View Full Version : Confirmed: The Xbox One S is a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player and upscales games to 4K

06-16-2016, 05:05 PM
So now if Sony wants to match up they have to release the PS4 NEO this year, otherwise One S would be the only console that plays Ultra HD Blu-ray in 4K.


The Xbox One S could be 4K Blu-ray's white knight. And it plays games, too.

The $300 Xbox One S will be the cheapest 4k Blu-ray player when it's released in August, making it a potent weapon in the disc format's battle against 4K streaming video.

Could Microsoft's latest game console be the X factor that helps 4K Blu-ray become mainstream?

The first 4K TVs hit the market in 2012, but the first actual 4K Blu-ray discs only began shipping this February. The new physical media format faces an uphill battle against streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, which beat it to the punch in delivering both high-resolution 4K and high dynamic range (HDR) video. Disc sales have been declining for years, falling 12 percent in 2015 according to the Digital Entertainment Group, compared to an 18 percent rise in digital revenues.

The forthcoming Xbox One S game console could be the best thing to happen to 4K Blu-ray since, well, ever.

Microsoft will release the new Xbox in August 2016, with prices starting at $299 for the 500GB model. The console will support both 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray discs and 4K streaming services, with HDR support for both.

The only 4K Blu-ray player available today, the Samsung UBD-K8500, currently costs $100 more than the XboxOne S. Others announced but not yet shipping, namely the Philips BDP7501 ($399) and the Panasonic DMP-UB900 (no official US or Australian pricing yet, but the UK price is 600, which converts to $846), are just as expensive or more.

Meanwhile Sony has announced it will also build 4K Blu-ray support into its "PlayStation 4 Neo," but that console is expected to cost at least $399. Sony has yet to announce a standalone player but says it will commit by March 2017.

With its $100 discount compared to other 4K players, and the fact that it plays games, the new Xbox looks like a really good deal to people looking for a 4K Blu-ray player. Even if you're only curious about the new Blu-ray format, the game playing aspect and other home-theater facilities will likely make the purchase worthwhile.

And it could also serve as a "Trojan Horse," getting a 4K Blu-ray player into the hands of gamers who might eventually use it to play discs, too. There's plenty of precedent for that.