Microsoft Xbox One S Review

9
Expert Rating

With the original Xbox One being released almost seven years ago, perhaps now is the time to reconsider its place by your TV. Of course, a good deal should always supersede. Introducing the Microsoft Xbox One S, a beefed up Xbox One with better performance. It’s the best gaming console to reach for if you finally want to experience Xbox’s library.

Why We Like It – Microsoft Xbox One S Review

Improved visuals with 4K support and HDR, it’s the ideal choice for newcomers to Xbox while keeping price low. And it’s your one-way ticket to experience Microsoft’s superb Netflix for gaming: Xbox Game Pass.

Pros
  • Supports High Dynamic Range
  • Xbox Game Pass is an awesome deal
  • Price point
Cons
  • Upscales to 4K, not natively
  • User interface is a nightmare

Performance

By all accounts, the specifications underneath the hood of a Microsoft Xbox One S outperform PlayStation 4 Slim and Nintendo Switch Gaming Console. On resolution alone, the One S supports 4K through upscaling. It isn’t true 4K gaming, but its visuals will still be largely different to a PS4 Slim and pairs nicely with its support for high dynamic range. You’ll get sharper images and a wider range of colors and details. Then there’s the controller. Handling one controller, for some, has been a dream come true. It’s very ergonomic and many swear it’s hard to top, thanks to its curves and thickness. And they aren’t far off from the truth.

Design

The Microsoft Xbox One S doesn’t have a one-off design; in fact, it comes in a variety of finishes depending on the bundle you get. More importantly, the Xbox One S has two versions: digital and physical. With a digital model, Microsoft removed the disc drive so all games are played digitally. The physical version, which includes a disc drive, can play physical copies. But if you want to play physical copies of Ultra HD Blu Rays, you’ll need the game console with a disc drive. Lacking in this model is built-in Kinect, Microsoft’s motion technology, which is inferior in every way to an Oculus Quest Gaming Console.

Value

The Microsoft Xbox One S is supposed to be an in between, a middle-of-the-road option sandwiched between the original Xbox One and the new Xbox One X. So, is this gaming console worth it? That depends: Do you often buy games on the Windows Store and Xbox Store? Are you big on visual media? The PlayStation 4 Slim has an arguably better exclusive library, but the Xbox One S benefits from being able to play your games that you’ve bought on PC through the Windows Store, in addition to Xbox One games. It also is an Ultra HD Blu Ray player. There’s also the amazing Xbox Game Pass which is basically Netflix, but for video games.

Microsoft Xbox One S Review Wrap Up

The Microsoft Xbox One S is an interesting beast: it’s a gaming console with an emphasis on entertainment while keeping its price sweet and simple. We think it’s perfect for newcomers to experience Xbox games without dropping a lot of cash. And if you have a 4K TV, you can even benefit from improved visuals. Just take the time to get used to the interface.

Performance9.3
Design8.5
Value9.3
Reader Rating1 Vote10
9
Expert Rating
Bottom Line

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Brady Meyers

Brady Klinger-Meyers is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He regularly contributes to websites such as Hardcore Droid, Gamepur, and Homebli. His work remains primarily in technology, from video game journalism to consumer technology.

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