Microsoft’s E3 BrightSpots

Rumors about what Microsoft was going to announce in regards to its console have been swirling around for weeks.  On Tuesday, Microsoft confirmed the biggest ones.

Main PointsE3_3

Microsoft announced at it E3 presentation on the 9th that yes, there would be a 1 TB box for sale, and yes, there would be a redesigned controller.  They also announced that the 500 GB box would take a price drop to make way for the 1TB box, permanently dropping to $350, with the 1TB box selling for $400.

The Deets

E3_4.The new 1TB boxes will also ship with the new controller, which features a stereo headset jack in the bottom of the unit, and a headset.  Firmware updates for the controller will be wireless as well, so there will be no need to plug in for those pesky updates.  A wireless adapter for Windows to allow for easier PC gaming use has been announced as well.  The audio controls for the stereo headset connection will be set in the settings menu of the box, and allow the user to control voice balance, game balance, headset volume and mic monitoring.  It’s also worth noting that max volume for the headset has been increased, due to gamer feedback.E3_1

The wireless adapter will retail stand-alone for $25 and bundled with a new controller for $80, starting this fall.  It basically just looks like a thumb drive, and will need a USB 2.0 or 3.0 to work (most new PCs come standard with these USB ports now).  Once the wireless adapter is connected and synched, the controller will allow stereo sound and in-game chat as well.  Microsoft has noted that this adapter does not work with 360 controllers, only the new Xbox One controller, so be aware before you buy it unbundled with the new controller.

The Wrap Up

For those in the UK, you don’t have to wait until the 16th.  Although unannounced, the boxes have been spotted and confirmed purchased in GAME retailers for the stated price.  Microsoft only announced an official date for the US and left everywhere else to the statement “select markets later this month”.  I guess that means now for the UK!  For the rest of us, the bundles, both 1 TB and 500 GB can be purchased on the Microsoft site, which also links to other retailers, should you desire them.

And, finally, for a limited time, the new 1TB box will also ship with Halo: The Master Chief Collection.  The new box and controller launch June 16th, but there was no word on how long Halo will ship with the 1 TB units.  If that game is a big deciding factor for you buying that box, I’d hop on it before the bonus is gone.  And for those wanting to take advantage of the lower priced 500GB box, the new controller will be shipped with those as well from now on, no worries.  Those who want the controller but already have the box, the controller is priced at $65.

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