4 Reasons to Buy an Xbox One S & 3 Reasons Not To

The Xbox One S that Microsoft announced at its briefing during the Electronic Entertainment Expo this week is an attempt by the company to deliver hardware more in tune with what its gamers and potential buyers want. The Xbox One S is smaller than its predecessor, while packing common sense hardware upgrades that we can only wish Microsoft had included with the original Xbox One.

Certainly, the Xbox One S wasn’t an unexpected development. Microsoft’s hardware plans leaked weeks ahead of E3 2016. The console is part of a larger hardware push across the board. The original Xbox One is cheaper and will offer a barebones option for anyone simply trying to save as much as they possibly can. The Xbox Scorpio is Microsoft’s appeal to those that have to have all the best visuals and want a virtual reality headset.

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So where does this leave the Xbox One S in Microsoft’s family of gaming devices? Should you actually buy an Xbox One S? That depends on what you’re looking to get from your gaming experience and what the console offers.

Buy an Xbox One S: A Newer, Better Controller

The original Xbox One Wireless Controller wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t as good as what the PS4 offered. It lacked a headphone jack, forcing users to buy expensive adapters. The Xbox One controller that replaced the original does have a headphone jack. The Xbox One S offers a refined Xbox One Controller with textured grips on its rear and built-in support for Bluetooth 4.0. This means that users can enjoy the Xbox One S’ included controller on their gaming PC without the ridiculously big and ugly Xbox One Wireless Adapter. Microsoft kept the headphone jack around too.

Buy an Xbox One S: You Can Get More Game Storage from the Xbox One S

The biggest storage size the original Xbox One comes in is 1TB. That’s a lot of space for games, but some have said they need even more. To be clear, these aren’t casual gamers, but gamers that have very, very large collections that they don’t feel like redownloading.

The Xbox One has support for external hard drives, which helps with the storage problem, but large hard drives can be unsightly and add some more complexity to any gaming setup. The Xbox One S offers up to 2TB of internal storage, meaning gamers with large collections shouldn’t need to delete their favorite titles every time they need to add another.

The 2TB Xbox One S launches this August for $399. It’ll come in white.

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Buy an Xbox One S: You Have a Small Media Cabinet

Size matters; at least it does when you’re an Xbox One owner. The original console looks like a VCR. Worse, it takes up a tremendous amount of space. On top of all that, it has an external power adapter that needs to be beside it or draped behind your entertainment setup.

The Xbox One S is 40% smaller than the console that it replaces. Even better, the power system is stored inside its body. There’s no giant power adapter required. I’m not necessarily saying that you should upgrade to an Xbox One S because its comparatively tiny, just that if you’re a buyer fresh to the platform, it’s worth looking into.

Buy an Xbox One S: The Xbox One S Has Better Buttons

Another one of the reasons seasoned Xbox One owners are looking into upgrading to the Xbox One S is its buttons. Again, I wouldn’t personally recommend spending extra money just for button placement and tactile feel, but these people have a point.

The Xbox One has a capacitive power button on its body. It looks cool and glows, there’s not much else to really say about it. It does have some problems though. Gamers with pets and children find that the capacitive button is way too easy to trigger. The Xbox One’s other main button, the Controller Sync button, is on the Xbox One S’ front. As such, you don’t have to feel around for it.

If the Xbox One’s buttons are bothering you that much, at least the Xbox One S offers a fix.

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Wildcard: Slightly Better Looking Gaming & Video

The Xbox One S offers High Dynamic Range support; most people simply shorten the name to HDR. What HDR does for cameras, it does for games. The technology allows for a bigger difference in color than is possible on the Xbox One. Some elements of your games are darker, some lighter. Scalebound and Gears of War 4, two of Microsoft’s most exciting upcoming game launches will support HDR technology.

Though certainly an upgrade, this is by no means a resolution upgrade. HDR enabled games will look better with the Xbox One S, but won’t look so spectacularly better than what’s offered on the original Xbox One. Also, the new consoles won’t get games that the Xbox One doesn’t have. I’m not sure whether HDR support is worth it on its own.

Perhaps if you’re ready to also pick up a Netflix or Amazon subscription that supports 4K video, the upgrade is worth it. The Xbox One S does support 4K video streaming. Just remember you’ll need a TV that supports the feature too.

Don’t Buy an Xbox One S: You Already Have an Xbox One

There are valid reasons to not buy an Xbox One S. For Xbox One owners, I’m not sure the Xbox One S is a compelling enough upgrade.

Here me out; for all the new design and new features, you’re not getting something that any upgrades that are huge in scope. 4K video streaming, while great, isn’t a necessity for those that don’t also have a 4K television set. Games that’ll have HDR support for Xbox One S still work on the Xbox One you already own.

Even the new Xbox One Controller, arguably the most exciting feature of the Xbox One S, isn’t specific to it. Microsoft says that it does plan to sell the Xbox One S on its own after the console launches. Also, spending $299 just to get a controller that you’ll be able to purchase for a lot less separately doesn’t make that much sense.

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Don’t Buy an Xbox One S: You’re Trying to Save on the Cost of Buying an Xbox One

The new console will launch for as little as $299. That’s cheap, sure, but not as cheap as the current console.

Thanks to a new Xbox One deal, the Xbox One is now just $279 in the United States. Microsoft is expecting to keep that deal alive until October, presumably, when it launches the 500GB and 1TB Xbox One S. That low price for the original console means that used and refurbished Xbox One consoles will get price drops too. A refurbished 1TB Xbox One console is now $239 at GameStop, for example. The refurbished 500GB Xbox One is $219.

Read: New Xbox One Price Cut Details

Regardless of what you decide, just know that the Xbox One ecosystem is better than it’s ever been. There’s a steady flow of new games and feature updates will return soon with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update for Xbox One.

10 Comments

  1. Silkeejeezie

    06/18/2016 at 1:53 pm

    It woulda been nice to see that Hololens at E3

    Reply

  2. Nic Eve

    06/19/2016 at 9:01 am

    Wouldn’t a major plus be that it’s by far the cheapest ultra hd bluray player on the market? A glaring oversight by another poorly researched article. Never mind, as an Xbox One owner I’m used to reading ill informed drivel most of the time

    Reply

  3. Tony Fox

    06/21/2016 at 5:27 am

    Nic Eve…I was thinking the exact same thing about the 4K UHD bluray player. I have been waiting for a different 4K bluray player other than the cheap looking Samsung to hit the market. Never thought it would be an Xbox One S. I have been wanting an Xbox One..so now I’d be an idiot not to buy this.

    Reply

  4. Oliver

    07/27/2016 at 2:34 am

    Sorry, I think the reason not to be an Xbox One S because you already own a regular Xbox One is crap. I have an Xbox One and still will be buying (and selling the old Xbox One) a new Xbox One S, because I basically get the console combined with a UHD BD Player at the price of a standalone UHD BD Player. I would be stupid not to take the console then.

    Reply

  5. Sarah

    09/04/2016 at 9:51 am

    I have an Xbox 360 and will be buying an Xbox One S to replace it. I just don’t have enough outlets for my bluray player Xbox 360 Internet and tv even with a 6 way. I don’t like 6 ways cause they get hot and can cause fires. So I want to eliminate as many cords as possible.

    Reply

  6. danny downs

    09/21/2016 at 3:42 pm

    what im trying to figure out is wll the xbox one s still work on my regular hd tv

    Reply

  7. David Williams

    10/05/2016 at 5:20 am

    @danny downs yes the xbox one s will still work on your regular hd tv

    Reply

  8. thecommentslie

    01/09/2017 at 6:47 pm

    i just know this is complete crap the comments bougth and created by microsoft.

    Reply

  9. Joshua

    02/12/2017 at 12:37 am

    I have an xbox 360 and idk what console i should buy i dont have a fancy 4k tv i just have a regular hd tv anyone have any suggestions?

    Reply

  10. Jamie

    02/24/2017 at 10:25 am

    Can you use xbox one controller’s on the same?

    Reply

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