How the Xbox One S: All-Digital stacks up against Xbox One X

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With years of experience with digital Xbox One gaming, we looked at how the disc-less Xbox One S All-Digital stacks up against the beastly Xbox One X.

Raw 4K power

Xbox One X

$409 at Amazon

Pros

4K games, media apps, and Blu-ray discs
Hundreds of “Enhanced” 4K game upgrades
Improved loading times
Can play discs and digital
Cons

Most expensive Xbox One
Best experience requires 4K TV
The Xbox One X is the world’s most powerful home console, packing top-tier 4K HDR across games and movies. If you want the best, look no further, although you’re going to pay for the privilege.

Ditch the discs

Xbox One S All-Digital Edition

$250 at Best Buy

Pros

Great for digital gamers
Three varied games included
Lowest retail price yet
Cons

Can’t play discs
Digital games can be expensive
No 4K gaming
Microsoft’s first disc-less console is ideal for today’s always-online world, promoting all-digital Xbox gaming. However, short-term savings are overshadowed by a costly digital marketplace.

The Xbox One X remains Microsoft’s leading gaming console, packing 4K gaming, HDR colors, and so much more. You don’t even need a 4K TV to experience its benefits, far outpacing market rivals. Although the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition sounds promising in concept, the long-term costs can’t be ignored.

The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is likely to be on sale at a heftier discount than the more capable Xbox One X. So if you’re gearing up for spending on Black Friday, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for killer deals. The best discounts will likely be found on Amazon, Best Buys, and Walmart, as well as other leading retailers.

Related: Xbox One S All-Digital Edition vs. Xbox One S

Xbox One X vs. Xbox One S All-Digital: What’s the difference?

Microsoft’s Xbox One home console takes various forms in 2019, primarily split by the entry-level Xbox One S and the flagship Xbox One X. Pushing 4K resolution and improved visual fidelity, the Xbox One X is pitched as the premium powerhouse touting sharper, fluid gameplay. The alternative Xbox One S is a cheaper, more popular setup, providing HD gaming alongside 4K video playback. The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is the new box on the block, dropping the optical disc drive, though it’s otherwise identical to Xbox One S.

Primarily targeting enthusiasts with its industry-leading performance, the Xbox One X is the 4K gaming machine. Packing millions of additional pixels, games are sharper and more detailed than on other Xbox consoles, even translating to regular HD TVs. Both Xbox One consoles support HDR, too, delivering a wider color gamut and increased contrast ratio. Upgrades under the hood also help reduce load times, shaving vital seconds during gameplay.

Xbox One X retains full compatibility with other Xbox consoles, sharing its games and accessories. An ever-growing list of hundreds of games also packs tailored upgrades, including sharper visuals and smoother gameplay. Backed by 4K Blu-ray and streaming, it’s a leading media center for the home. However, this doesn’t come cheap, retailing for $500 in the U.S.

Category
Xbox One X
Xbox One S All-Digital
Processor
8-core Jaguar “Evolved” CPU at 2.3GHz
8-core Jaguar CPU at 1.75GHz
Storage
1TB
1TB
Memory
12GB of GDDR5 RAM
8GB DDR3 RAM
Graphics
40 CUs (1,172Mhz) 6 TF GPU
12 CUs (914MHz) 1.23 TF GPU
Optical drive
4K Blu-ray drive
None
Price
$499 RRP
$249 RRP
The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition targets a different gaming crowd, sold as the most affordable Xbox One to date. Sharing hardware with Xbox One S, buyers can expect equal compatibility and performance to the standard console. You’ll get the Xbox One S usual offerings, meaning high-resolution 1080p gameplay backed by HDR colors. The only difference is the absence of a disc drive, priced at $250 for $50 saving.

However, with the disc drive removed, the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition bars physical Xbox One games, Blu-rays, and DVDs. Without physical discs compatibility, all game and video purchases must be digital.

While the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition undercuts the Xbox family at a $249 retail price, it likely isn’t the most affordable pick. Ditching the integrated disc drive comes with hefty consequences, locking the console down to Microsoft’s in-house digital marketplace. It puts physical media off-limits, which spans Xbox One games, older disc-based backward-compatible titles, 4K Blu-ray, and DVDs. With digital gaming infamous for its higher cost, buying an Xbox One X could end up cheaper over time.

Which Xbox One is best for you?

While the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition poses a promising concept, associated long-term costs are detrimental to its money-saving promise. With the Xbox One X cheaper than ever, it costs only around $100 extra to experience the best of Microsoft’s gaming hardware.

Packing 4K gaming (or 1080p supersampling) with discs and downloads, it’s a winning combo in 2019. Unless desperate to save on the initial console cost, don’t overlook Xbox One X.

Our pick

Xbox One X 1TB Console

$409 at Amazon $374 at Walmart

Get upgraded to 4K Xbox gaming

Microsoft’s flagship Xbox One X console packs the best of Xbox, hitting 4K resolution and HDR colors across hundreds of titles. It’s the most powerful console on the market, guaranteed to impress.

How to find the best Black Friday deals on Xbox One

It’s an excellent time to buy a console with Black Friday just around the corner. This period will bring with it discounts for both the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition and Xbox One X. Whether you have a 4K TV or not, this comparison will provide much-needed assistance in deciding which console edition is right for you.

We expect leading retailers, including Microsoft, Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart, to offer discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so do keep an eye out and remain tuned to Windows Central.

Jump into digital

Xbox One S All-Digital Edition

Budget gaming with a price.

$250 at Best Buy

Secure your Xbox One S All-Digital Edition; Microsoft’s new and ambitious disc-less console. It’s the cheapest Xbox One ever made, bundled with a trio of downloadable games.

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