Xbox One S Unboxing + Review – Should “You” Buy It?
Today I unboxed the brand new Xbox One S and I must admit, it is sleeker, smaller, and completely redesigned. If you haven’t already checked out my unboxing video, you can do so by clicking here.
This Xbox One S was provided to me by the nice people at Microsoft. They sent it to me and asked that in return I make an unboxing video as well as do a semi-professional review. I get to keep the console but I am not getting paid any secondary sort of income and am not receiving any other perks or benefits. I just need to unbox, review and I get to keep the console and everyone’s happy, but mostly me.
Unboxing of the Xbox One S
This is the 2TB model, it is the largest Xbox One that Microsoft offers at the moment. The only difference between this and the 500GB Xbox One S is that the 2TB one comes with a free stand so you can safely stand your Xbox One S vertically. You can still buy the stand separately but this is just a little incentive to buy the biggest console that they offer.
On the back, we have a portrait of some of Microsoft’s iconic franchises; Forza, Gears of War, Halo, and Tomb Raider.
The first thing you get when you open the box is the set-up guide, a 14-day code for Xbox Live (I didn’t scratch this out so whoever got it, got it when the video went live) and the stand that lets you … well, stand up your Xbox.
On the inside there is another box which has a free HDMI cable. The box contains the power cable and you can see that this is the ONLY power cable that you’re going to need for this console. Yes, they finally got rid of the brick of doom that takes up so much space. Now it’s literally the exact same cord that the Playstation 4 uses which is super nice, especially for those people that like to travel a lot. Finally, there’s the brand new Xbox One S controller. This is actually redesigned and it now comes with Bluetooth capability. There are some other upgrades that I will talk about a little bit later.
Last but certainly not least there’s the actual console itself. It’s nicely wrapped with a nice soft Styrofoam, which is really nice, and then wrapped again. Once you get to the console itself, let me tell you … this is one sexy console. On the top of the console you can see some grilling and I’m assuming that the fan is also located there. The exhaust is under the grilling so I would not put anything over top of that. There are some exhaust fans in the back as well.
In terms of rear IO you have:
- Ethernet cable
- Optical cable
- IR out
- Two USB slots
- One HDMI In
- One HDMI Out
- Power cable
Some of you have probably noticed that there’s something missing between this and the original Xbox One; the slot for the Kinect. In order to actually use the Kinect you have to buy a separate USB dongle to attach it to one of the two USB ports. So yeah… Xbox Kinect … R.I.P.
Let’s do some real life size comparisons to some of the other consoles that you may be familiar with. I think it would be fitting to start off with the original Xbox One.
As you can see, it’s pretty much nipped and tucked in every single direction in terms of dimension. It’s not nearly as high, it’s not nearly as deep and it’s not nearly as wide. It’s supposed to be about 40% slimmer than the original Xbox One.
If for some reason you don’t like this comparison than how about this one.
For another direct comparison, the Playstation 4 when standing vertically is just a tiny bit shorter than the Xbox One S and it is just a tiny bit less wide than the Xbox One S as well; it reaches to about the half way point of the black bar. However, the Playstation 4 is substantially larger in the front. It is about 3.5 to 4 inches longer towards the front, so you do save some space there with the Xbox One S if you have a bit of a smaller shelf.
Setup and Boot Up
As for the setup. I hooked up my Xbox One S to my computer and took the Xbox One S on its maiden voyage for the channel. This included the very first boot up and getting everything set up. What’s nice is that the Xbox One Live summer update went live and now you can download it. You’ll actually need that summer update to enable the 4K output which is exclusive to the Xbox One S. Unfortunately, the monitors I use are not 4K compatible, they are only 2K compatible up to 1440p, so I’m not able to take advantage of that feature.
Upon booting up the system, a video played before the console prompted me to update my controller and shortly after I made it to the home screen.
So with a fresh console, there were two updates to the console and one update to the controller. Time wise, that took about 25 minutes to do which is actually a lot faster than it was on launch day of the Xbox One.
Xbox One S Controller
On the topic of Xbox One S controller, there are some minor upgrades that I wanted to mention and this extends to any controller you’ll find on the Xbox Design Lab. If you make your own controller using the custom Design Lab, you’ll have all the upgraded features you find on the S controller.
First off, they upgraded the joysticks to make them feel a little bit more fluid and more intuitive. I personally couldn’t feel a difference between the Xbox One S controller and a launch day Xbox One controller, but then again the joysticks on my original Xbox One controller are a little bit more worn in/ broken in. It’s hard to tell if there is a difference but apparently there is.
Second, just like with the Playstation 4 controllers, there is a 3.5mm audio jack on the bottom of the controller.
The last feature is probably the biggest feature they added and that is Bluetooth capability. If your computer or laptop supports Bluetooth, you will no longer need a separately sold dongle to connect to it to use the controller wirelessly. You can also use the controller to play games on iOS and Android on your phone.
Review: Too buy or not to buy
Let’s move on to the nitty gritty and the review and who I believe should not buy this console and who should buy this console. This review and these suggestions are just my personal opinion so you can take it with a grain of salt.
People Who Should NOT buy an Xbox One
There are two main categories of people that should not buy an Xbox One S.
You already own an Xbox One
If you already own an Xbox One, you should be perfectly fine with that model; there is no reason to upgrade, the specs are exactly the same. The only difference is that the Xbox One S has 4K upscaling. Personally, I don’t have a 4K monitor and don’t plan to buy one anytime soon; and it’s just upscaling. I prefer things to run in their native resolution.
You plan on buying Project Scorpio
Just in case you missed it, here’s a quick summary. Project Scorpio was officially announced at E3 this year and is basically just an upgraded console. It’s still going to be called the Xbox One, but it’s going to have more power underneath the hood and it’s going to be able to run games better. So if you already own an original Xbox One and you may be thinking of buying Project Scorpio, it really doesn’t make much sense to me to buy an Xbox One S.
Project Scorpio, however, will be a lot more expensive than the original Xbox One and Xbox One S. If you plan to buy it, then I think you should wait a year and just skip the Xbox One S. Just hold off, save your money and buy the upgraded version when it releases next year.
People that SHOULD buy an Xbox One
I’m going to start at the top, the most relevant in my opinion to the least relevant and once again this is all subjective.
You don’t have an Xbox One
If you don’t already own an Xbox One and want one, then this is the perfect time to do so. It’s a smaller console, it has more features, it has a sexy white finish and you really just can’t go wrong. So if you don’t already own an Xbox One, then you should pick up an Xbox One S.
You just want a smaller console
If you have limited entertainment unit space or limited desk space, the smaller form factor may be a really big deal for you. This is especially true if you’re someone like myself who travels a lot. I go to a ton of gaming conventions, PAXs, E3s, private events to check out some games early, and sometimes due to the hectic video game schedule, I need to bring my consoles with me to the hotel room so I can pump out videos while I’m away.
Not only do I get to travel with a smaller console now, I no longer have to pack the power brick of doom. This thing is just so big AND it’s so ugly. When the original Xbox One was announced, I was praying that they would’ve gotten rid of the power brick that was a part of the Xbox 360. When I unboxed it and found the power brick, it felt like a piece of me literally died.
So the fact that they got rid of the power brick and there’s just one wire now, the exact same wire they use for the Playstation 4, I am a happy camper. It makes me more willing to carry this thing around in my luggage. If you’re a person that needs a smaller form factor or is a person that travels a lot, the Xbox One S may be something that you would be interested in.
You just want a white console
I’m not one to judge, I’ve done it before. I’ll be honest with you, I bought the original Xbox 360 at launch (actually went through a couple of them because of the whole red ring issue) and when they announced the Xbox 360 Elite … instant pre-order, they had my money. The only reason I bought it was because it was black. If you don’t remember, there were no differences between the two, hardware wise. It was exactly the same on the inside. Design wise on the outside it was exactly the same. The Elite had a tiny bit of a bigger hard drive but other than it was the exact same console and I rebought it again just because it was black.
Well that wraps up this post. Once again, I would like to thank Microsoft for providing me the console to unbox on the channel and show you guys. Also, I get to keep it which is really nice and awesome and kind of them =). I’ve also provided some tips and suggestions as to whether or not you should be in the market to purchase an Xbox One S.