Microsoft asserts that the next Xbox will render games at the same level of performance and quality as the original Xbox One. That "S," though, might seduce some gamers into upgrading to the slimmer and sleeker Xbox One S.
Announced during Microsoft's E3 2016 presentation, and leaked way before that, the Xbox One S is one of two bundles of joy set to expand the Xbox One family starting this fall.
Project Scorpio will serve as the answer to, or question for, Sony's upcoming PlayStation Neo, the more powerful version of the PlayStation 4 that's geared for 4K gaming and virtual reality. However, Project Scorpio won't launch until sometime next year and the Xbox One S is already kicking, so to say — just feel Microsoft's belly.
And so with Microsoft due to delivery the Xbox One S this fall, some gamers, still making sense of that latest E3, are wondering if they should upgrade to the successor to the 3-year-old original Xbox One.
It'll start at the same $300 price point as the original, but it'll pack a few extras into a build that's much smaller than the foot-wide, 7-pound Xbox One.
Though Microsoft hasn't detailed the Xbox One S's dimensions, the company has revealed that the console will be 40 percent more compact than the original. The Xbox One S will also support 4K, high dynamic range video.
For those who haven't adopted an Xbox One, then the improved Xbox One S might be worth waiting for just a little bit longer before taking the plunge. But considering the Xbox One S only adds support for HDR and a smaller build, owners of perfectly good Xbox One consoles might be better served waiting for the significantly more powerful Project Scorpio.
There had been some speculation that the Xbox One S would offer a few performance boosts in games, beyond the powers of the original Xbox One, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer and Xbox planning lead Albert Penello emphatically shot down such suggestions.
Put frankly, Spencer warns gamers not to buy the Xbox One S if they're expecting performance games of the current console.
"I don't want anybody to think this is somehow a performance boost for Xbox One games," said Spencer. "That's why we said HDR on-screen, and that's what we want to be explicit about. Outside of that, you should expect your Xbox One games to run exactly the same."