Welcoming home a beast
When leading titans of the tech world release their latest gadgets, they launch from a trail of gross amounts of expectations. And even though, as tech savvy folk, those expectations are rarely met, we always find a way to defend our favourite products or brands. As for this Sony PlayStation loyalist, at the age of 32, I’ve lost touch from the world of video games. In other words, the games aren’t being played as frequently, but there is just enough to keep a finger on the pulse of new developments.
So, naturally, when the new Xbox One X launched, there was serious consideration of actually purchasing and experiencing the new and most powerful gaming console around. The eighth generation Xbox is, by specs on paper, very impressive. For now, there are only limitations to its prospect power and eventual success because it is freshly placed into the market. We won’t have a proper review of the console until we have all spent some quality time on it.
In the meantime, the new console’s machinery can be taken advantage of with only a few select games from launch day. What we can do, however, is gather our thoughts from the initial experience of turning on this beast of a machine. Microsoft has been marketing the new console as the “true 4K” gaming experience. And they are delivering on this front so far, mainly because they have to, considering that Sony is currently winning the console war. They need to make a bold statement.
The first time you power up the console, you’re met with a loud and bright animation. With plenty of surround sound elements, the One X opens its doors wide open. Correction, its as if someone kicked down the door instead, á la Ong Bak, courtesy of Tony Jaa. The immediate effect is to proclaim a power never seen before by gamers. The fact is the machine has yet to welcome a game that can match its specifications. That’s a good thing.
With great power comes great enjoyment
It’s beyond satisfying how much power Microsoft has packed into a smaller case. As seen in many promotional images, you can see the physical attributes of the console just like the same exact ports in the back as its predecessor. Alongside the same power supply as the One S, you’ve got the HDMI-in and HDMI-out, two USBs in the rear and one up front, and the standard Ethernet port.
Now for the main attraction: its power. Inside, you can find the 2.3GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar processer, 12GB of RAM and a six-teraflop AMD Radeon GPU. That is close to two teraflops more than what the PS4 Pro possesses. There is absolute no doubt that this machine will outperform the PS4 Pro on any given day. Another welcome addition would be a built-in 4K Blu-ray player. PS4 Pro? Nope. You’ll just have to wait until the next-gen console pops up.
Waiting to exhale
We should also note that the machine, as expected with so much power, will heat up significantly, but nothing so much to burn the house down. In other words, make sure you keep the console in an open area. This means no cupboards or closets. Even with an impressive cooling system, the fans can be quite loud, but that’s expected.
As for the actual gaming portion and performance of the One X, it’s smooth as butter, as it runs certain games at 60fps with HDR. Warning, you might feel incredibly depressed downgrading to a game that only runs 30fps, even with the graphics enhancements and backward capabilities of the One X. I mean it is difficult having to compromise on resolution and textures after you’ve experienced playing a game with higher specs.
You should also keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to have a 4K television or monitor to enjoy the console’s immense benefits. It works wonderfully well on a 1440p gaming monitor, so I’ve heard. I can only speak from a 4K monitor perspective. You will still enjoy the upgrade in aesthetics and performances in games that aren’t 4K ready.
The Xbox One X still remains $100 more than a PS4 Pro. That and the fact that you still need to use old school batteries to power its controller are huge drawbacks to the entire package. So here’s the deal. If you already have a PS4, why not make the dive and get the most powerful console around? Being as loyal as we can be, there is no shame in having both consoles under one roof. Each console provides a different yet satisfying experience. Some more than others, but, all in all, a damn good experience.