It's true: Microsoft has a new, far slimmer Xbox One game console. It's called the Xbox One S, and it ships this August for $299 (see below for UK and Australian prices), the same price as the current Xbox One.
It's 40 percent smaller than the original console, supports 4K video playback and 4K Blu-ray discs, and comes with a slightly revamped controller with textured grips and improved wireless range. It'll hold up to a 2TB hard drive, twice the capacity of the current Xbox One, and supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) to bring out more color and deeper blacks in video and games with supported TVs.
The power supply is also integrated into the console now, like with Sony's PlayStation 4, so you don't have to hide a giant power brick behind your home entertainment center. There's a built-in IR blaster as well.
It's worth noting that just because the new Xbox supports 4K video playback, it won't necessarily support games at 4K. The current Xbox One supports full HD 1,920x1,080-pixel output, for instance, but most games render at a lower resolution. According to a Polygon report, the new Xbox One S may run some games a little bit faster than the original, though top Xbox execs have since refuted that account.
The console actually removes one feature of the original Xbox One: There's no more dedicated port for the Microsoft Kinect sensor, according to The Verge. The new console does have a built-in IR blaster now to help control your home entertainment center, though, and there will be an optional USB adapter for those who still want to plug in a Kinect. Microsoft stopped bundling a Kinect with every Xbox console back in 2014.
The Cortana voice assistant, coming to Xbox later this summer, can also be used with a headset instead of speaking to the Kinect.
The $299 price is just for the base model with a 500GB hard drive, The Verge reports, with 1TB models available for $350 and 2TB for $399, respectively. It's the priciest model that will be available first.
reading•Xbox One S official: 40 percent slimmer, 4K video playback, $299 this August
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