Microsoft may launch two Xbox streaming devices at E3 [Update: Xbox One Slim as well?]

A new report claims that Microsoft will debut new Xbox hardware products at E3 2016, including a streaming device similar to a Chromecast and a smaller stand alone box that could be the long rumored Xbox Mini.

The reports come from well-known Microsoft journalist Brad Sams on a special edition of The Sams Report video podcast. The small streaming device, similar to Google's Chromecast or Amazon's Fire TV Stick, may be priced around $100, according to Sams. As far as the Xbox Mini, Sams didn't have a lot of information but he believes that this set-top box will be similar to the Apple TV, which might be able to play Windows 10 UWP games. Sams claims that the Xbox Mini might be priced at between $150 and $175. In addition, Sams says that Microsoft could introduce a new standard controller for the Xbox One during E3, but it won't be a huge change from the current version.

Sams also speculates that Microsoft might announce some kind of new version of the Xbox One that will allow for 4K video, but not for 4K gaming, as the rumored PlayStation 4.5 is supposed to support. In addition, Sams says that Microsoft is in early development with bringing the Xbox One interface to more third-party PCs. This isn't a huge shock, as the Xbox One's OS is basically a modified version of Windows 10, but it could allow for Xbox One games to be played on devices made and sold other than Microsoft.

Finally, he claims that Microsoft might launch an all new Xbox hardware revamp for 2017. He speculated the hardware might support virtual reality headsets, but he didn't have enough information to confirm that. In any case, none of Sams' claims have been officially confirmed by Microsoft, so take all of his statements with a grain of salt. However, if even some of what he is reporting is true, it could make for a very interesting E3 2016.

Update: Kotaku has more information on what they claim are Microsoft's future Xbox hardware plans:

The 2017 Xbox, which is codenamed Scorpio, will have a more powerful GPU, according to three people familiar with this model, speaking anonymously because they were not authorized to speak about Microsoft's plans. We hear that it will also be technically capable of supporting the Oculus Rift and that Microsoft is pursuing a partnership with Oculus. As for 2016, sources have told us there's at least a more compact version coming by year's end. One source believed it will include a larger 2TB hard drive, double the capacity of the most spacious current model. We're expecting Microsoft to announce the more compact machine at E3 next month.

Kotaku's story made no mention of the smaller streaming Xbox devices in Sams' report.

John Callaham
  • Good! Microsoft need to wake up..
    We also need daydream vr and PlayStation vr competitor. Google must not be given another chance to chain monopoly
  • Na, let them keep planning for HoloLens and let other companies make VR systems. Just make the Xbox One able to play them.
  • So far Microsoft doesn't need to have its own VR hardware, Microsoft is already partnering with Oculus. We need though is that Daydream VR software implementation for Windows, especially for W10M which it seriously lacks much VR content to take advantage. Microsoft even have VR Kit similar to Google Cardboard initiative, W10M don't have much software to support it which is really half-baked vision. Sent from Turing Machine
  • That Oculus partnership does nothing for Xbox One unless the new console actually supports Oculus headsets. All the partnership does right now is promote the Xbox One controller as a PC gaming accessory.
  • Meanwhile xbox one miracast app is missing in action.
  • It's been in Insider for months. It sometimes works well, sometimes not so much.
  • This is where Microsoft always falls down, little details like this. They'll make lots of noise about the xbox running windows 10 but things like this, their anemic media player app just show there really is no substance to what they do.
  • I was one of the people going against the trend and bought an Xbox One primarily for media, with gaming as a nice bonus that it ended up getting me back into for the first time in years. That vision they cast early on of it being your one media device for everything sounded amazing to me because I had been looking for a good media centre solution. Two and a half years later: Miracast is only in Insider and not very reliable Most media apps don't even bother to integrate to OneGuide (our big two: Netflix and NBA) Plex kept their app to Pass customers only for a year before we finally got that a few months ago Shomi just released an app, and CraveTV still hasn't (Netflix competitors in Canada) The new OneGuide format separates app channels from live TV so it isn't really one guide anymore. I've pretty much stopped using it. No PVR yet on OTA TV (but pausing is fantastic, use regularly) Film & TV doesn't integrate with UltraViolet libraries so anything I buy is trapped in the ecosystem Rogers TV app forces you to enter credentials every time, even when you check the box to remember me Several of those are obviously not directly Microsoft's fault, but it has felt like their rush to appease gamers after botching those early announcements meant mostly ignoring all the media stuff they had promised.
  • the fact that you bought an xbox one with the idea of it being your media center one device is a bit perplexing at this point. yes MS changed its plans from a media-focused xbox one to a games-focused xbox one, but they did that sometime before the console actually launched (soon after their disastrous E3 that year). by the time I purchased the xbox one on launch day it was clear that media was no longer the main focus of the console. kinect support on games stopped, the tv licensing deals fell through, ota antenna support was not there, original programming and sttudios were dissolved, etc. even games like Quantum Break suffored a bit from this change because it had been originally conceptualized as a media-focused game, along with a tv show tie-in, but at the end had to be stripped of its tv-series ambitions and become just a game with a cool live-action cut scenes.
  • Obviously your launch day is way different then ours. The fact he stated he got his xbox one 2.5 years ago means he got his when I got mine. Other than the fact that Over the air wasn't available YET, literally nothing you stated happened before our launch, nothing perplexing about it. Only thing that changed from original reveal by launch was family share, how games would be distributed and always connected requirement.
  • Miracast if I had to guess they're building it in like w10 anni.
    Yeah even sling backpedaled on their plans for oneguide.
    Well neither company have a clue.
    Ota is all but dead in Canada.
    Well you could use cinemanow.
    Yeah rod needs an update badly.
  • They should probably just port the Connect app, works very well in my PC. Sent from my Lumia 950 XL
  • Very interesting, if true. And most probably the right thing to do. But the new Xbox needs to wait till 2018. Anything less than 5 years defeats the purpose of buying a console. Unless you don't mind splurging every few years.
  • Like with a smartphone?
  • New $400 console after 4 years? OMGWTF NO! I just bought an Xbox One ins 2013! Ripoff! New $600 smartphone every 18 months? Hell yes! I preordered 6!!!1  
  • Sure you did.....
  • Don't know about everyone else, but no one in my family changes phones before 3-4 years.
  • Lol!!! @method man
  • Um....okay. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android (Motorola Nexus 6)
  • All console generations before the last one lasted 4 or 5 years. The last gen was long because of the Recession. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • At that point a PC just makes much more sense. Consoles only have value in their low barrier for entry, which is achieved by forgoing profits, or even taking a loss, on the hw and making money on sw licensing / subs. Such a model is likely not feasible with bi-yearly upgrades. I wonder if MS will require live subs for the app capable version, that would suck.
  • Microsoft cannot afford to sit on the sidelines as Sony gains even greater advantages in graphical fidelity. This matters very much to people choosing a game console. I am also hopeful that new graphic power will help backwards compatibility run a bit smoother... definitely some brief pauses in Black Ops, and poor performance in GoW Judgment.
  • Thing is they need to be competitive against Playstation, so waiting for another year would just let Sony dominate the market. Xbox One already got a bad rep unfortunately, so it needs something that is better that Playstation early as possible (but also not rushed). One major thing that also Microsoft should really take consider is not make their Xbox costlier than Playstation unless it can surely outperforms in terms of specs. Xbox 360 were not as powerful as PS3, but it was cheaper which justify the console value. Xbox One though was quite not as powerful as PS4 but its more expensive, this I think were they just blew it and fall from there. Most people will justify the more powerful GPU at the lesser price to be way more valuable than the feature-heavy Xbox One. Sent from Turing Machine
  • Well 360 had a year start
  • Remember I said spring 2017 lineup will include new xbox. Also hololens in some form or an announcement regarding it. EDIT: Satya stop downvoting. Your fault that the vault has leaks.
  • Microsoft really need to open Xbox platform to allow OEMs develop more hardware for, virtual reality, tablets
  • Definitely feel they need to get into the light streaming box segment. These devices keep getting more powerful and their price point makes them attractive to non serious gamers. Losing out on this mindshare could be crippling to the xbox brand moving forward.
  • Seems redundant to have both a $100 streaming stick and a $175 Xbox Mini. Specifically I have a hard time seeing a lot of people buying the in-between Xbox Mini. Either you want a streaming device for as cheap as possible, or you want a full gaming machine. My guess would be that they tested both but are only going to release one.
  • I think they'll only go for the streaming stick. The Xbox Mini will probably be the "Xbox Slim" that is priced cheaper. Maybe not $175, probably $199-$249
  • $100 for a streaming stick seems off. Fire TV, Chromecast, etc. all cost less than half that.
  • The device, including it's price is just speculation.
  • Don't they run proprietary software though?
  • You would think that the other version would support streaming full Xbox games
  • Unless they include background music and 4K gaming, I'll be switching to ps4K. Microsoft has been getting left behind in gaming and I won't be joining them there. After 10 years of Xbox I won't be switching lightly.
  • If you're not going to use VR, a 4K console doesn't make real sense right now given the low uptake of 4K TVs around the world.
  • 4K is actually surprisingly getting more affordable these days, its just that it doesn't sell like hotcakes since most people are still fine with Full-HDTV. Also most part of the world may bot have HD digital TV where they can advantage of the resolution outside watching movies, gaming or paying cable companies. Still there is no excuse for Microsoft this time just to let Sony eats all the cake. Sent from Turing Machine
  • PS4K will not support 4K gaming in most games, even the new 1080 struggles with 4K and that card alone costs twice what the current xbox does. Increased framerates would be welcome though.
  • They have said background music is coming, I think in the summer Anniversary Update, but I might be fuzzy on that.
  • Backround music is coming in the Anniversary update. Also, neither the new PS4 or XB1 will be capable of 4K gaming, at least not natively.
  • If you want 4K gaming you should get a PC and be done with it. The new PS4 won't be capable of 4K in any sort of "AAA" games.
  • Depends on the games really, Nintendo style, good looking, cell shaded graphics would likely run fine, especially at 30fps (though Nintendo thankfully usually does 60).
  • Sweet! Only things I need now are a house with multiple rooms and TVs and kids to occupy one of the TVs so I have to use another one. ​On a more serious note, I hope they release a VR headset that utilizes UWP, and is compatible with my xbox, W10 pc and W10 phone. That would be the dream! My money would fly straight into their pocket :D I know you can do it Microsoft!
  • How are those Xbox WP games working out for everyone? Oh there aren't any good ones? All F2P shovelware you say? Good thing that would never happen on the Xbox. Right?
  • Oculus support will be a game changer. This will bring vr to more consumer at low cost
  • No it will not. PS-VR will. And its a real product shipping soon.
  • Low cost? The hmd is still rather expensive, and I doubt the new console is enough to drive the resolution and framerate Oculus demands without foveated rendering, and that is not supported by the current Oculus hmd.
  • Having a device that can do game streaming is definitely tempting to me. My one big request is that they find a way to make it as good as the Steam Link. Over the same network I can stream 1080p 60FPS with no loss of visual quality. I find the Xbox One streaming has some level of input lag and the visuals aren't as consistent. I played through all the Arkham games using Steam Link and an Xbox One controller - A game that does need as little input lag as possible and didn't get any issues. Same with shooters. When I do the same on Xbox One I always have at least some perceivable lag. Not sure if it's down to the Xbox or the software that streams
  • So a bunch of me too releases. Geez, MS needs to get out in front!
  • An AppleTV-esque Xbox mini would be great assuming it supports game streaming. They could market it as a companion where you only need one full console that you can use on any TV in the house
  • If it can bring Game streaming up to the standard I get with a Steam Link I'm in for that for sure. Steam Link is superb in my experience and a lot better than streaming to another PC using Steam, or using Xbox One streaming. Over the same network I can see and feel a clear difference. Not sure if it's down to the Xbox doing the streaming or the software itself that talks between Xbox and Xbox app. Not saying Xbox One streaming isn't okay, just not as smooth and free of latency as I get with a steam link
  • I really want that feature Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I've been advocating for MS to release a stand alone Kinect based set-top box w/ Cortana for years. A revamped One Guide along with Kinect and Cortana could be a really compelling option for cord cutters!
  • "The small streaming device, similar to Google's Chromecast or Amazon's Fire TV Stick, may be priced around $100, according to Sams."   If that's the price tag they're going with, it will flop. It's overpriced. The appeal of the Chromecast and the Fire Stick is precisely the very low price for the functionality offered. In Chromecast's case, it's also its broad availability. But since it's Microsoft we're talking about anyway, it will probably be all US-Only anyway.   The Xbox 4K sound intriguing. Although it will probably come down to what it offers in comparison with the PS4K. I have no need to upgrade my XBone but I will consider a console that plays 4K blu-ray discs IF the current versions aren't capable of playing them. So far, from the rumours, it looks like I'll be going with the PS4K. But we'll see.
  • If both of these new consoles are backwards compatible and all new games will be released on both, I'll be going with the new PS4 too. Already have an XB1 like you, so there's no point in buying a new one that plays the same games. I also game on PC and will be getting one of those new GTX 1080's for my graphics fetish.
  • I am personally waiting to see what NX is, going back to cartridges (if the rumours are true) sounds great to me.
  • "The small streaming device, similar to Google's Chromecast or Amazon's Fire TV Stick, may be priced around $100, according to Sams." Well, I was intrigued before that price point. Comparing it to a pair of sub-$40 devices seems to be unfair. It gets into the reader's mind that it's a basic device that does what Chromecast and Fire Stick do, but for more than twice the cost. If the later sentence, that it's similar to Apple TV, is correct, then bringing up the lower-end alternatives just isn't good journalism because it misrepresents the situation and the device. Microsoft sounds a bit aimless with all this. A $100 streaming device, $175 "mini" console, and a $250-300 "big" console sounds like they're overdoing it on a hardware lineup that will get pseudo-replaced in 6-12 months, if the rumors of a stronger console in early-2017 are true. And changing the controller AGAIN? Come on, guys. Seems like a money grab to get people to "upgrade." Still mad my Elite Controller went to crap inside of 6 months, and that they won't do anything about it.
  • Some interesting rumours. It's mainly the Slim and the Scorpio rumours that I'm liking. I only bought my Xbox One a year ago, so if a smaller and more powerful console came out this year I'd be understandably gutted.
    Next year for an actual upgrade doesn't sound too bad for me though, there'd be little point in upgrading to a slim if it's mainly just changes to the form factor (my Xbox sits under my TV, I don't move it, size is not important at all). The Scorpio idea sounds like a beast, though, it'd put the PS4.5 to shame.
    Also wondering how much that might cost.... Maybe an upgrade next year is a little less likely... The streaming stick also sounds interesting, not a bad idea, but I think MS will need to beef up their offerings so that it actually offers something new. Netflix and the like are a given, UWP apps also show some good potential, but services like Groove and Film and TV might need a little more work. Then again, this could be what finally propels them to mainstream. It'd be cool if the stick plugged into a HDMI port on one end and on the other had a port for the TV tuner/cable. That way, everything would be done through just the one input, and that feels very Xbox One. Also looking forward to seeing how MS names all these... Must be a headache for the marketing team.
  • The upgraded console better be a monster powerhouse
  • I believe something is going to be announced, but I have no idea what. There have been a number of really good deals on Xbox One hardware the last few weeks. It's almost like they know their announcement might have a chilling effect on demand for the old console and they're moving what inventory they can in advance of E3.
    I told myself I'd wait until after E3 to see what's what. But these sales have been challenging my resolve.
  • Wait... It is only weeks away.
  • Sure I said it here before, but 2017 is likely, and by November 2018 is a certainty for the next Xbox. I'd prefer 2018, as I need a difference worth having. They should also factor Xbox live fees in, allowing them to subsidise the purchase price. So hardware at £400 launch. Live fees over 4 years would enable them to release hardware worth £500.
  • Yesterday the Internet was all excited because Apple is rumored to be releasing a Siri device like the Amazon echo. Actually, it wasn't the Internet, but the Apple sycophant media was excited. Having a device like this with Cortana built in and the ability to access the WIndows store would be the standard that others would need to live up to.
  • Exciting news, would love more devices that can access my Movies & TV purchases. Next an Amazon Echo competitor with Cortana please.
  • One of the reasons I went with the Oculus Rift. Because of the Microsoft partnership and because it was only a matter of time before it would be fully compatible with Xbox. Happy Camper here.
  • How's your experience been so far? Any regrets or complaints? Are the games worthy of a purchase yet or would you wait? I've been thinking of grabbing one this week but want to make sure it's worth the $1000 purchase.
  • I just got it delivered yesterday. It's been pretty amazing so far. I did experience some motion sickness while playing Lucky's Tale but other than that I feel like it's an absolute must play and a true showcase for VR.
  • Have you played any other games? Would you say the experience makes the price justifiable lol?
  • So, if Sony is skipping a refresh and going straight to an upgrade, then won't an Xbox refresh only be bad? Especially if the potential upgrade for next year isn't also announced? I think it would be better to say "here's a cheaper model and here's a hardware revision for bleeding-edge types" simultaneously so people who purchase the former don't feel cheated within 12 months of purchasing a new console. The rumored Chromecast-like device can come out whenever, a those people likely aren't worried about underlying tech being the reason for purchase.
  • Agreed. That would suck for people waiting for a slim(me)... Then a year later... The latest and greatest would be released. I mean if that's the case why even bother with a slim versiin.
  • Sick. One more reason for me to grab Oculus.
  • I've never used onboard graphics in my custom built PCs (Don't think many people who spec one themselves ever do) but I'm sure a lot of them claim to support 4K Video....Either that's BS about the igpu or there's something weird about the GPUs in consoles that makes them incapable of 4K video playback. Anybody got a better insight as to why the consoles struggle with this. 4K gaming is out of the question anyway as both consoles struggle with 1080p/60fps. I love my Xbox One and it's price, I'm not really keen on them introducing something akin to the PS4.5 Neo console
  • Most 4K content is H.265. Consoles don't have hardware to decode H.265, newer Intel CPUs do.
  • $100 is about $60 too much.
  • ******* FINALLY. so sick of these entitled ******* hermits coming out of their caves every 6 years still trying to force physical media on everyone else.  So done with plastic cases and game discs..  worthless pieces of **** that just clutters my room.  If i had all the Steam games in a plastic case, I wouldn't have a place to sleep in.  Literally the only reason why I moved to PC 2000-2014.
  • WTF are you talking about?
  • I really hope (wishful thinking) that they release 3 boxes:
    1.- Something like an external GPU for the current Xbox One that allows to play VR and 4K, so I can keep using mine.
    2.- Xbox One Slim (with all the goodies of the external GPU included)
    3.- Xbox Stick (a la fire TV stick) for: Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go/Now, Amazon Prime Video, Continuum, UWP, Xbox streaming. Maybe even KODI (that's just the pirate in me speaking)
  • Its sad that people immediately associate Kodi with piracy. Its something that has severely damaged the brand and hurt the devs in getting mainstream support from content providers and device manufacturers.
  • Agreed, also (and unfortunately) it's the main (main, not only) reason anyone uses Kodi. If developers take kodi's pirate add-ons, kodi will be dead in minutes. 90% of the userbase will immediately abandon it.
  • XBOX mini would be fantastic.  Same UI and capabilities (less XBOX One games) is what I would prefer for my bedrooms.  I don't like supporting multiple devices. :)  A 4K VUDU experience would be nice, as well.  A XBOX One slim would also be great for secondary living spaces.  Lets see what actually materializes.
  • Smh, they should partner with HTC, and The Vive. I feel like its a lot more known in the non-gaming community and HTC has been a supporter of Windows. They also have a track record of beautiful, high quality products that are very durable. Posted via the Windows Central App for Symbian