The Electronic Entertainment Expo has brought forth numerous huge announcements, most of which usually reside in the realm of games, but Microsoft has outdone every other brand this year at the Expo, by not only announcing new games, but also a brand-new console – the Xbox One X, which was formerly known as Project Scorpio. The new console is not aimed at creating a new generation of gaming, but it is rather a revised and more optimized form of gaming for current-gen titles.
Microsoft has been raving about the Xbox One X’s size, claiming it is the smallest Xbox ever created. At first glance, the Xbox One X would look like a slim version of the Xbox One X. Microsoft has done a great job of fitting double the power in a smaller form-factor. Even the ports at the back are the same as the Xbox One S’s, giving the new console a more familiar feel. The company also made sure users would not need to sacrifice from their takings of the last generation Xbox by making the accessories compatible for the newer console. Hence, the decision to keep with the layout of the console turns out to be a good one. The clean and minimal design makes the power of the Xbox One X look discrete.
Under the slim and compact hood of the Xbox One X, lies an octa-core CPU clocked at 2.35GHz and a custom-made GPU that can compute 40 customized units at 1.1GHz. The console will also come packed with 12GB of RAM with a whole 9 of those GBs dedicated to gaming activities only. It also has a higher bandwidth rate of 32g GB/s and an internal storage of 1TB.
In contrast, the PlayStation 4 Pro, which is Sony’s own mid-cycle refresh of the PlayStation 4, comprises of eight Jaguar cores clocked at 2.1GHz for the CPU, and an AMD GPU that can output 36 improved GCN units at 911MHz. The PS4 Pro also has 8GB of RAM and a slower bandwidth at 218GB/s. Xbox One X will also feature a UHD Blu-ray drive and supports native 4K video; something that the PS4 Pro does not. In terms of sheer power, the Xbox One X produces graphical power equating to 6 teraflops while Sony’s offering gives out about 4.2 teraflops.
All that said, just like how an iPhone’s internal specifications are not as high as its Android phone’s counterparts, but performs much better, actual specifications on paper should not be taken as an indicator for real world performance. The PS4 Pro is still arguably a powerful console and with both side-by-side, it would be difficult to truly determine whose gaming proficiency is better.
Microsoft is making its newest console the definitive Xbox console to buy, by allowing it run Xbox games as well, through backwards compatibility. Not only will the console just run the games, but it will also super sample those games to high-resolution, making them look much better. Even existing Xbox One games should look better, owing to better visual fidelity, an isotropic filtering and faster load speeds. If there was a better time to buy an Xbox, then now is definitely is, as new buyers especially, will get to catch up with three whole generations of the Xbox, all in one console.
No 4K TV, no problem
All Xbox games releasing in the future, will be made to support 4K from the ground up, rather than using display tricks to give the illusion of a higher resolution. The Xbox One X supports 4K and HDR natively. But for those who have a regular Full HD TV, Xbox will use super sampling to improve visuals on 1080p so that users do not miss out on the better details. The console will also be able to provide true 4K picture and UHD playback on 4K devices, unlike the PlayStation 4 Pro. The One X will also be able to do this at 60 fps.
It’s a cool console
And quite literally. For handling so much power, the console has been fitted to remain cool with a custom cooling system technology which consists of a vapor chamber along with an adapted centrifugal fan for heat dissipation. Not only will it keep the console cool, but it will also keep it noiseless.
Microsoft has not skimped out on audio as well. The console will feature support for DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and TrueHD with Atmos and PCM 2.0/5.1/7.1. This set up is perfect for spatial sound. The console will also support the proprietary sound format called HRTF which was developed by the HoloLens team to provide VR and AR-based audio.
While there are already an abundance of games spanning the beginning of the Xbox library to be playable on the One X, Microsoft announced that there would be more than 20 Xbox One X exclusive titles to be released. This does not include the already 42 new games that were unveiled at the Expo.
Pricing and availability
The Xbox One X will be available for a price of $499 will be called expensive by those who already own an Xbox One and want to upgrade. For those who are looking to purchase a new console, the price cannot be argued for the functionalities and features. Even when the original Xbox One was announced, it was priced along the same lines. The console will be made available worldwide on November 7.