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About the product
- Includes: 2TB Internal Hard Drive Xbox One S Console, 1 Xbox Wireless Controller (with 3.5mm headset jack), 1 Console Stand (for vertical orientation), HDMI cable (4K Capable), AC Power cable, and a 14-day Xbox Live Gold Trial.
- Play over 100 console exclusive and a growing library of Xbox 360 games on the 40% smaller newly designed Xbox One S.
- Watch Ultra HD (UHD) 4K Blu-ray™ movies on your 4K TV and stream 4K video on Netflix (available now) and Amazon Video (coming soon).
- Experience richer, more luminous colors in games and video with High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology.
- Experience the enhanced comfort of the new Xbox Wireless Controller, featuring textured grip and Bluetooth technology.
- Compatible with Kinect for Xbox One: Kinect for Xbox One is compatible with Xbox One S via the Xbox Kinect Adapter for USB. For fans that currently own a Kinect for Xbox One and plan to purchase the Xbox One S, Xbox is offering a free Xbox Kinect Adapter. Visit xbox.com/XboxOne/KinectAdapter for more details.
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Introducing the new Xbox One S. Play the greatest games lineup, including Xbox 360 classics, on a 40% smaller console with High Dynamic Range. Store more games than ever with a massive 2TB hard drive. Stream 4K video on Netflix and Amazon Video, and watch UHD Blu-ray movies in stunning visual fidelity. Then experience the enhanced comfort and feel of the new Xbox Wireless Controller, featuring textured grip and Bluetooth technology. Now includes a vertical stand for the perfect setup and fit. With all the biggest blockbusters this year, everything you love about Xbox 360 is even better on Xbox One.
*4K streaming with select apps, see xbox.com. Some apps require app provider-specific subscriptions and/or other requirements. See xbox.com/live. HDR functionality available with supported games and TVs. Xbox One Backward Compatibility feature works with select Xbox 360 games. Xbox Live and broadband internet required for initial download of game to console.
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Compared with the original Xbox One, we have a few key differences. Most good, but not all.
Pros vs. Original Xbox One:
[+] 40% smaller! And yes, the difference is very noticeable (see my comparison pictures)
[+] 4K output. Not as big of a deal to most people as 4K adoption is not huge yet, and it's only really for video/Blu-ray (games are upscaled)
[+] The side USB port has been moved from the left side to the front, which is great for space saving (if another device is to the left) and less damaging if someone trips over the USB cable.
[+] No gloss finish. They did get rid of the gloss in a minor pre-S refresh, but I'm happy to see it is completely gone. As always, glossy finishes look great on day one but do NOT age well (easily scuffed and scratched).
[+] Built-in power supply. To me, this is HUGE (reverse pun intended). The old power supply added an unreasonable amount of heft to the already oversized console. It is especially great if you like to pack and travel with your Xbox since that's one less brick to carry around, and makes it much easier and cheaper to have spare 'travel' power cables so you don't have to remove your main cables when traveling.
[+] Hardware upgrade. In addition to the 4K hardware upgrade (HDMI 1.4 vs HDMI 2.0), there is more processing power available for HDR, though to be honest I'm not sure how much I care about that. The real hardware upgrade won't be until Project Scorpio in 2017.
[*] Higher capacity. You can now choose from models ranging from 500GB to 2TB! I definitely recommend no less than 1TB considering how quickly these games eat up hard drive space. I'm not a fan of cluttering up my area with external USB hard drives, so the extra internal space of the 2TB version was a huge selling point to upgrade.
Cons vs. Original Xbox One:
[-] As of launch, only available in white. Don't get me wrong, the white looks beautiful, but you can't go wrong with additional color choices. In my case, white matching NOTHING else in my home theater setup, so I would have preferred to stick with black. I'm sure that will come soon though.
[-] No elite version (yet), which means no hybrid SSD available for faster load times. Elite controller still works great though.
[-] Does not offer any option of a bundled Kinect, though it has been clear for awhile that Kinect support has been dwindling.
[-] Does not include a headset, not even a cheapy earbud-style one.
[-] Kinect users *raises own hand* effectively lost a USB port. They removed the Kinect-specific port, so now you'll have to use up one of the two rear USB ports to get your Kinect on. This also raises the issue of the console not including a Kinect-to-USB adapter, which just adds extra hassle to get your Kinect Kinected again.
PSA regarding Kinectability mentioned above: For a limited time, you can get a free Kinect-to-USB adapter by contacting Xbox Support and providing your serial numbers.
*Is it worth upgrading my Xbox One?*
There is not a one-size-fits all answer to this. For me, it was a yes, as I was replacing a secondary Xbox One and I wanted the 2TB and smaller footprint. My Elite is still my main console, which I'm not ready to replace with the S due to the hybrid SSD and color. For most people, I would bet the answer is no. If money is a concern, it's probably no. If you don't 4K game or need the extra terabyte, it's probably no. If you're just a tech geek like me and always need the latest stuffs and thingies, then go for it!
For bonus entertainment, check out my attached comparison pictures of 15 years worth of Xbox hardware generations. The Xbox One S is now as small as the original Xbox 360, but not quite to the size of the Xbox 360 S/E. Unsurprisingly, the original Xbox One was even bigger than the original 2001 Xbox.
Ultimately, I'm still much more eagerly awaiting the full Scorpio hardware update, but the Xbox One S was a long overdue refresh. If nothing else, it at least leaves the Xbox One no longer as a beastly, oversized, whalephant, VCR, gargantuan, monolithic mass of plastic as its prior version was.
Secondly, if you have a 4K TV, and don't have a UHD BluRay Player, OR a TV that has Netflix with 4K built in, this is a spectacular buy.
On to the review. This is an Xbox One. It does all the Xbox One things that all the other Xbox One's do, but it doesn't come with a Kinect, and it comes with a new controller that is not the Elite Controller, but is better than the stock controller from the previous version.
Gone is the power brick so this takes up a lot less space. You could reasonably mount this in your car under the seat. (I did this with the 360). I wouldn't, but you could because it is smaller, and doesn't have that annoying brick.
It is quieter. Not by much but some. It has a 2TB hard drive so you don't need an external drive if you want to have like 40 games installed. Soon there will be smaller sizes of drive, but the 2TB is nice. (See the comments I talk about actually testing this)
It's white, and that doesn't go with my home theater, or likely yours. It also shows the dust more, but fingerprints less.
I'll post pictures and such, in addition to the "what's in the box" video later, but the long and the short of it is that the reason for this as an upgrade is you want to watch movies in 4k.
Games too. And HDR does make some of the games better. It makes some of them worse. But most of them better. There is not supposed to be any CPU / GPU gains in this version, but there are. Hawken that crawls sometimes plays smooth on this.
Play back on Hulu is not any better from a bitstream standpoint, unlike NetFlix which has 4K, but Hulu "tears" less. This is when you see a line about half to a third of the way up where part of the frame is ahead of the rest of the image. Not noticeable on small screens, but on my projector it is, and this doesn't have it any more so things look better.
HDR is supported at 1080p so if you have a HDR 1080p Display, (like a really good computer monitor) you can get some benefit without a 4k display.
Finally if you are debating between this and the $250 Xbox One and you don't have a 4k. Get the cheaper one and the Elite Controller, or 3 games, you will be happier.
If you are thinking of buying a UHD BluRay player, buy this instead, it is a better player than the one or two on the market right now, and Microsoft will keep the software up to date. There are some comments about Dolby Atmos. It will pass bitstream Atmos to your receiver it will not upconvert, or side convert to Atmos. You wouldn't want this anyway it is better to take the audio that the sound guy mixed for 5.1 or 7.1 and use that then it is to fold 7.1.4 down using an algorithm.
You may want a USB Stick for moving your games and such. I found that while cloud storage works, for things like my Forza replays it was going to take days to move. A 128 Gig USB stick made short work of this. You can also use a USB Hard Disk.
The Controller is Bluetooth in addition to the proprietary Xbox wireless protocol. This is cool because you can pair it with your laptop if it had bluetooth, or your Android device. I don't have one to try, but I believe this means that it would work with some of the inexpensive Android Game Consoles. On my Laptop it worked flawlessly.
The vertical stand seems like a good idea. The temp of the air coming off of the Xbox is pretty warm, and it is a good sized opening I worry that on a dark shelf it would fill with dust and burn up. This is not substantiated, only an inference.
If you are upgrading get the Kinect connector for free. xbox.com/XboxOne/KinectAdapter you have to register both Xbox, and even if you don't use the Kinect much you don't want to wish you were going to have a Dance Party and not have it.
That's all for now, will do more update after I have had more time to play with it.
Comments regarding HDMI, Dolby Vision, HDR10, and 12bit:
(If you don't know what this is you won't miss it, and if you do you still won't miss it.)
Xbox doesn't support Dolby Vision. This is not likely an issue for a number of reasons that follow. If DolbyVision does become the dominant way of encoding for HDMI Microsoft could ad it since Dolby Vision doesn't require any additional hardware. The HDMI Signal Path is the same but a header is added that specifies the range for the given content. In theory this allows for 10bits of color but allows for a custom curve for the color, and for the Min-Max-Median values to be set differently.
The Xbox supports 12 bit color at 4k, and that allows for 10bit plus the gamut adjustment found in Dolby Vision. But enabling this requires a license.
Because Xbox supports 12 bit, a movie is encoded for DolbyVision, unless you have an extremely high end system the decode should allow playback with no loss of clarity if your TV supports 12bit. I don't know of a TV that supports Dolby vision that doesn't support 12bit, and many 1080p systems support 12bit but don't recognize the "HDR" flag, but will give HDR results if they are better than the standard and return the proper HDMI handshakes for describing their capabilities.
To enable this you may need to Force the Xbox to HDMI PC Mode rather than TV and Autodetect. This is generally a good thing to do unless you move your Xbox a lot as it also enables you to set 24hz, and a few other options which are often not always available.
Things that make me sad:
Xbox Video Market doesn't include 4k Version of Movies. It would be nice if I could Rent/Buy 4K on demand.
I don't use Kinect much, but I notice that I miss voice controls for movies. I wish they had included a mic so that it did the "Alexa thing". (which is surprising because I'm paranoid about things listening)
The console does handle games very well and the video playback on blue-ray quality disks is quite nice on a 4k display.
Overall as stated earlier -- this is a good addition for the meantime between now and when project Scorpio is released so long as you don't already own a Xbox.