My initial journey of playing the Xbox One X did not start well as Microsoft failed to deliver the console to me on launch day. Or the day after. I finally received it two days late which was disappointing (and total lack of communication from Microsoft was poor). Once I received the most powerful console of all time it’s, apart from a couple of hiccups, been a joy to play.
From the packaging to the beautiful gradient look that adorns the Project Scorpio edition, I cannot say enough good things about how well this console is designed and built. It feels very solid and heavy and shows the buyer that it is, like Phil Spencer pointed out, a premium product. Apart from the great looks, it is nothing short of a beast inside. Having discussed the technical aspects in a previous article, I will just include that the console is almost silent. An amazing accomplishment from the Microsoft engineers. Even if the power brick hadn’t been included inside the chassis would have still been impressive but having it inside the box, with minimal noise, is extraordinary. My portable 5TB Seagate external hard drive makes more noise than the console! The Xbox One S is a great looking and designed console but the Xbox One X leaves it, and every other console behind when it comes to design, performance and aesthetics.
Playing the Xbox One X on a 4K TV with an Elite controller is console gaming bliss for this Xbox fan. Each part is of the highest possible quality and that commitment to quality is seen in the games performances. The incredibly high 4K resolution coupled with the textures are amazing to see but it’s better performance in regards to frame rates that is the icing on the cake. Games such as Gears of War 4 or Rise of the Tomb Raider also come with simple PC-like settings. We don’t have the range of performance sliders as a PC does but it’s great to see gamers able to choose between the highest quality image or choose better performance. Hopefully more games offer this in future. Playing Gears of War 4 with the same 60FPS as the multiplayer while still including a rock solid 1080P image with enhanced assets and textures is phenomenal.
Even if the game is not giving a native 4K image, the quality comes very close and the numerous added visual benefits on top still creates a visually stunning picture.
When let loose on a 4K display games such as Forza 7 and Assassins Creed:Origins look downright incredible. Whether it’s the fine details on the cars and tracks in Microsoft’s track racer or the incredibly large draw distances and world detail of the later, Xbox One X is outstanding at delivering performance and image quality of a near high end PC. This is the grunt that gamers could only dream of at the start of this generation. Halo 5 is also updated to 4K, displaying a crisper image, better lighting and a rock solid 60FPS in both single player and multiplayer. Mafia III perhaps didn’t quite impress me as much. Already a great looking game, the game world and characters now look even better than they did before. An insane amount of detail with fantastic animations, especially in cut scenes, really brings the story and character struggles to life. The disappointing part is the inconsistent and almost erratic frame rate at times. Some sections run like butter but the temperamental frames lessen the enjoyment of the game for me. Ghost Recon Wildlands is another gorgeous looking update where the difference is clear when compared to the base Xbox One. Huge draw distances, beautiful lighting and enhanced graphical effects really bring the large open world to life. Hopefully we get to see The Division’s recreation of New York in stunning 4K at some stage.
Microsoft promised alot with the console and with the hype and opinion escalating over the last 18 months, it would take alot for them to deliver to gamers. Thankfully, the Xbox One X in my opinion has set a new bench mark for what we should expect, if not demand, for a new console. From it’s sleek looks to it’s gutsy insides and fantastic performance, the Xbox One X is a console for the near future.
Now Microsoft, turn that power to more first party games that really show us the power of X.