Smaller and cheaper, a new Xbox One launched in August
Los Angeles (AFP) – Computer giant Microsoft has unveiled its new Xbox One with a thinner design and a more accessible price, accompanied by a series of new games in its attempt to gain ground on its rival PlayStation 4, big market dominator.
“This is only the beginning,” assured the head of the Xbox team, Phil Spencer, presenting to the press the Xbox One S, which will be sold for 299 dollars from August. He was speaking on the eve of the opening of the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), a major event in the video game industry held in Los Angeles.
Sony had lowered last year by 50 dollars the price of its great rival, the PlayStation 4 (PS4), up to 350 dollars. Microsoft had followed suit this year, offering the Xbox One, without a Kinect sensor, for 350 dollars.
The size of the console will melt away with the new Xbox One S model, 40% smaller and thinner than its predecessor.
Microsoft is working on a longer-term development of a new version of the Xbox One, designed as an interface that opens the doors to rich virtual reality and ultra-fast gaming, said Phil Spencer.
“Producing the most powerful console in the world is exactly what we want to do,” he said.
This new Xbox model, developed under the name “Project Scorpion”, will be launched in late 2017, just in time for the holiday season. Such anticipation on its release will give programmers and game designers time to imagine content at the height of the power of this new console, according to Phil Spencer.
Another important announcement for video game fans: users will soon be able to play both on their Xbox and on computers running Windows, from the same American group. An option called “Play anywhere”will thus allow to pay only once for games then accessible on these different media.
Big dominator of the market of the latest generation home consoles, the Sony PS4 has been sold more than 40 million copies since the end of 2013, according to Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), American subsidiary of the Japanese group. Industry specialists estimate that its sales are almost double those of Microsoft’s Xbox One, released like it at the end of 2013.