REVIEW: Xbox One X Edges Microsoft Closer

I recently spent a week with the Xbox One X thanks to Microsoft. After all that time with the console, it still remains hard for me to justify the purchase when, really, you need so much more to truly take advantage of what’s in the box. Having said that, Sony’s PS4 Pro pails in comparison to the Xbox One X, and that in itself signals Microsoft’s first big win over it’s direct competitor for a long time. 

Some of the cheaper 4K monitors still retail for well over $500 in New Zealand. Add in another $750 for the Xbox One X, you’re looking at a $1300 investment at the very least to get everything you’ll need to get the best experience. But the counter to that is the quality you get as a result. Running with all the bells and whistles, the Xbox One X provides a premium gaming experience with some of the best graphics seen on a console ever.

It wasn’t until I went back to the standard PS4 that I realised just how much smoother games ran on the Xbox One X. In comparison, the likes of COD: WWII, FIFA 18, and Destiny 2 all seemed far more jerky and inconsistent in terms of frame rate running on the older systems.

By far and away, the game that showed off the extra perks that the Xbox One X has was Forza Motorsport 7 and Gears of War. Ironically enough, both Xbox exclusives. One of those games was also built for 4K from the ground up.

Graphically, Forza Motorsport 7 running on an Xbox One X doesn’t completely outshine Project Cars 2 running on a PS4, but the smoothness of frame rate is so precise that it makes for a more immersive experience. The tiny little details of sponsor names on the cars are much more vivid, and the range depth to landscapes are that much more detailed. Racing around Bathurst on Forza Motorsport 7 you can see the headlights of cars racing around the top of the mountain when you look back in the rear view mirror. On FIFA 17, the added smoothness to play makes you feel (just a little more) like you’re watching an actual broadcast of Premier League Football.

The strength of the Xbox One X is really in these smaller details, and if you’ve got the tech to take advantage of it, then go right ahead.

Some of the specs included in the box are:

  • 12GB GDDR5 graphics memory
  • 2160p frame buffers and 6 teraflops of graphical processing power
  • Wide Colour Gamut, HDR technology
  • Custom CPU @ 2.30 GHz, 8 cores

Games On Xbox One Are MASSIVE

However, there are some major drawbacks to purchasing the Xbox One X.

Firstly, the size of games with 4K built or patched in. 1TB of hard drive space was almost completely full with the handful of games Microsoft had pre-installed in the box. Add in a couple of apps including Netflix and Dolby Atmos, there was little room for anything else. There is the option for additional storage, but for such a pricey investment it would’ve been nice for Microsoft to include a larger hard drive. However, considering some of the specs inside what is the smallest Xbox ever made, with a power unit inside too, you can acknowledge a severe lack of room for much else.

REVIEW: Xbox One X Edges Microsoft Closer

Since the disaster launch of the original Xbox One back in 2013, Microsoft has slowly edged its way back into the fight. The new Xbox One X is another sign of that, but the problem remains in the mindset of most gamers, in that the Xbox One X is not the next generation console for Microsoft. It’s a mid-cycle upgrade, but it’s a damn good one at that. Microsoft needs more exclusives, and with Crackdown delayed until next year, there still isn’t that one blockbuster exclusive game this holiday season that will stand out to the gamer.

Sales for the Xbox One X have been good thus far, and much of that is down to the marketing from Microsoft. They’ve pitched it perfectly as an optional upgrade to the existing, standard version of their gaming console. The Xbox One X is the closest thing to a gaming PC for the console space, but it’s also the best looking console ever made as well. Both of those factors go a long way toward justifying the console, but the fact that 4K televisions are still not a part of most households is a big drawback. Yes, the experiences can be had on a 1080p display, but the real benefits can be found in 4K displays with HDR.

In conclusion, if you have the money and the available technology, the Xbox One X is the console that provides the most bang for your buck this Christmas.