Today at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft has lifted the lid on their new Xbox One console design. The Xbox One is part of the eighth generation of consoles, and was originally released in November 2013. The new Xbox One S is assumed to have similar hardware inside, however the design is taking up 40% less volume. Typically when a device changes in volume this much, as with previous generations that have launched slimmer designs, inside there will be a processor on a smaller process node and optimized for power for the same performance. This allows a smaller more efficient design, and in this case Microsoft has integrated the power supply into the console, negating the need for a large power brick.

Other highlights for the launch include HDR and 4K output support, although it is unspecified if this is through HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort. The main thing here is for streaming video from services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu rather than running games at 4K. Theoretically it also means that the video outputs can offer enough bandwidth for some of the virtual reality headsets on the market/coming to market. The new Xbox One S will support HDR as well, suggesting that it must also support HDMI 2.0a or DisplayPort 1.4. HDMI 2.0a is more likely, as DisplayPort which isn't part of the original Xbox design and would suggest that the SoC has been adjusted to support it. Though for consistency we would assume that the core GPU architecture is the same, and is more likely to be HDMI 2.0a. As mentioned by nathanddrews in the comments, HDMI 2.0a can't support 10-bit 4:4:4 chroma like DisplayPort 1.4, which is what we would expect on a PC-like interface, but it it does do 10-bit in 4:2:0 chroma, which is what we would expect for games and film.

The controller for the Xbox One is also new, featuring a redesigned textured grip on the rear and what looks like at an attempt to improve the ergonomics. The Xbox One Elite Controller was released a while back at $150, but the new controller is designed to mimic the one originally released with the Xbox One. The new controller will be available for worldwide purchase for $60, and now supports Bluetooth for connection to PCs so that USB dongles are not needed. The controllers should still use WiFi Microsoft's proprietary wireless communication technology to Xbox One as standard, as these controllers need to work with the original Xbox One consoles. 

The Xbox One S can support up to 2 TB of a hard disk drive, suggesting that in the console space having more capacity (for games as well as downloaded shows) is more important than solid state storage. There will be 500GB and 1TB editions as the main set, with 2TB being a special launch edition.

At $299, the One S comes in at the same price as the original Xbox One 500GB console with a one-game bundle when we compare prices on Amazon. In fact, checking the press release shows that $299 is the 500GB edition of the One S, a 1TB model at $349, and the 2TB Special Edition will be available in certain markets at $399 starting from early August. Additionally, the official Xbox One Vertical Stand will be on sale for $20.

When it was first launched, the expected lifetime of a the console generation was around five to seven years, which means that we currently sit in the middle of that timeframe, and if a manufacturer was going to offer an updated model, this would be it. Updating a console design mid-generation is nothing new, we’ve seen it as far back as the original Playstation, however this generation has an additional issue: with everyone talking about VR, no-one is confident that the current generation of consoles is up to the task. So it will be interesting to see how the new Xbox One S will play in this space, now that the video output is up to the task.

Gallery: Xbox One S

Source: Microsoft at E3


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  • BlueScreenJunky - Monday, June 13, 2016 - link

    Yeah well, of course the Xbox Scorpio was announced while I was typing that...
  • djsvetljo - Monday, June 13, 2016 - link

    This is only the begging. Things will get worse. I hope humans will realize how we are turned into technology slaves. It sure sounded futuristic 10 years ago but it's the reality now.
  • inighthawki - Monday, June 13, 2016 - link

    But even still, what is the problem with that? Scorpio will almost certainly be 100% backwards compatible. And if you've ever worked with game developers before, trying to write new games to support consoles that are nearing 10 years old is a nightmare. The amount of effort that goes in to making the game run well on those old platforms is such an enormous engineering effort. Limitations on performance, memory, storage, OS/software are huge roadblocks that they have to design around that are otherwise complete non-issues on modern hardware. The 360/PS3 held back the industry for way too long.
  • fanofanand - Monday, June 13, 2016 - link

    You seem to be confused about what a scam is. What about the HDMI standards are a scam? CPU sockets have been changing every 2nd year for well over a decade. RAM has only changed once in the last 10 years, this is the same console as the previously released XBONE but in a smaller form factor. We are living in the era of the greatest technological advances in the history of history, but "We live in a awfully era" (sic). You are crazy, have no idea what you are talking about, or both.
  • inighthawki - Monday, June 13, 2016 - link

    He's just really old and longs for the time when computer technology was so far in its infancy that his job was still easy. Now that technology has evolved more than copper wires and electrical signals over a serial bus it is too complex for him and he can't keep up.
  • djsvetljo - Monday, June 13, 2016 - link

    I am 31 (almost) and I live and work in IT and can afford to buy a new Xbox One daily. Seeing technology from inside (Enterprise) I assure you it's not me that suffers. Every day users (workers) are actually at biggest pain. It is going too fast for them, causing problems for us (IT staff).
  • inighthawki - Monday, June 13, 2016 - link

    >> I am 31 (almost) and I live and work in IT and can afford to buy a new Xbox One daily
    I'm 26, can also do so, and I work as a software developer low level graphics software in kernel mode, and occasionally influence the design of graphics hardware based on the software design. I work alongside people much older than myself as well who all share the same views as me.

    But hey, I'm sure with your enterprise IT experience, you know way better than the engineers at Intel on how a new CPU socket should work.
  • djsvetljo - Monday, June 13, 2016 - link

    Only if Engineers were the one deciding what goes for sale... it would be a beautiful world for us. Can you even imagine this?

    You still don't get it. We have to change sockets, cables, connectors and etc because when a project starts, no one thinks about how to make something universal. All they think is how to make it so in 2 years, we need to have way better product so we can justify a complete re-design.

    I just remember the recent trend that is about to become reality - removing 3.5mm headphones jack in favor of and adapter. Why? So the phone can be slimmer - that is not an engineer thinking there. And if it was - we are in big trouble.
  • Meteor2 - Monday, June 13, 2016 - link

  • SunnyNW - Monday, June 13, 2016 - link

    Technology is moving Too fast?? Well we are in the era of exponential growth when it comes to technology and that is a GREAT thing. And we Definitely do not live in an "awfully era" as you said. Maybe we should stop the rate of technological breakthroughs so we can stop ALL the medical breakthroughs being achieved each day as well right? Might not be teh best example but I mean we already have chemo therapy so why develop and offer people something new that could work 100 times better and safer and more comfortably, why develop new medicines (that can work Way Better) when we already have our current medicines? No one is forced to upgrade Anything! If you do not like the new Xbox do not buy it, Very Simple. But please do not stop others from enjoying new tech advancements. You might be fine with 480p but that doesn't mean that no one else should be able to buy a console (or gpu) that can output 4K (or 8K or 16K). Its Freedom and an opinion and yes you are entitled to yours but that does not mean everyone else has to live by your preferences. If anything you can argue that we are being drip fed newer technologies and I would agree with you and I certainly believe we should already have access to far greater technologies than are currently available in the consumer space.

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