When Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One back in 2013, they put too much emphasis on the revolutionary specs, opting for long rants on the system’s partnerships and HDMI pass-through capabilities instead of focusing on the system’s bread and butter — gaming.
Since then, Microsoft has been under pressure to one-up Sony. The newly-announced next generation Xbox, set to rival the PlayStation 4 Pro released last year, is Microsoft’s answer to the critics.
While 12GB of memory broken up across 12 1GB chips may sound like a lot, 4GB of that space will go towards running the operating system in order to bring the native 4K resolution. Paired with a 1TB hard drive with 50 percent more bandwidth, the Xbox One X is sure to load 4K games quickly.
So, yes, the Xbox One X runs the PS4 out of the building in basically every spec; be it the powerful CPU and GPU, expansive memory and bandwidth, or optical drive with 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.
“So, eight cores, organized as two clusters with a total of 4MB of L2 cache,” began Microsoft’s Nick Baker before getting to the good stuff. “These are unique customized CPUs for Scorpio running at 2.3GHz. Alluding back to the goals, we wanted to maintain 100 percent backwards compatibility with Xbox One and Xbox One S while also pushing the performance envelope.
They fixed it, gave a much-improved presentation at E3, and focused their marketing on the right feature of the console — it plays better games. That’s all any gamer can ask for.
Even games as simple as Minecraft have a new flair and “pop” thanks to the 4K resolution. As head of Xbox Phil Spencer says, “this console is made for games to be appreciated the same way one would appreciate a fine piece of art.”
“Xbox empowers game developers, large and small, to create different types of games for every type of player,” said Spencer. “Not only do we have the biggest cross-platform blockbusters on our platform, we’ve also scoured the world to bring our fans unique content from creative artists that capture the imagination.”
At around $499, the price tag is as impressive as the console, coming in around $100 more than the PS4 Pro. What you’re paying for, however, is the amazing features. Oddly enough, Microsoft doesn’t make money off the sale of the hardware, instead hoping that gamers will be inspired to buy other products like games and Xbox Live. Don’t forget, that price will go up another couple hundred dollars for the accessories and games.
“I don’t want to get into all the numbers,” said Spencer in an interview with Business Insider. “But, in aggregate, you should realize that the hardware part of the console business is not the money-making part of the business. The money-making part is in selling games.”
And games will sell, especially since 22 of the 42 games Microsoft revealed at the Xbox One X news conference will be exclusive to the powerful new system at launch, including Forza, Crackdown 3, and Sea of Thieves.
Xbox brand loyalists certainly won’t mind shelling out a few extra bucks for the newest system, and after showing what the most powerful console ever released has to offer, Microsoft is hoping to convert some PS4 and Nintendo Switch players, too. Many gamers who already own a PS4 Pro and Switch will more than likely be adding yet another console to their collection and with good reason.