The battle for games console supremacy between PlayStation and the Xbox is set to rumble on for many years to come, and Microsoft are the latest to release an updated version of their iconic console. The new Xbox One S has been designed to give gamers better graphics than ever before on an even smaller machine.
Like most modern technologies, Microsoft have managed to squeeze even more into even less, with the new Xbox One S actually 40% smaller than the previous model. Despite this, gamers can experience more vibrant colours than ever, and those that enjoy watching movies and television through their console can get the same benefits thanks to the machine’s full compatibility with 4K Ultra HD televisions and monitors.
To help you gain a better understanding of just what the Xbox One S has been designed to do, how it differs from its predecessor and other key information about the must-have console for 2017, we’ve compiled this detailed guide with all you need to know.
How is an Xbox One S different to an Xbox One?
Having hit the market back in 2013, the Xbox One had just about reached the end of what most would call its life cycle, so gamers were due a new console. The question is, however, is the Xbox One any different to the predecessor, and would you even notice the difference between the two?
To give a relatively short answer, the new console is what the Xbox One could have been had Microsoft held back on the release by a few months – or even a year. The gaming public’s insatiable demand for more in terms of graphics quality, speed and all-round performance have meant that Microsoft have had to adapt what was already a console ahead of its time and to give them credit, they’ve done it very well.
The Xbox One was designed to become a living room essential by allowing users to fully connect the console to their televisions, enabling them to watch and stream TV shows, their favourite sports, movies and much more. The new Xbox One S still has those aims but they’ve gone back to basics – to an extent – and focussed on producing the best games and the best platform to play them on.
Xbox fans can play all the same titles that they’ve enjoyed on both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One, but despite the console’s ability to support 4K video it does not currently support 4K games – this feature is believed to be included in the next Xbox. The only other drawback, depending on the games you play, is that the Kinect option has been withdrawn.
Coming in at around 40% smaller than the predecessor, the One S is a more practical – and stylish console. If you do have it set up in your front room, the on-trend Apple-esque all-white design will ensure that it fits in with your décor and furniture as if it was a simple DVD or Blu-Ray player. It can be either laid down flat or stood upright which means that the goal of becoming a household must-have and not just a games console is more achievable.
In fact, there are a lot of people who believe that the new Xbox One S is a perfectly good Blu-ray player in its own right. This means that the gamer in your home can play their favourite titles, while the remainder of the family can watch their favourite films or stream their favourite shows on one device without necessarily knowing that it’s a console or DVD player.
It even justifies the price of a top quality DVD player. Available at between £240 and £300 in the BT Shop online store, depending on your chosen Xbox bundle, it becomes a highly affordable option when you consider the supreme quality of the gaming, film and television experiences.
So what can I do on an Xbox One S?
The renewed focus on gaming means that there are more high quality games available on the Xbox One S – and we mean high quality. There are a range of Xbox One S bundles available if you’re looking to get started, including FIFA 17, Minecraft and Assassin’s Creed packages; along with a number of accessories including wireless controllers and adaptors for you to hook your console up to the 4K Ultra HD television in your front room or the PC monitor in your bedroom.
Specialist 4K DVD players are in the pipeline, but are not out yet, so if you can’t wait, this is the next DVD player for you. We’ve already mentioned that the Xbox One S is a perfectly adequate DVD player in its own right, even if you don’t like gaming – so if you love playing games and watching your favourite movies in either HD or 4K Ultra HD, this investment is a no-brainer if you can’t hand around for a purpose-built 4K DVD player.
Xbox One S versus PlayStation 4 Pro
Okay, we’ve put it off for long enough now. Every time a new games console comes around the inevitable comparisons are included in the reviews. In this case, the Xbox One S goes up against the PlayStation 4 Pro – a console that also features 4K compatibility for Amazon Prime and Netflix.
There are three main areas that we’re going to look at in order to determine the key differences between each console. There are some who are die-hard supporters of one console or the other – and this will probably make no difference to your next purchase – but for those looking for the key differences, here we go:
- Specifications – The Xbox One S and the PS4 Pro share very similar specifications. Both do the odd thing that the other can’t. The Xbox One S has a built in Ultra HD Blu-Ray player whereas the PS4 Pro doesn’t. However, the PS4 Pro supports 4K gaming whereas the Xbox One S doesn’t. Both consoles support 4K streaming on applications such as Netflix and Amazon Video. The Xbox One S and PS4 Pro also support HDR if your 4K TV has this feature built in.
- Price – There’s only one winner here. The Xbox One S, as we referred to earlier, is priced between £240 and £300, whereas the PS4 Pro has a starting price of £349.99 – given the 4K DVD player option, the Xbox is almost given a walkover here!
- Games – Both new consoles allow gamers to play their favourite titles from previous models, taking away any compatibility issues. You can also keep playing multiplayer and online games with friends across machines, so there’s no need to panic there either. This one’s a draw.
- Virtual Reality – We should probably point out that the PS4 Pro supports virtual reality whereas the Xbox One S doesn’t. In order to access this feature you would need to purchase the headset (£349.99 RRP) and then the PlayStation camera (£39.99 RRP).
So which console is the winner? It’s a close one but in our opinion the Xbox One S takes the title as the must-have console for 2017.
Here at BT Shop you’ll find an ever-increasing range of exciting games for the new Xbox One S across a variety of genres. Get your hands on all the latest releases in our online store today.