Earlier this year at E3, Microsoft announced the Xbox One S, and it finally became available to consumers this past week. The Xbox One S is a slightly smaller, slightly more powerful version of the original Xbox One console that came out almost 3 years ago. We’ve seen Microsoft go this route before with the Xbox 360, but this is the earliest they’ve launched a console redesign. So, what makes the Xbox One S worth the upgrade? Well, nearly every aspect of the console has gotten an upgrade of some sort. Besides, “new is always better”.
The Xbox One S comes in a white box with the console on the front and then some prominent Xbox characters on the back. The box is nicely packaged and gives you all of the essentials. The information guide sits right on top and then, of course, you get your new Xbox One S controller, a power cable, an HDMI cable, and a vertical stand so you no longer have to only lay your Xbox down horizontally.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, the S (most likely) stands for “Slim”. According to the specs sheet, the Xbox One S comes in at 40% smaller than the original. Oh, and you can push that monstrous power brick aside. The power supply is integrated into the Xbox One S, making it’s footprint even smaller.
The hard drive also received a much needed upgrade. There are actually 3 different models of the Xbox One S: a 500gb version, a 1TB version, and the 2TB version, which we have here. These will run you anywhere from $299 up to $399. If you consider yourself anything more than just a casual gamer, I strongly recommend the extra $100 for the 2TB version. Personally, I was running out of space on my 500gb Xbox One, and with more and more games releasing DLC, I am happy to have 300% more storage. You can still add an external hard drive if you buy the 500gb model and need more storage later.
Another major draw to the Xbox One S is its 4K UHD video and gaming support. This means the console has a 4K Blu Ray drive, so you can watch stunning movies like The Martian the way they were meant to be viewed. Newer games coming out this fall, like Madden ‘17, are being developed with UHD support, and I’m sure this will soon become a standard.
The UI on the Xbox One S is exactly the same as the original Xbox One. The only difference you may notice is, if you hadn’t updated your Xbox One in a while, Cortana is on out of the box on the One S. Unfortunately, unless you’re wearing a headset, Cortana and Xbox commands will be unusable until the Kinect Adapter is released in late September. Taking a look at the back of the console, there is no Kinect port. This might be the first sign that Microsoft is giving up on the motion game. If you’re an existing Kinect owner, you can go to Xbox.com and fill out a form to receive a free adapter, but it’ll be a few weeks.
The Xbox One S looks strikingly better than it’s predecessor and it is a great addition to the Xbox family. The 4K UHD gaming support should hold us over until we hear more about Project Scorpio, which is slated for launch in Holiday 2017.