I’m writing this as a 40-year old. An age I never thought I’d get to (because 40 is ancient, right?) and yet somehow a month of being 40 has passed in the blink of an eye. I’ll be 50 before I know it, which is even scarier.
This may seem like an odd way to start this post but it’s a slight bit of background as to how I came into possession of an Xbox One X; my parents bought me one. Isn’t that awesome? 40-years old and they have accepted that gaming isn’t a fad of mine but my actual, genuine hobby. There’s hope for us all.
Question is: is the console really that powerful? Can it really live up to the hype? Does it boost games as much as they say?
The answer, in short, is effin’ hell yes.
In the past I’ve written about my preference for framerate, or more precisely lack of slowdown, over graphical fidelity but now I’m in the privileged position of being able to have both. Microsoft have been very clever and made sure all of their first-party games are enhanced for the console and it really shows, especially as I have a 4K television to get the best out of the machine. I’m also comparing against an Xbox One S, not an original Xbox One.
Cleverly, and as with some titles for the PlayStation 4 Pro, you can choose whether the Xbox will prioritise graphics or performance. If I’m honest I’ll go for performance every time because once I’m playing I can’t really tell the difference in how realistic a wall looks but the smoothness in how everything moves is noticeable.
The only difference to this is Forza Horizon 4, which goes from looking like the real thing in graphics mode to looking almost like the real thing but smoother in performance. Either way it’s absolutely mindblowing when you’re old enough to remember when games like Pit Fighter and Mortal Kombat sold themselves on photorealistic character models back in the nineties. I can’t wait to see how Mortal Kombat 11 looks on this beast of a machine.
That’s not the only one though: Gears of War 4’s campaign now runs at 60fps and looks stunning. I’m slowly playing through it again because it’s really that good. Halo 5 is mindblowing and I’ve already mentioned Forza.
But these are all Microsoft-published games, first-party products that you’d expect to use the technology to the max. What about third-party offerings? Well, I’ve had a chance to look at two so far and – thanks to Game Pass – will be able to try a few more in the coming weeks. What I can say is that Destiny 2 looks sharper and more crisp but the real difference is with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. In performance mode it runs gloriously and leaves the PS4 for dust.
The best part though is how quietly it runs. I love the PS4 Pro but on the more demanding games the fan is so loud I can’t hear the television! The Xbox One X? Quiet as a mouse.
If you have a 4K TV (and the means to afford the console) I heartily recommend you take the plunge. I feel it would be a harder sell if you don’t have the TV as yes, silky smooth gameplay is lovely but not £450 lovely.
Long story short: I’m chuffed to bits with the kit and if you’re able to get your hands on one, I think you will be too.