The Xbox One S represents a major upgrade over its predecessor, the Xbox One and has some new offerings to elevate the gaming experience. With a major redesign and feature upgrade, Microsoft’s new product is a worthwhile console, albeit with a couple of issues to ponder. There is plenty to explore with the new system.
The Xbox One S is slimmer, measuring about 40% smaller than the Xbox One thanks to a smaller fan and an integrated power supply unit. The separate power brick that has been a major concern for gamers in the previous version is gone.
Two physical buttons replace their touch counterparts for power and eject functions. The sync and USB 3.0 ports are no longer found on the side of the console, but on the bottom half of the front part for increased ease of access.
With an optional vertical stand, the console can be stored upright. A new HDMI 2.0a connector replaces the HDMI 1.4 port, enabling support for high-resolution transmissions. Microsoft has removed the Kinetic port from this model but retained support for this technology with an adapter. The console is white in color, offering no other choice in this regard.
Features and specifications
The standout feature of the Xbox One S is the capability for supporting HDR gaming, a technology that is absent in the previous model and competing systems are yet to incorporate.
Other striking new features include support for 4K streaming and 4K Ultra Blue-ray and a redesigned wireless controller. Unlike in the previous model, the wireless capability in this system lets you connect the console to other Bluetooth-enabled devices like PCs and tablets.
The new model has an IR blaster that makes it easy to manage other devices, including TV. Microsoft has removed the Kinetic port from the new system and integrated it into the design, but you can still use Xbox One Kinetic Sensor with an adapter.
The hard drive storage for the top-end variant of the model is 2TB, but two other variants with 1TB and 500GB storage capacity are available. In comparison, the Xbox One has a storage size of 500GB.
The Xbox One S is more powerful than the standard Xbox One thanks to a more powerful CPU and GPU. The 2TB variant gives you more space to store your games. The console’s support for higher frame rates enhances the gaming experience.
While the HDR compatibility is good news, whether the feature becomes available for use rests on the decisions of developers. Despite the major changes, the new model still does about everything the Xbox one does, including support for Cortana, Windows Store, and Xbox 360 products as well as the ability to play all Xbox One games.
The confirmed release date is August 2, 2016.
Price and Availability
While the price varies with the variant of the model, this console is cheaper than the predecessor. The 2TB variant is priced at $399 while the 1TB and 500GB ones go for $349 and $299 respectively. Combining the 4k Ultra HD Blue-ray player, 4K streaming capability and high processing power makes the new console a bargain. Microsoft has availed the product for preorder in the US, UK, and Australia.
Removing the dedicated Kinetic port is a major drawback for those who need this technology. You require an adapter to enable this feature on the new console. The product comes in only one color – white, which is a problem for those who prefer a different hue.
The Xbox One S offers value for money as it comes with an enhanced console experience for roughly the price of the previous version. For first-time buyers, the purchase decision is easy because this model promises the ideal gaming experience. Those who’ve recently bought the standard Xbox One face an expensive decision on whether to get the new product or stick with the old one.