The Xbox One X was released on 7 November, 2017 but has since been replaced with the 2020 release of the Xbox Series X and Series S. The Xbox One X, in its heyday, had new 4k visuals, a sleeker design and was compatible with older games, which made it a great upgrade for gamers at the time. Microsoft have since stopped making all Xbox One consoles, including the X so if you’re after an Xbox this Black Friday, you will want to consider the Series X and Series S, which are the latest models on the market.
Latest Xbox Console: Xbox Series X & Series S
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Xbox One X Buying Guide
The Xbox One X is labeled as ‘the most powerful console in the world’ by Tech Radar with Microsoft claiming that it offers 40% more power than any other gaming machine on the market. You’d be forgiven for wondering why the company has launched a new console so early into the life cycle of the Xbox One, but it’s not a negative reflection on the original device. Instead, it’s all down to what the new version adds and at which target audience it’s aimed.
What Is New?
The crazy thing about advancements in technology is that they allow companies to claim that their latest release is ‘the greatest ever’ and it is true. Yet they could also release the same device a month later with improvements to the internals and that really would then be the ‘greatest ever’. Xbox users that rushed out to replace their original Xbox One with the Xbox One S might therefore be wondering what the point of another box that looks virtually identical is, exactly.
The One S was 40% slimmer than the One. The One X is slimmer yet again, though this time the drop of from the previous device isn’t quite so dramatic. What is more dramatic is what’s going on under the hood – all of which is being powered by an 8-core Custom AMD CPU that’s clocked at 2.3GHz. That’s aided and abetted in its work by the 12GB GDDR5 of graphic memory and a 6 Teraflop GPU. When it comes to how it works online, there’s a 326 GB/sec memory bandwidth that means your Internet gameplay will be as smooth as any other games console you can buy.
The Scorpio engine inside the Xbox One X gives the device its most important and game-changing addition: 4K visuals that take the games you’re playing to a whole new level. Now the Xbox can broadcast compatible games at a 3840 x 2160-pixel resolution that makes them seem as close to lifelike as any console has yet managed. The One S could manage 4K, but nowhere near as well as the X, which has been made to take advantage of the new technology in that department.
The issue that you might face when playing the Xbox One X is if you don’t like the look of any of the games that take advantage of this new 4K capability or if you want to play your old games on it. The upscaling of the Xbox One X does mean that older games can actually look less impressive on the X than on the console that they were designed to be played on. Nevertheless, the games that have been created specifically with the X’s 4K gaming in mind will look breathtaking, provided that you’re playing them on a TV that can handle 4K, of course.
We’ve already mentioned that the Xbox One X is a tad slimmer than the One S, but that’s not the biggest difference between the two devices. Microsoft have made the decision to move the exhaust fan from the top of the machine around to its rear. That might seem like a sensible move to begin with – after all, it’s what Sony did with their PlayStation – but the practicality of the decision becomes questionable when you try to fit the One X in where your old Xbox sat.
Previously, you’d have arranged your entertainment equipment around the Xbox on account of the fact that you couldn’t put anything on top of it. Now you can stack any of your other AV stuff over the One X, but you’ll have lost the ability to put anything behind it as the exhaust fan needs excess space. The ports are still around the back, though, so it’s not entirely different. The biggest change aside from the fan’s location is probably the fact that the front-facing USB slot and the IR receiver have swapped sides, but that’s hardly likely to put you off buying it.
Compatibility With Older Games & Accessories
As hinted at before, one of the things those of you with former Xbox’s might want to know about is the console’s ability to play older games and it’s good news. Not only will the One X play more than three hundred Xbox 360 games, it’s also got the ability to play some of the games from the first-ever Xbox. Suddenly, those titles that you couldn’t play but didn’t have the heart to throw away have become relevant again, so you can dust them off and play them on a machine that’s will make them look better than ever before.
Things are slightly different when it comes to the Xbox One X’s ability to interact with accessories. Controllers, headphones and other things that you still own from your original Xbox or Xbox 360 have no place here. If you’ve got things from a previous Xbox One, however, then you’ll be able to plug them in and play with them just as you always have. Handy if you bought the Xbox One when it was released a few years ago and immediately kitted it out with what were then top-of-the-range accessories.
The vast majority of people will be buying the Xbox One X because they want to play games, but even the biggest gamer on the planet occasionally stops to watch a bit of a TV or a film. If that sounds like you, then you’ll be pleased to know that this device has you covered. Obviously, the 4K capability of it means that you can watch films and TV shows in the best resolution available at the moment, provided you’ve got a TV that can display 4K and entertainment providers that will stream it. You’ve also got the ability to watch 4K blu-rays, should you want to.
Microsoft’s app store lets you download the offerings of all of the usual third-party companies, including Netflix, Amazon and the likes of the BBC’s iPlayer. The Xbox One X also has support for Dolby Atmos, meaning that the sound will be awesome if you’ve speakers that can cope. The Xbox One X has a decent amount of storage, but most people will want to add an external storage device and be pleased that it can link up to the device.
Should You Buy the Xbox One X?
Having read all of that, it would be entirely understandable if you still weren’t one hundred percent sure whether you should be buying the Xbox One X. The answer depends entirely on what your current gaming situation is. If you’re a big gamer who has been keeping up with the changes on a regularly basis and moved from the Xbox One to the One S as soon as the latter was released then, in all honestly, you’re probably already going to be buying it. Yet if you aren’t, then caution would be urged before you jump into making a decision. The One X is a hugely impressive machine, but the difference between it and its predecessor is not as great as you might hope.
Yes, the One X offers genuine 4K as opposed to the upscaled variation that the One S offered. It’s also much more powerful, running graphics-heavy games in a relatively smooth manner. However, it’s not quite so clear-cut in terms of how quickly everything operates. The boot time of both machines from off to the home screen is about the same, whilst loading a game is no quicker on the newer device. Okay, a lot of that is probably down to the need to get the graphics up and running, but it’s still a little disappointing for a machine that’s as powerful as this.
On the other hand, if you’re someone that hasn’t bought a new games console for a while but are now in the market for one then it’s something of a no-brainer that the One X is the console you should be aiming for. It’s quicker and more powerful than the PS4 Pro, so unless you’re particularly married to the PlayStation ecosphere over that of the Xbox then there’s no real reason to choose the Sony device over the one offered by Microsoft. It’s also worth noting that this is the closest you’re going to get to a dedicated gaming-PC from a console any time soon. That means that you should be able to use VR equipment with it if that’s something that matters to you. Price is likely to be the thing that dictates you’re final choice, but if you can afford it, then the Xbox One X is worth the extra investment.