Xbox One S vs Xbox One X: What's the difference?

Xbox One S vs Xbox One X: What's the difference?

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Microsoft continues to make waves with its eighth-generation console platform by releasing multiple different versions of the Xbox One. This is great in offering existing and potential players more choice but can often result in a headache for those unaware of what the differences are. Luckily, Gaming Deals is here to help! There are two types of Xbox One we’ll be breaking down, offering informative insight into whether the Xbox One S or Xbox One X would be best for you.

Specs | Hardware | Graphics | Design | Price | Second-handGames | VR | Bundles | Verdict

The one thing to bear in mind is that the Xbox One S or Xbox One X have been specifically designed to cater to two wildly different types of player. The Xbox One S, for those looking to get into current-gen gaming affordably. The Xbox One X, by comparison, will satisfy the needs of any player looking for the best possible performance and visuals. Here we’ll dig deeper into the nitty gritty of what makes both consoles tick, but it’s worth noting that the original 2013 Xbox One can no longer be purchased new.

Xbox One S vs Xbox One X: Specs

Here's a quick glance at the basic specs of the Xbox One S vs Xbox One X. We've kept it jargon free so that anybody (including none gamers) can easily compare the two consoles with ease.

Specs Xbox One S Xbox One X
Storage Capacity 1TB 1TB
Supports 4K Yes Yes
Power 1.4 teraflops 6.0 teraflops
Memory 8GB 12GB
USB Ports 3 3
Backwards Compatible Yes Yes
Noise level 46 decibels 50 decibels

Xbox One S vs Xbox One X: Hardware

The performance differences found between the Xbox One S vs Xbox One X are extreme. As you may expect from a box described in its marketing as “the world’s most powerful console”, the Xbox One X packs the most punch when it comes to CPU, GPU and Teraflops. The X features an eight-core CPU to be more specific, alongside 12GB of GDDR5 RAM and a memory bandwidth of 326GB/s. All this results in a console that is roughly 40% more powerful than what we got in 2013, allowing tailored games to run at 4K resolution natively at a much steadier framerate.

The Xbox One S is less of a beast, by comparison. Yet Microsoft has still included a few tweaks to make this slimmer, much neater-looking console more powerful than the original Xbox One. Again, it features an eight-core CPU, but is only capable of reaching a top performance of 1.4 TFLOPs compared to the X’s staggering 6. Finally, the Xbox One S’s faster GPU gives it a slight edge performance-wise over the Xbox One variant it replaced.

Winner: Xbox One X

Xbox One S vs Xbox One X: Graphics

The Xbox One X isn’t just the most powerful Xbox One, but the most powerful console currently on the market. It can retroactively steady the graphics performance of games already released (including Xbox and Xbox 360 backwards compatibility titles) and will only continue to make those yet to be released look as sharp and crisp as possible. A 4K TV is recommended to see the full benefit, but even without one you’ll see a noticeable difference in the graphics. The Xbox One S simply isn't capable of doing any of this, so if you want the best graphics, the Xbox One X is the only model of choice.

You don't have to just take our word for it. There's plenty of graphics comparison videos out there on YouTube that demonstrates the increased power of the X. Take a look at Resero's tests performed using Red Dead Redemption 2.

Winner: Xbox One X

Xbox One S vs Xbox One X: Design

The original Xbox One launched in 2013 was one of the chunkiest consoles we’ve ever seen hit the market. It was only a matter of time before Microsoft did something about this, and as such we’re pleased to report that both the Xbox One S and Xbox One X make some much-appreciated hardware revisions to the console’s exterior design. Surprisingly, despite containing the most power, the Xbox One X is the smallest of the three.

xbox one s image The all new Xbox One S All-Digital Edition - notice something missing?

The size spec of the Xbox One X works out as 11.8 x 9.4 x 2.4 inches, while Xbox One S isn’t that much bigger at only 11.6 x 9.0 x 2.5 inches. Both are substantially smaller than the original Xbox One by quite some way, making it easy for players to neatly slot either console into their entertainment centre. Both consoles still feature a disc drive, unless you’re opting for the Xbox One S All-Digital edition, which is an Xbox One S variant suited for people wanting to do away with physical discs.

Winner: Tie

Xbox One S vs Xbox One X: Price

Price is a factor that will play into anyone’s console purchasing decision, and with regards to the Xbox One S and Xbox One X it couldn’t look like there was more disparity from the outset. Simply put, opting for an all-powerful Xbox One X will net you in the region of £400 (usually will a game included) while the Xbox One S is almost half that. This is because of the significant increase in power the X exudes, capable of rendering new releases at native 4K resolution.

Xbox One X price

We've compared the UK's leading retailers and found the very best deals available today for the Xbox One X console. You can always compare more deals by visiting our Xbox One X deals page.

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Xbox One S price

The Xbox One S, on the other hand, is one of the most affordable gaming consoles on the market, even typically beating out its PS4 rival, the PS4 Slim. Both these price points are offered in the assumption that its an Xbox One with 1TB of internal storage you’re thinking of getting – a highly recommended suggestion due to the large size of modern day game files.

Today's three best deals for the Xbox One S are below, but if you want to compare more, you can see what's on offer by checking our Xbox One S deals page.

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Xbox One S All-Digital Edition price

The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is priced similarly to the regular S, which may leave many wondering what will separate their decision to choose between the two. The simple answer is that you get more games and an Xbox Games with Gold subscription bundled in. With the regular S you get the console and roughly one game for around £200. The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition console, however, scraps the disc drive and gifts you two more digital games for the exact same price.

If you're on a tight budget and don't mind sacrificing performance, the model you should opt for is the Xbox One S given the savings on offer.

Winner: Xbox One S

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Xbox One S vs Xbox One X: Games

Regardless of whether you pick up the Xbox One S or Xbox One X, you can rest easy knowing that all Xbox One games will work on either. The difference comes in how a few of them will look. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Resident Evil 2, for instance, have been developed with consoles like the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro in mind, meaning that they can take advantage of these more powerful console’s slight visual flourishes like native 4K resolutions and improved HDR (High dynamic Range).

FIFA 19 The journey

Below is a list of Xbox One games that make the most of Xbox One X:

Winner: Tie

Xbox One S vs Xbox One X: Controller

For the most part, the game controller you receive with either the Xbox One S or Xbox One X largely remains unchanged. The most notable is the slight addition of Bluetooth integration, which allows the second-generation Xbox Controller to connect to your console with just a simple tap of the central Xbox button. Previously, Xbox One players would need to attach a dongle to the front of their console, but now getting started with a controller is easier than ever.

The Xbox One controller was also made to be lighter to hold, building in slight alterations that make it more comfortable to use for longer stretches of time. Now, if you were to buy a brand new Xbox One X or Xbox One S, you’re guaranteed to receive the revised version of the Xbox One controller. It’s available in a slew of attractive colours but can most commonly be found in Jet Black or Glacier White.

Of course, if you already have an Xbox One console and are just looking for a spare controller, they can also be purchased individually:

Xbox One S vs Xbox One X: Virtual Reality compatibility

In case you were wondering about Xbox One’s compatibility with VR content, we regret to inform you that there currently is none. That’s not to say this won’t be something Microsoft will explore in the near future. After all, its closest competitor is PlayStation, a platform that is seeing a lot of success with its PSVR headset. Microsoft have showed more interest in dabbling with mixed reality, over the virtual variety. However, never say never!

Winner: Neither

Xbox One S vs Xbox One X: Bundles

Both the Xbox One S and Xbox One X constantly treat players to great bundles that allows them to save money and grab a great deal. Each will include the console, a controller and almost always top-tier blockbuster game that’s just been released. Some of the most notable recent bundles have included Anthem, Metro: Exodus and Forza Horizon 4. Some bundles are limited to either the Xbox One S or Xbox One X exclusively, but the console you opt for will always come with 1TB of storage space.

Picking up an Xbox One S or Xbox One X as part of a bundle is a great way to offset some of the usual cost that comes with either console. You’ll save yourself the need to pick up a full-price game and have something ideal to play right from the get-go.

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Winner: Tie

Xbox One S vs Xbox One X: Should you upgrade?

So which Xbox One console should you buy? Overall, the Xbox One S will suit anyone looking for an affordable way to jump into this generation of gaming, acting as an appreciated hardware revision of the original Xbox One that is much sleeker, slightly more powerful and plenty of storage thanks to the new 1TB standard capacity. The S recently received a second console variant in the Xbox One S All-Digital edition, which removes the optical disc drive and comes bundled with three digital games from the off.

Those wanting to experience a premier gaming experience, however, will feel right at home with “the world’s most powerful console” also known as the Xbox One X. It has the ability to play games and movies at native 4K, sharpening up game visuals to the extent that you’ll be wondering how you made do with what came before. You’ll need a 4K television to experience it at its best but all Xbox One X purchasers are sure to love the faster frame rates, shorter load times and exquisite HDR visuals.

Overall winner: Xbox One X

Now you know the winner of the Xbox One X vs Xbox One S battle, you've hopefully got enough information to buy the right Xbox One model for you. So why not compare today's best Xbox One deals and save money buying a new games console with Gaming Deals.

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