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Xbox One Slim: Worth the Upgrade?

Hey guys this is Austin, at E3 this year Microsoft unveiled the new Xbox One S which looks like a standard slim version of a console. However there’s actually a lot more than meets the eye with this one. First of all the S is tiny. Seriously. Compared to the previous Xbox One the slim is 40% smaller which is no joke, it’s hard to appreciate just how much smaller it is until you see it in person.

A lot of that has to do with how giant the original Xbox One was and the new robot white color definitely helps to make it pop. The overall design still looks fairly similar, it’s split down the middle with the optical drive on the left and the vent for cooling on the right side. It has a new dimpled finish which is interesting I guess, it’s still not the most beautiful piece of hardware design but it is a step forward.

They’ve also moved a USB port up front for easy access along with the sync button and a new IR blaster which was previously part of the Kinect. Speaking of the Kinect it’s pretty clear that it’s on the way out. Take a look around back and there’s no Kinect port to be found. Microsoft will be selling a Kinect adapter which will be available for free if you already own an Xbox One with Kinect but it looks pretty goofy.

Otherwise though the ports are similar, you still have both HDMI in and out which is appreciated along with two more USB ports for a total of three, IR out, optical audio and Ethernet. What you won’t find is a giant power brick. Like the PS4 the power supply is now internal which means you just need a single cable to power the Xbox One S which is absolutely a welcome change. There’s also now the option for a vertical stand but arguably the bigger news are the internal upgrades. While usually slim models are about making a smaller and cheaper console the S is actually slightly more powerful. Newer games like Forza Horizon 3 now support HDR displays which will allow for wider dynamic range a feature found especially on newer high end TVs and it also can now support 4K. Don’t get too excited about 4K though, it’s mostly for video. You can now play Ultra HD Blurays along with watching 4K video from places like Netflix, paired with HDR video support this is a small but much appreciated upgrade to make the Xbox One S a much more impressive home theater box.

Something a little more interesting are the spec upgrades. According to the developers of Gears of War the Slim sports a slightly more powerful CPU and GPU which they’re using to make sure Gears 4 holds either a higher resolution or frame rate when playing on the S. Interestingly Microsoft really didn’t go into detail on how they’re getting 4K and HDR support out of the Xbox One S so I’m curious to see exactly what’s powering this thing. On top of the updated console there’s also a refreshed controller. At first glance it looks nearly identical but there’s a new textured grip around back which is similar to the Elite controller and it now also supports Bluetooth. This not only gives it longer range but it also means you can connect it to a PC without needing the Xbox wireless adapter. The new white controller will be included with the Slim and it’ll be on sale for $60 but there’s also a new option for official customization called Design Lab. This online tool will let you seriously customize most parts of the controller including the body, grip, buttons and sticks.

This is legitimately cool and you can even engrave something on the controller, Design Lab is already live and they’ll be shipping in September for $80 for a normal controller and $90 if you want the engraving. Speaking of, the Xbox One S will be on sale in August starting at $299. That will get you a 500 gigabyte console but you can also upgrade to a terabyte for $350 or a two terabyte hard drive for $400 and the preorders are live and I’ll have a link in the description. When it comes to a slim console refresh I’ve got to say it’s nice to see more features and better performance instead of just a cheaper, more stripped down console. So what do you guys think about the Xbox One S? Let me know in the comments below and I will catch you in the next one.

As found on Youtube

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