Ahead of Microsoft's E3 conference, there's a compelling rumor that the slim version of the Xbox One set to be unveiled at the event is cheaper than expected.
The road to this year's E3 has been paved with leaks, as everything from unexpected sequels to new hardware has been prematurely unveiled over the past few weeks. Now, just hours before Microsoft is scheduled to deliver its conference, the company has been hit by a final wave of leaked information.
There's now word that the slim version of the Xbox One scheduled for release this year will retail for just $299. That puts it on even footing with the standard version of the system that's currently available from retailers, as of a permanent price cut that went into action earlier in the spring.
Obviously, new hardware would typically be released at a higher price point than the products currently on the market, so the revised Xbox One is bucking a trend in that respect. However, this perhaps just demonstrates how serious Microsoft is about chasing Sony.
Launching the new Xbox One at $299 with a 2TB hard drive and support for 4K output makes for a great way for latecomers to enter the current generation of consoles. Meanwhile, retailers can use bundled games and peripherals to give consumers a reason to buy the older model.
Of course, that's assuming that the standard Xbox One will remain on shelves alongside its slimmer successor. Given the parity between the pricing of the two consoles, Microsoft may well reveal that the new version is intended to replace the original, rather than supplement it.
With the possibility of Scorpio on the horizon, it wouldn't make too much sense for Microsoft to flood the market with different console configurations. Simplifying things now will make it easier to implement a hierarchy in terms of capabilities later on, so there's a good chance that the slim model becomes the standard from today onward.
Anyone interested in purchasing the new version of the Xbox One will likely be able to make their pre-order sooner rather than later. When the first pictures of the system leaked yesterday, the listing on the Microsoft website implied that orders would be open directly after the conference.
Between the price point and the new functionality being introduced, the slim Xbox One seems like an intriguing prospect. However, we'll have to wait for Microsoft's conference for the full scoop — and if the system is going on sale today, you can expect to hear a strong sales pitch before all is said and done.