Microsoft has become a major player in the ever-growing console market, and their Xbox machines have gotten millions of fans across the world. It was in the second part of 2016 when we saw a significant update to the Xbox One console. The new Xbox One S has brought some extra power in a smaller pack and made gaming even better for its players.
However, the news about the next significant update came a lot earlier than we expected. You’ve undoubtedly heard of Project Scorpio a.k.a Xbox One X, the latest console Microsoft has been working on. Its release is scheduled for somewhere towards the end of 2017 (no official release date yet). Since many of you surely have a dilemma whether to make the upgrade now or be patient and wait for the Xbox One X, we’ve decided to compare the two consoles and help you make a decision.
We expect Microsoft to reveal the final form of Xbox One X in June during the E3 2017, so until then we can only guess about the exterior design of the console. As for the XBox One S, we know its measures are 11.6 x 9.0 x 2.5 inches. Compared to the original Xbox One, the S version is about 40% more compact. Aside from that, it is entirely your decision whether you will place the console horizontally or vertically, so it only depends on how you organize your space.
Space is the keyword here. Although some players will appreciate the opportunity to use it efficiently, it shouldn’t be the primary factor in deciding which console to buy. It is worth mentioning that Xbox One X will most likely be a smaller console compared to Xbox One S. Not only it is the trend in the tech industry to make all products as compact as possible, but the other details we know about Scorpio also suggest that we can expect a small but powerful pack.
While design shouldn’t play a major factor in your decision, graphics are something you should consider, especially if you have a high-tech TV able to show 4K content. If you do, it would be a shame not to use the potential of games in 4K with HDR color, which is something that both Xbox One S and Xbox One X offer.
The difference is in the way the consoles produce 4K content. When it comes to Xbox One S, it doesn’t have the ability to run 4K content natively. Instead, the games are rendered at a 1080p resolution (something you might know as “Full HD”), and then they are stretched to fill a 4K TV screen completely. If we tell you that 4K is about four times stronger than the Full HD resolution, you know that means that your TV will be showing each of the game’s pixels across four of its pixels. You shouldn’t be a tech genius to conclude that the image you get will be far less crisp and won’t use the full potential of your TV.
On the other hand, Xbox One X will have the ability to support true 4K and completely use the potential of this resolution. The Microsoft hails the HDR functionality of its console and guarantees that it will offer true 4K gaming. We should also mention that both consoles support playing 4K Blu-ray/DVD, as well as 4k streaming support for playing videos from services such as Amazon or Netflix.
Let’s move on and see what Xbox One S and Xbox One X are packing inside their exterior. While Xbox One S does offer some improvement compared to the original console, you can’t say that the difference was significant. According to tests conducted by the experts, games with unlocked frame rates perform approximately 10% better than on Xbox One. The S version offers a better and smaller CPU and a bit faster GPU, but the difference between 40 and 46 frames per second doesn’t justify the purchase unless you are really into details.
On the other hand, Xbox One X will make a much bigger leap when it comes to performance. The full and genuine 4K support means that the game will be playing at the perfect 60 frames per second. Microsoft also revealed that the Xbox One X’s CPU would feature a 2.3 GHZ 8-core processor. This is also a considerable improvement compared to the 1.75 GHZ that Xbox One S features, but we still expected a bit more.
GPU & RAM
Perhaps the thing that delighted us most was that Scorpio would feature 6 teraflop GPU, which is almost five times as powerful as the previous Microsoft’s console (1.3 teraflops). Xbox One S comes with 8 GB RAM available, out of which around 5GB can be used by games, while the rest is reserved for the system. Xbox One X will feature additional 4GB, making it 12GB of RAM in total. Out of this, around 4 is reserved for the system, while the games get the remaining 8GB, which is a considerable increase.
As for other details, the default hard drive is double as big on Xbox One X (1 TB compared to 500 GB). On the other hand, Xbox One S supports external hard drive storage, which is a feature that hasn’t been confirmed yet for Scorpio, but it’s highly likely that it will be included. The UHD Blu-ray drives are completely the same, and neither of the consoles features a Kinect port. Yes, HDMI port is there on both devices, but we expected to see a Kinect port, too.
All these performance details come down to one thing – Xbox One X will be able to utilize the 4K Ultra HD resolution entirely. Even if you don’t have an Ultra HD TV (4k), but only Full HD, you will notice the improvement. You will have the choice of choosing the resolution mode that will supersample the image down to the 1080p display to ensure maximum image quality regardless of the screen you have.
The more powerful hardware is a guarantee that Xbox One X will feature not only higher resolution, but also smoother performance, improved textures and faster loading times, which will especially be noticeable when running games for the original Xbox One and Xbox 360.
Since we mentioned the games, let’s clear up one important dilemma now. Microsoft officially confirmed that both Xbox One S and Xbox One X would feature the same range of games. There will be some differences in the quality of performance, of course, as it is somewhat natural that games have better performance on a newer console.
Most games will automatically detect which console you are using and update the features and visuals accordingly. Although the developers won’t be required to make a 4K enhancement patch, it is expected that most of them will provide one because it is in their interest.
We already know that Battlefield 1 and Fallout 4 will be equipped for 4K performance on Xbox One X, while the same is rumored for widely expected Red Dead Redemption 2 (coming in Fall 2017). Microsoft also promised that their first-party games would be compatible with Scorpio, so expect that you can play Halo, Forza, Gears of War and other titles in a 4K environment.
One important difference will be the VR support, which is an area where Xbox One X will probably dominate once it shows up. The reason is that it will offer support for multiple VR and mixed reality headsets. If you are into VR gaming, then you probably should wait for the X version, which will have the potential to use the maximum of VR headsets that are yet to be released. The bad news is that the console doesn’t come equipped with a VR headset, so you will have to pay for one separately.
The backward compatibility is present in both Xbox One S and Xbox One X, which means they will be able to play games made for Xbox 360 and the original Xbox.
The controller we play with on Xbox One S does feature a significant upgrade compared to the original version. Yes, I’m talking about the addition of Bluetooth, which makes the wireless dongle unnecessary. Although it is a minor change, it does prevent a hassle, so you might consider it important.
There are no details revealed when it comes to the controller for Xbox One X. However, we have noticed that Microsoft has improved their controllers with each new console, so there is no reason to think that won’t be the case now. The company will probably look how to make the controller even a bit lighter or more ergonomic as these two factors will help those players who play non-stop for hours (or days). Additionally, Microsoft likes to think about the controller’s appearance, so expect a few tweaks in that area, too.
Does it come down to this? The minority of the players might not have the money issue when buying their gaming stations, but the truth is that the majority of us decide primarily based on the price tag. After all, wouldn’t we simply buy all consoles if the price wasn’t an issue?
The starting version of Xbox One S is at the moment set at $249, which is pretty affordable. However, there are some attractive bundles available, such as the FIFA 17 500 GB model for $299 or Gears of War bundle with the 1TB console for $349.
The Xbox One X price is 500$, based on the fact that it brings some considerable improvement in visuals and features, we don’t think that the price is fair compared to its competitor PlayStation 4 Pro.
The Final Words or Which Should I Buy?
We don’t have the slightest dilemma that Xbox One X will be a better console than Xbox One S is. It will offer a real native 4K support for Ultra HD TV, which means that it will ultimately utilize its power. Unlike that, the upscaling power of Xbox One S offers only a limited 4K support and an image less crisp on an Ultra HD TV.
As much as we hate to say it, the price is something you also need to consider. Not only Xbox One X might be double as expensive, but it will also require you to get a 4K TV to use the maximum visual power of the console. Yes, you will be able to see the improvements on a 1080p display, but if you want the real treat for the eyes, then make sure to combine Xbox One X with an Ultra HD TV.
It all comes down to this – if you are an experienced player or somebody looking for the most powerful console on the market, it might be wise to wait for Xbox One X. It is the perfect way to make the leap towards the 4K visuals and make the use of the latest VR gaming potential. On the other hand, if you are somebody who is only now making the transition into the new generation of consoles, Xbox One S is an affordable and more than a respectable option. Although it won’t offer all the visual perks as the Xbox One X, you will be able to play the same games, and the graphics will still be at a high level.