Microsoft’s online store is now offering the Xbox One Elite Bundle for preorder. This special version of its premium video game console offers a 1 TB of hybrid storage plus the amazing Xbox One Elite wireless controller. But as you might expect it comes at a heady premium.
Which is to say, this thing costs $500.
For that money, you get two things that are not included with the normal $350 version of the console: that 1 TB of hybrid storage—which I take to mean is a standard 1 TB HDD with some small amount of flash storage to speed access—and the Xbox One Elite wireless controller, which you may recall will cost an astonishing $150 on its own. (You can preorder it now if you want.) So if you need both the console and this controller, you’re basically getting the speedier storage for free.
What it doesn’t come with, oddly, is a Kinect sensor. And while I understand this would have added to the cost of the console—I suspect $500 is some magic tipping point between acceptable and unacceptable—I also feel this says a lot about Microsoft’s new attitude about the device.
I wrote about the Xbox One Elite wireless controller a few months back and judged it to be far too expensive. I still feel that way, though having finally spent some time with the controller now, I can say that it solves the single biggest problem with the normal Xbox One controller, which is that the thumb sticks are too tall. It’s obviously made of high-quality materials, but it remains to be seen whether that fixes the general issue with all Xbox controllers, in that some button(s) or stick(s) will wear down with use, requiring a new controller purchase. That the Elite controller’s bits and pieces can be swapped is a boon, but it could also be a reliability problem. We’ll see.
I’d love to see a smaller Xbox One with no optical drive and all flash storage. Such a console version might be worth an upgrade. But this one … no way, not if you already own an Xbox One.