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Can you play 4K games on Xbox One S All-Digital?

Xbox One S
Xbox One S (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

Can you play 4K games on Xbox One S All-Digital?

Best answer: A definitive "no" for this one. The Xbox One S All-Digital edition is otherwise basically an Xbox One S, disc drive removed. It doesn't have the horsepower to play 4K games, for that, you'd need an Xbox One X instead.Go disc-free: Xbox One S All-Digital (opens in new tab) ($250 at Microsoft)For 4K games: Xbox One X (opens in new tab) ($450 at Amazon)

For 4K, you need an Xbox One X

The Xbox One S All-Digital console sports near-identical internals to that of the regular Xbox One S, the only major difference being the removal of the disc drive. Owing to its dated computational hardware, the Xbox One S consoles can only manage outputs of up to 1080p (although realistically, it often outputs lower than that too).

The Xbox One X, however, has far more powerful graphical capabilities, not only allowing games to hit 4K UHD resolutions, but also baking in tons of additional visual benefits including improved details, textures, and lighting. Of course, you'll pay more for the privilege, around $200 more (opens in new tab) in fact.

The Xbox One S All-Digital console is ultimately aimed at newcomers to the ecosystem, offering the lowest RRP entry point to the Xbox game library. It also comes with digital codes for Sea of Thieves, Forza Horizon 3, and Minecraft, making it a compelling gift option for youngsters or loved ones who aren't particularly interested in making use of the UHD Blu-ray player that comes with the regular Xbox One S.

The Xbox One X comes with a UHD Blu-ray player, with no "discless" option on the horizon, at least for the time being. So if you want the 4K capabilities and the Blu-ray player, you'll want to stick with the Xbox One X.

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!