Xbox One S Consumes Less Power in All Modes; Removing Kinect Port Allowed The Smaller Power Supply

Alessio Palumbo
Posted Aug 2, 2016
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Today is the day Xbox One S, the first hardware revision of Microsoft’s latest console, becomes available in stores; you probably picked that up already from our increased coverage.

Eurogamer’s Digital Foundy was able to chat with Microsoft’s Albert Penello (Senior Director of Product Management & Planning) about the Xbox One S and its technological feats. For instance, the new 16nm FinFET SoC design brings forth decreased power consumption in all modes, though how much varies depending on what the user is doing with the console.

The new SoC consumes less power than the original Xbox One across all modes, and we’ve made improvements in both the hardware and software to hit our goals. I can’t really give a specific number, however, because power consumption varies based on the game or app that is running.

One of the biggest reliefs for Xbox users was that this revision did away with the external power supply. Penello explains that this was possible thanks to the removal of the dedicated Kinect port.

The motherboard of the Xbox One S was completely redesigned around the new 16nm FinFET SoC, and to fit in the downsized chassis. The core architecture of the SoC, the configuration and number of memory chips all remain the same to provide consistent performance. The custom south bridge IO chip is the same one used on all previous Xbox One consoles. Removing the dedicated Kinect port allowed us to use a smaller power supply and achieve a very clean layout of the rear panel with no double-stacked connectors required.

Finally, he also confirmed that the new support for UHD Blu-ray discs is not merely a software update but mostly a hardware one. As such, Xbox One S will be able to play them unlike the basic console.

In addition to DSP firmware updates, the drive in the Xbox One S also includes a new optical pickup to support three-layer UHD Blu-ray format discs. Plus HDMI 2.0 video output with HDCP 2.2 copy protection is also a BD-UHD certification requirement, both of which are included in Xbox One S and weren’t implemented on the other Xbox One consoles.

Are you planning to buy an Xbox One S or would you rather wait for the Scorpio model, scheduled for Holiday 2017? Tell us in the comments.

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