E3 2016 Day 2 - Xbox Hardware

Every year E3 has people both excited and annoyed when it comes to hardware. I've seen extremes of both. On one hand it's incredibly cool to see what the newest console generation will look like, but on the other hand buying new consoles isn't particularly enjoyable. However you feel about it Xbox is in for some upgrades.

There was a lot of rumors and leaks before E3, and some suspicions were true. Microsoft officially announced the Xbox One S. 40% smaller then the current model of Xbox One, Microsoft's newest console is being called "the most advanced console ever". With a 2 TB hard drive and a 4K Ultra HD display compatibility, Microsoft is saying the Xbox One S will deliver the "clearest, most realistic video possible". One really cool addition to the console is the IR blaster. Basically allowing the Xbox One S to be able to turn on your entire set-up, while you power on your system. So simply put, you don't need to turn on your TV/sound bar and other entertainment center systems, just your Xbox if you so wish. From a LAN Center perspective a new console - especially one offering 4K - is daunting. Having to readjust the center is a difficult task but it is worth the difficulty if it means we can provide a better LAN experience for our customers.  4K is best enjoyed on larger screens, and is lost a bit on our individual 22" monitors.  It's giving us food for thought for the next version of LAN Mob. Thankfully the Xbox One S will not have exclusive titles, just hardware. The Xbox One S launches this August for only $300 to $400 based on the hard drive size you're looking for.
Xbox also introduced a new system when it comes to Xbox Live, titled Xbox Play Anywhere. Play Anywhere will allow compatible titles to be playable on Windows 10 and your Xbox console without purchasing the game twice. All add-ons and saves will upload to the cloud so you can bring your saves and even achievements wherever you go to play. This is similar to Cross Play titles on the Playstation home consoles and Vita.

A small but very cool surprise announcement from Microsoft today was the Xbox Design Lab program. This program will allow players to visit a website (I posted it below!) to design a Xbox One controller's color scheme to your personal desire and even laser etch a personal touch. This is very cool and unlike anything I've ever seen a non-third person company do. You can start designing controllers as soon as right now, but controllers won't start shipping until September.


Lastly, Microsoft gave us a small amount of some groundbreaking tech called "Project Scorpio". Being called "the most powerful console ever". The whole reveal was a bit cryptic but Scorpio will be present at next years E3 for sure. For now we know it will not be a new console, and there will not be "Scorpio exclusives". The machine will run at a performance speed of "six terraflops" and support 4K gaming and "high fidelity VR". I don't understand a lot of what that means, but having tech like this available in your own living room is cause of celebration.

Overall Microsoft's conference wasn't bad. I think a lot of their community changes, such as adding Looking For Group on Xbox Live and the Design Lab is pretty cool, and a lot of their software looks solid. There's still 2 more of the titans' press conferences left! Stay tuned!
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