Microsoft has announced that its slimmer Xbox One S gaming console will hit the store shelves on August 2. The console is 40% smaller and more powerful than the original Xbox One. Priced at $399 in the US for 2TB version, it has a built-in power supply, an IR blaster, and a front-facing USB port. There are also 1T and 50GB options, but they will be available later.

Xbox One S
Image Credit: Microsoft Corporation

Xbox One S offers 4K and HDR videos

The 1TB version will cost $349 while the 500GB variant will set you back by $299. The Xbox One S comes with a new Xbox Wireless Controller that offers Bluetooth support, textured grip and improved Xbox Wireless signal. The controller will also be available as a standalone item for $60, and will hit the store shelves on August 2.

Thanks to a faster processor, the Xbox One S will be able to stream 4K videos from services like Amazon Video and Netflix. However, only people with compatible TVs will be able to enjoy 4K and HDR. Others will not see any difference. Should you go ahead and buy it? It depends on how desperately you need an Xbox console. If you want to buy an Xbox this year, you can buy it.

You may want to wait for Project Scorpio

But remember that Microsoft is going to launch the Xbox Project Scorpio – the most powerful console ever built – next year. Besides 4K and HDR videos, the Project Scorpio will also support virtual-reality gaming. The Xbox One S is only a stopgap device. If you already have an Xbox One, buying the One S may not make much sense considering the two play the same games, run the same apps, and offer a similar user experience except 4K and HDR.

Microsoft has announced that it will also be releasing a special Gears of War 4 edition of the Xbox One S with a price tag of $449. The Gears of War 4-themed console will start shipping in mid-September. It includes a customized controller, a 2TB hard drive, a download code for the Gears of War 4, and other exclusive items. The special edition buyers will get early access to the Gears of War 4 on October 7, four days before its wider release on October 11.