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Why I finally bought a next-gen console–the Xbox One S

December 27th, 2016 | by Alvin Lai
Why I finally bought a next-gen console–the Xbox One S
Gaming
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Microsoft Xbox One S. PHOTO: Microsoft website

The last video game console I bought was a PS3 back in 2008, two years after I purchased the Xbox 360. I’d resolutely ignored the latest gen consoles, because I thought my consoles were good enough.

I had a large cache of games on both consoles, and I thought that the graphics were stellar, especially on my 4K TV. Besides, I’d amassed enough games that I hadn’t played (some are still shrink-wrapped), I was convinced I didn’t need the new consoles.

And as Christmas approached, my Xbox 360 gave up the ghost.

After two replacement units over the years, I thought about buying another one, since I’d bought so many Xbox 360 games. But did game shops even stock Xbox 360 units anymore?

As any owner of a video console knows–it’s hard to give up on what you love–and despite the major breakdowns, as well as the frequent errors that required a restart, the Xbox 360 was one of my favourite modern video game consoles.

It was also the first console that had a controller that truly felt like a leap forward from the gold standard at the time, Sony’s PS2 Dualshock controller.

When you held an Xbox 360 controller, it felt substantial, and if you’re into first-person shooters (FPS), the controller feels like the weapon you deserve.

But it’s not consoles we fall in love with. It’s the games. It’s always the games. Games transport us to worlds only dreams can.

One of those games that I found truly absorbing, fun, and charming, Viva Pinata, was developed by Microsoft and Rare, and it was one of those games that stuck with me and the children in my extended family.

So, after some research, I decided it was time to splurge on the Xbox One S (I bought the 1TB model at S$499.00). The three reasons my wife asked for are exactly the reasons why the Xbox One S is totally worth it:

1. Backwards compatibility–keep what you love
Like I said, I have a huge library of Xbox 360 games, and all game console lovers clamor for the ability to play the games they own even as they embrace the future.

Backwards compatibility with some old games gave Xbox fans a truly good reason to buy the Xbox One. While not all old games are playable (yet), Microsoft has been true to its word of adding more and more games to this list.

2. Xbox One S–a leaner console
Microsoft likes simple, boxy designs for its hardware. In a way, it’s become its signature, from Surface products to its recent consoles.

Like it or hate it, the new S model is 40 percent smaller, cleaner in white, and ditches the humongous external power brick in existence since the Xbox 360. This is one console you can throw in a backpack and take to a friend’s place with ease.

3. 4K Blu-ray disc support for movie buffs
If you’re a movie buff like me, then its built-in 4K Blu-ray support makes this a two-fer–buy this console and you’ve also got yourself a 4K Blu-ray player as well. Samsung’s UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player, for instance, costs about S$599.00.

Granted, the Xbox One S is no dedicated Ultra HD player, but all content (games and apps) will display at 4K resolution. Even 1080p content is upscaled to 4K. What’s more, Xbox One S also has support for high dynamic range (HDR).

In addition to the hardware, Microsoft’s support for universal apps means you can install additional apps and convert this console into a really good media center.

From the get-go, I’d installed Netflix, YouTube, Twitch, and VLC. The latter is a godsend and it’ll play back just about any movie file I throw at it.

3 Comments

  1. Thomas Herman says:

    The Xbone S isn’t next gen console. It’s a prettier version of Xbone. PS4 Pro actually improves upon the gaming experience. The “Scorpio” will be next gen. Xbone S is a current gen console.

    Edit: Apparently a few Xbone S games support HDR which is nice. Still more of a sidegrade than an upgrade.

    • Miles Tuttle says:

      That’s not really what sidegrade means. It’s okay to call it an upgrade. It doesn’t make your point wrong.

      • Thomas Herman says:

        If by upgrade you mean upgrading to next gen, then no it is not an upgrade. If I bought a brand new car of the same model as my current one that also had a blue ray player, I wouldn’t call that an upgrade.

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