Microsoft, makers of the Xbox One Entertainment console isn’t waiting until its E3 2015 Media Briefing to start dropping news on the Xbox community and gaming industry insiders. This morning the company not only confirmed the new Xbox One Wireless Controller that leaked a few weeks ago, it also announced that the 1TB Xbox One console that appeared out of nowhere on retail website Amazon is now available for pre-order.
Microsoft confirmed the 1TB Xbox One and more in a post on its Xbox Wire news blog just minutes ago. As leaked, the new Xbox One with 1TB of storage will come bundled with the Xbox One Wireless Controller that features a dedicated headset jack so that users don’t need to purchase additional accessories. This bundle also includes a digital copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, a poster boy for why gamers need more storage. The digital download for Halo: The Master Chief Collection takes up 70GB of storage on its own. The 1TB Xbox One will arrive on store shelves June 16th in the United States costing $399. That’s $50 higher than what the Xbox One with 500GB of storage costs today and $100 less than the Xbox One with Kinect sensor costs, filling out Microsoft’s offerings completely.
Today, every Xbox One readily available on store shelves comes with just 500GB of storage. Doubling the amount of storage available in the console means that users have more space to store their video games and digital downloads. Less than 400GB of storage is available to users to install games which have grown in size over the last few years in a big way. Users can get around storage limitations by plugging in a USB hard drive and adding to their pool of storage.
Microsoft did say that it plans on leaving the 500GB Xbox One at $349. Previously, it was only promotional pricing. Amazon has already opened pre-orders for the 1TB Xbox One ahead of release. This new 1TB Xbox One does have a matte finish to keep down scratches.
To be clear, buying the new 1TB Xbox One isn’t the only way for users to get their hands on the new Xbox One Wireless Controller. Today Microsoft revealed a separate Xbox One Special Edition Covert Forces Wireless Controller that includes every single improvement as the bundled one.
Microsoft says its fine-tuned and improved the audio quality that comes out of the new Xbox One Wireless Controller. The controller will support in-line microphone and playback controls like those punt into Apple’s EarPod earbuds, for example. Balancing audio levels and adjusting overall volume are controls being added directly into the Xbox One’s Settings app. Audio volume has been increased, which was sorely needed, and Microsoft has improved on the bumpers and triggers for better tactile feedback. Lastly, the new Xbox One Wireless Controllers support wireless firmware updates. Previously you had to plug them in with a USB cable. Microsoft does say that the new Xbox One Wireless Controller will come in black too for $64.99.
Users will be able to purchase the Xbox One Wireless Controller and use it directly with their PC beginning later this year. Included in the release on Xbox Wire are details about a new USB add-on dongle that’ll let Xbox One controllers wirelessly communicate with Windows PCs. This dongle will arrive on store shelves for $24.99 or come bundled with an Xbox One Wireless controller for $79.95.
Earlier this year Microsoft announced plans to treat Windows PCs just like Xbox consoles in their ecosystem. Game developers will have access to Xbox Live services and gamers on Windows can play alongside Xbox One owners in some games. Additionally, the Windows 10 PCs can stream video games directly from their console to their Windows PC.
Microsoft’s E3 2015 Media Briefing kicks off at 9:30 Pacific Time on June 15th. The entire briefing will be available for PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Windows Phone users to stream live.