Linksys is officially first to market with a wireless router that is part of Microsoft's 'Designed for Xbox' accessory program. The company's new WRT32XB earns that distinction, as Linksys designed the router in partnership with Microsoft to prioritize traffic going to and from the Xbox One S and Xbox One X game systems, with Linksys claiming it can reduce peak ping by up to 65 percent, compared to "non-gaming routers."
"Gamers want performance and ways to enhance their game play, so we’ve develop this WRT router with enterprise quality hardware and custom software tools to give gamers what they want and need to beat their opponents," said Vince La Duca, global product manager at Linksys.
The secret sauce is this router's Killer Prioritization Engine (KPE) by Rivet Networks. It's been tuned to auto-detect any Xbox One on the network and prioritize traffic accordingly "to help provide serious console games with the best possible online gaming experience." All other traffic on the network takes a backseat.
While Linksys is specifically targeting Xbox One owners, the company says PC gamers with Killer-enabled hardware will also benefit from the WRT32XB. It's not clear, though, if PC gamers would be better off opting for the WRT32X released last year, which also sports KPE and is tuned for gaming.
The WRT32XB is a dual-band AC3200 router delivering up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 2,600Mbps on the 5GHz band. It has 1.8GHz dual-core processor onboard, 512MB of DDR3 RAM and 256MB of flash memory, and four external (and detachable) antennas, MU-MIMO support.
Like most modern routers, there is a built-in switch with four GbE LAN ports for wired connections. It also has a USB 3.0 port and a combo eSATA/USB 2.0 port for connecting external devices, such as printers and portable storage to share over the network.
LInksys notes in its press release that the WRT32XB is available now for $250. We didn't see it on Amazon or Newegg at this time of this writing, and interestingly the product page on Linksys' website has it listed at $300. We suspect it will street closer to the $250 price when inventories start to show up. For reference, Amazon sells the WRT32X for $230 (sale price).