Friday, November 10, 2017

HGG2017: XBox One S & XBox One X

I have two avid gamers in the house, so it's only fitting that for the first entry in my holiday gift guide I introduce you to the newest console offerings from XBox - XBox One S and XBox One X. Both systems offer enhanced video and audio for BluRay and streaming, and the X offers that and more to enhance your gaming experience. Both are available now, as standalone systems, and bundled with games and/or specially themed controllers.

Another important development - the Xbox in our home has traditionally been the domain of our older son, as the games for this system tended to be more teen and up oriented. Not all, by any means, but in general. I was really pleased to see new games geared to younger players when we attended a holiday preview event a few weeks ago. New titles like RiME, Cuphead, and Super Lucky's Tale are sure to be big hits. And of course there's always Minecraft and a variety of LEGO titles.

Xbox One S

This update to Xbox One takes advantage of advances in video and audio technology and offers 4K Ultra HD BluRay and video streaming capabilities, plus Dolby Atmos audio, and High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology to bring out the visual depth to your games with higher contrast ratio between lights and dark.

That's a lot of words, but at base, Xbox One S provides way better visuals and audio. And when connected to your existing 4K TV and sound system, this console will allow you to take full advantage when streaming high quality video and playing 4K BluRay discs.

The system has over 1300 games available, including current hits, Xbox One exclusives, and 400 Xbox classic games. And all Xbox One accessories will work with it.

Available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB versions, so there are different price points to suit your budget.

Xbox One X

The X offers everything the S has, plus 40% more power than any other console, which my boys tell me is a big deal. The extra power allows for faster loading, smoother gameplay, with better visuals and generally more detailed worlds than you could efficiently run with a less powerful machine.

The X also expands the 4K capability to your games, so if you have a 4K TV, you will be able to enjoy your gaming experience in full 4K as well (for games developed with this in mind, of course.) The official specifications are "2160p frame buffers, and 6 Teraflops of graphical processing power," which I admit I don't understand, but I gather is what makes the experience so immersive, and the loading so quick. I will say that the demonstration we watched at a recent event was visually stunning.

The X also provides enhanced sound quality to your gaming, with Dolby Atmos and Windows Sonic for headphones. Hook this console up to your sound system for amazing spatial sound to bring a truly immersive experience to your games.

The Xbox One X comes with 1TB of storage.

Backwards Compatibility

To be honest, this may be my favourite part of the new systems. Because I am a mom, responsible for the family budget, and on a mission to purge excess "stuff" from our home. Both the Xbox One S & X provide backwards compatibility, allowing you to play Xbox 360 games and even a selection of original Xbox games on the new consoles. This means you don't need to replace old favourites in an updated version, and you don't need to keep your old console hooked up. Win!! Some of the Xbox 360 titles are even being updated to take full advantage of the Xbox One X's enhanced gaming experience.

Get Yours (affiliate links)

Best for the Minecraft fanatic:

Best for the younger gamer (less storage, basic system):

Best for the serious gamer:

Disclosure: We attended a fun, family Xbox/Microsoft media event where we were able to try out these new systems, test games, and take home some complimentary goodies. No financial compensation was received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own or those of my family. This post contains affiliate links, and should you make a purchase via these links, I will receive a small commission from

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