When the Xbox One was first announced, it had a major PR problem that allowed Sony’s PlayStation 4 to take the next-gen lead out of the gate. Some gamers didn’t like having to pay for the Kinect hardware that was bundled with every system, nor were gamers fond of Microsoft’s initial policies regarding online connectivity and DRM.
Microsoft was able to turn things around by doing a 180 on many of its initial plans, and that included the eventual unbundling of the Kinect from the rest of the system to allow the price to come down to $399. Then, the Xbox One got a major sales boost last holiday season thanks to a price drop to $349, a “promotional” price point that has held for most of this year.
Now, one week away from E3, Microsoft is looking to spur further sales success with another update to its console lineup. Today, as was previously rumored, the Xbox One 1 TB console was revealed. The console also features the new Xbox One wireless controller with a standard headphone jack that was also previously leaked online. The box will ship with a copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection and a wired headset for $399.
At the same time, Microsoft has officially confirmed what many long suspected. The “promotional” price of $349 for the 500 GB Xbox One has now been made permanent.
The new 1 TB console will ship to retail June 16. These details were announced on Xbox.com by Larry Hryb aka “Major Nelson”, and Hryb also used the post to go into more detail regarding the new controller. It will support the adjustment of headset volume, mic monitoring, and voice and game audio balance through the settings menu on the Xbox One. The audio coming through the controller is also improved, and the maximum audio volume for headsets plugged into the controller has also increased.
Aside from the audio upgrades, Hryb said the controller bumpers have been fine-tuned for better performance and the controller will now support wireless firmware, so that gamers no longer need to plug it in via USB cable to receive updates. The new controller will ship with all new Xbox One consoles, but is also available for separate purchase. It’s available in black, as well as the new “camouflage design” Special Edition Covert Forces version.
Finally, Hyrb confirmed that a Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows is coming this fall, and will allow players to use the new wireless controller with their Windows 10 PC, laptop or tablet. The adapter will sell for $24.99 or come bundled with the new controller for $79.95.
Today’s news features nothing all that unexpected for those who have been following the rumors of the last few weeks. It is a bit surprising that the official announcement was made ahead of E3, but this will now free up more time to focus on other matters during Microsoft’s press conference next Monday. With Microsoft showing its hand early, it will be interesting to see if Sony will be making any adjustments to its own console lineup, if it wasn’t planning on doing so already.
E3 2015 takes place June 16-18 in Los Angeles. Microsoft’s pre-E3 press conference will be held June 15.