June 18, 2018

Is it worth upgrading to the Xbox One S?

Is it worth upgrading to the Xbox One S?

The latest Xbox One console has just been released by Microsoft and is currently only purchasable in a 2TB edition. This 2TB edition can be bought for $399 from different retailers. Other versions of the console are due for release at the end of the month; the 1TB will cost around $349, and the 500GB version will cost $299. These prices have been taken from the current lowest priced bundles which are due for release at the end of the month.

Xbox One S was first revealed during the Microsoft press conference at E3 2016 in June and details about the console were slowly released about the new console. However, this is not the one that got gamers excited. The Xbox Scorpio will be a much more powerful console and is due for release in 2017.

Releasing the Xbox One S and Xbox Scorpio so close together sounds like a bad idea yet, the slimmer Xbox One is currently selling very well according to Microsoft. Deciding whether to wait for the upcoming Scorpio or to purchase the Xbox One S is a difficult decision; so here are all the details any gamer needs to think about when debating on making the Xbox One upgrade right now.

4K support

The most talked about feature for the Xbox One S is the new 4K support; it allows users to watch and stream videos in the ultra HD 4K resolution. This allows it to play HD Blue-ray discs and stream Ultra HD content from streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime.

For users who don’t own a 4K resolution TV, this means very little and Xbox One owners may not be convinced considering the original console can also output 4K resolution. The major difference here is that the XBO doesn’t support the HDMI 2.0 cable which allows videos to run in ‘true’ 4K with more than 30fps. In addition to this, the Xbox One S uses High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology to provide incredibly detailed images.

Xbox One S is also capable of supporting games with much higher quality graphics. However, this promise may not be enough to entice users to go ahead with the Xbox One upgrade; there are currently no games available that will take advantage of the HDR technology. The console can upscale the current XBO games to 4K resolution.


There is very little difference between the two Xbox consoles when looking at their specifications; this slight difference is what allows the Xbox One S to support the powerful HDR technology that makes videos look great on it.

The graphics processing unit (GPU) has been slightly upgraded, and this slight upgrade gives the console just over 7-percent more performance power. While this does not sound like very much to less computer-savvy individuals, the small performance boost allows the Xbox One S to run more GPU intensive games. This is due the console now being able to take a heavier GPU load which is great news for graphics and video streaming.

For the CPU however, this are no changes. This means that game mechanics such as AI, physics and even loading will not change very much.

In short: The GPU gets a boost which increases graphics and video quality however the CPU is still the same. This is a pretty important fact in considering if it’s worth making the Xbox One upgrade.

Visual Design

A lot of changes have been made to the design of the Xbox One S that makes it stand out from its predecessor; these changes may seem to be minor but they can have a huge impact overall and can easily make it worth going ahead with the Xbox One upgrade.

Like it’s name suggests, the Xbox One S is much smaller than the original; the new console is 40-percent smaller and also features a built-in power supply unit. The original Xbox One has an external power supply that must be plugged into the console and then an electrical socket; the new console no longer has this annoyance.

The slender new design is very noticeable now that it features a striking white color scheme; the surface of the console is covered with small holes reduce the internal heat which builds while the device is switched on.

While not too surprising, this could severely impact the decision for making the Xbox upgrade: there is no Kinect port. It looks like Microsoft is dropping most of their support for the visual controller and it’s safe to assume the Xbox Scorpio will also be missing a dedicated Kinect port. Kinect owners can still purchase a USB adapter to connect the device to the console which will allow them to play their Kinect games. It’s a slight annoyance to a group of players, but the Kinect port has been replaced with something new.

The Kinect port was replaced with an IR Blaster which provides the user with control over various other electronic devices. Players can configure their Xbox One S to command some other devices such as the TV or audio devices; the aim is to reduce the number of different remotes needed to work to control all of the local devices. It’s certainly a useful addition to the console which pushes it closer to the idea that it’s a media hub for the household.


Naturally, the Xbox One S comes with a brand new controller which also follows the new white color scheme; it has a few improvements over the standard Xbox One controllers, but players have noticed a small annoyance.

Some players have commented that the controller feels a little cheap in comparison to the previous Xbox One controllers; there have also been some complaints about the buttons sticking too much. While these are annoying negatives, there is a lot to be gained from these controllers which overshadow these issues.

The biggest upgrade is the fact it has Bluetooth support which allows it to be used a wireless controller for a PC; this is perfect for PC gamers, especially those who are considering purchasing an Xbox One console considering the cross-play and cross-buy features being introduced by Microsoft.

Next to that, the controller has a 3.5mm headphone jack built into the front; it allows players to plug in a headset and issue voice commands to the console. As there is not longer any Kinect support, players now control the Xbox One S through the Cortana interface which has been integrated with most of the recent Microsoft products, including Windows 10.

Gamers who like to spend hours in-game know that it’s important to have a good grip on the controller and as a result, most players will purchase a third-party grip; the Xbox One S controller has received some slight changes to enhance the grip. It features a new textured feel to the handles which does feel much better and is a good step in the right direction.


If you already own an Xbox One, the upgrade is most likely not worth it right now unless you own a 4K TV and want to use it for the high-quality graphics and HD videos. Waiting for the Xbox Scorpio seems like a much better option right now considering how much more powerful it will be.

For anyone looking to buy their first console, the Xbox One S is a clear choice for many different reasons: it’s easier to store, it looks better, and it has a higher performance. This is a big improvement over the original Xbox One, and if you want a Microsoft console, then this is the one to buy.

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