At E3 this month Microsoft showed off a lot of cool games coming for its Xbox One platform, but the bigger announcement came from the unveiling of the Xbox One S. The new console isn’t a next-generation gaming system, rather it's the Xbox One repackaged into a smaller form factor. But more importantly it signals a change in the way consoles are made and released. Many think that the console industry wills soon take on the same type of release schedule smartphone manufacturers do: releasing interactive, evolutionary updates to their consoles every few years instead of the 6-8 year gap between next gen consoles now.
But that’s not really important right now. All you want to know is what are the differences between the Xbox One and the Xbox One S. That’s why we’ve put together this article, so read on…
Xbox One vs Xbox One S: Design
The most noticeable difference between the Xbox One and Xbox One S is the body. First, Microsoft had ditched the black for a beautiful white shell. But more impressive than the new color scheme is that the Xbox One S is a whopping 40% smaller than the Xbox One. But it gets better. Microsoft has managed to fit the original Xbox One’s external power brick inside the Xbox One S now, so all you have is a thin cord running from the S to your outlet—no bulky power brick to trip over anymore.
Another great design difference between the two units is the Xbox One S can also stand vertically now. This allows it to take up a smaller surface area next to your TV. The S also gets rid of the prior version’s slits in favor of dozens of holes that allow for cooling the insides.
Xbox One vs Xbox One S: Features
The Xbox One S has several additional features the original Xbox One doesn’t have. For starters it supports 4K ULTRA HD and 4K BLU-RAY video playback. This means you’ll be able to play 4K Blu-rays and stream 4K content from Netflix and Amazon on the Xbox One S. There are a few caveats with this 4K support. The S does not support 4K games and of course you’ll need a 4K tv to see the video boost. While the original Xbox One offered a blu-ray player, it did not support 4K discs.
Besides 4K video support, the Xbox One S also offers High Dynamic Range (HDR) support. HDR allows for a more vivid color pallet in games and video including brighter whites, deeper blacks and more natural colors.
One feature the Xbox One S removes is dedicated the Kinect port. So if you have a Kinect, you’ll need a USB adaptor to use it with the S. What the Xbox One S gains is an IR blaster, so you can switch between all your AV peripherals with one remote.
Xbox One vs Xbox One S: Controller
The Xbox One S also gets a new controller that has a new textured grip on the underside of the surface so it’s harder for it to “slip” from your hands and crash into your TV when you lose an Overwatch match. The new controller also works with Windows 10 PCs, phones and tablets via Bluetooth and has twice the range of the old controller.
Xbox One vs Xbox One S: Performance
While it’s not a listed selling point, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to the Verge that the Xbox One S does have just a bit more processing power than the Xbox. "We have the same SOC architecture as Xbox One today. For games that want to take advantage of HDR, we gave developers access to a small amount of additional processing power,” the rep said.
Xbox One vs Xbox One S: Price and Verdict
There’s no doubt about it: the Xbox One S kicks ass. However, if you’re already an Xbox One owner should you upgrade? My initial though it probably not. While the 4K video features and the streamlined design are nice, it’s not going to make a difference to the main purpose of the Xbox One, which is gaming. However, if you have been waiting to buy an Xbox One the S is the one to get. It’s small, sleek, beautiful, and powerful.
The original Xbox One is now available for £199 for the 500GB version. The new Xbox One S will go on sale in August at three different configurations: a 2TB launch edition for £349, a 1TB edition for £299, and a 500GB edition for £249.