Microsoft will officially launch the 500 gigabyte and 1 terabyte editions of its new Xbox One S console on Tuesday, August 23.
Xbox One S buyers will have a few choices over which bundle to buy, according to a blog posted Tuesday by Matt Lapsen, general manager of Xbox Devices Marketing.
The Xbox One S Halo Collection bundle comes with either a 500GB drive or a 1TB drive, a matching Xbox Wireless Controller and the Halo 5: Guardians and Halo: The Master Chief Collection games. The 500GB edition runs $299, while the 1TB version goes for $349.
The $349 Xbox One S Madden NFL 17 bundle is available only with a 1TB drive and includes a full-game download of Madden NFL 17, seven Madden Ultimate Team Pro Packs and one month of EA Access. For a limited time, customers who buy the Madden NFL 17 bundle will get a promo code good for 20 percent off their next order at NFLShop.com.
Microsoft has tried a variety of schemes to lift Xbox One sales, including cutting the price, bundling free games and selling a cheaper Kinect-free version of the console. The Xbox One S embodies a new approach. By throwing in support for 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray discs and 4K streaming services, the new console aims to to challenge both gaming consoles and Blu-ray players for consumer dollars.
By supporting 4K (3,820x2,160-pixel) resolution, the Xbox One S will display more vibrant colors and darker blacks. The higher resolution works with movies and TV shows natively but will handle games as well by upscaling them to 4K. The new console also supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) for video and gaming, which means certain content will look better due to a higher contrast ratio.
"With Xbox One S, we have improved scaling to better upscale content to 4K for users that select to change their console output resolution to 4K UHD," a Microsoft spokeswoman said. "When connected to a 4K display, Xbox One S will provide the ability to output 3.840x2,160p at all times. By providing this feature, we enable better upscaling of video and gaming instead of allowing the TV to handle it and we minimize user confusion by providing a consistent 4K output mode."
The Xbox One S also comes in a 2TB edition that will launch on August 2. This edition is available in two varieties -- a $399 Limited Launch version with no free games and a $449 Gears of War 4 bundle. The different Xbox One S flavors are currently up for preorder through Microsoft, Best Buy, Target, Amazon and GameStop.
The 1TB bundle for both Madden NFL 17 and Halo will be "available in very limited quantities at select Microsoft Stores and microsoftstore.com," Lapsen said. Consumers looking for that storage option may want to preorder at this point.
The Xbox One S Halo Collection bundle (500GB) will be available at participating retailers in the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, according to the Microsoft spokeswoman. The Xbox One S Halo Collection bundle (1TB) will be available at participating retailers in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand and exclusively at Microsoft stores in the U.S. The Xbox One S Madden NFL 17 Bundle will be available in the U.S. and Canada.