Updated by Kyle Wiggers 06-05-2015: Added news of a since-pulled 1TB Xbox One listing on Amazon.
Between AMD’s latest generation of graphics cards and virtual reality peripherals from Sony and Facebook’s Oculus, this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo promises a deluge of new hardware. But that doesn’t mean the nearly two-year-old consoles that kicked off the latest generation of games aren’t getting some attention. According to leaked documents, the Xbox One and PS4 are due for a few noteworthy, albeit minor, improvements.
The Xbox One controller’s lack of a standard 3.5mm headphone port has long been a point of consternation — unlike Sony, Microsoft opted for a proprietary connector on its next-gen console — but a fix is incoming. An updated controller diagram on the Xbox Support site, since removed, describes a “3.5-mm port” next to the “expansion port” on the bottom of the controller. It’ll support “compatible 3.5-mm audio devices,” according to the document, and will debut on controllers “released after June 2015.” But there’s evidence to suggest the wait may not be nearly that long — a listing for a “Covert Forces” Xbox One controller featuring a 3.5mm headphone jack was briefly posted by Australian retailer Libro late last month.
Related: E3 2015 coverage
Both consoles are getting a storage boost. A post on Amazon, since removed, detailed an Xbox One bundle with a 1TB hard drive (double the storage capacity of currently available model), the aforementioned new controller, and a copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Tweaked PS4 hardware has yet to make as public an appearance, but FCC filings suggest Sony is prepping two new models, numbered CUH-1215A and CUH-1215B, for sale later this year. One, CUH-1215B, also boasts a 1TB harddrive. But both list lower power (230 watts versus 250) and amperage (2.3-0.95 amps from 2.5-1.15 amps) requirements, and a negligible reduction in weight (2.5kg, down from 2.8kg).
The Xbox One and PS4 changes address the consoles’ respective shortcomings. Piping Xbox One system audio through an off-the-shelf headset requires buying a $24.99 adapter right now, and the PS4 lacks an easy way to expand storage. The latter console’s problem is arguably the more pressing — the space requirements for downloadable games regularly top 40 gigabytes — but both fixes are welcome enhancements to already solid gaming platforms.
The new Xbox One on Amazon had a list price on of $400 and a June 15 release date, the day of Microsoft’s E3 keynote. The refreshed PS4 console’s release timeframe and pricing remains unclear.
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