T3 Smackdown: Xbox One X vs Xbox One S

Everything that’s new, including the price

The Xbox One X is Microsoft’s first foray into an iterative console structure that gives players the same Xbox One experience they know and love, but crams insane performance into an incredibly small package to deliver better resolutions, frame-rates and graphics than ever before. 

Sure, the Xbox One X is a powerhouse, but how does it stack up next to the Xbox One S and is it worth the extra cash? T3 is here to tell you about all the similarities and differences between the two consoles. 

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S design

The Xbox One S was hailed for shaking off the VCR like build of the original Xbox One when it released in 2016. Since then, Microsoft has clearly been hard at work condensing parts down as much as possible. Believe it or not, the Xbox One X packs the immense amount of power that Microsoft talked at length about in their E3 2017 showcase in a box that’s smaller than the Xbox One S…and yes, you read that right. The Xbox One X is slightly thinner and features a smaller footprint than the S. 

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S performance

Microsoft hasn't been shy about labelling the Xbox One X the most powerful console ever made and there’s good reason for that. The X features an incredible amount of power under the hood that allows games to run at a native 4K resolution at 60 frames-per-second without a hiccup. The Xbox One X is a console that can keep up with the latest mid-range gaming PC’s while the S is still fundamentally using parts from 2013, meaning 4K in games is nowhere to be found. 

It’s worth noting that both consoles feature an UHD Blu-ray player capable of delivering 4K content in the form of films and TV shows and both are ready to display the most realistic image with their support for HDR. 

Games running on Xbox One X will come with better resolutions, frame-rates and graphics than those running on the Xbox One S, at least if they are first party titles. It’s yet to be seen how third parties will take advantage of the increase in performance the X brings. However, if the PlayStation 4 Pro is any indication, developers may allow Xbox One X players to choose where they want the extra horsepower to be used. Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4 Pro allows the user to choose an increase in resolution or frame-rate for instance. However, options like this may be alleviated by the fact the X is a more capable machine than Sony’s 4K offering. 

All the powerful components in the Xbox One X mean it’s essential the 4K titan is kept cool. That’s why Microsoft has designed a Liquid-cooled vapour chamber to ensure the X doesn't overheat. 

Meanwhile, the Xbox One S allows the user to choose a variety of storage options by coming with 500GB, 1TB and a 2TB option while the Xbox One X will only come with a 1TB skew when it launches on 7 November 2017.

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S games

Microsoft has stated that despite the vast upgrade in performance, the Xbox One X will not have any games that are exclusive to the new 4K console. This means that all the games that were announced at the company’s E3 showcase such as Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2 will all be available on Xbox One S too. This is exactly the same method employed by Sony with the PS4 Pro. 

Some Xbox titles will feature a label on the front stating that it’s been enhanced for Xbox One X, however, this won’t change the fundamental gameplay experience. 

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S price

The Xbox One X will be priced at £449 when it launches on November 7 2017 as opposed to the £199 you can spend to get your hands on an Xbox One S at the moment. 

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S verdict

Both the Xbox One X and Xbox One S offer sublime packages; both open up the doors to an incredibly diverse catalogue of games and both will take advantage of your HDR TV, provided you have one. For those who want to experience 4K content and play the odd game or two, the Xbox One S is a no brainer. However, if you’re an avid gamer that wants to experience everything at the best quality possible, then it’s worth waiting for the Xbox One X to play at a native 4K resolution.