The Xbox One first launched on November 22, 2013 and less than 3 years later, it’s getting 40% smaller and more powerful with the Xbox One S. The upgraded Xbox details have leaked ahead of Microsoft’s E3 press conference tomorrow morning.
As expected, the new Xbox One will add support for 4K video playback, with HDR support. While that is certainly a very welcome announcement, it is not yet clear if this means the optical drive will support 4K Blu-ray support, or if Microsoft will simply offer 4K movies through their Xbox Video service. Of course in the Australian context, this delineation is incredibly important given our current NBN status.
4K streaming not only quadruples the number of pixels sent down the pipe, 3840×2160, but by adding the detail of high-dynamic range, you’re looking at up to 25Mbps. This would overwhelm the entire connection capability of most NBN customers, if we’re to believe recent statements from our government on ABC’s QandA program, suggesting that most NBN customers are choosing the 25Mbps plan. It is services like 4K video streaming that may be the reason NBN customers upgrade to faster speed plans, where available, and that’s the important detail. To sustain an uninterrupted video stream, you need headroom, so if anyone else on your network does anything else on the web, you don’t get buffering, this means your FTTN NBN connection, may not be capable of delivering a single flawless 4K HDR stream, let alone multiple in multiple rooms in your home.
While the new updated console is much smaller, Microsoft engineers have created some magic and it will reportedly include the power brick, something that currently is sizable and would be around 1/3 the new body size. Miniaturisation has clearly come a long way in 3 years. Recently Microsoft began offering a 1TB hard drive option for the Xbox One and as games continue to sprawl in size, some 50GB+, they’ve also taken the opportunity to add a 2TB HDD in the Xbox One S.
From the leaked image above, originally posted by NeoGAF, shows a vertical orientation option, which certainly reminds you of the vertical stand of the PS4. You’ll notice the bottom half of the console body appears to have perforations, which is undoubtedly a strategy to ensure the smaller, more powerful internals are appropriately ventilated.
The final statement from the leaked image is ‘streamlined controller’, which from the front at least, appears very similar to our existing controllers.