One of the issues with being a console early adopter is that at some point there’s going to be a new model which is going to include new cool features that you don’t have. That day has nearly arrived for Xbox One owners as a new console has been announced and will be launching Match 16. It will include a new finish, new hard drive and a redesigned controller.
Announced on Major Nelson’s blog this morning the new console will begin to ship the day after the Xbox E3 media briefing, which will allow somebody to stand on stage and say “and it will be available tomorrow” and get some applause. The console will include a 1 TB hard drive and will sport a matte black finish, rather than the partial gloss of the original console. While adding an expansion hard drive has always been an option with the Xbox One, the new, larger, internal hard drive is a nice option for many gamers who have pushing the limit of the existing console.
Information about a new Xbox One controller had been announced previously. The new console will include the new controller in the box. As rumored the new controller includes a standard 3.5mm headset jack, removing the need for the Stereo Audio. The 3.5mm jack is being added to, not replacing the adapter so Xbox One owners who currently use it will be able to purchase the new controller and still use their current headset. There is one downside to removing the adapter, headset mix settings will now be handled in the Xbox One menu, rather than on the adapter, which may be a problem if you need to make adjustments on the fly.
In addition there have been some enhancements to the controller bumpers, which will allow for more “consistent performance” regardless of where you hit the button. Firmware updates for the new controller will be able to be handled wirelessly as well. Check out the full announcement video below.
Quite possibly the biggest news out of all this, is that the standard Xbox One console, with the 500 GB hard drive, is receiving a permanent price drop to $349 as a result of the new console. The new model will take over the $399 price point.
Xbox One sales have been solid, if not impressive for the last several months. We’ll find out next week if a new console, or a new price point, helps boost Microsoft’s numbers as they continue to play second fiddle to Sony and the Playstation 4.