During Microsoft's post-briefing E3 demo showcase, we were shown the final production model of the Xbox One S. Not to be confused with the so-called "Project Scorpio", this is essentially the same console in a much smaller package. It also comes with some connectivity tweaks, a redesigned controller, 4K Blu-ray support and an integrated power supply. Here are the photos.
Have you ever wished your Xbox One was a bit smaller? You're certainly not alone: measuring 274 x 79 x 333 mm and weighing over 3.5 kilograms, it's significantly larger than the PS4 or any other console you care to mention. Then there's that brick-sized PSU to contend with. It's just too bloody big for it's own good.
The Xbox One S attempts to remedy this. According to Microsoft, the new-look console is 40% smaller than it's predecessor. The top-end 2TB version will retail for a $549.95 in Australia. There's also a 500GB model for $US299. Australian pricing has yet to be revealed for this version but it will probably cost somewhere in the region of $450.
The new console is capable of supporting 4K video (including the just-released 4K Blu-ray format), plus HDR output with compatible TVs. (Microsoft has confirmed that all content can be upscaled.) Other hardware differences include some port rearrangements (see below) and the addition of an integrated IR blaster.
The "robot white" colour scheme is certainly an interesting finish. As far as we know, there won't be a black version at launch.
Connectivity options remain largely unchanged. One notable exception is the removal of a dedicated Kinect port. Kinect will still work with the Xbox One S, but you'll need to connect via a USB adaptor. (This will be offered free of charge to current Xbox One Kinect owners.)
One of the biggest differences is the addition of an integrated power supply. This is a bigger deal than you might think; especially if you have limited space in your home entertainment unit or regularly transport your console to friends' houses.
Here's the side view. Unlike the original Xbox One the air vents are very prominent. We can't attest to how noisy this thing is during operation. All that hardware in such a confined area must surely tax the fan more. But we'll reserve our judgement until we see it in action.
Like the PlayStation 4, it can be placed either horizontally or vertically. Microsoft will be offering a stand accessory but this isn't actually required: the console stands up fine without it.
The Xbox One S comes with the same number of USB ports as the Xbox One, but one has been shifted to the front for easier access.
The pairing button has also been moved to the front of the console.
The Xbox One S will ship with a newly designed Xbox Wireless Controller with textured grip, sturdier thumbsticks and improved wireless signal performance with up to twice the wireless range. It also has inbuilt Bluetooth for use with Windows 10 games. According to an Xbox source we spoke to, the redesigned controller will also be bundled with regular Xbox Ones moving forward.
Here's the Xbox One S and original Xbox One side by side. As was demonstrated at the event, you can literally fit the S entirely inside the Xbox One's outer chassis with room to spare. This is pretty impressive when you consider it also houses its own PSU.
Kotaku attended E3 as a guest of Microsoft.