Xbox One X Review

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Xbox One X Review

Postby ptdebate » November 14th, 2017, 8:48 pm

I hadn't intended on upgrading to 4K at all, but then I got a free 4K TV as an incentive from work so here I am. As of a few days ago, I am a proud owner of the "World's Most Powerful Console." Does it earn that moniker? Yes, technically, it does. But is it the box to own this holiday season? Let's find out!

So far, it seems that the console delivers on everything it promises, even if that promise was rather limited to begin with. Support for native 4K rendering, in HDR, of modern titles. This distinguishes Microsoft's product from the Sony Playstation Pro, which usually renders supported games between 1200p and 1800p under a 4K framebuffer, which is an improvement from 1080p but not a revolutionary one. At the time this was promised back in 2016, this was jaw-dropping news.

For the Xbox One in particular, this is a big step. One of the problems with the console, aside from a sluggish interface, bad OS, and unnecessary hardware components, is that the graphics it pumped out at launch didn't represent a compelling improvement from the previous generation. Major titles rendered between 720p and 900p in comparison to the launch PS4's clean 1080p across the board. It was a striking difference for the tech community. Among average users, it became more of a talking point than something that actually affected the gaming experience. Regardless, irreversible damage was done to the Xbox brand.

It's hard to overlook the fact that the Xbox One X is more than four times as powerful as the launch model and 1.4 times as powerful as its direct competitor. Since the release of the 8th-gen consoles, I've preferred Microsoft's ecosystem, not least because it is the console of choice of many family members. But it was a real struggle to enjoy the Xbox One that was available in 2013. I eventually traded mine in and got a PS4.

But now, it seems that Microsoft has finally come up with a product worthy of its past successes. The UI is snappy, the graphics truly cutting-edge, and the overall software experience has been overhauled to be finally at least the equal in functionality to its predecessor, the Xbox 360. I should also note that the X is the smallest Xbox ever made, even smaller than the S model that preceded it. Reassuringly heavy, it is an understated, minimalist black matte monolith of awesomeness. I believe that sometime after firing the launch team and before considering a hardware revision, Microsoft secretly recruited Jony Ive. The one you see still doing Apple commercials is just a fancy CG rendering using rehashed slogans and phrases from past iPhone launches.

There's only one reservation I have in recommending this box to others. If you already have an Xbox One, ask yourself these questions before making a decision:

How many games on the supported 4K games list do I already own? (There will be more in the future, of course, but this should help you determine whether or not you should wait)
Do I own a 4K TV? (If you don't own a 4K TV or plan to get one soon, do not buy the Xbox One X)
How large is my TV? (I would recommend that it be 60" or larger, unless you sit within 4 feet of the set)
How much do I care about the difference in graphics? (If you're the kind of person who is bothered by jagged edges and blurry lines, and still prefer the Xbox platform to Sony's or to PC gaming, it will likely be worth it to you to get the Xbox One X).

So in short - yes, it is a powerful console. Yes, it is worth $500. But no, it is not for every user. So don't waste your money if you don't "need" to have it.

Overall console score:

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Re: Xbox One X Review

Postby David » November 14th, 2017, 11:37 pm

Thanks for the review! I really hate the “most powerful system ever” tagline Microsoft uses. The PS4 Pro was the most powerful console ever last year, the regular PS4 was the most powerfule console ever in 2013, etc. It’s such an Xboxy thing to brag about.

My problem with Xbox is what it’s always been for me: not enough exclusives. Not even including the fact that I have a PC that can play most of their exclusives already, because there’s a lot of console players that don’t want to bother with PCs, there’s a whole lot of nothing.

Scalebound was delayed forever then cancelled. Crackdown 3, which was announced years ago and then was finally supposed to come out with the launch of the Xbox One X got delayed. Again. Gears of War 4 I found boring as hell, and it seems like it wasn’t super popular with even fans of the series. Halo collection was botched at launch, and then Halo 5 underperformed. At launch they had a decent number of exclusives like Zoo Tycoon, Ryse, Crimson Dragon, and Powerstar Golf, but none of them were all that compelling. And as far as I understand multiplayer-centric games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Destiny are all more popular and have larger communities on Playstation. That leaves almost nothing for Xbox other than powerful graphics, backwards compatibility, and the odd game here and there like Quantam Break and Cuphead.

Do you think this will convince you to start playing more Xbox games again? Do you have a PS4 Pro?

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Re: Xbox One X Review

Postby Retro STrife » November 16th, 2017, 5:58 pm

First off, thanks for the review. Definitely found it interesting and useful, and I'm at least semi-interested in the Xbox One now, after having no interest before. I do agree with David, though, that the biggest issue for the Xbox One remains its lack of compelling exclusives. It really shows how important it is to have a smooth launch -- the 360 had a smooth launch (besides the Red Rings) and it ended up having the dominant game lineup of last generation while the PS3 faltered for the first few years.. and now the roles are reversed.

One difference from David is that I like the "most powerful system ever" tagline. First, because I do think it helps sell the system, since it's the best quality that the system has to market; and second, because it reminds me of years ago when "bits" and "power" were big deals. In the early 2000s, the line "most powerful system ever" is what made me choose the Xbox over the PS2, despite being a huge PS1 fan the generation before. Nowadays, it feels like you don't hear about power that much, so I like to hear it back again. It's funny to me, though, that we've come to a point now where we no longer talk about "bits" and "GHz" and all that anymore... suddenly it's all about TV resolution! Would have never seen that coming 20 years ago...

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Re: Xbox One X Review

Postby Wallyworld » November 16th, 2017, 9:51 pm

A couple months ago I bought a Samsung Curved 4K TV. I wanted to get the most I could out of this gorgeous TV so I knew I needed a 4k Blue Ray player and decided hell I might as well get the new XBOX One X. Not only am I happy with the purchase but it's actually made me excited for modern gaming again. I bought 5 games with it but really I've spent all my time playing just one. The game that has captured my heart is Forza 7. I absolutely love this game. Looking at some of the cars you unlock in the garage look so good I swear I can smell the fresh coat of paint or the burnt rubber of the tires. The cars look like they are really in my TV and 100% real not just a rendering of said car. The racing controls are tight and racing around at 200 MPH really feels like 200 MPH!

Anyone interested in the Xbox one another thing I recommend picking up is the Elite controller. It's been great using it with Forza 7 and after getting used to playing with it going back to the normal Xbox One controller feels so wrong and cheap.

Anyone with a 4K TV I give my full recommendation on the Xbox One X!

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Re: Xbox One X Review

Postby Wallyworld » November 16th, 2017, 10:02 pm

One caveat about the Xbox One X. I tried renting a game from redbox when my cousin came over and wanted to play Call of Duty WW2 on it. My internet is pretty slow and after 2 hours I was only done updating the game 50% before I finally gave up and took the game back to the redbox. That's right I rented a game and never got a chance to play it!

Also these games take up a ton of space on your Hard Drive. So renting is not really feasible unless you have both a blazing internet connection and an external storage device.

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Re: Xbox One X Review

Postby DrLitch » November 21st, 2017, 1:54 am

I picked up an Xbox One X, the console has a small form factor and is a very nifty bit of kit.

One thing should be clear though, the Xbox One X is still an Xbox One. It does not have anything exclusive - games will run on the base Xbox One X and most if not all will end up being co-released on the PC as well. The console will enhance, to some degree, many of the base Xbox One titles. These enhancements will be aesthetically pleasing but will not transform a turd into gold. The performance stats over it's competitors are secondary to the games that will take advantage of the hardware.

I say if you have a 4K TV, the spare cash, and the inclination to purchase a new piece of equipment, then go for it.

If you have a 4K ready PC or Laptop, you might have more flexibility in sitting this one out, particularly knowing that a quality multiplatform title inevitably ends up on a large sale on site like Steam if one is willing to exercise patience.

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Re: Xbox One X Review

Postby Alucard1191 » November 21st, 2017, 2:54 pm

I've said this before... but having a technical requirement to own a 60+ inch TV to even see the higher graphic resolution just kills these things for me. I don't have a house that could even REMOTELY house anything that large. I can't even have a small TV in my 700+ square foot house. (Everything is done through computer monitors.) This single fact has greatly turned me off to the newer systems in general, but add to the fact that Microsoft in particular has a really bad track record for reliability, and it makes me not want any of the new gen x box systems. My friends had their 360's go bad when they were new, I read on here how the original X boxes are dying now. I own a thrift store and nintendo Wiis and 360's get donated a lot. I have had 1 single 360 of the 6 or so I've had donated actually work. (And it is in my house with my collection now.) When I compare that to my Saturn, PS2, N62, Super Nintendo, etc. All of them are still working today. Hell, my SNES is an original that was bought either the first or second year it was released. I play that system relatively often and it has 0 issue. Same with my Saturn and PS2. Still wonderfully working systems 20+ years later. Microsoft doesn't seem to have that mindset, and their systems reliability seems to show that.

I would not want to invest 400+ dollars in something for it to die before I even get around to playing the games I would want to play on it.

Thanks for the review, it is very well written, explains things well. Wonderfully done. I will personally avoid this system though for many, many years.

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Re: Xbox One X Review

Postby Hardcore Sadism » November 27th, 2017, 10:27 am

Great review. All I gotta say about exclusives, how can you take advantage of the value of system exclusives if 1TB hard drives are going to become too small for these massive base-install sizes? Rather aggravating issue especially if you don't have a 4K TV to take advantage of 4K enhancements...

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