The Xbox One X Is A Powerful Beast With Loads Of Potential
Microsoft wasn’t embellishing when they called the Xbox One X (formerly known as Project Scorpio) the world’s most powerful console. However, if you want to experience “true 4K” gaming, it’ll cost ya. This mid-generational upgrade is a cool $100 more than the PlayStation 4 Pro, and nearly double the price of its still-very-capable predecessor, the Xbox One S.
Still, its $599 price tag is quite reasonable compared to the quadruple digit cost of a high-end PC, which this system comes reasonably close to, performance wise. According the folks that made it, it boasts 40 per cent more power than any other console. So I guess now you’re playing power.
The big draw here is that games can be played in native 4K (something even the PlayStation Pro cannot offer), with a stunning array of colour and depth thanks to high-dynamic range, all while delivering faster load times, and smoother framerates.
As for accessories, in the box you’ll find a power cable (sans hefty power supply), a high-speed HDMI cable (requisite for your 4K HDR TV), one wireless Xbox One controller with two AA batteries (may as well splurge on that rechargeable battery), a 14-day Xbox Live Gold subscription, plus a one-month Xbox Games Pass subscription.
If you’re looking for some nitty gritty technical specs, here’s a breakdown:
CPU: x86-64 2.3GHz 8-core AMD custom CPU
GPU: 6 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon-based graphics clocked at 1172MHz with 40 compute units
Memory: 12GB GDDR5
Storage size: 1TB HDD
As for aesthetics, the system comes in matte black (much like the Xbox One S’s matte white) and measures 11.8 x 9.5 x 2.4 inches, making it the smallest Xbox to date. However, it’s also the heaviest, clocking in at 8.4 pounds. The front of the console features a 4K UHD Blu-ray disc drive (also like the Xbox One S), a USB 3.0 port (ditto), and a tiny controller-syncing button. Also like the Xbox One S, the ports in the back include an HDMI in and out, two more USB 3.0 ports, IR out, S/PDIF, and good ol’ dependable Ethernet.
Also also like the S, you’ll need an additional thingy to connect the Kinect, which is no longer in production, so no worries, unless you’re really itching to play Kinectimals for old time’s sake. Another quality worth mentioning is how whisper-quiet the system is when running a massive AAA game. No matter what you’re watching or playing, it’s notably cooler and quieter than the PlayStation 4 Pro.
At this early point, we can’t witness the full capabilities of the Xbox One X, although a large number of enhanced titles are already primed for today’s launch. According to the official press release, “the new console launches with the largest games lineup in Xbox history, with more than 70 Xbox One X Enhanced titles coming in the first week and more than 50 available on launch day, including Forza Motorsport 7, Super Lucky’s Tale, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and FIFA 18.”
More good news is that many other existing Xbox One and backwards compatible Xbox 360 games will feature improved textures, smoother frame rates, and speedier load times, even if you’re playing on a creaky 1080p television. It’s not all about pristine visuals; the Xbox One X also supports Dolby Atmos, which offers the best spatial sound in the biz. Whether you’re using headphones or a high-end speaker system, everything is about to sound a lot sweeter, and your neighbours will probably hate you more.
So far, we’ve played a handful of enhanced games like Gears of War 4, Halo 5: Guardians, Killer Instinct, FIFA 2018, and Forza 7. If you’ve got the right equipment (ideally a 4K + HDR television), the results are immediately noticeable. Facial features like nose and cheek pores and wispy hair appear sharper and more lifelike, and colours get an impressive HDR boost that make them look comparatively muted on the Xbox One.
Finally, if you’re thinking of getting into 4K UHD movie-watching, this is still one of the most affordable ways to do so, since you’re also getting a powerhouse of a gaming console, complete with all sorts of app accoutrements.
Microsoft isn’t trying to hide the fact that the Xbox One X isn’t for everyone. Rather, most gamers will be plenty satisfied with the Xbox One S. But if you’re the kind of person who digs a fancy home theatre setup and has an appreciation for grade-A graphics, this is the system for you. Right now, it’s hard to tell just how powerful this new upgrade is, but playing Gears of War 4 was the closest I got to truly next gen gaming. Surely this trend will continue as developers adapt to the new hardware, so get ready to be blown away over the next few years. However, it goes without saying, if you’ve already dropped a couple grand on a 4K HDR television, this is the next logical addition.
The Xbox One X is out today. Check out the latest trailer below.