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Microsoft Intros Slimmer Xbox

Microsoft used its E3 presser to trot out the Xbox One S, a slimmer version of the popular console that will ship this August, start at $299, and support 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR).

According to Microsoft, the newly designed “robot white” console is 40% smaller than the original Xbox One that owes its svelteness in part to a built-in power supply. Microsoft also removed the dedicated Kinect port from the back of the new console – the Xbox One S will be compatible with Kinect using a new adapter, which connects via USB. Microsoft said it will offer a free Kinect adapter to consumers who own a Kinect for the original Xbox One and plan to purchase the Xbox One S.

The new console will also support Blu-ray discs and streaming in 4K/Ultra HD thanks to apps from partners such as Netflix and Amazon Video. Gears of War 4 and Scalebound will be among the titles that will support HDR.

The Xbox One S also comes with a new Xbox Wireless Controller with a “textured grip,”  improved signal range, and integrated Bluetooth. The new Xbox Wireless Controller is included with all Xbox One S consoles and will be available worldwide for purchase for $59.99.

Microsoft said all Xbox One games, accessories and Xbox Live services will work with the new Xbox One S, which will offer storage option of 500GB ($299), 1TB ($349) and a “special launch edition” 2TB version ($399) that will be available in “select markets” in early August. 

Last week, Sony confirmed that it is developing a “high-end” version of the PlayStation 4 that will support games and video in 4K resolution.  Sony, however, is not debuting that device, codenamed “Neo,” at this week’s E3 show.

Microsoft also announced Xbox Play Anywhere, a program that lets users buy gaming titles digitally that can be played on Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs. Gears of War 4 is one of the first games that will support the program.