The Xbox One S isn't quite the 4K Blu-ray player we were waiting for...

When Microsoft announced that its Xbox One S was going to feature an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, we were instantly excited by the prospect of a feature-packed, bargain 4K disc-spinner. And we know we weren't the only ones.

£250 for a games console and 4K home entertainment hub? Yes please.

Sadly, as our in-depth Xbox One S review revealed, it didn't quite deliver (you can read the full review here).

Yes, the picture and sound quality is passable, but the console doesn't make the most of the new 4K disc format. A comparison with dedicated players from Samsung and Panasonic makes that all too clear.

Of course you get a whole games console, complete with plenty of streaming features, but if you were eyeing-up a full-fat device with which to build a 4K Blu-ray collection, we'd sound a note of caution.

Ultra HD Blu-ray is all about ultimate picture and video performance, and sadly you don't quite get that here.

Fear not, with Microsoft backing 4K Blu-ray, the company's next-gen console, codenamed Scorpio, could yet provide the answer. It's due to launch in time for Christmas 2017, and could finally marry the best of 4K gaming and 4K video.

Of course, you could just wait for a budget 4K Blu-ray player... 

Click through to read our full Xbox One S review

Read more: 

Xbox One X: everything you need to know about the 4K Xbox

Xbox One X hands-on review

PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X: which is best?

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray: all the 4K discs on sale and coming soon

PS4 vs Xbox One: which is best?

E3 2017 highlights


FunkyMonkey's picture

Get real

You missed the point. It plays 4K Blu Rays better than any other player under £349.

And those 4K Blu Rays look better than any Blu Ray player upscaled. 

End of. 

Bliz Red's picture


People adopting 4K are not looking for value. 4K blu rays look better than any upscaled blu ray player because they are 4K blu rays. Being better than blu ray does not qualify a 4K player as good. You missed the very simple point.

matengawhat's picture

Title misleading

The Xbox s is the best budget 4k blu ray player, it's the only budget 4k blu ray player. Not aware of any others currently on the horizon for anywhere near this price. I hope your review of the new ps4 is scathing.

Fingers crossed they will add the missing sound codecs quickly as promised and you can guarantee that Microsoft will keep supporting it prob more so than the dedicated players.

You can start buying and playing 4k discs now and most come with normal blu rays so you're free to choose.

The 4k streaming services will mature quickly and won't be long before you will have to rewrite this review.

Microsoft claim the codecs are software not hardware related so if true the Xbox Scorpio will run on the same software as this so will either be fixed by its release for all Xbox one s/Scorpio or will work exactly the same for 4k blu ray

Jared Rapsey's picture


I have got me one of these and as it happened it was through a works incentive so did not pay for it but i have to say that i have seen the 500gb model sell for £199 with a voucher code so yes with all the other stuff it can do thats down right cheap.

Also the WHF review is bad imo due to that fact that it is compared to a player i.e the panna which is 3 times the amount that like putting a budget hisense £500 tv up against an LG oled tv.

Its clear for all to see as it stands you cant get better for less ! 

Bliz Red's picture


If you are looking for value then you should not adopt 4K. The Xbox One S is cheap and it is shit. There is no defending it. When are you Microsoft morons going to give up?

Jared Rapsey's picture


Bliz who the hell do you think you are takling to...

Why is 4k not value when you can buy 4k tv's for less than £500 and stream the content for free if you wish.

WHO IS THE MORON NOW, you little bitch.

Burgerbeast's picture

Click Bait

The Xbox one S provides excellent services and value for money. Of course there are better 4K players out there but that's not the point.

No other 4K player on the market at the moment can beat the Xbox one s on price plus your getting a full fat games console and all the excellent services it provides along with it.

If your on a budget ignore this misleading article the Xbox one s is a fantastic piece of kit for the money and unless your a tech snob or have extra money to burn you can't go wrong with the S. This articles just click bait trash written by a school playground fanboy by the looks of it.





AC's picture

Consider the price

Why write this article just after the full review?? The review was quite constructive pointing out that actually the 4k picture was pretty good. It was the sound that let it down if using with a dedicated AV Amp plus a few other features such as using the Xbox to connect your TV box etc which I doubt many people use.

As mentioned in the other comments, the XBox is available for £250 meaning that just by giving decent quality pictures it's a great deal. This article is completely pointless journalism aimed at getting a few extra reads on the page.

sidescanner's picture

4x better than Playstation

Unfair to compare the One S to a dedicated UHD Blu-ray player that's twice the price. Put it up against the new PS4 and you'll find that films are four times sharper. Sound quality will be about the same -- until Microsoft deliver Dolby Atmos with a firmware update. 

hifiman2008's picture

Silly review

I'm sorry but I've seen this. In isolation 4k discs look superb. And blue ray is comparable to any budget bluray player I own. Yes a dedicated player twice the price may dig up a bit more detail. But a 4k disc on this will blow Netflix UHD or sky q into oblivion which are barely blu ray quality and are caled UHD on a technicality. This is genuine 4k for peanuts

Rallye666's picture

Who do WHF think they are

Who do WHF think they are kidding? I have a Samsung UBD-k8500 and the picture is pretty much identical to the Xbox, (on my Samsung js8500).

By contrast my BT UHD box that WHF says gives 'stunning picture quality' is awful in comparison.

Obviously the lack of atmos might be a problem for some people. But I strongly suspect 90% of buyers are more concerned with picture quality and than than speakers in the ceiling.

This whole article reeks of advertiser pressure if you ask me. I'd love to see the sales figures of the Samsung and Panasonic UHD players since the Xbox S arrived....


alpha omega's picture


Ok. I have a 4k samsung 8000 series. hdr.  my xbox one s does the job with 4 uhd player
​But. I would have to say i still want a Uhd samsung blu ray player as well. i can see the picture flaws with hdr on while playing the 4k discs.  The one it has is a "Standard" 4k uhd blu ray player.  Not all movies i just discoverd will work with hdr .

SussanBetcher's picture

I was surfing on net details

I was surfing on net details about the Xbox One S in a though to buy one. The most attractive feature is the Ultra HD Blu-ray they offer with it. I am disappointed to read that the Xbox One S isn't a very good 4K Blu-ray player. I have to re think about my decision. learn arabic online