Xbox One S 500GB Console

Last updated date: April 30, 2019

DWYM Score
8.6

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We looked at the top 1 Xbox Consoles and dug through the reviews from 12 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Digital Trends, Best Reviews Guide, Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, CNET, Alphr, Windows Central, PC World, Engadget, TechHive and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Xbox Console you should buy.

Overall Take

Although it doesn't support 4K UHD resolution for games, the Xbox One S 500GB Console does build 4K UHD compatibility into its DVD player. You'll also get High Definition Resolution with your games, which provides vivid graphics. If you subscribe to online streaming services, this console also makes it easy to connect them and watch your favorite movies and TV shows. In our analysis of 47 expert reviews, the Microsoft Xbox One S 500GB Console placed 2nd when we looked at the top 4 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 8, 2019:
Checkout The Best Xbox Console for a detailed review of all the top xbox consoles.

Expert Summarized Score
8.5
12 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.9
3,307 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Comes with the 4K Blu ray player standard and can output in HDR. Very affordable and can often be found on sale.
- BestReviews
The Xbox One S can play a large number of Xbox 360 and original-Xbox titles. If you have a compatible original-Xbox or 360 game disc, you can download those games to your Xbox One S. If you downloaded Xbox 360 games from Xbox Live in the past, you can redownload them to the Xbox One from your My Games page.
- New York Times Wirecutter
The Xbox One S, meanwhile, costs around $300 for a “starter bundle” that includes a three-month Xbox Game Pass hat allows you to play a wide variety of games without purchasing them outright. The Xbox One S also regularly goes on sale, so you might find it for even less.
- Digital Trends
Beyond 4K, the addition of HDR is also a great inclusion for the console. It's more powerful than it was when the system came out three years ago, and more spacious thanks to a larger 2TB hard drive that can be found in many of the special editions of the console.
- Tech Radar
The Xbox One has had a total makeover, and it’s a huge improvement. Microsoft hasn’t confirmed what the “S” stands for, but we’re taking a guess at “slim”. The case is 40% smaller, which makes the Xbox One S only a little bigger than a PS4, and smaller than the dinkiest of mini-ITX PCs.
- Trusted Reviews
December 3, 2018 | Full review
The Xbox One S is a slick looking game console that's 40 percent smaller than the original and ditches the infamously gigantic power brick. It can display 4K video from streaming services and Ultra HD Blu-rays, and supports HDR contrast on video and games.
- CNET
The Xbox One S’s other key new features surround its media-playback capabilities. The first is HDR or high dynamic range. This essentially broadens the range of colours the Xbox One S can output, and when the console is hooked up with a compatible television, the effect is amazing.
- Alphr
The Xbox One S is a sleek and sexy game console with serious media features, including all your favorite entertainment apps and a 4K Blu-ray player to boot.
- Windows Central
February 18, 2019 | Full review
Xbox One S’s support for both 4K Blu-ray discs, 4K streaming, and HDR make it seem inexpensive, especially given all of its other capabilities.
- PC World
August 2, 2016 | Full review
The only game console with a UHD Blu-ray drive for 4K movie playback
- Engadget
August 2, 2016 | Full review
The good news is strong support for audio and image codecs. The Xbox One S can play FLAC, Apple and Windows lossless. MP3, WMA, and Apple M4V, as well as WAV files up to 7.1 channels and 96kHz/24-bit sampling rates/resolution.
- TechHive
July 24, 2017 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Can't output games in 4K resolution and lacks the horsepower of the Xbox One X.
- BestReviews
The Xbox One S requires a $60-per-year Xbox Live Gold subscription to play multiplayer games online.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Needs adapter for Kinect.
- Tech Radar
It may be more environmentally friendly, but the battery has proved to be poor and I’m forever having to plug it in. I wish Microsoft would ship controllers with its “Play and Charge” kits – it would be a good compromise.
- Trusted Reviews
December 3, 2018 | Full review
4K, Ultra HD Blu-ray and HDR settings only work with newer TVs, and may require some trial and error. The updated controller feels cheaper than its predecessor.
- CNET
However, if you already own an Xbox One, the Xbox One S’s proposition becomes an altogether murkier affair. The main difference between the Xbox One S and the One is the addition of HDR and 4K Blu-ray compatibility – and to make the most of this you’ll need a 4K and HDR-enabled TV, which will set you back £800 at the very least.
- Alphr
The only downside is that it won't be able to run the 4K versions of the latest games. Games run worse, even on a 1080p TV.
- Windows Central
February 18, 2019 | Full review
One issue is that the user interface itself seems to require time to “warm up.” The first time you try to open up the left-hand sidebar interface, the system seemingly lags for a second or two. Using the shoulder buttons to navigate back and forth between the Dashboard’s sections is satisfactory, though it seems that every so often the One S doesn’t register a button click.
- PC World
August 2, 2016 | Full review
No reason to buy unless you own a 4K TV.
- Engadget
August 2, 2016 | Full review
When we tried to play a file Media Player didn’t support, file listings would disappear. Only a system restart would allow testing to continue. That got old very quickly, especially as the Xbox One S is pretty slow to start up. Hopefully, this will be fixed in the near future.
- TechHive
July 24, 2017 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Edition:S 500GB Xbox One S 500GB Console

Overall Product Rankings

1. Xbox One X 1TB Console
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 13
2. Xbox One S 500GB Console
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 12
3. Xbox Console
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 4
4. Xbox One 500GB Console
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 6

An Overview On Xbox Consoles

When it comes to gaming consoles, each release seems to bring more features, including enhanced video resolution and access to better games and apps. But you’ll pay for those features, often with an increase in price of $100 or more. For that reason, it can help to look at what you really need in a gaming console to avoid overspending on benefits you won’t even use.

Newer Xbox consoles pack in great resolution to make your games jump off the screen. With true 4K Ultra High Definition capabilities, you can take advantage of the games that render at that resolution. Unfortunately, not all games do, and even if they do, it will only work if you have a 4K UHD TV. Before you start shopping, make sure you know what resolution your TV offers to avoid wasting money on a feature that won’t even benefit you.

Many gaming consoles double as Blu-Ray players, which is worth considering as you shop. If you make regular stops at the nearest Redbox or you collect DVDs, look for a gaming console that supports 4K UHD discs, assuming your TV supports it. Some Xboxes can’t offer a gaming experience in 4K UHD, but they can display movies in that format. If you prefer streaming your entertainment, look for a console that can provide high-resolution video when services offer it.

Speaking of streaming, if that’s important to you, be sure to look for a gaming console that connects up to the apps you use. Many of the newer ones provide access to popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. If you want to play with others, you’ll also need to ensure the console you buy has Xbox Live capabilities. Some older consoles had versions of Xbox Live that are no longer available. But if you just want to play games and don’t care about online team-based gaming, it may be worth the savings on an older model.

DYWM Fun Fact

The Xbox has become known for its green logo and branding, but the story of how the color was chosen is fairly interesting. Xbox’s creator, Horace Luke, chose the color by default – all his other markers had been stolen. Originally the company had no idea “Halo” would be its breakout game. Instead, the leadership team thought a game called “Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee” would be the big hit.

“Halo” has an interesting history, as well, having evolved from a 1997 game called Myth. Developed by Bungie Studios, the first game was released in late 2001 and called “Halo: Combat Evolved.” Interestingly, it was originally targeted for Windows and Mac computers, but Microsoft’s release of the Xbox changed all that.

The Xbox Console Buying Guide

  • Gamers are excited about the newer Xboxes for good reason: 4K UHD support brings a more immersive gaming experience. If you have a 4K UHD TV, you’ll need to seriously consider the Microsoft Xbox One X 1TB Console, which renders games in 4K UHD resolution. The issue, though, is that not all games support this feature. So, you’ll have to look specifically for those that do if you want to take advantage of 3840 x 2160-pixel resolution.
  • You may not care as much about 4K UHD gaming as you do watching DVDs. The Microsoft Xbox One S 500GB Console delivers games in High Definition Resolution, which is great but not as good as 4K UHD. But when you pop a DVD into the Blu-Ray player, you’ll get 4K resolution, as long as you have a 4K TV.
  • With older versions like the Microsoft Xbox One 500GB Console, you’re looking for support for 1080p, which was once the top of the line when it came to gaming. The Microsoft Xbox One 500GB Console offers 1080p with those games that support it.
  • Graphics and speed rely heavily on what’s inside the box. With the Microsoft Xbox One X 1TB Console, you get an AMD Polaris 6-teraflop GPU and 40% more gaming power than competitors. This power will make a big difference, especially when playing graphics-intensive games in 4K UHD resolution. It also means your games will power up quickly, eliminating that annoying lag.
  • If you still watch DVDs, the built-in Blu-Ray player is going to be a draw. The Microsoft Xbox One X 1TB Console, Microsoft Xbox One S 500GB Console and Microsoft Xbox One 500GB Console all feature 4K UHD compatible Blu-Ray players.
  • You don’t have to buy or rent DVDs when you can access plenty of online streaming services for a monthly subscription price. The Microsoft Xbox One X 1TB Console and Microsoft Xbox One S 500GB Console feature 4K video streaming from all the major services, although you’ll only be able to access 4K UHD resolution if the services provide it. With the Microsoft Xbox One 500GB Console, you’ll get access to top streaming services but only in 1080p.
  • In order to link up with others online for remote gameplay, you’ll need Xbox Live, which most of the consoles have. However, Microsoft Xbox Console’s version of Xbox Live has been discontinued, unfortunately. So if this feature is important to you, you may not be willing to give it up.
  • Another limitation you may find with older Xbox consoles is that your selection of game titles is limited. If you want the most possible, you’ll need to stick with the Microsoft Xbox One X 1TB Console. The Microsoft Xbox One S 500GB Console is great because it can play Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles. With the Microsoft XBOX Console and Microsoft Xbox One 500GB Console, you may be disappointed at the limited exclusive titles available.
  • One of the biggest reasons to go with an older model is cost. You’ll often find the newest consoles retail for at least $300, going as high as $500. On the other hand, you can find the Microsoft Xbox One S 500GB Console in the $200-$300 range and the Microsoft XBOX Console for less than $150. If you can find a console used, you may be able to get a good deal on a slightly newer console version, although the latest and greatest can be tough to find at resale.
  • Storage space is limited on all the Xbox consoles, although you may be dazzled by the promised 1TB hard drive on the Microsoft Xbox One X 1TB Console. Consider, though, that 4K games take up more space, often totaling more than 100 GB once downloaded. That means if you want to store multiple games, you’ll probably need to invest in an external hard drive. The Microsoft XBOX Console builds in only an 8 GB hard drive.