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Xbox One S vs. Xbox One: How does the new console stack up?

Updated 4 years ago
Published Jun 16th, 2016 3:02PM EDT
Xbox One S vs Xbox One

The rumors were true — Microsoft has been working on a slim Xbox One. In fact, the reveal of the Xbox One S kicked off Microsoft’s press conference at E3 this year, cementing it as one of the company’s biggest announcements.

So we know it’s slimmer and we know it’s more powerful, but how exactly does the new Xbox One S differ from the original Xbox One?

READ MORE: PlayStation vs. Xbox: Who won E3 2016?

Physical changes

If you own an Xbox One, or have ever seen one in the wild, you know that it’s an absolute monstrosity. Measuring in at 13.1″ x 10.8″ x 3.1″, it takes up a lot of room, especially since Microsoft says you shouldn’t stand it up vertically.

The Xbox One S is 40% slimmer than its predecessor. In fact, you could easily fit an entire Xbox One S inside of an old Xbox One, which tells you just how much shelf space you’re going to save with the revamped console.

In addition, the Xbox One S can stand on its side without any issues. It even comes with a vertical stand included in the box. But the best physical modification of all might be the fact that the power supply is now inside the console, which means no more enormous power brick — just a standard cable.

New features

More than just a miniaturized Xbox One, the S model has slightly more processing power than the original in order to support High Dynamic Range (HDR) gaming. It’s not quite 4K, but it’s a noticeable graphical improvements.

Speaking of 4K, the Xbox One S also doubles as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player. 4K gaming will have to wait for Project Scorpio, but if you want to watch 4K video on your Xbox One, you can do so with the S in August. This is possible because the S now supports HDMI 2.0a, which allows it to output 4K at 60Hz.

Sadly, the Xbox One S won’t feature a dedicated port for the Kinect (unsurprising considering Microsoft has seemingly all but forgotten the Kinect exists), but it has been replaced with an IR blaster, which will allow users to configure their Xbox One S to turn on other devices, like TVs and cable boxes.

New controller

Although technically not unique to the Xbox One S, there is a redesigned controller that comes in the box. The new controller is sleeker than the standard controller that came with the original Xbox One, is able to work from twice the range, has a textured grip on the handles and adds Bluetooth for seamless Windows 10 gaming.

You can always buy the new controller separately, but if you’re planning to buy an Xbox One soon anyway, it’s a nice addition to the Xbox One S package.

As you can see, the Xbox One S is much more than just a slimmed-down Xbox One. It’s a true evolution over the original console, but despite that, it’s still hard to recommend when Project Scorpio is coming next fall. That said, if you were planning to buy an Xbox anyway, this is the model to get.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.