Xbox One S launch: 4K Blu-ray, HDR, and a modest performance boost

By on August 2, 2016
Xbox One S launch: 4K Blu-ray, HDR, and a modest performance boost

Microsoft’s Xbox One S gaming console is now officially available in a $399 2TB launch edition, nearly two months after the company first unveiled it during its E3 2016 press conference in June.

What’s so special about the Xbox One S?

Looking at the way retailers have been slashing the price of the original Xbox One in recent weeks, it’s clear that the new Xbox One S is set to become the new standard as the Xbox One brand goes forward, slowly replacing the older model.

Unlike most mid-generation console re-releases, the Xbox One S is more than a sultry smaller version -although it’s totally that too. The Xbox One S is Microsoft’s acknowledgement of the growing demand for 4K content as the new wave of 4K TVs has been widely adopted over the last 12 months thanks to some very competitive prices.

So will it play your games in 4K? Sort of. The Xbox One S will upscale your games into 4K, rather than display them in native 4K. A happy medium if you will. If your TV supports HDR (High Dynamic Range), you’ll notice a further improvement on some games. Full-on 4K will be available via 4K Blu-rays, Netflix and other media streaming apps though, which is something Sony’s current PS4 can’t match.

Multiple Xbox One S models

The Xbox One S is launching in 2TB, 1TB and 500GB models. The 2TB model is out now in the major Western territories. The smaller models are set to launch August 23rd in the US, but Microsoft has not confirmed EU dates yet. US gamers considering the smaller versions should keep an eye out for the specialized Halo or Madden NFL 17 bundles on the 500GB and 1TB models respectively as they cost the same as the standalone console.

Some of these bundles can be found in our handy comparison chart below, and we’ve pulled out a few of the cheapest direct highlights for you underneath that too, including the highly sought after Red Gears of War 4 themed Xbox One S.

The Xbox One S is off to a flying start in the UK, selling out at most stores. Harvey Eagle, Marketing Director at Xbox UK had this to sat said: “We’re excited by the reaction from fans for the Xbox One S. Demand is extremely high with pre-orders for the 2TB selling out fast. It’s a great looking console, significantly smaller than the original Xbox One and the best way to play upcoming games including Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4. It’s also the first and only console to feature High Dynamic Range – enhancing the colour and picture – to support 4K video, stream 4K Ultra HD content from services like Netflix and play 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. We will have more to share in the coming weeks on 1TB and 500GB Xbox One S consoles, which will roll out later this year.”

Muriel M. Delossantos

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