What are the different Xbox One models?

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There are currently three different Xbox One models; the Xbox One, the One S, and the One X. The original Xbox One, though still available, is generally being phased out and replaced by the Xbox One S. The S is slightly smaller, has slightly quicker processing power, is capable of playing games in HDR and also offers 4K output for Blu-Ray films. The One X possesses greater graphical and processing capabilities, and is the top of the range model.

Xbox One S X logos

Stuck for which Xbox One is the right one for you? With three different core versions (and with various differences between them and alternate iterations available), it’s completely understandable to be confused about the differences.

In this article, we’ll break down which Xbox One model does what, and which is the one for you.

What is the Xbox One X?

Previously known as Project Scorpio, the Xbox One X was formally announced at the 2017 E3 conference. 40% more powerful than any other console on the market, the Xbox One X is designed as a competitor to Sony’s benchmark console, the PS4 Pro. Capable of playing games in stunning 4K resolution at a staggering 60fps, the One X is the console of choice for those who want only the best when it comes to performance and graphics.

  • When is the Xbox One X released? – The One X was released on November 7th, 2017. However, if you’re hoping for a deal on the Black Friday weekend which follows a few days later, you’re not likely to have much luck. You’re much more likely to find a good deal on a One S or PS4 Pro than the newly-released One X.
  • Is the Xbox One X a completely new console? – No. The One X is an upgrade to the existing software found in the Xbox One and One S consoles, and it will continue to play the same catalogue of games with the same accessories. Currently, there are no plans for any games to play exclusively on the One X. 
  • What is the Xbox One X Scorpio edition? The Scorpio edition of the One X is a special version, designed for early adopters. It comes with various cosmetic differences, including a printed pattern and serial number on the console and the Scorpio name on the controller. There are no differences in the spec between the two versions of the console.
  • How much more powerful is the One X over the One and One S? – The One X has around 4.5 times the graphical capability of the original Xbox One. Though the One S is capable of upscaling certain games to 4K, the One X can display games at this resolution natively, with processor power to spare that means some games will also play at 60fps.
  • Is the One X backwards compatible with the two current Xbox One models? – Yes, with both games and accessories such as Kinect (via an adaptor) and wireless controllers.
  • Doesn’t the One S already support 4K? – Yes, but only on Blu-ray DVD playback. It can’t do it natively on games, which is the big difference between the One S and the One X.
  • Is it worth getting the One X if I don’t have a 4K TV? – It depends on your budget. If you’re determined to have the best Xbox money can buy, or see yourself buying a 4K TV in the future, then yes. Otherwise, the difference in quality might not justify the cost.
  • How much will the Xbox One X cost? – The One X will launch at an RRP of £449.99, around £100 more than what you’re currently able to get the PS4 Pro for and generally about £250 more than what an Xbox One S currently retails at.

What is the Xbox One S?

Released in 2016, the Xbox One S was an upgrade to the original Xbox One console. It is now by far the most popular version of the console. Even with the One X surpassing it technically, the price difference will likely ensure the S remains the most popular One model.

  • Has the One S replaced the original console? – Not entirely, however it is becoming harder and harder to find original consoles. Most bundles we compare now include the One S.
  • Will the One X replace the One S? – No. The X is intended to compete with the PS4 Pro version, and will likely cater to hardcore gamers who are willing to spend more on their gaming setup. The One S will likely continue as the most popular version of the One for the remainder of the console’s lifespan.
  • How much smaller is the One S compared to the One? – It’s around 40% smaller.
  • What can the One S do that the original One can’t? – As well as being slightly more powerful, the big advantage of the One S is that it supports HDR gaming. It can also play Blu-rays in 4K, but not games. Oh, and it can stand on its side, too.
  • What storage options can you get the One S in? – The One S is available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB versions. It also supports external hard-drives to expand the memory.

What is the original Xbox One?

First released in 2014 as Microsoft’s entry for the eighth console generation, the original Xbox One remains a powerful piece of kit.

However, since the introduction of the One S in 2016, the original console is becoming harder to find as retailers run through their stock. Interestingly, although the original console has largely been replaced, you’re still likely to get a better deal on a One S.

  • Can the original One do anything the One S can’t? – In a word, no. There’s no real reason to buy an original One unless you find an exceptional deal. With stock running low of the original, that’s becoming increasingly unlikely.
  • Should I upgrade my One to a One S? – This is a tough one. While an improvement in multiple departments, the One S isn’t so much of an leap forward that it necessitates upgrading. Both systems play the same games, so you won’t miss out there. If you upgraded to an HDR TV and wanted to enjoy the difference it makes to your graphics, it would perhaps justify upgrading to a One S.

Which Xbox One should I buy?

Now you’re armed with all the knowledge you need, which Xbox should you opt for?

“I want the best of the best, no expense spared” – Buy the One X. The ability to play games in 4K and the added graphical ability will set it apart from the One and One S. Microsoft have claimed it will be the most powerful games console ever.

“I want a good deal” – The One S is your best bet. While you may think that the original One would be the cheapest, this isn’t generally the case. Stock is running low, and most retailers have moved on to using the One S in most of their high profile bundles. Of course, there will always be exceptions to the rule.

“I play a lot of games, so I need the storage space” – The original One went up to a 1TB hard-drive, while the One S offers both 1 and 2TB options. Only a 1TB version of the One X is available currently, but don’t be surprised if a larger capacity launches in 2018. As it will play the same games, the file sizes won’t be different, however Microsoft may want to make a statement with the console by including a bigger hard-drive.

“I’m limited on space, so I need a console that fits my TV stand” – Go for the One S or the X. The S is 40% smaller than the original One, and the power supply is internal, meaning you won’t have an ungainly “brick” plug to worry about. The X, remarkably, is even smaller than the One S, although not by the same margin as the One S to the One.

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