The next mini-generation of gaming consoles is officially on its way to our living rooms. Microsoft announced a launch date Monday for one of its Xbox One S models. The console, which packs a whopping 2 TB of storage, will be available in stores starting Aug. 2 for $400.
The $400 console is the most expensive of the three Xbox One S models that Microsoft unveiled last month. Deciding to announce the release of the most expensive model first is a little puzzling, particularly when press coverage of its $300 model was so extensive. But perhaps demand for the $400 model was high enough — since it packs a lot of storage — that Microsoft wanted to release it first.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Xbox One S is the mid-generation upgrade of the nearly three-year-old Xbox One. It's 40 percent smaller, 4K-capable and has a comparatively cheaper launch price than the Xbox One's launch price. It's also white instead of black. When Microsoft first revealed the Xbox One S, it framed the decision to launch a refreshed console as a way to offer consumers more feature and pricing choices.
"Different people have different things that may appeal to them," said Dave McCarthy, general manager of Xbox Services, in a June interview with The Post.
When it comes to the Xbox One S, those who've already bought a $500 Xbox One at launch probably won't want to buy another console just yet. So the refreshed console should be the most appealing to those who still have an Xbox 360, and may not mind being a bit behind the times when Microsoft launches its next major update. (That would be "Project Scorpio," which Microsoft has said will be coming in 2017.)
The Xbox One S also could be a good secondary console — if you have the money to spend on such a thing — or a good investment for those who really want the 4K quality and have the televisions to support it.
Microsoft has yet to announce the launch dates for the $300 model with 500 GB of storage and the $350 model with 1 TB of storage. Based on past sales trends, however, it would be logical for Microsoft to release them in time for back-to-school season, or at least before the holiday shopping season gets started.
"More details on the specific availability dates of these two options will be shared soon," the company said in an official blog post.
Microsoft's newest console is expected to have competition this holiday season. There is a new PlayStation in the works — currently code-named the "Neo" — but it is expected to be more expensive than the PlayStation 4. Sony has confirmed the Neo's existence but has not released further details.