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Xbox One X Review: What The Critics Are Saying

Xbox One X

Microsoft’s new Xbox One X console hits shelves Tuesday, and many in the gaming press are already raving about Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro. Touted as a “true” 4K console, the previously dubbed “Project Scorpio” aims to fill the gap between the PS4 Pro and a medium-high end PC, but do the critics think it’s worth it?

Destructoid’s Chris Carter feels the Xbox One X is “far and away a bigger upgrade compared to the PS4 Pro.” Games such as Gears of War 4 felt like a “new game” versus simply an upgrade over the other console versions. The addition of a UHD player in the Xbox One X further pushed Carter into praising the system, saying he was “dumbfounded” that Sony’s offering doesn’t give the option to play their own UHD media. However, he does caution that not owning a 4K capable TV hamstrings “half of the reason to own an X.”

Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry had their analysis of the Xbox One X, showcasing the core technical aspects of the system in a way no other outlet really can – or will. Everything from the thermals to the end result, but DF’s Richard Ledbetter does stress caution in the end result.

“Is it a strategy that hands in more consistent results than we’ve seen over the last year on PlayStation 4 Pro? The early evidence looks positive but certainly in the terms of the scope of this review, the jury is still out.”

One of the more disappointing aspects of the Xbox One X is the fact the dashboard is still rendered at native 1080p, so 4K TV users will have the dashboard a bit blurry due to an upscaled dash. Additionally, with so few triple-A, first party Xbox One X Enhanced titles to test out, the core aspect of the Xbox One X over the S model was largely untestable, leaving only Gears of War 4 to give a glimpse into how the console performs versus previous models.

Gears of War 4 has both a 4K, 30 frames-per-second (FPS) mode, as well as a “performance” mode which targets 1080p, 60 FPS with some visual enhancements. As far as Digital Foundry can gather, the Xbox One X version of the game does deliver a full native 2160p and a locked 30 frames-per-second. It’ll be incredibly interesting to see comparisons between the fully maxed PC version of the game against the 4K mode on Xbox One X to see if there are any visual sacrifices made in order to pump out the 4K option.

What seems to be the sticking point for most reviews is who exactly this console is targeting as its audience? For gamers demanding the absolute best in their hardware, they likely play on PC. For those who haven’t made the switch to a 4K display, will the Xbox One X give enough of a boost to entice users to upgrade? The performance you’re liable to get on the Xbox One X is more than what you could build today for $500 in a PC, so for those fans looking for an upgrade but don’t want to spend more than that, the Xbox One X seems to be the perfect solution.

However, does it provide enough to entice users at launch to adopt the system? With no major triple-A release coming from Microsoft this fall (since Forza Motorsport 7 has already launched) there isn’t a lot there from Microsoft themselves to get someone to see what the new console can do. It’ll be interesting to see how the Xbox One X compare to the Xbox One S, as well as Sony’s PS4 Pro.

The Xbox One X launches Tuesday, November 7 and sells for $499.

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