Microsoft's E3 announcement points the way to two more Xbox One models, a Slim and a Scorpio
Image/Photo Credit: Microsoft
Microsoft has beaten Sony to the punch and announced not one but two new Xbox One models, including the standard "Slim" second generation iteration, but also a new more powerful version of the console.
Borrowing from Apple's naming scheme, as well as the iterative upgrade cycle of devices like the iPhone, Microsoft's new "Slim" console will simply be known as the Xbox One S. Clad in a white colour scheme, it features a slim body design that's 40% smaller than the current "VCR-like" Xbox One, and will retail for $299 (a 2TB version retailing for $399 will be first available in August). The new console will also support 4K video streaming and Ultra HD Blu-ray support, as well as HDR output for games, and feature an internal power supply to further reduce the console's footprint.
While the announcement of the S was expected, what was more up in the air was whether Microsoft will use E3 to announce the still rumoured, but very likely real souped up version of the Xbox One, codenamed 'Scorpio'. With Sony confirming they won't be confirming the PS4 equivalent of 'Scorpio', the PS4 Neo, at E3, all eyes were on Microsoft to see if they would be the ones to let the cat out of the official bag.
And let the cat out they did. Microsoft, even confirming the 'Scorpio' name, says the new console will offer 4K resolution not just for video but for games too, VR support and it fully expects the Xbox One Scorpio to be the most powerful console on the market when it arrives in stores.
Emphasizing the "No-one gets left behind" philosophy behind he new hardware upgrade model, Microsoft boss Phil Spencer assured existing Xbox One owners that all future games and accessories will remain compatible with their first generation (and second generation, S) consoles.
Spencer also let loose another catch-phrase for the Xbox family, that the near future of Xbox would go "beyond generations". He was referring to the upcoming feature that would allow gamers to buy a game once and get both the Xbox One and PC version of the game, and the increased presence of the Xbox services on iOS and Android devices.
Xbox One Scorpio is set for a late 2017 release, with the retail price so far unconfirmed.