Xbox One X in 2018, Still Worth Buying?
The Xbox One X is not for everybody. It's for a very specific type of person. It's price point is what probably turns most people off. There are a ton of Xbox One S bundles right now, and you can get one for as low as $230. The Xbox One X is $500 and that's a steep increase. If you didn't already know, the flagship feature of the X is it's 4K capabilities. So that's the only reason you'd be getting this thing. That and the so called improved performance in certain games. So this console is only for people who have a 4K display, and have a ton of money to drop on a console generation that's already on it's way out.
Xbox One X is a beautiful console. It's a little bit smaller than the Xbox One S, which is insane given how much more powerful it is. All of that power is packed into a tiny, sleek body. Our favorite part about both of these consoles is that there's no power brick that Xbox has been notorious for in the past. Xbox One Controller is our favorite controller of any console. Everything is exactly where it should be. It's versatile in that the triggers could be used for throttle or shooting, the face buttons are quick switches because they never need to register pressure like the triggers do, and the d-pad is in a great spot and also has that hard clicky feel. It's the next best thing to a Nintendo d-pad. Which isn't saying much, because the alternative is the Sony abomination. The thumbsticks are where you'll be spending most of your time, and they feel best to me in this placement.
But all of that is the same on the Xbox One S, the much cheaper console. Even the UI is identical, which isn't exactly a good thing. There are currently 225 games that are available or announced to be available as enhanced on the Xbox One X. and only 128 run at 4k, only 59 are HDR, and only 45 are 4k and HDR. A bunch of those enhanced games are Xbox 360 games that were recently announced to have this compatibility. Performance enhancement, not the Barry Bonds type, is important for a game like PUBG. Where a steady frame rate or a building rendering correctly could mean the difference between life and death. But all anybody cares about really, is whether or not your game is going to be available in 4k, and it's important to keep in mind that not every game will be available in that way. In fact, most games won’t. Pretty much only the big AAA ones will be 4k. But when they are available in 4k, they look awesome.
4k is beautiful on this console, and on the right monitor. Edges are so sharp and crystal clear. UI elements scale really well. While a AAA game like Far Cry will give you much clearer visuals, that also brings with it much bigger assets so the loading times are noticeably worse. Even though the hardware is better, it's got to render much bigger assets. So this makes for bigger loading times in some cases, like in Far Cry. It is definitely a lot prettier, and you get these really sharp crisp edges, but that also brings with it weird things like straw hair.
4k is definitely better, but it might not be as much better as you think. Its cool, but if you've seen 4k anything before it's not gonna blow your mind. We can't say that it's worth shelling out that extra $300 though. Unless you absolutely love PUBG on console and need that extra edge, or you wanna show off your friends on your big-ass 4k TV. Most people just don't need this type of clarity. Xbox One X enhanced doesn't always mean 4k either. It just means that the developer has done "special work to take advantage of the Xbox One X's Six Teraflops of power," that according to Wikipedia. So, it could mean anything. That's why even Sonic Forces is on that list. It could mean an improved framerate, it could mean a higher draw distance, it could mean less screen tearing, it could mean literally anything.
The biggest problem with the Xbox One X, is that the Xbox One S is so great. It doesn't play games any higher than 1080p, but it DOES play 4k blurays. It even has HDR capabilities and you can change the color depth to 10 or even 12 bit. And 10 bit color looks great on the right monitor. Of course the Xbox One X can do all this stuff too. You'd literally only be getting the X for it's 4k capabilities on the few games that support it, and future AAA releases. Fortnite is one of the Xbox One X enhanced games too. It's definitely clearer,but that's it. I can't say it's that much better or that much more worth it. It already runs great on all the other consoles. Some games have a steadier framerate on the Xbox One X, that might be enough to get some of you clamoring to make the jump, especially if you play competitive online.
Xbox One X is a great console. Performance is definitely way better. Things load faster, games that support it are clearer, framerates is in some cases better. Even if the framerates isn't "enhanced" it's still in a lot of cases at least more consistent than it otherwise would be on an Xbox One S. We're actually surprised at the amount of games that are on that Xbox One X enhanced list. We thought it would be way lower. But if it's 4k that you're looking for, there just aren't enough games out right now that support it.
We can't say that it's worth spending over double what a baseline Xbox One costs just for that 4k support, especially this early on in the lifecycle of 4k gaming. So if you are in the market for a brand new Xbox, just get the Xbox One S. And if you want 4K gaming for future releases, go for Xbox One X. And as always, thanks for reading.