What we like and don’t like about Xbox One X

The Xbox One X was potentially Microsoft’s biggest announcement at their E3 conference this year, right up there with original Xbox games heading to Backward Compatibility. It’s intended as a premium version of the Xbox One, bringing along a whopping $499.99 price tag to match all of the power under the hood. There’s a lot to like – and definitely some to dislike – about the Xbox One X, so let’s break some of it down.

We like the name

There was a lot of talk about the Xbox One X’s original name, Project Scorpio. A lot of people wanted the “Scorpio” name kept around in some form, and these ideas varied – Xbox One Scorpio, Xbox Scorpio, you get the idea. The thing is, Microsoft had two clear goals for naming the Scorpio: they had to let people know this was still an Xbox One, and they had to avoid any confusion with the already existing Xbox One S. Aside from the possibilities that could arise from how easy it could be for some people to confuse the letters X and S when heard aloud, Xbox One X seems like a good final name. The fact it can be shortened to XBOX is a nice touch, too.

We like the power

Microsoft touts the Xbox One X as the most powerful console ever, and they’re not lying. The One X is capable of handling plenty of games at 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, producing visuals as smooth as what you’d get from some excellent gaming PCs. Not every game will be optimized for the power it brings to the table, but many games on the Xbox One already use a dynamic resolution system. What this means is that the resolution of the game drops instead of the framerate, which is why games like Doom always stay smooth. The resolution in those games won’t have to drop at all when running on the One X, even without any updates to optimize them.

We like how it’s even slimmer than the Xbox One S

It is slightly ironic that the Xbox One S (which was intended as a slim Xbox One) isn’t the slimmest Xbox One that’s going to be available, but the Xbox One X is intended as the best Xbox One in all regards. You’re not going to have to pick and choose with it, it’s simply the best. There’s no reason to go with an Xbox One S over an Xbox One X other than price – the difference between $199.99 and $499.99 will be sales – and it’s good to know that’s the case.

We don’t like how it only has 1TB of storage

At the launch of the Xbox One S I ended up picking up the 2TB launch version. While I was somewhat letdown by the lack of excitement that surrounded the original Xbox One launch back in November 2016, the most important distinction was under the hood: the larger hard drive. Microsoft had confirmed that from there on out the only 2TB systems would be special editions, like the Gears of War 4 edition Xbox One S. Thanks to this I’ve very rarely uninstalled games, building up a collection of over 70 that are currently installed.

Current games are usually pretty large. Halo 5 clocks in at nearly 100GB with all updates installed, for example, and games are only going to get larger and larger from here. Forza Motorsport 7 will be around 100GB, likely because of the 4K assets that will be put to use in both its PC release and Xbox One X version – and that’s just the start. Games will keep on growing, and I have a feeling I’ll have to start uninstalling games after a while when I get my Xbox One X.

Phil Spencer confirmed that the Xbox One X would drop all storage sizes other than 1TB, and while it is possible to purchase an external hard drive, this is a $499.99 console. For that price – and for the size of resources that will come with the 4K games it makes possible – it definitely should have more.

We don’t like how it’ll only come in black (at launch)

It’s true that some people can never be satisfied, but pleasing most people usually isn’t too difficult. At the launch of the Xbox One S plenty of people asked for a black variant, and now various people are asking for a white (or colored) version of the Xbox One X.  There’s an incredibly simple solution to this, however: include other options at launch. The various Xbox One S colors became available after a variety of special editions and game bundles, but every single one should have been available from the start. I’m not going to buy a console a second time just to get it in a different color, but I’d still prefer a red Xbox One X (for example) to the dark look of the standard version.

We don’t like how little has been said about its virtual reality features

Microsoft has confirmed that all standard Xbox One games will be available on both the lower end Xbox Ones and the Xbox One X. Standard is the key word here, as virtual/mixed reality games will be exclusive to the Xbox One X. That’s just about all that we know about it, however – during its time as Project Scorpio it was mentioned that Microsoft’s upcoming powerhouse was built as a system capable of handling VR, handling many of the universal apps you can already run on a Windows 10 PC through Windows Mixed Reality.

We were eager to hear more about this given the fact it was one of the Xbox One X’s key features, but Microsoft’s Alex Kipman confirmed that it would not be appearing at E3 2017. The thing is, we definitely need to hear more about Microsoft’s plans. Sony already has had an early start with PlayStation VR, and Microsoft needs to show the world that the Xbox One X’s version is even better if they want it to be a success. They need to give developers an idea of how much better it would be to develop for, securing VR functionality for some titles before there’s no chance of ever getting them on the Xbox, like Resident Evil 7’s PlayStation exclusive VR mode.

In summary

We’re definitely excited for the Xbox One X. It’s a cut above anything we’ve seen on consoles in the past, but we also hope that Microsoft takes some of the more reasonable criticism and complaints into consideration to provide an even better product. While we don’t think much will change before its November launch, pre-orders aren’t even available yet – there’s a chance that some things could change at the very least.

What do you think about the Xbox One X? Let us know in the comments below!

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