Head to head with the Xbox One and Xbox One S

IDG News Service | Aug 25, 2016

We highlight the biggest differences between the Xbox One and the Xbox One S

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The Xbox One S is a slight upgrade from the Xbox One that's smaller and brings some improved video and gaming capabilities, in a slimmed down package.

Microsoft says that the One S is 40 percent smaller than its predecessor. It's built to stand on its side, with an included base that clips into the console.

The Xbox One's power supply has also been stuck inside the One S's case, meaning owners won't have to worry about finding a place to stick a massive power brick.

People who are looking for more storage will find the Xbox One S launch edition useful, since it carries a 2 terabyte hard drive. But that version of the One S will cost $400, which is pricey compared to $250 for a standard Xbox One with 500 gigabyte hard drive.

The controller for the One S has been tweaked slightly to be a bit easier to grip, and also made compatible with Bluetooth in addition to Microsoft's proprietary wireless connection standard. That means it will work with Windows 10 PCs and tablets, in addition to Microsoft's console.

While you might not be able to tell from this footage, the One S has also been upgraded to support 4K and HDR video, including 4K Blu-Ray playback, and 4K video from Netflix and Amazon. That requires an ultra high definition TV, though -- regular HD TVs won't get any benefit.

The Xbox One S will also let people get better video quality from games that support high dynamic range video, but none of those are out yet. Gears of War 4, which is expected out later this year, will be one of the first to use it.

If you think all of that means you'll be able to play 4K ultra HD games, think again. That's being saved for Project Scorpio, the code name for a new Xbox One console that's supposed to come out next year.

So, is the Xbox One S worth it? That depends. It's a big upgrade from the Xbox 360, and possibly worthwhile for people who need a little extra room on their TV stand or those who could benefit from 4K video. But existing Xbox One owners with standard HD TVs probably don't have a reason to buy.
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