Does the Xbox One S support 4K UHD gaming?

Does the Xbox One S support 4K UHD gaming?

Best answer: No. The Xbox One S isn't powerful enough to reproduce 4K UHD visuals for games, maxing out at 1080p HD. For 4K visuals in games, you'll want an Xbox One X.4K console gaming: Xbox One X (opens in new tab) (From $362 at Amazon)

4K media, but no 4K games

Xbox One S

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

The Xbox One S is based on the original Xbox One from 2013, and doesn't have the hardware clout to run games at 4K. Sporting roughly 1.4 teraflops of computational power, the Xbox One S is limited to 1080p HD visuals at most, with developers often sacrificing resolution for other visual features, bumping their games down to 900p or even to 720p in some cases. That's not to say games necessarily look bad on the Xbox One S, they simply don't shine as much as they do on another console like the Xbox One X.

What the Xbox One S can do is output media in 4K, either from movies sold on the Microsoft Store, like Black Panther (opens in new tab), videos on Netflix and YouTube, or even 4K Blu-rays sold on Amazon (opens in new tab). In order to view movies and media in 4K, you'll need a TV set that supports 4K of course, and we have a great list of the best 4K sets for the Xbox One S right here.

For 4K games in your living room, you'll want an Xbox One X. The Xbox One X is over four times more powerful than the Xbox One S, with updated internals that not only support higher resolutions but also offer more power for additional environmental details and special effects. A game outputting in 4K on the Xbox One X not only looks sharper, owing to the boosted resolution, but also more detailed and complex.

Not all games support the Xbox One X, but there are dozens that have X features, with virtually every recent and upcoming major game supporting the console. The X also supports all the same 4K media features as the S, albeit at a higher price point. Additionally, both systems output HDR for improved lighting effects on compatible TV sets.

Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing 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!