Examining the Xbox One S


Considered to be the closet rival to the recently released PS4, the Xbox One S is one of the most advanced gaming systems in the world today.  In fact, many analysts believe that it outperforms every other console currently on the market.  If this is the case, what are a handful of its main benefits and are there any potential pitfalls associated with this operating system?  Let us examine the main features and amenities associated with the Xbox One S as well as a handful of sticking points that tech-savvy consumers may notice.

A Basic Overview

The Xbox One S boasts two major improvements over the majority of its rivals.  First, it is equipped to support 4K resolution graphics; ideal when playing many of the games offered.  Secondly (and in direct contrast to the PS4 and the PS4 Pro) is that the Xbox One S is equipped with an Ultra-HD Blu-Ray player.  Interestingly enough, it is even said that original Xbox games are able to run slightly better thanks to this addition.

A solid and well-built construction hint at an attention to durability that might have been lacking in previous versions.  As we should expect, standard features such as an HDMI 2.0a port and USB ports are present; these are compatible with 4K HD HDMI cables as well.

Performance and Processing Power

One of the concerns that some users had was that 4K resolution would come to sacrifice performance and processing speeds.  If anything, the system seems to run even slightly faster with this capability.  This is one of the main reasons why some believe that the Xbox One S is the best 4K-capable console on the market today.

We should also mention here that one of the criticisms of previous Xbox versions was a rather slim selection of streaming content and applications.  Although it might be too early to tell, Microsoft has promised to add many more options through the use of what is being called Universal Windows Apps.  These are said to be compatible with both the Windows 10 OS as well as Xbox One S.

In terms of games, we can only imagine that the quality and resolution have both been vastly improved thanks to 4K capabilities.  On average, an unit will take between 15 and 20 seconds to load.  After this, you can expect streamlined gameplay with little (if any) lag times.  In essence, all games run smoother and faster when compared to those associated with the Xbox One.

The Kinect Issue

The only real drawback associated with the Xbox One S is that it seems that Microsoft forgot to add a Kinect port on their console.  This could actually be quite true, for the company is literally offering a free USB adapter to those who may wish to use this ancillary system.  Whether this was a mere oversight or it was a cost-saving solution will likely be debated for years to come.  We should keep in mind that this will not affect many gamers.  The only real impact could be associated with those who felt forced to purchase the console as a separate item in the past.

Our Verdict

As a whole: here are some of the main takeaway points associated with the Xbox One S.  The benefits are:

  • A smaller physical footprint
  • 4K streaming capabilities vastly enhance the user experience
  • The addition of an HD Blu-Ray media player.

The only real drawback is:

  • Users will have to either purchase or request a USB connector if they wish to use their existing Kinect system with the Xbox One S.

Please keep these points in mind when deciding upon a purchase or an upgrade.