The verdict is in for Microsoft’s new Xbox One S, the slimmer, ivory-white update for the Xbox One console, and it’s mainly positive if early reviews from Engadget, CNET, and Gizmodo are any indication.
First off, most who already own an Xbox One will likely not need to update to the Xbox One S, which currently only comes in the $400 2TB model. The $350 1TB SKU and the $300 500GB model will launch on August 23, though of course the original Xbox One model can be upgraded with a 2TB hard drive for extra storage.
But if you don’t own an Xbox One or are convinced by one of the Xbox One S’s new 4K-ready features, then it might be worth the purchase now before Project Scorpio drops (we hope) during the holiday season of 2017. On feature set, much of the appeal of the Xbox One S will depend on whether you own or will own a 4K TV, as the console has an Ultra HD Blu-ray and is ready for 4K UHD streaming on Netflix with 2160p playback… that is, after a long download process with the Anniversary Update.
As for HDR-enabled games, you’ll need to wait until the holiday season this year for Microsoft’s first-party titles like Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4 to see the difference for sure. If the games are your main draw (and why wouldn’t it be?), you may want to wait for screenshot and video comparisons before deciding on purchasing the Xbox One S.
That said, the rounder, Bluetooth-ready Xbox One S controller is more form-fitting and modern than the original Xbox One controller. And the sizable reduction of the Xbox One S console itself, about half the size of the Xbox One console and with the reduced weight, makes it more appealing for those who want to pack it up for travel. The console’s fans are quiet, the USB 3.0 port has been thankfully moved to the front of the console, and the IR blaster allows you to control the console using a remote.
Overall, from the current consensus, this mid-cycle Xbox console should be considered if you like 4K and a much slimmer console, and don’t want to wait a year for Project Scorpio to arrive (which by then, the Xbox One S might drop in price). And of course if you don’t have an Xbox One of any kind and want one, this successor should be well up your alley.