A new Xbox One is launching next week with a slightly modified design and double the storage, putting the onus on PlayStation maker Sony to respond.
An Xbox One game console with 1TB of onboard storage will launch on June 16 in the US, Microsoft announced Tuesday. The console, which will feature twice the storage of the previous model, will also boast a matte finish across the top, rather than the half-glossy finish that previously topped the console. The 1TB Xbox One will set customers back $399/AU$549. For a limited time, Microsoft will also include Halo: The Master Chief Collection with the console.
A 1TB Xbox One was previously only available as part of the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare bundled offered last fall.
Microsoft also on Tuesday announced an update to its Xbox One wireless controller. The new version, which will ship with all versions of the Xbox One, comes with a 3.5mm stereo headset jack -- a conspicuous omission from the previous version that launched with the Xbox One. The addition means users can pick whatever headset they'd like to use with the console, rather than only those that would plug into the Xbox One's micro-USB port.
The addition of 500GB of storage to the Xbox One is likely to be well-received among the hard-core gaming cohort that plays dozens of titles. In a world where digital game downloads are increasingly popular and even disc-based titles are downloaded to hard drives, 500GB gets filled up rather quickly. With 1TB of space, gamers will have more room to keep games that are several gigabytes in size on their consoles.
The launch of the 1TB console also means that the previous version of Microsoft's Xbox One, featuring 500GB of storage, is now cheaper. Microsoft said Tuesday that the 500GB Xbox One will remain at $349 permanently. The console has been offered at $349 as a "special" price. Its official price was previously set at $399.
The timing of the announcement might come as a surprise, though a brieflast week gave a heads-up that change was coming. New consoles or additions to product lineups are often announced at the E3 Gaming Expo. This year's edition of the event, which is one of the biggest gaming shows of the year, is scheduled to be held next week in Los Angeles.
By making the announcement a week before E3, Microsoft is firing an early salvo against Sony's PlayStation 4, which is also rumored to be getting a 1TB version. That model is expected to be announced at E3 next week.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.