Microsoft’s latest console iteration, the Xbox One S, is out today. But what exactly is it, what does it do differently to an Xbox One and do you need one?
We have all the answers for you below. Let us know in the comments if you got one, or head on over to our forums to discuss it.
When is it available?
The Xbox One S is on sale from today in High Street stores and online, or even direct from Microsoft.
What is it?
The console is similar to Microsoft’s previous slim and elite console updates, in that it’s the same basic console underneath with some added bells and whistles. So, yes, it will play all the same games and apps.
How is it different?
The new Xbox One S has some differences;
- It features a brand new version of the gamepad which features textured grips and Bluetooth, so you can use this wirelessly on PC without any additional hardware.
- The console is slimmer
- It can stand on its side, vertically, with the aid of a stand that comes in the box
- It can play 4K streaming videos, with Netflix and Amazon 4K streams supported
- It upscales games to a 4K output.
- The power block is now inside the console, making it smaller overall and with less messy wiring.
- It has a UHD Bluray player for playing 4K Blurays (marked UHD on their box)
- The initial Xbox One S model comes with a huge 2TB Hard Drive
What’s all this 4K stuff?
The console is primarily designed for owners of 4K TVs who want to be able to have a media box capable of supporting the new format. The UHD Bluray player is the biggest addition as the standalone players are still expensive.
4K Gaming is handled by upscaling, where extra pixels are added based on algorithms (so they’re sort of made up based on a best guess). This means that the video from the games look better on 4K TVs, though they won’t look half as good as a proper 4K signal from the source.
Do I need an Xbox One S?
If you don’t already own an Xbox One and fancy the games on that platform, then the Xbox One S is a good choice for your entry on to this format.
If you have a 4K TV and really want to get the most out of it without waiting a year and a half for Microsoft’s next console or until October for the Playstation 4K then this is a good choice to get media and gaming looking much better on your TV.
If you don’t own a 4K TV and don’t plan to get one soon and you already have an Xbox One then it’s probably not worth the upgrade just yet. The Scorpio will launch at the end of 2017 and it may be worth holding on until then.