Microsoft just confirmed that it will be releasing a redesigned console, dubbed the Xbox One S, selling for $399 for a version with a 2TB hard, $349 for 1TB, and $299 for 500GB. The console, in “robot white” will be 40 percent smaller than the original Xbox One.
“For increased accessibility, we shifted one of the three USB ports and the pairing button to the front of the Xbox One S alongside the newly added IR blaster,” says Microsoft in its announcement. “Additionally, in order to make the Xbox One S as compact as possible and make all of these updates, we removed the dedicated Kinect port from the back.”
The company says it will instead offer a USB adapter for Kinect, available for free to Xbox One users who currently have a Kinect and want to upgrade to the Xbox One S.
It’s a notable tradeoff and the latest sign of Microsoft putting less emphasis on the Kinect, the motion-tracking control system that was originally developed for the Xbox 360.
The official announcement is in line with the details that leaked in advance this weekend.
Just in case anyone was worried, the Xbox One S will be fully backward-compatible with the existing Xbox One. “All Xbox One games, accessories and Xbox Live services will work with the new Xbox One S,” the company says in its announcement.
The $399 version of the new console will be available starting in early August, with the other versions “arriving thereafter,” according to the company. The company announced the news in conjunction with the E3 video game convention, where its media briefing is still under way.
Other major announcements at the event include an initiative called Play Anywhere, that will let gamers buy a game once to play it across Xbox and Windows 10, and a a new “Arena Mode” for Xbox Live that will let gamers participate in tournaments of popular games.