Xbox One S vs. PlayStation 4 Slim: Which console is worth your money?

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

xbox one insider build party overlay s hardware 03

If you’re in the market for a dedicated game console, chances are you’re considering either the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4. Microsoft and Sony’s consoles have been fighting for the right to be the centerpiece of your media center for more than five years at this point. You may have friends who swear by the Xbox One and others who champion the PS4. Many of the same games come to both consoles, and it’s often hard to tell the difference between them based on gameplay alone.

So, with all the surface level similarities, how do you know which console is right for you?

First off, you want to know that the Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 “Slim,” both mid-generation redesigns, are currently the standard hardware for their respective platforms. If you are dipping your toes in this generation of gaming for the first time today, your choice will likely come down to one of these two.

While they offer similar experiences, both devices have their own strengths and weaknesses that could sway your decision. From specs, to design, to features, to price, we’ve broken down every factor to help you decide between Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Slim.

Specs

Xbox One S

Xbox One S

PlayStation 4 “Slim”

playstation-4-slim

Dimensions

16.9″ x 11.5″ x 4.5″ (WxHxD)

10″ x 11″ x 1.5″ (WxHxD)
Weight 6.4 lbs 4.6 lbs
Processor CPU: 1.75GHz AMD Jaguar eight-core
GPU: 1.4 T-FLOPS, 12 compute units @ 914MHz
CPU: Eight-core X86 AMD Jaguar
GPU: 1.84 T-FLOPS, AMD Radeon Graphics Core Next Engine
Memory 8GB DDR3 RAM + 32MB eSRAM @ 219GB/s 8GB GDDR5 RAM
Hard drive Built-in, up to 2TB HDD Built-in, 1TB HDD. Older models included 500GB.
A/V output HDMI 1.4 in/out, 4K, and 1080p support; Optical output; 4K video upscaling; HDR support HDMI 1.4, Analog-AV out
I/O output USB 3.0 X 2, AUX SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) X 2
Communication Ethernet, IEEE 802.11n wireless with Wi-Fi connect Ethernet (10BASE-T,100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T), Bluetooth 2.1 (EDR), 5GHz IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Controller Updated Xbox One controller (includes Bluetooth connectivity and improved wireless range) 1000amAh DualShock 4 (210g, six-axis motion sensing, 2 Point Touch Pad)
Camera 512 x 424-pixel infrared depth sensor and 1080p camera (Kinect — adapter required) Dual 1280×800 @ 60Hz, 640×400 @ 120Hz, 320×192 @ 240Hz pixel cameras (PlayStation Camera)
Optical drive DVD/4K-capable Blu-Ray BD 6xCAV, DVD 8xCAV
4K/HDR 4K video streaming and Blu-Ray playback, HDR support for select titles, 4K upscaling for games HDR support for select titles
Price
Availability  Available now  Available now
DT review  3.5 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

Design

Xbox One S
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The most noticeable difference between the original PlayStation 4 and the current, refreshed hardware is the physical console itself. At about 70 percent of the size, the new system features a redesigned chassis with rounded edges and a matte finish across the entire box (as opposed to the glossy, fingerprint-friendly surface that previously occupied much of the console’s left side). The optical audio port and the auxiliary port have been removed to save space, and the troublesome touch sensors that controlled the disc drive and the power supply have been replaced with physical buttons.

The Xbox One S features a similar but more extreme set of changes, to the point where it resembles the original Xbox One in shape only. It’s a smaller Xbox than its predecessor, reportedly 40 percent smaller than the original Xbox One. Where the Xbox One looked like the Batmobile of gaming consoles — dark, angular, and ominous — the One S looks a little bit more inviting, with a matte-white finish, half of which is covered in small, aesthetically distinctive fan holes, sitting on a charcoal gray foundation.

The power supply has been installed inside the console, so you won’t need to deal with an unwieldy brick-type cable. Just like the PlayStation, some inconvenient touch-sensitive buttons (in this case, the power and controller sync functions) have been turned into physical buttons and relocated on the front of the console. Finally, the Kinect port has been removed, signaling Microsoft’s move away from the Kinect program altogether.

Winner: Tie

Controller

Xbox One wireless controller

Sony announced that its Dualshock 4 controller will see a few minor design tweaks this year with the release of the PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro. The light bar on the back of the controller now shines through the touchpad on the controller’s face, so battery life indicators and other uses for the light bar (check out a list here that includes game-specific functions) will be easier to read. The D-pad and the analog sticks also received a new rubber grip, and the controller itself is a shade lighter than before (in color, not weight).

The new Xbox One controller also received updates to the D-pad and analog sticks. The new controller — white, to match the console — also features improved wireless range and Bluetooth connectivity, which should be a popular feature among gamers that want to connect their controller to a PC. A 3.5mm-headphone jack was added to offset the Kinect port’s removal, as well as a textured grip to make the controller feel more comfortable.

Separately, Microsoft also introduced the Xbox Design Lab, a new service that allows you to build create a controller with a custom color scheme for $80. While it doesn’t have the technical improvements of the Xbox One Elite controller, it’s pretty cool to have a unique controller with your favorite colors and your gamertag engraved on the front.

Winner: Xbox One S

Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for March 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of…
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Gaming

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

From fatalities to new characters, here's what we know about Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11 releases April 23 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Here is everything we know about NetherRealm's latest fighting game, including its characters.
Gaming

Get a head start mastering Apex Legend's newest character Octane with our guide

Apex Legends' newest legend Octane ran so fast in the Titanfall 2 gauntlet that he blew off his legs. Now dropping into Kings Canyon with prosthetics, Octane's ability set is still centered around speed. Here's how to play as Octane.
Gaming

The Division 2 offers nothing but a funhouse mirror of America

Tom Clancy's The Division 2 improves on the design shortcomings of the original game in several different ways, but its version of Washington D.C. is completely removed from reality.
Gaming

World of Warcraft's allied races will make you want to start a new character

The Hord and Alliance are seeking new allies in their struggle for control of Azeroth. Rather you pledge your allegiance to the Horde or Alliance, we've got a guide to help you unlock every allied race that's coming in Battle for Azeroth.
Computing

How the Google Stadia could lead to a new era of multi-GPU gaming

Google's Stadia could use more than one graphics card to deliver the high-performance visuals it's promised. If that leads to better developer support for multi-GPUs, could that mean gaming with two or more graphics cards could finally be…
Gaming

How to share your best gaming moments on the Xbox One and its mobile app

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.
Gaming

Find the buried treasure with our Fortnite weekly challenge guide

The Fortnite season 8, week 4 challenges are now out for all players around the world. The big one this week tasks players with searching for Fortnite buried treasure using the buried treasure map item. Here's where you can find treasure on…
Gaming

Here's our Champion's guide to picking the best character in Apex Legends

Apex Legends' use of heroes with different abilities helps separate it from other battle royale games. To help you choose your legend, we've put together a legend guide detailing their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
Gaming

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit has a ton of games you can play with starting April 12

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit has a plethora of games to play after you're done building the Toy-Cons. From an on-rails alien shooter to a deep sea photography adventure, here's what you can play with Labo: VR Kit. You can even make your own games.
Gaming

How to break Posture and deal a Shinobi Deathblow in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an incredibly difficult game, and managing the Posture system is a key part of improving and tackling the latest From Software title's most challenging sections.
1 of 2