Over the weekend, Microsoft introduced the world to the Xbox One X — the most powerful gaming console ever. The $499 machine, which will hit shelves November 7, is a Super Saiyan 4K version of the Xbox One or Xbox One S you already own. It has a custom GPU engine that runs at 1,172MHz (compared to the One S’s 914MHz and the PS4 Pro’s 911MHz); it has 6 teraFLOPS of graphical processing power (compared to Xbox One S’s 1.4 teraFLOPS and PS4 Pro’s 4.2 teraFLOPS); games will run natively at true 4K at 60 fps (which is nuts!). Basically, games on the Xbox One X will look incredible. The console also acts as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player.
But as amazing as the Xbox One X sounds, there’s one big question that comes with it: who should buy it? The console will play all the same games as the Xbox One and Xbox One S. Essentially, the Xbox One X offers a visual and performance bump — a significant one, sure — to games that you can already play. It’s also worth noting that Microsoft just dropped the price of the Xbox One S (now $249), in case you wanted to play those same games at a bargain.
So, who is the Xbox One X for?
The Xbox One X is for serious gamers who already play Xbox. If you own a large number of Xbox One and/or Xbox 360 games and you play them religiously, you’ll get a kick out of seeing them with a graphical spit-polish. But if you only play your current Xbox judiciously, the Xbox One X might not be the console you need to buy right away. But it is pretty astounding from a hardware standpoint, so if you find yourself playing more (or if you’re a home theater buff), it might be worth considering.
Have more questions? Keep reading.
Do I need a 4K TV to play Xbox One X?
No. The Xbox One X will upscale new games, using what Xbox reps call “super sampling,” to make them look better on 1080p TVs; so they’ll work on non-4K TVs, but you’d be wasting your money if you bought one with the intention to hook it up to anything less than a 1080p set.
Does the Xbox One X have any exclusive games?
Xbox’s official website lists a number of games as “4K exclusives,” including Forza Motorsport 7, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, Sea of Thieves and Super Lucky’s Tale. Visually, these games were designed specifically for the Xbox One X and will look incredible in 4K — but you’ll still be able to play them on Xbox One and Xbox One S. Also, many of these “exclusives” will be available on Windows or PS4 Pro later on.
Will the new console work with Xbox Live?
Yes, players on Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X will all be able to compete with and against each other on Xbox Live.
What about VR?
Microsoft didn’t say anything about VR, so you shouldn’t plan on hooking up your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headset to the Xbox One X.