The eighth generation of game consoles is redefining the game’s rules, and the Xbox One S offers more than a different color and case, enough to make our Xbox One obsolete? Not, fortunately.
Console reviews are something we have become accustomed to. Both the Microsoft desktop and Sony’s had three models during the past generation, ignoring the unique and commemorative editions. In VidaExtra, we will solve the big question here and now: who is the Xbox One S aimed at?
The most avant-garde model of Microsoft’s desktop is now available and comes from the hand of a new interface that has been adding several successes to Xbox users since its departure, but also in the middle of an ambitious plan by the company of Redmond called ‘Project Helix,’ and with an established and expanding catalog of games.
However, users of the original Xbox One are not going to run out of content or receive worse proposals now that a newer model has arrived. Microsoft’s current generation of consoles continues without leaving anyone behind, and this redesign includes exciting news.
Let’s start with the new suit: S for Slim?
Let’s start from the obvious: beyond its hardware and excellent playable proposal, the design of the Xbox One did not succeed in penetrating users, and when it comes to selling consoles, every detail counts. Why weren’t you passionate about your carcass? Perhaps because of its simple appearance, perhaps because of how heavy and bulky it was during its first contact, perhaps because of its remarkable size if we compare it even with the previous Xbox, which is not that they were tiny.
The Xbox One S not only offers a much more compact design but makes intelligent use of it based on small details, such as being able to stand it up. But beyond this or its new off-white color, what stands out most are its new dimensions: the size has been reduced by no less than 40% compared to the original Xbox One, and that is appreciated.
But as with the Xbox One, this new design also offers a very sober and low-risk appearance, which in a way is far from turning it into a console whose casing will transcend like that of the NES, that of the MegaDrive, that of the first PlayStation and even the GameCube. That’s good or bad? It will depend on the taste of each one and with whom we share the living room – or the bedroom.
A detail that does not go unnoticed and must be taken into account is that, like the original, the Xbox One S offers excellent ventilation thanks to its finishes on the right side, so it is to be expected to overheat much less than the PS4. Its ventilation will be one of the keys to the new power system that we will see later.
More compact, lighter, white … however, the users of the original Xbox One have noticed a curiosity that stands out right in the middle of the front, and that seemed extinct from this generation: the Xbox One S has physical buttons, with which the commitment to the sensors to turn on, turn off or change the disk is reassessed, leaving a clear conclusion: lacking controls is not so practical from the second day.
Xbox One S: 4K Race Begins, But …
Another thing is that this is going to happen. We will fool ourselves at this point: without offering more specific details, the current head of the saga ‘Gears of War,’ Rod Fergusson, has confirmed that Microsoft has taken advantage of the new model to update the CPU and GPU of the console. And this means that, if required, technically, the stability of the performance of the games that the console already has and those that will come in the future could be improved.
Throughout E3, Albert Penello already indicated that these improvements are intended for developers to make use of additional CPU and GPU to facilitate high dynamic range (HDR) images in the reproduction of content in 4K, being precisely this the biggest technical claim of the new model: being able to offer video and audiovisual content in UHD. But what about games?
According to Xbox Director of Program Management Mike Ybarra, games will also be rescaled to 4K. It is convenient not to forget a fundamental thing: to perceive the difference; we will need to have a television or monitor prepared for this format beforehand. Otherwise, we will see the games with the same quality as on Xbox One since Albert Penello made it clear that the two consoles will offer identical performance.
I assure you, we are not going to see [a performance] better. And [the improved CPUs and GPUs] will have absolutely no impact on gaming. You will not notice the change. They will be identical. It will be imperceptible.
Now, if you have a screen capable of managing 4K content, things change, not only in terms of games. Xbox One S allows a non-native rescaling to 4K of the currently available titles. Still, it will serve to get more out of viewing cinematic content and video in streaming or conventional formats.
Getting to move and manage content in 4K seems to be the current priority of the new consoles. It is precisely the biggest claim currently known of the so-called PS4 Neo- formerly known as PlayStation 4K-. However, we will have to wait a little longer for Sony and Microsoft to show their cards for the game in these conditions natively.
Games, accessories, ports, and peripherals
If the latest update was a new nail in the Kinect’s coffin, the Xbox One S practically leaves little room for the Redmond company’s plans around its motion sensor.
The new console unceremoniously removes the Kinect port to fill that space with unused USB ports. However, those interested Kinect users will connect it through an adapter developed for the occasion. Who would have thought that the console was released with this accessory?
Along with the console, the latest version of the Xbox One Controller is included, which, without being at the level of the Elite Controller, offers exciting news. Continuing with the Microsoft desktop philosophy, it is now easier to connect to a PC thanks to its Bluetooth connector, so there is no longer the need to use a USB to play on desktops.
In addition, its ergonomics and the touch of the triggers have been improved, keeping the headphone input from the last revision an accurate detail.
As reiterated multiple times, all original Xbox One games and accessories will work on Xbox One under the same conditions. It may seem like a no-brainer, but under the same conditions, it means that in no case will extra or advantageous functionalities are offered on this console either on launch day or in the future. Zero exclusive games and no accessories with unexpected novelties cannot be enjoyed on the original Xbox One.
Last but not least, the power supply becomes inside the console, which means that the brick that has characterized the power cables of Microsoft consoles will become a standard cable. It is precisely for this reason that they have worked to offer a well-ventilated design in the case.
Xbox One vs. Xbox One S: technical features
|Xbox One||Xbox One S|
|Departure date||November 22, 2013||August 2, 2016|
|Dimensions||33.3cm x 27.4cm x 7.9cm||40% smaller than the original|
|Remote included in the pack||Xbox One controller with 3.5 output for headsets and headphones||Xbox One controller with ergonomic improvement, Bluetooth, and 3.5 output for headphones and headsets|
|HDD||From 500GB to 1TB, expandable with external drives||Currently 2TB, expandable with external drives. 1TB and 500GB models expected|
|Departures and ports||HDMI 1.4, S/PDIF, USB 3.0, puerto Kinect, 3 x USB 3.0||HDMI 2.0a, S / PDIF, USB 3.0, infrared port|
|Output video resolution||720p, 1080p||720p, 1080p, 4K (HDR)|
|Compatible games and peripherals||All Xbox One and Xbox 360 backward compatible||All Xbox One and Xbox 360 are backward compatible. Kinect is compatible through an adapter.|
|Other specs||Touch sensors. Blu Ray and DVD reader.||Vertical support. Physical buttons. 4K Blu-Ray and DVD reader.|
|Official price in the Microsoft Store without games||price (now on sale for 269.99 euros with Quantum Break)||price*|
Is Xbox One S worth it?
Simplifying to the maximum: yes and no, but it depends on you. If you already have an Xbox One and do not have a 4K screen, you can surely buy or reserve many exciting games for the price of having the latest console model and not enjoying it, unless the plug with the external power supply is severe. The aesthetic problem in the Feng Shui of your living room.
However, if you still do not have an Xbox One and you are attracted by its remote control, its catalog of exclusives, or, you want to take advantage of the fact that you already have or are going to have several games in Windows 10 that you can take advantage of on these consoles, it is perhaps one more option than recommended.
To this, we must add that its reduced size and higher capacity hard drive compared to the original Xbox One can justify a difference when choosing this new model, despite the price difference.
Buy a standard Xbox One? Why not? It is a cheaper option, and both consoles will share the same game catalog. If you hesitate between acquiring an Xbox One S and a pack that includes the first Xbox One with a good series of accessories in the form of games, additional control, and a subscription, and there are no short or medium-term plans to acquire a television of high-end, possibly the second option is the most sensible.
But if what you are looking for is a console with which, in addition to playing your favorite games, you can take advantage of your 4K television to watch content in UHD, for now, it is the only desktop on the market to offer these features. And what a 4K Blu Ray player costs today is not far from the starting price of an Xbox One S, with the difference that you could play ‘Killer Instinct’ or ‘Halo 5’ on it.
Note: some of the links posted here are from affiliates. Despite this, none of those above products have been proposed by either the brands or the stores; their introduction is a unique decision of the editors.
Sharlene Meriel is an avid gamer with a knack for technology. He has been writing about the latest technologies for the past 5 years. His contribution in technology journalism has been noteworthy. He is also a day trader with interest in the Forex market.