Before we get to the meat and potatoes, allow me a moment to lay a few things out – I received the machine last Friday and have not yet been able to jump into many of the games that we received that were getting the Xbox One X enhancement treatment. Further to that point, I haven’t made my way with the machine to a 4K television yet but my father in law has one and I’ll be over there this weekend and will be doing a second part to the review focusing on my experience with the 4K television.
Formerly known as Project Scorpio, Microsoft is poised to launch their new baby, the Xbox One X next week on November 7th. The specs it boasts are more than a little impressive as it’s got a considerable amount of extra horsepower. It’s also the smallest Xbox ever made at just 11.8 x 9.4 x 2.4 inches but don’t let the small size fool you. It’s quite weighty and packs one hell of a punch utilizing an 8 core CPU each core running at 2.3GHz, 12GB of GDDR5 RAM, an AMD GPU capable of 6 teraflops of data 1TB Hard drive and a 4K UHD bluray drive, Full HDR/4K support this machine as they said at E3 is a “Beast”. In all my time playing graphic intensive games like Assassin’s Creed Origin, to Shadow of War I never once noticed or heard the system fans get loud. The Xbox One X is whisper quiet and though you will notice it a bit warm to the touch after a few hours of playing something like Assassin’s Creed Origins, or Gears of War 4, it really doesn’t doesn’t feel crazy hot by any stretch. In my opinion Xbox really nailed the design and specs of the machine.
Let’s talk about what’s in the box. You’ll get , an Ultra high speed 4K compliant HDMI cable, a power cable (no brick required as the PSU is in the chassis), a 14 day Xbox Live Gold Pass, 1 month to Xbox Gamepass, Microsofts “On demand” style game subscription with over 100 games and this really slick manual/book about Xbox that looks, feels and reads like a high end vehicle brochure and why not? This is a high end vehicle for laying games on. And last but not least – a regular controller. I kinda feel like this was one of the biggest misses. When they were announcing the console details at E3 this past summer, as a premium console I expected, as did many other people, there to be an Elite controller packaged in with the unit.
Now, if you’re upgrading your Xbox console to the One X, there’s a few things you may want to do. Get yourself a huge external drive and get one as big as you can possibly afford and transfer as many or all your games that you own over to this drive. This will help you to hit the ground running when launch day arrives. Also you should expect to see a day 1 update. It wasn’t very large when I did mine and I don’t anticipate that to change. Another reason I say you need to get the largest external hard drive is for all those wonderful Xbox One X enhanced game updates. They are HUGE! With the few games that had Xbox One X enhancement updates ready as of the time I wrote this, gears of War 4 was clocking in at a GIGANTIC 100+ GB. Your internal 1TB drive ain’t gonna cut it for long. I get that they kept the at 1TB for reasons of making the machine cost effective but damn. I sure wish it was at very least 2TB.
When you plug the machine in – you’ll be greeted by a slightly different boot sequence but also it was a touch longer booting up. I don’t know if it has something to do with all the extra space on the hard drive or what but there was no question it took longer from cold/total shutdown than I had anticipated. if you have your system set to instant on you’re obviously going to notice a huge difference. The next thing you’re going to want to do after going through the initial setup is immediately go to your games and check your games and app and filter out your Xbox One X enhanced titles and get those games updated if you didn’t already do so in the days/weeks leading up to release.
The folks at Xbox are telling us you don’t need a 4K televsion to know and love what the One X can do for you so as someone who doesn’t yet have a 4K TV (I’m researching) the first game I jumped into that was available to me with Xbox One X enhancements was Diablo 3 and I immediately noticed there was something different in front of my eyes on my 1080p TV. The lines were so sharp and so clean, it loaded faster and was just the images just popped. To be totally honest, I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to see the difference but it was very apparent to me. From the fabric on the seats in the helicopters to the the blood soaked piles of dead bodies in the barn everything got a graphical boost and the game just looks so incredible. I’m not going to go into all the details of what i saw on each and every game because who would read that? You are more than welcome to follow me on twitter @Xboxkaneda and I’ll happily answer questions.
After less than a week with the Xbox One X – I’m more than a little impressed by what I’ve seen and done. In fact I’m really loving everything about it from the top down and I really can’t wait to see what the future of this beast has in store for us all. The system design, while similar to the Xbox One S, is still a smaller better built machine with some simply incredible specs. The dashboard is so much snappier and responsive now and even the voice commands with Kinect seem to work much better. 4K is still something I haven’t had the chance to experience but that is coming in an update which I expect to have prior to the launch of the system on Tuesday where I’ll have had a chance to spend time with 4K Bluray playback and gaming. I wish I could have had just another week with the machine prior to this which is why I’ll have more in the next few days to report back on.
The number one question I know people are going to ask me is this: “Is it worth the money? Should I upgrade to the One X?” If you want a premium gaming experience with the best that console gaming has to offer today – The answer is yes. If you have an original Xbox One – I say you should get the most out of your potential trade in value and jump in with both feet. There’s enough for the average gamer here to get excited about and keep themselves at the bleeding edge of technology. I do think that given the size of the Xbox One X enhanced titles, 1TB is rather anemic and the exclusion of the premium Elite controller with the premium console is a bit of a sore spot, but I understand that it was likely not economically feasible to keep the console at the price point we see today I just sorta wish one of those 2 minor gripes didn’t exist. I still say if you’re in the market for a new Xbox or thinking about making the jump as far as upgrading – Just do it. Your eyes and home entertainment experience will thank you.