It has been a busy day in the tech news world today so we wanted to make sure you got a solid summary from each event.
I want to break down some of the announcements from the Xbox E3 briefing for you in this article but you can also catch analysis and a summary of Apple's WWDC keynote news here on the SuperSite.
One common theme across all of the Xbox related hardware related announcements was the companies promise to not leave any gamers behind due to incompatibilities. So every peripheral and game is compatible across all of this new hardware.
So with that said let's begin with the hardware related items that came up in the Xbox E3 briefing.
Xbox One S
We had already heard leaks about this device a couple of weeks ago and then yesterday an image hit the web out over social media but today Microsoft wasted no time in revealing the Xbox One S console.
The announcement came right at the beginning of the briefing in the form of a video and confirmed many of the leaked details.
- 2TB, 1TB, 500GB storage options
- 4k Ultra HD
- 40% smaller than original Xbox One
- Internal power supply
- IR Blaster
- Redesigned Xbox Wireless Controller. Sleeker, streamlined design with textured grip, two times wireless range and built in Bluetooth for connecting to Windows 10 PCs, tablets and phones.
- Optional Vertical Console Stand (included with 2TB model for free) available for $19.99
- Compatible with all Xbox One games and peripherals. Xbox One Kinect devices are compatible but require a USB adapter which Microsoft will provide at no cost.
All three storage configurations are already available for pre-order from Amazon:
- Xbox One S 2TB Console for $399.99 (Available August 2016)
- Xbox One S 1TB Console for $349.99 (Available December 2016)
- Xbox One S 500GB Console for $299.99 (Available December 2016)
Xbox Design Lab - Wireless Controller
Microsoft already makes quite a few themed controllers for Xbox One and now if none of those fit your personality and color scheme you can now design your own at the Xbox Design Lab.
You can customize the following colors of your controller:
- Bumpers and Triggers
- ABXY Buttons
- View and Menu Buttons
A customized controller will cost you $79.99 which is about the same amount as some of the themed controllers retail for.
It looks like this controller is also based on the new Xbox One S streamlined controller when you review the specs:
- Compatible with Xbox One and Windows 7/8.1/10
- 40 foot wireless range with Xbox One S
- Textured grip
All of your controller accessories like the Play & Charge Kit, Chat Headset, Stereo Headset, chatpad remain compatible as well.
Customized controllers ordered before the end of August will ship in September 2016.
Speaking of customized/themed controllers - Microsoft also announced the Gears of War 4 Limited Edition Xbox Elite Wireless Controller.
This is Microsoft's next Xbox One family member that will be released sometime in 2017 and while details are really scarce on it they did mention some specs during a video that was played at the end of Microsoft's E3 briefing:
- Eight CPU cores
- 320GBs of GPU memory bandwidth
- Six teraflops of computing power
- 4K video
- Virtual Reality gaming ready
The other aspect that Microsoft made very clear with this tease about the next console is that it would retain complete compatibility with games and accessories for the original Xbox One and the upcoming Xbox One S consoles.
Other than that it was pretty slim pickings for details on this console.
Games, Games, Games
Of course, there has to be games announced at E3 and there were plenty of those today. There was also a very common theme across several of these titles and that is a new program from Microsoft called Xbox Play Anywhere. It means if you own an Xbox Play Anywhere title you can purchase once and play it on both your Xbox One console and your Windows 10 PC at no extra cost. You also get cloud saves and progress, cross-play between platforms, Xbox Arena, Looking for Groups on Xbox Live, Clubs on Xbox Live. See below for information about those last three features.
I would expect more future titles will build in this option as well - much to the delight of gamers bank accounts for sure.
Some of the games announced with this feature today include:
- Dead Rising 4
- Forza Horizon 3
- Gears of War 4
- Halo Wars 2
- Sea of Thieves
- State of Decay 2
Another common theme during the various game announcements was the booming announcers voice saying Xbox One and Windows 10 Exclusive.
Indie developers were given there time on stage as well and you can check out what is new for @[email protected] in this YouTube video.
Xbox One Dashboard Features
You already know that the Xbox team has begun the Summer Preview Program to test out updates to the Xbox One console relating to the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update but there are some new features that will arrive this fall that are not part of that program.
Microsoft's Mike Ybarra, who heads the Xbox engineering team, revealed these three new features:
Clubs on Xbox Live: Create communities for gamers to hang out, talk and find fellow gamers around a game.
Looking for Group on Xbox Live: Find other gamers to join your gaming network or to round out your team/group.
Arena on Xbox Live: Competitive gaming tournaments platform to find, register and compete in games together or solo.
What was your favorite announcement today from the Xbox E3 briefing?