Those in the market for an affordable 4K Blu-ray player may now have an option, as the Xbox One S is the cheapest 4K Blu-ray player currently on the market.

Microsoft didn’t make a big deal about that fact at its E3 press conference in Los Angeles, but the price of the Xbox One S already undercuts 4K Blu-ray players from the likes of Samsung and Panasonic.

Currently Samsung’s UBD-K8500 4K UHD Blu-ray player retails for £429, while Panasonic’s DMPUB900 retails for slightly more at £599. While that’s not a price those in the trade will likely pay, the Xbox One S is significantly cheaper with some retailers already selling the console at £249.99.

So what do the Panasonic and Samsung’s 4K Blu-ray players have over Microsoft’s Xbox One S that make them superior? Well, nothing. In fact, Microsoft’s Xbox One S is also a fully-fledged gaming console meaning it offers significantly more functionality than the standalone Blu-ray players. It also mirrors the up-scaling capabilities of both Samsung and Panasonic’s 4K Blu-ray players, so even if users only have normal Blu-rays, they can still enjoy the higher-resolution benefits.

The Xbox One S also comes with a number of improvements over the original Xbox One that makes it an even more desirable media centre installation. Those improvements include an integrated power supply, a 2TB hard drive option and support for HDR. Microsoft has also thrown in an integrated IR blaster for good measure. As for ports, the Xbox One S includes many of those found on the Xbox One, including a S/PDIF, HDMI In and HDMI Out. It has removed the Kinect connector however, with it being replaced by two USB ports at the rear and one at the front instead.  The Xbox One S still includes support for external storage too, a feature Sony’s PlayStation 4 is still missing out on.

For those adverse to physical discs, Microsoft’s Xbox One S will also support Apps with 4K and 4K HDR content, including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and, in the US, Vudu.

The Xbox One S begins shipping in August.

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