The Xbox One is reasonably powerful and pretty quiet. It’s also a giant behemoth, easily able to fill any shelf with its own girth and not incredibly stylish. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft announced the Xbox One S, a smaller, quieter, straight-edged version of the Xbox One it already sells. I’ve never been on the fence about upgrading a piece of electronics more.
Available in August, the Xbox One S comes in three different configurations. A 500GB version will act as Microsoft’s cheapest Xbox One device to date without a promotion at $299. A 1TB version will join that entry model at $349. Pre-orders are now available for a 2TB Limited Edition version that costs $399.
Xbox One S is 40% smaller than the current console, Microsoft says. That the company was able to pull that feat off while also including the power supply inside the console. No more giant power brick. A smaller profile, HDR for better contrast in games and 4K video streaming are the only reasons to upgrade over the previous console.
The changes made for the Xbox One S are both big and small. The glossy plastic skin of the Xbox One is white with the Xbox One S. The white portion of the console sits on a black base that holds the USB 3.0 port, controller sync button and an Infrared receiver. That IR receiver used to be something you had to buy a Kinect sensor to get. Speaking of the Kinect, its dedicated port has been removed. Microsoft will hand out USB adapters for those that are upgrading to the new console. This change makes sense given the Kinect for Windows adapter also uses USB. You can stand this console up on its side. The updated Xbox Wireless Controller includes Bluetooth support too.
So why am I on the fence? I’m all for sleeker, smaller designs, but my two Xbox Ones are still kicking along just fine.