So the Xbox One X is here…

…and I feel like I should write a big long tech-jargon filled blog post about it, but I’m kind of tired of arguing about it in various places. I just want to enjoy the console.

So far, I’m really happy with it. “Enhanced” games look amazing, of course. Folks who do things like pixel counting (aka Digital Foundry) are finding that just about every game looks better on XBX than on PS4 Pro, the one exception seeming to be Titanfall 2, but that might be due to a bug. Learn more here:

Aside from the whole “Woo 4K” aspect, the XBX loads games quicker, makes many un-enhanced games look better (either via better frame rates or dynamic scaling systems that can stay at higher resolutions longer) and it is SO BLISSFULLY quiet. I love it.

Look I’m a self-identified Sony fanboy, but Microsoft has done good with the XBX. Maybe being the underdog has been a good thing for them. Lots of games are getting patches (something I was worried about until recently) and Microsoft makes it easy to identify games that take advantage of the X (in both the store and in your game library you can filter by “Xbox One X Enhanced.”). They just seem to be doing more to make it easy for us customers than Sony did with the PS4 Pro (which, remember, didn’t even have Boost Mode at launch).

So should you buy one? Probably not. The problem with the Xbox One X (in my opinion) is that it caters to a very narrow segment of the gaming market:

1) If you’re a PC gamer that wants a console too, pick a PS4 Pro or, I guess, a Switch. Virtually everything you can play on the Xbox One is also available on PC.

2) If you’re a PS4 gamer who is curious, as nice as the system is, it probably doesn’t justify a new library of games. The games don’t look THAT much better than on a PS4 Pro

3) If you’re an Xbox gamer without a PC, then the Xbox One X is for you. Even if you don’t have a 4K TV yet, the better frame rates, loading times and ‘super sampling’ make it worth the upgrade, in my opinion (and assuming you’re a reasonably serious gamer).

The biggest struggle with a system like this is demonstrating it. I can take a screenshot like this one:

But the original of this was a 22 meg PNG so I had to compress it to make it a reasonable size, and even then the 22 meg version didn’t have the HDR effect. In the game on an HDR TV, that sun was so bright it was almost hard to look at.

Same with this video clip. It’s pretty, but not nearly as pretty as on-screen. The sun shining through the trees was stunning enough in-game that it prompted me to save this clip. Looking at it in a browser you’re probably thinking “What’s the point of this clip?” By the time you reduce the resolution to 1080P, strip the HDR and add in compression artifacts, it just doesn’t hold up.

I guess the only real way to experience the XBX is to go to a Microsoft Store or a Best Buy or something and see it in person.

Anyway, zero regrets here. So far I love the Xbox One X.

One thought on “So the Xbox One X is here…

  1. I played a few hours of Assasins Creed: Origins on mine last night. It looked wonderful. Not as good as HZD expansion on the PS4 Pro but still great.

    I really agree with you that MS lagging behind Sony has forced them to be more customer focused the last few years. Game Pass is a great idea and all the backwards compatibility games are also a great touch.

    The UI is also much improved and faster than the OG Xbone.

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