Xbox One S Review – Should you buy it?

It certainly looks better. The Xbox One S is 40 per cent smaller than the original, which is impressive considering the power supply is now built-in as well. No more massive power bricks. It’s more stylish, too. Microsoft has binned the glossy plastic, which got scratched and dusty far too easily. Now it’s matte plastic, with a white and black colour scheme that a Stormtrooper would be proud of. The controller has been updated too. The thumb sticks are made of a tougher material, and the body has a more grippy texture, which helps with accuracy. On the inside, not much has changed. You can expect the same CPU, GPU and RAM from the original Xbox One. The GPU’s frequency has been increased a little, but it hardly makes any difference in gaming. The only noticeable improvement in gaming comes from 4K upscaling. The Xbox One S does a good job of making your 1080p games look nice and sharp on a 4K TV. But the headline feature has nothing to do with gaming at all. The Xbox One S doubles as a Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

That’s a big deal considering the dedicated players are a lot more expensive. The Samsung UBD-K8500 costs £430 or $400, while the Panasonic DMP-UB900 costs £600 or $700. Neither of those lets you fly spaceships. It’s not just a price thing, either. The Xbox One S does a fine job handling 4K Blu-rays. It’s doesn’t beat the Panasonic, which offers finer details and more natural colours, but it’s not a massive difference. The only real disadvantage in using the Xbox One S as a 4K Blu-ray player is that it doesn’t currently support Dolby Atmos audio. Overall, the Xbox One S is a perfectly respectable 4K Blu-ray player, and it may be a surprise hit with movie fans on a budget. It could massively boost 4K Blu-ray sales, the way the PS3 did with regular Blu-rays.

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