Xbox One S console reviewJanuary 18, 2017
The Xbox One S is revised version of the Xbox One console, initially released way back in 2013. It contains all the same parts and performance with the previous iteration, however, the packaging is much smaller. It also adds 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) for those households with the latest TV technology.
Now this doesn’t mean that your games will receive a massive improvement with graphics and, unlike the yet-to-be-released Xbox Project Scorpio, there’s not going to be any increase in performance, but what the Xbox One S will offer is a better fit under your TV and an affordable entry into the UHD Blu-ray market. Currently, this is the only console that plays 4K Blu-rays, which may appeal to those parents looking for a cheap entry into 4K content. You never know, it could help increase sales of 4K Blu-rays, similar to how the PS3 helped promote normal Blu-ray films.
The Xbox One S presumably has an ‘S’ at the end to signify that it’s the slimmer version. When compared to the original, the case is 40% smaller, which is quite an achievement when you bear in mind that the power supply is integrated. Raise your hands in joy, as the long despised power brick has been dropped! It’s no surprise when you recall that most fans talked about this being a huge negative, so well done Microsoft for taking the criticism on board.
The console designers are no longer going with a piano black gloss finish (a real bugbear for fingerprints and dust), instead opting to create the console in a matte white finish, with some black touches here and there. My youngest calls it the Star Wars console, on the basis that it looks like a storm trooper. It’s expected that different colour designs will follow throughout 2017, which is great for creating a buzz about the console amongst video game collectors.
There are lots of changes to the exterior of the ‘S’ model, with the most noticeable being the power switch changing to an actual button. God knows how frustrating it can be for parents to figure out the old model’s touch buttons. The USB port and controller sync button are now located on the front. Also, the chunky air grilles have been altered for a more subtle pin hole design, so the console still gets plenty of ventilation.
The matching Xbox One controller feels very different to the original, probably closer to the Xbox One Elite Controller. The build quality feels high end and there’s a textured back to ensure a better grip during intense gaming sessions. The thumb sticks are crafted from a different material, which shouldn’t wear as quickly as my DualShock 4 controllers. Unfortunately, you still have to insert 2 AA batteries, which isn’t a big problem as they do last a long time, however, I would prefer an in-built rechargeable battery.
At £220.00, the new Xbox One S bundles are a perfect entry level for young gamers and their families. Dads will be pleased with the home cinema features and mums will be thankful for the distraction when trying to enjoy time to herself.
The consoles are currently available in a variety of bundles such as the Minecraft bundle that we now own. With Minecraft being such a big draw for young gamers this could be a great way for Dad to get his hands on a new console whilst pretending it is for the kids. One thing to remember is that you only get one controller in the box so if you are looking at playing multiplayer games then make sure you get prepared and buy an extra controller.
We are looking forward to using this new platform whilst on our gaming adventures and you will be able to watch the girls in action on their YouTube channel as they start to record their very own gaming videos.