So, Who Is The Xbox One X For?
Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft and the boss of the Xbox division, said from the beginning that the Xbox One X is a premium console. It's not for every gamer and it's not pretending to be. So, don't expect it to be. That's crucially important. It's also a big potential obstacle for Microsoft getting the Xbox One X out there and expanding its user base against stiff competition.
The Xbox One X is very expensive for one thing, retailing at launch for $500 in the U.S. and $600 in Canada. And Xbox One X enhanced games require a high-end screen for the 4K and HDR benefits to be accessible (after downloading the 4K update). At this point, only a subset of Xbox One games are even getting support for the X although Microsoft claims there will be 70 games getting Xbox One X enhancements in the first week.
Many of the games getting upgrades are also older games, but many of the big triple-A titles will support it as well. In that respect, big, beautiful games will be even bigger and beautiful. And it's a safe assumption that going forward, multiplatform titles that are scalable anyway if they're on PC, will benefit from the Xbox One X's power as well. The most hectic of onscreen battles in Gears of War 4 run silky smooth in 4K.
Even games without specific enhancement updates benefit from the extra power with smoother frame rates and faster loading times. We tested with several games with notable improvements come in open-world titles and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege which normally has painfully slow framerates in its Terrorist Hunt mode. The Xbox One made that mode playable without any actual enhancements from the developer.
The Xbox One X is for the gamer with disposable income looking for the absolute best non-PC gaming rig for their home entertainment setup. It's for the hardcore early adopters who demand 4K when available. And it's important and great that this is being supported in a serious way.
For everyone else (i.e. most gamers) there are far more affordable Xbox One bundles that offer the same games. If anything, the Xbox One X just allows Microsoft (who are behind PlayStation and Nintendo in the sales race) to tap into another consumer demo, and one that the competitors may not.