It’s official, Microsoft confirms update requirement for Xbox One S to play 4K UHD media

by on August 1, 2016

Stephan Jukic – August 1, 2016

Microsoft has made a formal announcement that users who want to use the 4K Blu-ray and streaming capacities of their new Xbox One S consoles will have to download a special update first before they can do so. The Xbox One S –which starts shipping and appearing in stores as of tomorrow, August 2nd—is Microsoft’s latest partial revamp of the classic Xbox One S console and is a sort of intermediate expansion into 4K video media before the 2017 launch of the much more powerful 4K gaming console the Xbox Scorpio.

Microsoft gave the statement about the 4K-ready update requirement after a number of Xbox One S console units in the 2TB storage range were accidentally shipped earlier than scheduled to customers in Norway. The first One S console on release is the 2 terabyte version, with 1TB and 500GB versions to follow soon at somewhat lower retail prices. As for the 4K-enabling update itself, it will be available for download on the same day as the new Microsoft console starts shipping, Tuesday, August 2nd.

The Microsoft One S is a much slimmer (40% smaller) version of the normal Xbox One and features a moderate power boost in terms of its processing specs and storage capacity. Thus, while the new console isn’t considered a full successor to the Xbox One, it does represent a certain upward leap in the company’s console media technology, largely due to the 4K Blu-ray playback, HDR and 4K streaming video support updates the new box comes with.  The HDR support in particular is noteworthy because it applies not just to the 4K Blu-rays and streaming HDR 4K content sources played on the console but also to some of newer games that users might play on the One S too.


On the other hand, the One S does not offer support for 4K UHD textures and graphics gaming. This won’t be available until Microsoft unveils their eagerly anticipated Project Scorpio console at some point in 2017. This latter box will be far more powerful than the Xbox One S and aside from also delivering the same 4K media and HDR playback capacities of the One S, will also be ready for playing the latest console games in 4K UHD resolution.

Moving back to the details that prompted this minor 4K specs controversy in the Xbox One S, according to what we’ve heard, some Norwegian gamers received their Xbox One S console deliveries earlier than the official August 2nd release date, much to their surprise, and naturally enough these gamers were eager to try out the console’s 4K video capacities, only to find that their new Xbox units couldn’t play a 4K Blu-ray of the movie Deadpool. Another Norwegian user also received an early deliver of his 2TB Xbox and discovered the same absence of 4K playback support. This particular user then even downloaded a 4.5GB update from the Microsoft site in the hope that this would fix the problem but still no dice, with no visible 4K option via any HDMI ports or even by changing HDMI cables.

Below is the video of the first of these reported Norwegian users unboxing his new Xbox One S console.

These incidents are what prompted Microsoft’s clarification of the 4K video support issue.

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