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Xbox One vs. Xbox One S: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 7, 2023
The Xbox One S offers enhancements like 4K video playback and HDR support over the original Xbox One, housed in a smaller, sleeker design.

Key Differences

The Xbox One, launched by Microsoft, heralded a new era of gaming and multimedia experiences, combining impressive gaming capabilities with a wide array of entertainment options. Conversely, the Xbox One S, while maintaining the core functionalities of the Xbox One, brought about technical advancements like support for HDR gaming and 4K video playback, heightening visual experiences for users.
A noticeable distinction lies in the physical aspects: the Xbox One boasts a larger, somewhat bulkier design, whereas the Xbox One S steps forward with a 40% smaller, more compact, and aesthetically pleasing white design, demonstrating a more contemporary look. The smaller console, Xbox One S, also introduced a slight controller redesign, with textured grips and increased range, elevating the gaming experience subtly yet noticeably.
Xbox One, originally introduced without a 4K Blu-Ray player, centered its focus on providing solid gaming experiences and being an entertainment hub. In a contrasting move, the Xbox One S not only embraced gaming but did so with an improved visual presentation, introducing a 4K Blu-ray player, ensuring sharper and more vibrant visuals both in gaming and multimedia playback.
The Xbox One's power supply is external, a characteristic noted by gamers due to the additional space and consideration required for setup. In a welcome change, the Xbox One S integrated the power supply within the console, offering a cleaner and more streamlined setup, minimizing cable management and spatial concerns.
While both the Xbox One and Xbox One S allow for ample storage options, the latter again takes a step forward by offering up to 2TB in certain special editions, against the original model's maximum of 1TB, thereby providing gamers with additional space for games and media. Additionally, Xbox One S, with its subtle improvements and sleek design, aimed to refine what Xbox One offered, catering to a market that had developed further desires and expectations in the evolving console generation.

Comparison Chart

Physical Design

Larger and bulkier.
40% smaller, sleeker design.

Video Playback

No 4K support.
Supports 4K video playback and HDR.

Blu-Ray Player

Standard Blu-Ray player.
4K Blu-Ray player.

Power Supply

External power supply.
Internal power supply.

Storage Capacity

Up to 1TB.
Up to 2TB in special editions.

Xbox One and Xbox One S Definitions

Xbox One

As a successor to Xbox 360, Xbox One brought enhanced graphics and processing power.
The Xbox One offered a significant upgrade in gaming experiences over its predecessor, the Xbox 360.

Xbox One S

Xbox One S is appreciated for integrating the power supply, contributing to its sleeker design.
The internal power supply of the Xbox One S eliminates the need for an external power brick, simplifying my gaming setup.

Xbox One

The Kinect, originally bundled with Xbox One, allowed for motion tracking and voice control.
With the Kinect and Xbox One, dance and fitness games became an engaging and interactive experience for users.

Xbox One S

The Xbox One S is a compact and upgraded variant of the original Xbox One console.
With its smaller size, the Xbox One S fits neatly in my entertainment center, without compromising on power.

Xbox One

Xbox One offers a wide array of both gaming and entertainment applications.
Jamie spent the evening on his Xbox One, alternating between gaming and watching a movie.

Xbox One S

Microsoft’s Xbox One S provides a feature-rich gaming and entertainment experience in a streamlined package.
The Xbox One S, with its varied game library and media apps, is my go-to device for varied entertainment.

Xbox One

Xbox One emphasizes not only gaming but also social and streaming features.
Through the Xbox One, Lisa streamed her gameplay live to her followers on various platforms.

Xbox One S

Known for its enhanced visual capabilities, the Xbox One S supports 4K video and HDR gaming.
Enjoying a movie night, we marveled at the sharp and vibrant 4K visuals displayed by the Xbox One S.

Xbox One

The Xbox One is a multi-media gaming console developed by Microsoft.
The Xbox One, released in 2013, swiftly became a beloved platform for gamers worldwide.

Xbox One S

Differentiating itself with aesthetics, the Xbox One S often boasts a clean, white design, with varied special editions.
My Gears of War special edition Xbox One S, with its unique design, is a standout piece in my collection.


Is the controller different for the Xbox One S?

The Xbox One S introduced a slightly refined controller with textured grips and improved range.

Is the Xbox One S more powerful than the Xbox One?

The Xbox One S has similar hardware to the Xbox One but does offer enhanced video capabilities like 4K and HDR.

Can the Xbox One S stand vertically?

Yes, the Xbox One S can be positioned vertically with a stand.

Can I stream content to the Xbox One and Xbox One S?

Yes, both consoles support streaming apps and can stream gameplay.

Is Kinect compatible with Xbox One S?

Yes, but the Xbox One S requires an adapter to use Kinect.

Do both consoles support backward compatibility with Xbox 360 games?

Yes, both the Xbox One and Xbox One S support backward compatibility with a selection of Xbox 360 games.

Can I play 4K Blu-Rays on the original Xbox One?

No, 4K Blu-Ray playback is a feature introduced with the Xbox One S.

Is Xbox Live Gold required for online play on both consoles?

Yes, an Xbox Live Gold subscription is needed for online multiplayer on both Xbox One and Xbox One S.

Is the Xbox One S compatible with Xbox One X games?

Yes, as long as the game is labeled for the Xbox One platform, it is compatible.

Can I use the Xbox One S for music playback?

Yes, Xbox One S supports various music streaming apps and can play CDs.

Do the Xbox One and Xbox One S have built-in Wi-Fi?

Yes, both consoles come equipped with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities.

What is the maximum storage capacity available on the Xbox One S?

The Xbox One S is available with up to 2TB of storage in certain editions.

Will USB devices used with Xbox One work with Xbox One S?

Yes, USB devices like external hard drives are compatible with both consoles.

Is there a visual quality difference when streaming on Xbox One vs. Xbox One S?

The Xbox One S may offer enhanced visuals in certain content due to its 4K and HDR capabilities.

Can I upgrade the internal hard drive of the Xbox One or Xbox One S?

Both consoles do not support internal hard drive upgrading by users, but external storage can be added.

When were the Xbox One and Xbox One S released?

The Xbox One was released in 2013, while the Xbox One S was released in 2016.

Can Xbox One games be played on the Xbox One S?

Yes, both consoles share the same game library.

Can Xbox One and Xbox One S players play together online?

Yes, players on both consoles can interact and play together online.

Does the Xbox One S offer better performance in games compared to Xbox One?

While similar in hardware, the Xbox One S has slight enhancements like HDR, improving some visual aspects in supported games.

Are game save files transferable between Xbox One and Xbox One S?

Yes, game saves linked to Xbox Live accounts can be accessed on both consoles.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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