Microsoft Unveils Smaller Xbox, Plans for Workhorse Version

Microsoft Corp. introduced a new, smaller Xbox gaming console for sale in August and announced a powerhouse new device planned for the holiday season next year, ramping up its battle with Sony Corp. to win over hardcore gamers.

The Xbox One S, due in two months, features 4K Ultra HD video and a streamlined controller and will retail for $299, Xbox head Phil Spencer said Monday at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles. The next device, called Project Scorpio for now, features a graphic processor that can perform calculations at a speed of 6 teraflops.

With the new products, Microsoft aims to breathe life into the console gaming market, which has been dented by competition from mobile devices like Apple Inc.’s iPhone. A device like Project Scorpio that can harness more computing resources may help Microsoft attract users interested in virtual reality games, which require heavy horsepower.

“While the console ecosystem is stronger than ever, most of us play games on more than one device,” Spencer said. “We want to deliver a world where you have more freedom and choice to play the games you want with the people you want on the devices you want.”

Sony’s PlayStation 4, introduced in 2013, has sold more than 40 million units, compared with 21 million for the Xbox One, which came out the same year. The Japanese electronics giant is scheduled to hold a news conference on its product lineup later Monday.

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