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Xbox One S Review Roundup

Is the new Xbox One S worth buying? The critics have spoken.


The Xbox One S is available to purchase right now, and the verdicts have started to come in. So far, the critical reception is positive.

Before you buy one for yourself, there are some things you need to know. Currently, the only version available is the 2 TB edition, with the 1 TB and 500 GB consoles coming later. Additionally, there's no Kinect port on the Xbox One S, so you'll need to grab an adapter if you want to use the system's camera device. You can find out how to get one for free here. Additionally, the Xbox One S's included controller has built-in Bluetooth.

In addition to the new 4K/HDR compatibility, The Xbox One S runs some games faster. The performance improvements are not guaranteed across the board, and Microsoft didn't want to mislead people by talking up the extra power. If you want a much more powerful console than the Xbox One, you can wait until next year's Project Scorpio.

We've collected a series of reviews that should give you a good idea of what to expect from the Xbox One S. You can check them out below.

  • Device: Xbox One S
  • Developer: Microsoft
  • Price: $300 for 500 GB, $350 for 1 TB, $400 for 2 TB
  • Release Date: August 23 for 500 GB and 1 TB, August 2 for 2 TB
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"If you've been on the fence about the Xbox One or have been waiting for the bugs to be ironed out and the library to mature, the Xbox One S makes it a great time to jump on board. It's slim, is the only model that can be outfitted with a 2 TB HDD, is priced fairly, and offers the aforementioned video features. If you don't care about all that, and just want to play Xbox One games, then I'd actually recommend the original Xbox One over the S. Its 500 GB SKU retails for $250, which is $50 less than the comparable S model." -- Jimmy Thang [full review]

CNET -- 4/5

"Under most circumstances, no, you don't need to buy an Xbox One S. If you already own an Xbox One or even plan to wait for whatever Project Scorpio winds up being, it's tough to rationalize a purchase. If you're looking to enter the Xbox One space and you don't feel like waiting a year or more for Project Scorpio, an Xbox One S might be the right purchase for you as long as you have or plan to get a 4K TV. If a 4K TV isn't in your future, you may want to look at the original Xbox One. It's already as low as $250, £250, or AU$500 and it's entirely possible Microsoft will drive the price even lower if it's looking to sunset the model and clear out remaining inventory." -- Jeff Bakalar [full review]


"Unless you own a fancy new display or have one earmarked for the future, there's no reason to upgrade from your existing Xbox One. The only benefit you'll see is the increased internal storage space and, even then there are existing Xbox One models with 2TB of room for games and apps. That said, there's a lot to like about the system, especially if your TV can support all the super high-resolution bells and whistles on offer. There isn't one distinct reason to buy one today, but if you don't already own an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, you won't be disappointed if you decide to pick one up. The S is the Xbox One you know, but tailored for the future." -- Timothy J. Seppala [full review]


"Combine that with a fresh new look that clears out the final vestiges of Xbox One's disastrous set-top box aspirations and then factor in an improved version of an already impressive controller and the Xbox One S comes across as an excellent new hardware revision. Aside from being a touch louder, it's a substantial improvement over the original launch console in almost every way. It's still an Xbox One of course, so don't go in expecting a radically refreshed piece of hardware--but it may well be the best console revision we've seen to date." -- Richard Leadbetter [full review]


"The Xbox One S is great, but it'd be nicer if this wasn't a stopgap wonder console intended to hold us over. If you've got the time, money, and urgent desire for UHD now, then pick it up. Otherwise it's probably better to hang onto your cash and wait for Project Scorpio to arrive late next year." -- Alex Cranz [full review]

The Verge -- 8.1/10

"[T]his is a console for people who just can't wait. Maybe you just can't wait for 4K Blu-ray. Or maybe your new HDR-ready TV won't feel worthwhile until it's playing HDR games. Or maybe you just can't wait to get rid of that ugly black box under your TV. If you can wait, do. If you can't, well, I think you'll be happy with the Xbox One S." -- Dieter Bohn [full review]

PCWorld -- 4/5

"For PC fans who already happen to own an Xbox One and don't own a 4K TV, I'd say to hold onto your money and wait for Project Scorpio in 18 months. By then, 4K TVs should be even more advanced and potentially cheaper, and in the meanwhile you can still play whatever console exclusives you love on the original Xbox One. But if you've already invested in 4K hardware, and either want to get your hands on Halo or just a much more versatile 4K Blu-ray player, then why not? The One S has taken Microsoft's original concept of an all-in-one entertainment device and improved it nicely for the 4K generation." -- Mark Hachman [full review]

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