We have questioned the relevance of the new Xbox One S before. Was there a need for Microsoft to create the console, or is it merely an intermediate device between the OG Xbox One and Project Scorpio? Next year there could be a diluted Xbox One ecosystem with three different machines available.
Microsoft will justify the Xbox One S based on two factors. Firstly it is a better performer than the OG Xbox One. Secondly, it is smaller and has updated features.
Size and feature set do indeed make the Xbox One S a compelling option. However, the overall performance boost may be a case of not enough to make a difference. Admittedly, Microsoft says as much, stating that the new console comes with a “small amount of additional power.”
Eurogamer's Digital Foundry that a small amount may indeed be accurate. The outlet tested the console and found a GPU clock-speed of 914MHz. Compared to the 853MHz original Xbox One, there is a 7.1% increase.
So is 7.1% a lot? It's not insignificant, but it depends what game is being played. The Xbox One S combines the GPU with some ESRAM bandwidth to produce 1.4 teraflops, above the 1.3 teraflops of the Xbox One. Digital Foundry found the console improves games locked at 30fps and can boost other titles by up to 9fps.
That performance increase is probably enough to make the Xbox One S a worthwhile proposition. Coupled with improvements like 40% less size, 4K support, and Bluetooth compatibility. The Xbox One S is now available to buy after launching this week.