In the world of gaming, the Xbox One has been a significant player since its debut in 2013. Over the years, the Xbox One family has expanded to include three main models: the Original Xbox One, the Xbox One S, and the Xbox One X. While all of them can play your favorite games, they each offer a unique gaming experience. If you’re wondering which Xbox One model is the right fit for you, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the details of each Xbox One model, helping you make an informed decision.
The Original Xbox One
Release Year: 2013
The Original Xbox One was the trailblazer, hitting the market in 2013, pitting itself against Sony’s PlayStation 4. This console originally shipped with the Kinect system, allowing users to play certain games and control their cable boxes or TV services. However, its initial $100 price premium compared to the PS4 and slightly slower hardware left it at a disadvantage. Microsoft quickly adapted by removing the Kinect and reducing the price.
Today, the Kinect system has been phased out, but you can still connect it to your Xbox One if you have one lying around. While it can’t play games in 4K or watch 4K UHD Blu-rays, it does support regular HD Blu-ray movies. However, considering its limitations, we recommend exploring the newer models for an enhanced gaming experience.
Xbox One S
Release Year: 2016
The Xbox One S, introduced in 2016, can be considered the middle ground in the Xbox One family. It brought significant upgrades over the original Xbox One. Notably, it features improved hardware and various quality-of-life changes.
One of the most noticeable changes is its compact size, about 40% smaller than the original. Additionally, it offers around 7% better performance. The Xbox One S also sports a sleek white design, a departure from the original black console. While it doesn’t come with a Kinect and doesn’t support the add-on, it does have some game enhancements.
Beyond that, the Xbox One S can upscale some games to 4K UHD and utilize HDR color. To take full advantage of these features, you’ll need a 4K TV or monitor that supports HDR-10. Keep in mind that it’s not powerful enough for true 4K gaming, so if that’s your focus, you might want to explore other options.
Xbox One S All-Digital Edition
Release Year: 2019
The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, released in 2019, offers a unique take on gaming. It completely ditches the disc drive, meaning you’ll need to download games onto the internal hard drive or an external storage device. This makes it an excellent choice for gamers who prefer digital copies over physical discs.
Compared to the first Xbox One S, you can’t get this console with less than 1TB of memory. Given that your games will be stored digitally, this requirement is sensible. While it may not be considered a mainline console, it’s a worthwhile variant.
Notably, the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition comes with three pre-installed games: Minecraft, Forza Horizon 3, and Sea of Thieves. Hardware-wise, it’s identical to the Xbox One S, with the main difference being the absence of an optical disc reader.
Xbox One X
Release Year: 2017
Out of all the Xbox One models, the Xbox One X stands as the most powerful. It was unleashed to gamers in 2017 and was known as Project Scorpio during its development. The Xbox One X is the pinnacle of 4K gaming, thanks to its superior hardware.
This console can truly support 4K UHD gaming, a step above the Xbox One S’s upscaling capabilities. Games are rendered in genuine 4K, providing an exceptional visual experience. It also boasts the ability to play 4K content from Netflix and 4K UHD Blu-ray discs.
In addition to the graphics improvements, some games on the Xbox One X enjoy enhanced performance, with the potential for an FPS boost of up to 120 FPS, surpassing the industry standard 60 FPS. Notably, the Xbox One X no longer supports the Kinect port and add-on, but this was hardly a surprise given the discontinuation of Kinect.
Despite its incredible processing speed of 1,172 MHz and ample 1TB storage, the Xbox One X remains the smallest Xbox console. Its compact size doesn’t compromise on performance.
As of now, the Xbox One X stands as the only console capable of running high-fidelity VR games, although it’s worth noting that Microsoft’s focus on VR games for consoles is limited.
Which Xbox One Should You Buy?
With four Xbox One options to choose from, selecting the right one can be challenging. Here’s a brief buying guide to help you make an informed decision:
- Original Xbox One: While it still holds up in terms of graphics, its age shows. It’s best to opt for the Xbox One S or X unless you find a compelling deal.
- Xbox One S: A solid choice, especially if you’re not aiming for 4K gaming. It’s also suitable for 4K media consumption if you own or stream it.
- Xbox One S All-Digital Edition: Ideal for gamers who prefer digital copies and don’t mind the lack of physical media. However, it’s not for collectors.
- Xbox One X: The king of the Xbox One family, perfect for 4K gaming and media consumption. It offers the best performance and enhancements for games.
Each of these consoles can play Kinect titles with the appropriate add-on, but for the three latest models, you’ll need an adapter. In summary, the Xbox One S and X are your top choices among the four.
Microsoft’s Vision for the Future
Regardless of the Xbox One model you choose, you’re in for an outstanding gaming experience. Microsoft’s continued commitment to innovation has ensured that the Xbox One family remains relevant. While the original model is gradually phasing out, the newer consoles, particularly the Xbox One X, offer exceptional gaming capabilities and visual fidelity.
What’s your Xbox One console of choice, and what are your thoughts on the removal of the Kinect port? Share your opinions in the comments section below.
FAQs – Your Xbox One Questions Answered
- Can I still buy the Original Xbox One?
- You might find some available for purchase, but we recommend considering the Xbox One S or X for a better gaming experience.
- Is the Xbox One X worth the investment for 4K gaming?
- Absolutely, if you’re looking for a true 4K gaming experience, the Xbox One X is your best bet.
- What’s the difference between the Xbox One S and the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition?
- The primary distinction is that the All-Digital Edition lacks a disc drive, making it ideal for gamers who prefer digital copies.
- Can I still use the Kinect with the Xbox One X?
- Unfortunately, none of the latest Xbox One models support the Kinect directly. You’ll need an adapter if you want to use it.
- Is there a significant difference in game performance between the Xbox One S and Xbox One X?
- Yes, the Xbox One X offers superior game performance, with the potential for higher frame rates and true 4K gaming.
- Does the Xbox One X support VR gaming?
- Yes, the Xbox One X is currently the only console capable of running high-fidelity VR games. However, Microsoft’s focus on console VR is limited.
- Are there any exclusive games for each Xbox One model?
- While some games may have performance enhancements on the Xbox One X, there aren’t any exclusives tied to specific models.
- Can I connect the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition to a 4K TV?
- Yes, you can connect it to a 4K TV, but keep in mind that it can’t play games in true 4K.
- What are the free pre-installed games that come with the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition?
- The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition includes Minecraft, Forza Horizon 3, and Sea of Thieves.
- Is the Xbox One X still a relevant choice in 2023?
- The Xbox One X remains a compelling choice, especially if you’re not ready to transition to next-gen consoles. Its 4K capabilities and overall performance make it a worthy gaming platform.