One Slim will ship with three different hard drive sizes. A 2TB launch edition will go on sale in early August for $399. 1TB and 500GB versions will be offered later for $349 and $299 respectively.