PRICE WHEN REVIEWED
- £449, USUS$499
XBOX ONE X PREVIEW
Microsoft officially unveiled the One X at E3 2017, calling it “the most powerful console ever”. That may be – you’d expect it be better than everything before it – but will it actually be any good?
From a hardware perspective, yes. But as for the games lineup, things aren’t so clear cut.
XBOX ONE X: FEATURES AND DESIGN
Looking at the hardware to begin with, this is the smallest console Microsoft has ever made. And even though it’s only a little smaller than the One S it’s remarkable considering it’s by far the most powerful.
That grunt comes from an AMD APU, which is basically a CPU and GPU on one chip. Without going into the boring details, suffice to say that the graphical power should be a bit better than the new Radeon RX 580, which costs between £250 and £300.
This can deliver superb 4K graphics at 60fps (but not in all games), and that’s really the main selling point of the One X.
It also goes a long way to justifying that £449 price. And don’t forget there’s a 4K Blu-ray drive as well – the PS4 Pro doesn’t have one of those. And for those without super-fast internet connections that support top-quality 4K streaming (which, let’s face it, is most people) this could actually be useful.
The relatively slim dimensions mean you should be able to pop the console in your TV bench without it being particularly noticeable. Plus, as you’re probably spotted, it’s black rather than the more conspicuous white finish of the Xbox One S.
There’s no change to the design of the controller, which too, is now black.
Unlike the PS4, the Xbox One X doesn’t appear to support VR. Microsoft didn’t mention it at E3, which is probably a good indication that it will push people towards PCs instead.
We do know, though, that the One X will support AMD FreeSync 2, which could be appealing if you were planning to buy a new monitor and game on that rather than a big TV.
XBOX ONE X: LAUNCH TITLES
Forza Motorsport 7 is one of the 4K launch titles, and it does look fantastic.
Assasin’s Creed Orgins, Crackdown 3 and Middle-Earth: Shadow of War will all launch with the console and support 4K.
There will be free 4K updates for Halo Wars 2, Forza Horizon 3, Minecraft and Gears of War 4, plus more than 30 existing third-party games including Resident Evil 7 and Ghost Recon: Wildlands. They’ll all qualify as ‘Xbox One X Enhanced’ titles.
Need for Speed: Payback and Madden 18 will also be in 4K.
Right now, there isn’t a full list of games which will support 4K and Microsoft hasn’t given full details of what exactly Xbox One X Enhanced means.
Also, not all new games coming out this year for the Xbox will be ‘One X Enhanced’. Notable titles which haven’t yet been said to look best on the new console include CoD: WWII and FIFA 18.
Here’s the full list of launch titles:
- Forza Motorsport 7
- Assasin’s Creed Orgins
- Crackdown 3
- Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
- The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti:
- Black Desert
- CODE Vein
- The Darwin Project
- Deep Rock Galactic
- Dragonball Fighter
- The Last Night
- Life is Strange Before the Storm
- Metro Exodus
- Ori and the Will of the Wisp
- Plaunknown’s Battlegrounds
- Sea of Thieves
- State of Decay 2
- Super Lucky’s take
XBOX ONE X: SHOULD I BUY ONE?
The answer depends on which console(s) you already own, and whether you already have a powerful gaming PC.
First, though, let’s talk TVs. If you don’t have a 4K TV, there is really no point in buying an Xbox One X. Its extra power and 4K Blu-ray drive are essentially wasted if you’ll hook it up to a Full HD TV. You might as well buy (or stick with) the cheaper Xbox One or One S.
There are still a few benefits of using the One X on a 1080p TV, such as faster game loading times and HDR (if you own one of the few non-4K models that support it) and extra graphical fidelity thanks to things such as anisotropic filtering.
The One S has Dolby Atmos sound and a 4K Blu-ray drive, so they’re not new or unique to the One X.
But if you do have a 4K TV and you’re still on an Xbox 360 or Xbox One, the One X should be very tempting indeed – so long as you’re excited by the launch titles.
Microsoft has realised that gamers want backwards compatibility, and you’ll be able to play older titles on the One X (as you can on the One and One S). Indeed, for 360 games it’s as simple as inserting the disc.
But it’s the new games, and those existing titles getting the Enhanced treatment which will be the real reason to splash out on the One X.
Microsoft Xbox One X: Specs
- 2.3GHz custom AMD octacore processor
- AMD GPU with 12GB GDDR5 RAM
- 1TB storage
- Bluetooth + Wi-Fi
- 3x USB 3.0, optical audio out
- 4K Blu-ray drive
- 300 x 239 x 61mm
The Xbox One X is massively powerful and comes at a steep price. But compared to the equivalent gaming PC, it’s exceptionally cheap. Right now, its appeal is slightly limited by the selection of launch titles, but if you’re a Forza, Assassin’s Creed or Gears of War fan, then there could be enough to tempt you. There’s still a few months to go, of course, and in that time we’re hoping to see other big titles added to the list for 4K and HDR support. Ultimately, the One X isn’t for everyone, but if you have a 4K TV you’re in for a real treat.