Home Gaming The Xbox One S does indeed run (some) games better

The Xbox One S does indeed run (some) games better

2 min read


This week, the new slimmer and decidedly whiter Xbox One S launched in selected territories (yes, not including our own). The newer consoles ditches the much maligned power brick, and takes up – in total – around 40% less space than the previous model does. There are more reasons to opt for the newer model than concerns over shelf space; the Xbox One S supports 4K video playback for the 17 people who own 4K TVs, and HDR support for the even smaller tally of people whose sets support the expanded colour options.

But there’s another reason. It runs some games better than the old system. This isn’t especially surprising. Microsoft’s Albert Penello said as much before the system was released.

“Some games (ones that utilise dynamic resolution and/or unlocked frame-rates) may see a very minor performance improvement,” he said. “Our testing internally has shown this to be pretty minor, and is only measurable on certain games, so we didn’t want to make it a ‘selling point’ for the new console.”

That echoes statements from The Coaliton’s Rod Fergusson, who said that the Xbox One S had a little more computing juice. Microsoft has since said that any improvements, if any, would be negligible. Now that the system is out in the wild though, it seems that said improvements are higher than anticipated.

“At worst, Xbox One S operates exactly like the standard Xbox One. At best, we saw a 9fps ‘in the moment’ differential between both consoles running the same content,” Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry said.

“In conclusion, there are clearly scenarios where the increased GPU provision and ESRAM memory bandwidth hand in substantial ‘in the moment’ gains, but equally, in a world of capped 30fps titles, the boost to graphics provision counts is less impactful, taking the form of a closer lock to the target frame-rate in GPU-bound scenarios. The increased performance in the new console is fascinating to highlight in benchmarks, but in the ‘real world’, Xbox One S simply adds an additional layer of consistency – some will notice it and appreciate it, others may want it just because it’s there, but equally, it’s fair to say that many more may not notice it at all.”

VG247 has handily given us a bulletpoint list of the sorts of improvements.

  • Project Cars first-person – average 7% improvement, spiking to 5fps
  • Project Cars third-person – average 11% improvement, spiking to 9fps
  • Hitman in unlocked frame rate mode – 6.1% improvement in cutscenes, 8.1% improvement in gameplay
  • Resident Evil 5 Remastered – 2.5% improvement
  • Tomb Raider – eliminates dips below 30fps lock
  • Batman: Arkham Knight – 4% improvement, reduction in stutter
  • Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (backwards compatible) – reduction in dips below 30fps lock


Last Updated: August 4, 2016


  1. Original Heretic

    August 4, 2016 at 10:13


    • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

      August 4, 2016 at 10:19

      Are those the three XBOXes? The one on the left must be XBOX One because he didn’t have any speaking lines in the movie 😛


      • Original Heretic

        August 4, 2016 at 10:37

        I think he was the 360, actually. He’s just shutting up and thinking “I will always be better than you, BONE BOY!”


        • Matthew Holliday

          August 4, 2016 at 12:26

          Theres a RROD joke in there somewhere


  2. Fox1 - Retro

    August 4, 2016 at 10:31

    Does it play “hype” and “sales”?


  3. miaau

    August 4, 2016 at 10:32



  4. Kromas GG

    August 4, 2016 at 10:39

    Tomb Raider at 30 fps. Must be a console article (or maybe uwp). 😛


  5. Pieter Kruger

    August 4, 2016 at 10:43

    Can’t believe the Xbox One S is selling out everywhere, good for them but I’m saving up for the Scorpio & a decent 4K TV!


    • Viper_ZA

      August 4, 2016 at 11:09

      Agreed, still rocking a 720p TV -_-


    • Francois Knoetze

      August 4, 2016 at 12:31

      Cash in the bank for the Scorpio. 2017 can’t come soon enough.


  6. Francois Knoetze

    August 4, 2016 at 19:09

    Quick heads up. Evopoints are having a sale on xbox live at old prices or close to at least


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