XBOX One X Preview

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XBOX One X Preview

If you’ve been even slightly out of the loop in the gaming world, the current state of consoles seems a bit confusing. It used to be a simple process: a generation of consoles would release, and five or so years later, the next generation would come out. There would be improved versions of consoles released in-between the generations, but they weren’t worth running home about. Usually, they’d be smaller and have a few perks the old ones didn’t, such as a larger hard drive or WiFi capabilities. But now, there’s buzz about these consoles that almost seem to be the early arrival of the next generation, but they’re not. They’re more like .5 versions that you can’t upgrade through a software update. First, there was the PS4 Pro, and now there’s the Xbox One X, formerly known as Project Scorpio. (Which I don’t know why they didn’t stick with Scorpio. The new name sounds redundant.) To make this even more confusing, there’s the Xbox One S, which is smaller and supports 4K resolution, but it’s not the new Xbox One X everyone is talking about. Gah! So let’s look at the new incarnation, which I’ll be calling the XOX from this point forward. What does it have that warrants the $500 price tag, especially if you have one of the older versions?

Xbox One X Preview

Improved Graphics

The XBOX seems to be all about the graphics and resolution, boasting 6 teraflops of power, almost 2 more than the PS4 pro. The flop in teraflop stands for floating point operation, and tera means trillion. To put it bluntly, the XOX apparently can process graphics much faster than any console that comes before it, increasing the resolution and load times by quite a bit. The full specs seem to be 1172 Mhz, 12GB of GDDR5 memory and a 2.3 Ghz CPU. If you’re a computer geek, you’ll realize this is quite impressive. It also supports HDR lighting effects and Dolby Atmos surround sound. The goal of these upgrades seems to want to rush gaming into the 4K world. The previous generation of consoles did a good job being HD compatible at a time when HDTVs were still not common, but now, 4K TVs are becoming affordable and the new generation still hasn’t caught up. The XOX also boasts another feature to help propel us into the 4K world, and that’s…

A UHD Blu-Ray Player

UHD stands for Ultra-High Definition, so the XOX can play Blu-Rays that have 4K, and even higher, resolution. The PS4 Pro doesn’t have this feature, which is a bit ironic, considering the PlayStation was the console that helped propel Blu-Rays into the mainstream. If you’re a movie collector and want to watch your films in the best resolution possible, the XOX has you covered.

Graphical Upgrades for Some Games

The XOX can also improve the graphics of games you already own, upgrading them into a 4K resolution. Resident Evil 7, Gears of War 4, just to name a few, will receive upgrades. And if your TV is just a vanilla HDTV, it’ll still have improved graphics.

Yet No Exclusive Games

Perhaps the biggest reason to upgrade form a vanilla Xbox One to an XOX is the possibility of upcoming games were only playable on the XOX. However, the plan so far is to have all games be compatible with every version of Xbox One.

Storage Capabilities

The XOX will have 1TB worth of storage. For me, that’s not too bad, but I do feel like they could have thrown in an extra TB, or at least half of one, to make up for…

That Price!

The price has been making some gamers scratch their heads. When it is released this November, it’ll be priced at $499.99 before taxes and all that nonsense. The PS4 Pro costs $100 less than that, and you can find an Xbox One S for about half the price of the XOX. It’s not the most expensive console to be released; the PS3 cost a good $600 on its launch, and the Phillips CD-I, the console that brought you masterpieces of gaming such as Hotel Mario and those memorable Zelda titles, cost $700, which is over a grand if adjusted for inflation. But for a souped-up version of a console that has been around for almost four years, it does seem a little steep.

My Recommendation

Wait on this one, especially if you already have an Xbox One. The upgrades are nice, but that $500 could be better spent upgrading your PC, or saving up for one if you don’t have one already. The problem with the Xbox one is that it doesn’t really have too many exclusives to call its own, with most of its ‘exclusives’ also being for PC. Compared to the games that PS4 has, the XOX is lacking. To me, it seems that consoles are desperately trying to catch up to the world where technology is always improving at an incredible pace, and it’s screwing over the consumer in the process. I’m not a PC snob; I find myself on my consoles more, to tell you the truth, but the way the gaming industry is paced, I think the console hype just isn’t how it used to be.    

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