This is a $US500 Xbox One. Why would you buy a $US500 Xbox One when the going price is $US350 right now? Because this Xbox One will boot faster, load games quicker, and comes with an amazing new gamepad you have to see to believe.
Yes, this is the Xbox One Elite, a new version of the Xbox One game console. The console itself appears to look the same, but it comes bundled with the new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, an insanely tricked-out top-notch gamepad that will cost $US150 all by its lonesome. Yes, $US150 sounds like a ridiculous price for a gamepad, but trust me, I was pretty damn impressed when I saw it in person.
And for the price of a normal Xbox One plus that crazy gamepad, you're also getting a 1TB hybrid hard drive in the bargain.
Never heard of a hybrid hard drive? Well, it's mostly like a normal hard drive with spinning magnetic platters, like the one that comes with the original Xbox One (read: slow) except the "hybrid" part means it also has some speedy flash storage too. Hybrid hard drives use that faster solid state storage as a cache, keeping your most-used files there so they will be ready at a moment's notice. That means faster boot times, but if you play the same games a lot, it could also mean faster game loads too. (Here's an example of that from 2013.)
Microsoft says you'll "get to the action up to 20 per cent faster from energy saving mode", which is a little ambiguous. While a lot of news websites are reporting that games will load 20 per cent faster, that might not always be true.
What won't you get in the new Xbox One Elite bundle? A game. Or a Kinect. It's been dead for a while now.
The Xbox One Elite Bundle will be available worldwide in November. Stay tuned for specifics on Australian pricing and release dates.