The biggest knock against the Xbox One X is its $500 price.
Only one of these titles is currently enhanced for Xbox One X. Very well optimised on Xbox One, it also had HDR support on One S and the game on PC scales very well.
The One X is as silent as a mouse, as powerful as an ox and ushers in a new era of 4K gaming, and boy is it fucking beautiful.
But it's not quite that simple. The games will still work on any XBOX One model however the displaying image on your TV will be a true 4K HDR resolution and not an upscaled one.
But does that make it a must-buy?
As far as the upgrade process goes, Microsoft has bent over backwards to make it as painless as possible. At the same time, increased processing power means faster loading times and frame rates for a lot of games. The big difference on the One X is that the sluggish feeling that's nagged the Xbox One interface since its launch in 2013 is finally gone. Broadly, this is still true, but the stratification of features makes things makes your decision more complicated than ever. Xbox One X Enhanced games will obviously run in glorious 4K, while a lot of un-Enhanced games will see boosted performance, and improved image quality via supersampling. At launch 4 games (Halo 3, Fallout 3, Oblivion and Assassin's Creed) have received the Xbox One X Enhanced treatment, and genuinely, it's the best thing about the console. It runs cool and quiet as it delivers impressive performance in the enhanced games we've been able to test out so far.
Of course this painful either/or scenario only applies if you have an expensive 4K TV. We think the XBOX One X can change that.
For anyone without a 4K TV, the real appeal of the Xbox One X will be the higher framerate.
The One X is different.
This certainly makes it harder to work out if the X is worth your money right now especially since... With the common household running an Ultra High Definition television it made sense that the next logical step would be 4K gaming. The Xbox Live setup for multiplayer online gaming remains as smooth as ever, and the Xbox Game Pass subscription service lets you explore new titles and download them at a discount. It's no use having a super-sharp image if it looks a bit naff elsewhere. Not to mention the games run smoother and load quicker. Either ruthlessly delete what you're not playing or invest in an external drive. The higher-fidelity visuals add to the visceral nature of the brutal gameplay, and if I hadn't recently completed the campaign, I'd be tempted to take it for a spin again just to marvel at the eye candy. You can hear every little grunt and groan in the game. I'm a professional, it says, I'm all business. If not, just pick up a One S, maybe even wait for it to go on sale as the holidays roll in. Storage space can be easily expanded with any USB hard drive, but if you don't already own one that's an extra expense you have to account for on top of this already premium-priced console. What crops up is cryptic code-speak, but it'll tell you what you need to know, including install date, update date and build details.
Which brings us to the games, always the raison d'etre for these boxes, and how the Xbox One X lives up to its promise of being the most capable console. The pop-up menu accessed with a press of the home button on your controller is also much improved, with better shortcuts to commonly accessed areas such as your game library and the settings menu. Microsoft provided EW with the console for review purposes. Games that are Xbox One X Enhanced perform better, potentially with faster load times, higher resolutions, and with higher or steadier framerates.
While steaming content from apps like Netflix is also supported, streaming your own content has a little while to go.
Also, the 4K Blu-ray I testd (BBC's brilliant Planet Earth II) looked absolutely gorgeous, but there were occasional hiccups in the playback, with the picture hanging momentarily amid flurries of digital noise while the sound advanced. Cost is relative and it's going to depend if you can afford it or not.
Gears of War 4 on Xbox One X lets players choose whether they want gorgeous 4K visuals at the expense of a lower frame rate, or whether they still want a damn pretty game but at 60fps.