Microsoft’s beefed-up Xbox One console is on the way. Scheduled for a 22 December release in SA, the Xbox One X delivers greater graphics capabilities, a 31 percent increase in CPU speed, and a 50 percent increase in onboard RAM (6 teraflops of computing power and 12 GB of GDDR5 RAM); but when is all and said and done, what does it actually mean?
International publications have had the chance to go hands-on with the anticipated new machines and given their thoughts on what they think the Xbox One X will bring to the table.
GameSpot – No score
“Should you get an Xbox One X? That answer should largely depend on whether you’d be happy with the console’s library of Xbox One X-enhanced games. If you’re happy with the lineup and are thinking about jumping in, allow me to outline three different scenarios for you. If you game on a 1080p TV and don’t have any plans to upgrade to a 4K one, the Xbox One S is going to be a better fit for you. While you will get some graphical enhancements with the X, you don’t really get your money’s worth if you don’t have a 4K HDR TV. But what if you already own a 4K HDR TV and an Xbox One? In this case, I’d only recommend getting the X if you have the disposable cash to spare for the increased visual fidelity and performance benefits. If you have a 4K HDR TV, don’t have a current gen console, and are looking to purchase one, however, the Xbox One X is a great choice.”
IGN – 9/10
“The Xbox One X is a very impressive collection of hardware crammed into a sleek case. It runs cool and quiet as it delivers performance a step above any of its console competitors. It’s hard to believe Microsoft exclusives like Gears of War 4 can look so good and run so smoothly on a box that costs less than half of what you’d pay for a high-end gaming PC. Plus, it caters to home theater enthusiasts with 4K UHD Blu-ray playback and Atmos sound. Though much of the Xbox One X’s impact depends on developer support and the quality of your display, it delivers exactly what was promised: the most powerful console you can buy right now, by a significant margin, with plenty of potential left to tap.”
Polygon – No score (Pre-review)
“The Xbox One X is undeniably the best console to play multiplatform games; they’ll look and run better on it than on the PS4 Pro. For some people, that peace of mind–knowing that they’re guaranteed to get the highest image quality and smoothest performance–will be enough to justify the purchase price. And the ancillary benefits of Microsoft’s ecosystem, such as Xbox Play Anywhere and backward compatibility going back to the original Xbox, can’t be discounted. But I’ve been floored by plenty of games on the PS4 Pro, like Horizon Zero Dawn. For now, with the limited number of enhanced Xbox One X titles I’ve been able to test, I haven’t seen enough to be able to recommend the console in light of its high price–especially when the audience for these mid-cycle upgrades still seems so specific.”
The Verge – 8.5/10
“Sony really has some impressive exclusives on the way, and it’s hard for Microsoft to counter this despite its great job on the hardware. Microsoft promised the best hardware, and it delivered–but that’s nothing without games.”
Engadget – 87/100
“Ultimately, the Xbox One X offers some major performance upgrades that gamers will notice – especially if you’re coming from an original Xbox One. But it’s also a bit disappointing since it’s coming a year after the PS4 Pro, and it doesn’t offer VR yet. For Microsoft fans, though, none of that will matter. It’s exactly what the company promised: the fastest game console ever made.”
Eurogamer – No score
“Really, it all comes down to whether you own a 4K screen or are considering investing in one. The right ultra HD display with decent HDR support really does offer a huge improvement in many cases over standard 1080p. Forza 7’s precision lines and often beautiful lighting are a world apart from the base Xbox One experience, while the richness of detail in Gears of War 4 (or the doubling in frame-rate, if you prefer) are transformative experiences. Work needs to be done on beefing up the lacklustre 4K media support, but as a top-tier games machine, Xbox One X is an excellent piece of kit.”
TechRadar – 4/5
“If you’re the kind of gamer who stops to look at the scenic vistas in games like Skyrim, The Witcher or Dragon Age, or a streamer who can point out a 4 frame-per-second difference while looking at two videos side by side, the Xbox One X is a worthwhile investment.
“That said, if you’re a gamer who just wants a console that plays great-looking games without digging too deep into your pocket books, the Xbox One X is a bit overkill – save some money and buy yourself an Xbox One S … preferably the one with a 2TB hard drive.”
And For all the folks planning on making it a Christmas gift purchase, and it’ll initially be available for a discounted price of R7,499 – which is expected to increase shortly after its release. If you want to make sure you get one as soon as they hit our shores pre-orders for the system will open up in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for when those go live.
And if you’re not sure whether to get an Xbox One X or a PS4 Pro, check out our head-to-head comparison feature here.