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12 Important Things We Know About the Xbox One S

/ Jun 17th, 2016 No Comments

Xbox One S

At the Xbox press conference at E3 2016, Microsoft made a major announcement regarding its Xbox hardware. Only two-and-a-half years since launching the Xbox One, the company is releasing the Xbox One S, a slimmed down console that is 40 percent smaller than the original.

The company followed this up by announcing Project Scorpio, another new, more powerful console, is in development. With Project Scorpio expected to release in late 2017, there was some confusion regarding the Xbox One S.

Should you buy the slim Xbox One? Here are 12 things you need to know about the console to help you make your decision.

1. There are three versions of the Xbox One S

In a misstep by Microsoft, the Xbox One S announcement stated that the console would start at $299.99 and carry up to a 2 TB hard drive. That is somewhat misleading.

The 2 TB Xbox One S will be priced at $399.99 at launch. A 1 TB version for $349.99 will follow the initial launch, and so will a 500 GB Xbox One S for $299.99.

2. There is no dedicated Kinect port but you can use a Kinect

In the unboxing video above, you can see that the Kinect port has been replaced with a USB port. The Xbox One S requires an adapter to use with the Kinect. Microsoft will be offering the adapter for free to those who buy an Xbox One S and already own an Xbox One and Kinect. Details can be found on the official Xbox site.

3. The power brick is gone

One of my biggest issues with the Xbox One (and Xbox 360, for that matter) is the giant power brick that is required. It’s a bulky and ugly, and it’s a waste of space.

The Xbox One S has an internal power supply, so no power brick is required. Just plug the power cord from an outlet to the box. This saves you space immediately.

4. It comes with a controller

There was some initial confusion, but all three versions of the Xbox One S will come with the new “streamlined” controller. The new controller has updated grips and better range.

Xbox One S controller

The Xbox One S controller comes inside the box.

The built-in wireless Bluetooth will allow it to connect to “Bluetooth-ready” devices without requiring a dongle or adapter.

5. It won’t make your games look better (or will it?)

There’s been some mixed messages coming from Microsoft, which is highly disappointing for a newly announced console, especially considering that they announced another new console later on in the same show. What we can take away after digesting all of Microsoft’s different responses is that the Xbox One S won’t make your games look better.

It seems that the new console has a bit more processing power than its older brother. It may be able to run games a bit smoother, and if you have a 4K TV, your games may be upscaled to the higher resolution. Some games, including Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon, were also designed to take advantage of the console’s HDR capabilities.

6. All future games will be compatible with Xbox One S (or will they?)

Preaching that “no console will be left behind,” Microsoft said that all games in the Xbox One family, including games for the upcoming Project Scorpio, will be compatible across all Xbox One platforms. That means you should be able to play all Xbox One games on the Xbox One S.

Whether this remains true is a mystery. Project Scorpio is expected to be much more powerful than the Xbox One, so game developers may look to take full advantage of this technology.

7. You don’t need a 4K TV to use it

The Xbox One S was designed to take advantage of 4K and HDR settings. While this does not mean that games will automatically look better, it does mean that you can watch physical and streaming movies in higher quality.

Although the console works with any HDTV, you will need a 4K and/or HDR compatible television to take advantage of this.

8. It releases in August (sort of)

Microsoft announced the Xbox One S will ship by the end of August, and pre-orders are available now.

However, it appears that only the $399.99 2 TB version will launch in August. The 1 TB and 500 GB versions are expected to release later in 2016.

9. It can be placed vertically

This might not sound like a big new feature, but being able to place the console either horizontally or vertically can be very helpful in achieving the goal of saving space.

A separate stand is necessary to place the console vertically. It will sell for $19.99 but is expected to be packaged with the $399.99 Xbox One S.

10. It has a USB on the front

If you’ve ever tried plugging in a rechargeable controller battery or external hard drive for storage, you know that the placement of the USB slots on the side and back of the original Xbox One can be a hindrance. This is solved by placing a USB slot on the front of the new device.

11. It has an IR blaster on the front

In addition to the USB slot and the controller sync button, there is an IR blaster located on the front of the Xbox One S.

Slim Xbox One

There are physical buttons on the front of the Xbox One S.

This means players will be able to use a remote control for the console and any cable boxes or other devices that are connected to it.

12. It has physical buttons

Hiding buttons may be cool but it is also unintuitive and confusing. The Xbox One S ditches the original design’s hidden power and eject methods for physical buttons.

The on/off switch is still the circular Xbox logo, but it is actually a button this time. It is joined by an eject button near the disc tray.


Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Chief Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ryan Bloom is a writer and avid gamer from Orange County. He received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @BloomsTweets.
Ryan Bloom

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