Xbox One S vs. Xbox One: What Is The Difference?

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It has been three years since Microsoft gave us the Xbox One, and that means that we are now due a console redesign. However, rather than provide us with just a slimmer system, the Xbox One S also comes with a few tweaks and a couple of new features, all packed underneath a stylish looking exterior. So, what is the difference between the original Xbox One and the new Xbox One S?

Xbox One S is 40% smaller than the original

Compared to the original Xbox One and its bulky design, the Xbox One S is much smaller, 40% smaller, to be exact which means it is about half the size of its predecessor. With this change in size comes an additional benefit, which is the ability to be able to place the console on its side, which means it won’t take up nearly the amount of room the previous model did.

Internal power supply

It looks like Microsoft was on a mission to remove as much of the bulk from the system as possible because also gone is the hefty power supply that used to trail behind the console like a python on the hunt.

According to some rumors, the shrinking of the power supply is directly related to the improvement of fan technology, meaning that now Microsoft has found a way to cool the console more efficiently. So it has not only shrunk the device but also found room for the power supply.

4K Ultra HD, 4K Blu-Ray, and High Dynamic Range Support

4K is not supported on the original Xbox One, although it is quickly becoming the standard that the majority of manufacturers are working towards. With that in mind, Microsoft has given the Xbox One S arguably its most important feature. As not only does the console support 4K video playback from well-known streaming services such as Netflix, it also comes with a built-in 4K Blu-ray player.

From HMDI 1.4 to HDMI 2.0

What difference can a cable make? In short, it will provide a range of much more natural colors, brighter whites, and remarkably deeper blacks, all from your standard High definition image, but you will need a compatible TV to enjoy this change. Seen as a huge plus point, this could have a dramatic effect on games and video playback.

No Kinect port

You may have thought the Xbox One S was only going to offer additional features, but Microsoft has also taken away from the console. One feature that was once coveted by the tech giant was Kinect. However, the removal of a connection port for the motion-tracking technology proves that Microsoft no longer values that technology like it once did.

That being said, if you really must use Kinect, you will still be able to connect one using a USB adapter to plug it into the USB port on the console.


The Xbox One S also has an updated wireless controller which will likely be welcomed by all gaming fans.

It does look somewhat similar in design to the original, but on closer inspection, it is easy to see that it is much sleeker and comes with improved grips on the handles to make sure it remains in the hand. It also has twice the wireless range of the former model, meaning that you don’t have to sit as close to the TV as you once did. It also works with phones, Windows PCs and tablets via Bluetooth.

Better performance

It is well known that with the release of the Xbox One S, Microsoft is not embarking on a mission to introduce the next generation of console. As such, you should consider this an iteration. Much in the same way the iPhone 5s was a minor upgrade/iteration to the iPhone 5, you should think of the Xbox One S in the same manner.

When the One S was first announced, it looked like it would not come with any extra processing power, but it seems as though that assumption was not entirely accurate. Rod Fergusson, who is the head of the Coalition, the company behind Gears of War 4recently revealed that his team had found a way to take advantage of the extra GPU and CPU power made available by the Xbox One S for a soon-to-be-announced game which uses HDR. This was done to improve frame rates in the game, not graphics, and Fergusson suggested that his team had been able to reduce the frequency of frame rate penalties.

Pricing and availability

Right now the 2TB version of the Xbox One S is available in the Microsoft store for US$399, and there will also be 500GB and 1TB versions of the new console variant available for US$299 and US$349. As for how this compares to the Xbox One, its price depends on where you buy from, but Microsoft has a Tom Clancy’s The Division Bundle with a 1TB console on sale for US$299.

Xbox One S and Xbox One specifications compared

Xbox One S v Xbox One Specs

Final thoughts

If you’re looking for a reason to upgrade from the Xbox One, maybe the One S could entice you due to its 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player! If this is the case and you intend to make regular use of 4K content, which includes HDR gaming, then it makes sense to upgrade to this console, but only if you have a 4K TV!

However, if you want real 4K gaming and VR, it would be better for you to stick with the original Xbox One and wait until Project Scorpio comes along next year. Expected to be on the very pricey side, this console is promising a lot. In fact, with it, Microsoft is hoping to gain some converts from the extremely lucrative PC gaming world, and rumor has it that the console will be compatible with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

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