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Microsoft announces Xbox One S and teases Project Scorpio

by Tarinder Sandhu on 14 June 2016, 09:51

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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Microsoft has announced a smaller, sleeker Xbox One console at E3 in Los Angeles.

Image credit: The Verge

Dubbed Xbox One S, the new console, available in August, is 40 per cent smaller than the current model and, usefully, will integrate the power supply into the chassis itself, so no more bulky adapter. Fully compatible with the current Xbox One, the S has a new lick of paint, referred to as 'robot white', and it can also be stood up vertically by using a new stand.

There's a bit more to it than a shrink and a nice paint job, though, as the S supports 4K Ultra-HD for Blu-ray movies and content streamed from partners like Netflix and Amazon Video. HDR capabilities are present too, though there aren't many televisions that can render true high-dynamic range right now.

What's conspicuous by its absence is the Kinect sensor port, and you will need a USB adapter for full functionality. The controller has had a slight makeover, as well; it now has a textured grip on the back and Bluetooth for easy connection to Windows 10 PCs and laptops.

Microsoft says that a limited-edition 2TB Xbox One S will be available for pre-order today at selected retailers including the MS Store, Game, Argos, Amazon and Shop Direct, priced at £349. 500GB- and 1TB-equipped will follow in due course.

Xbox One S is more of a redesign than technical upgrade, unlike the rival PlayStation 4.5 (Neo). Microsoft's plans for console 4K gaming and VR will take the form of new hardware called Project Scorpio, which is due to debut during the holidays season in 2017 (most likely November) and is, according to Microsoft, the 'most powerful console ever created, with 6 teraflops of GPU performance.' It's somewhat strange to announce a console so early, when the official name is not set, but we imagine Microsoft doesn't want Sony to claim all the VR and 4K headlines at the show.

Other than the beefier GPU, which is over 4x as powerful as the one in the Xbox One/S, nothing concrete is known about Project Scorpio. Backwards compatible with the current Xbox One, we imagine Scorpio will be able to maintain a solid 1080p60 in all games whilst giving 4K a good go.



HEXUS Forums :: 41 Comments

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If they're releasing Scorpio a year after the PS4K then they're going to see a serious dent in sales.
Is the Scorpio also not just against the PS4K, but the, by then, established VR?

I doubt they will have much problem competing against the 4K even if it is a year later. But the VR might well be a winner takes all combination.
Do we have anything even vaguely resembling a release date for the PS 4k/4.5/Neo? I know people are expecting an announcement, but AFAIK that's as far as the rumours have got. I don't see any reason to assume the new PS is landing this year.

As to VR, I don't see that as a killer application for this year - I think AMD are spot on when they say that the cost of entry is too high, currently. OTOH if they do manage to bring the cost of entry down with their releases this year, it'll prime the development pump, and means that if MS bring VR ot the XBox next year there's a good chance there'll be lots of decent VR content available for it on launch. And Project Scorpio should be powerful enough to run it.
Tempting to pick the One S up just as a cheap 4k blu-ray…
Strange, because the rumour was that Sony wanted to shrink theirs and add something for the PS4Neo but it turned out to be too expensive to re-design Jaguar and the graphics for 16nm/14nm FinFet+, so how are Microsoft doing this XbOne Slim?
Is the FF+ part which would be expensive, and they are only doing a shrink down to 20nm non-FF+?
It's the big cost of a FF+ which were driving the rumour of the PS4 Neo using a different CPU.
As for Scorpio, maybe AMD can get some kind of Navi multi-GPU design in there and use that drive support and scaling for Crossfire.