A new blog post explains the motivations behind the Xbox One X, and offers some insight into how Microsoft's new console came together. As the release date approaches for the Xbox One X and its Project Scorpio special edition, hype levels are understandably high.
While gamers wait to try out the new console, much has been discussed about it: some fans have argued that the Xbox One X needs to have its own exclusive games; others rejoiced at the announcement of a classic-style controller; and some scratched their chins at the news that launch title Crackdown 3 has been pushed back, meaning that it won’t really be a launch title anymore.
And now, Microsoft has put out some extra information about the Xbox One X, to make sure that fan anticipation doesn’t get a chance to dip. In a new blog post on Xbox.com, the Microsoft team has explained the six stages of the console’s development: “Kickstarting the process”, “The design of a system”, “Fitting into place”, “Keeping cool”, “Putting it all together”, and “The finishing touch.” Here’s how the blog post describes the early days and conception of the console:
“As you might imagine when one sits down to create the world’s most powerful gaming console, the engineering and design teams would face a lot of questions: How do you make the systems work with each other? How can we make it compact? What’s the expression of Xbox One X? How does it tell a story just by the way it looks?
“While these were all great questions the team looked to tackle early on, the most critical that they all agreed to land on was that this was going to be “True 4K Gaming” at its heart, and this is what was going to drive the architecture of the system.”
With that in mind, work began on the console’s uber-powerful Scorpio Engine, which will drive those stunning 4K visuals (although, as fans recently learned, extra downloads will be needed to play in 4K). Meanwhile, the design team started working on the outward-facing aspects of the console, and took inspiration from an unlikely sci-fi source:
“We envisioned this monolith (“2001: A Space Odyssey”). Whenever you see it in the film, it was a signal to the audience that it was the next phase of advancement. So, we kept that as a design goal: Xbox One X is the next point of advancement.”
Matching up the technical advancements of the Xbox One X with this unique design goal wasn’t easy, especially since nobody involved was willing to let the Xbox One X take up more shelf-space than its predecessor, the Xbox One S.
Ensuring that the console didn’t overheat also presented another massive challenge. Rather than simply porting over the ventilation tech from the Xbox One S, the engineers decided that they would have to "innovate" to get the job done:
"And to do just that, the engineering team realized they would have to create a new tool to answer the growing number of asks from the design team: 5-sided unibody with a top-housing, zero draft, thousands of tiny pins to make the perforation pattern, and super thin walls."
There were many challenges in the process of making the Xbox One X, then. But judging by the triumphant tone of this blog post, the Microsoft team is confident that they produced something here that matches their ambitious goals. The blog post ends by claiming this is "the best console [Microsoft] could possibly create”. It took a lot of work, but the console does sound very impressive. However, only it's release will determine whether the Xbox One X is a hit with the fans, critics, and consumers.
The Xbox One X hits shop shelves November 7th.