You may have heard there’s a new version of the Xbox One coming later this year. Don’t be alarmed! Your old Xbox One is still just fine. It will still play the same games and have access to the same services.
So, what’s different about this “new” Xbox One? Should you rush to trade-in your old Xbox One in favor of the shiny new model? The short answer, thankfully, is “probably not.” But there are some important differences between the two — here’s the full rundown:
The new Xbox One — dubbed the “Xbox One S” — is white and features a slightly different design. It’s also MUCH smaller than the original Xbox One.
As you can see, the Xbox One S is a nice looking piece of hardware. It’s 40% smaller than the original Xbox One and looks much more attractive than the big, black brick we’ve come to know over the past few years.
There’s a new gamepad. It’s also white!
The Xbox One S controller isn’t a completely new controller, but it’s a slightly enhanced version of the existing Xbox One controller. With the ability to connect to PCs via Bluetooth and textured grips for added comfort, it’s a slightly better version of an already-great controller.
There’s no power adapter
Don’t you just hate having to plug in a separate, cumbersome power brick to make video game consoles work? How about hiding a gigantic power supply somewhere behind your TV? Also pretty stupid! The Xbox One S gets rid of this problem by putting that power brick inside the console itself, making it much more convenient to move around. It’s also nice that you don’t have to put a giant brick somewhere in your entertainment center.
(Slightly) Prettier games!
Perhaps the most substantial difference for everyday usage is that, with the Xbox One S, games and movies can look better. Using HDR (high dynamic range) lighting technology, some Xbox One games like “Gears of War 4” will look slightly better on Xbox One S. It’s unlikely to be a huge difference (not big enough to trade in your old Xbox One), but it’s a nice bonus.
Movies and TV shows could see a substantial visual upgrade with the addition of 4K support. 4K is basically the next jump in quality after HD, and though relatively few people have 4K televisions right now, they’re getting more affordable every day.
Of note, both of these upgrades require televisions that are able to support this stuff. You’ll need an HDR-enabled TV for the former, and a 4K/UltraHD TV for the latter.
No Kinect adapter
If you’re still using the Kinect, the motion-sensing camera that originally came packed with every Xbox One, there’s some bad news: The Xbox One S does not have a built-in port for the Kinect, meaning you need a special adapter to make your Kinect work.
This is sad if you still loved using the Kinect’s motion and voice controls to navigate the console interface, or if you still saw potential in Kinect games, but it’s not surprising. Microsoft stopped packing in the Kinect with the Xbox One a while back, and once that happened, the writing was on the wall.