If you didn’t already pre-order, today is the day you can grab yourself Microsoft’s newest console the Xbox One X. It packs a lot of power but also carries a pretty hefty price tag, is it worth the upgrade?
The days of console “generations” may be a thing of the past. Neither the Xbox One S or the PS4 Pro called for their own game format and nor will the Xbox One X. That means you will be able to use your entire Xbox library. What’s even better is that many Xbox titles including Rise of the Tomb Raider and Madden NFL 18 have been given special enhancements to make them look even better on the X than they did on your old Xbox. There are many “enhanced” titles including most of the big games out this year like Assassin’s Creed Origins, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and Forza Motorsport 7 and more.
Even if your favorite game isn’t on the enhanced list you will still be able to enjoy it on the Xbox One X. Your gamer profile, anything in Xbox’s backward compatibility library, and all of your accessories will also be coming with you. You can check out Microsoft’s full list of enhanced games here.
Not all enhanced titles have taken full advantage of the X’s power but even if they don’t upgrade to full 4K you still have the added benefit of HDR lighting and higher framerates. Plus, moving forward developers have that power to play with, so expect more games with vivid colors and details like Assassin’s Creed Origins.
The X has an eight-core CPU clocked at 2.3GHz with 12GB of GDDR5 RAM and a custom GPU clocked at 1172MHz. It boasts 6 teraflops of graphical computing power. To put that into perspective, that is two more teraflops than the PS4 Pro and more than four times that of the original Xbox One.
|Features||Xbox One X|
|CPU||Eight x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz|
|GPU||Custom Integrated AMD graphics clocked at 1172MHz with 6 teraflops of performance|
|Optical Drive||4K/HDR Blu-ray drive|
|Dimensions||11.8 x 9.4 x 2.4 inches|
UHD Blu-ray Optical Disc Drive, USB 3.0 Ports, 2 HDMI Ports, HDR10 support, and Dolby 5.1 surround sound round out its other notable tech specs. If you feel your controller lacks that laser precision that PC gamers have with their mouse and keyboard you are in luck Keyboard and mouse support are on the horizon for Xbox.
The only limitation may be its hard drive. The X comes with 1TB but considering the size of some of these enhanced games that will fill up fast. Forza Motorsport 7 takes up a whopping 100GB and Quantum Break 178 GB. With game sizes like that 1TB will fill up fast. The console doesn’t support external hard drives though so if you find yourself running low you could grab an expansion.
What does all that extra power get you? To start with, 4k video, up to 60 FPS framerate, and quicker loading times. Games will run faster than they did on the Xbox and be able to take advantage of HDR lighting and smoother framerates. Even if you don’t have a 4k display, many newer TV models support HDR.
One of the biggest features Microsoft is pushing is the 4k support on their new console. This is most valuable users who have already upgraded to a 4K display, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect those of you who have not made the leap. 4K continues to gain market share and the chances are your next display upgrade will be to 4K. In the meantime, all the extra power to support 4K will still help your games run more smoothly and load faster even if you still only have a 1080p display.
The final spec may be the biggest decision maker for gamers, the price. The Xbox One X costs $499 USD, making it $100 more expensive than its closest competitor the PS4 Pro and $200 more than the Xbox One S. Sure it is a big step up in power but does it make enough of a difference? Especially for those without 4k displays who may only notice the improved loading times. If you don’t have a 4K display you may want to wait and perhaps even make that a priority first, but don’t wait too long. It won’t be long before developers start focusing on systems like the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. You may still be able to play all the same games on your Xbox One or One S but the differences in visuals and performance will become more apparent every year.
Will you be upgrading this holiday season?