The Xbox One X has received major branding as THE console to get if you want to get your hands on serious 4K gamming chops with HDR and VR thrown in as extras for any 4K TV worth its salt. However, these aren’t the only benefits of this powerhouse piece of TV/PC gaming technology. Any owner of any TV, with 4K or HD resolution can look forward to getting a mountain of additional features and gaming chops from the One X due to the other aspects of the console’s performance which don’t directly relate to its support for 4K UHD resolution itself.
As Microsoft explained during their E3 2017 press event for the Xbox One X (formerly, speculatively known as Project Scorpio), the console offers up additional technologies like “super-sampling” for notable enhancement of older or newer games played on the device even on a 1080p TV. In other words, players using the Xbox One X with any normal HDTV will receive a far more detailed, fleshed out gaming experience with superior visual quality than they would if they were playing the same game on the same TV but with an older Xbox One or Xbox One S console instead. Super-sampling itself is essentially a method by which processing power in the One X console smoothes out the edges around characters, movement and objects.
Other major benefits of the Xbox One X include better texture rendering due to the console’s Anisotropic Filtering (AF) technology and much faster loading times for games due to the One X’s much more powerful hardware and 50% faster HDD drive (compared to the Xbox One S from 2016). This last feature is also helped by the One X console’s extra 4GB of RAM with its higher bandwidth. The One X also offers the unique feature of delivering much better dynamic resolution and dynamic frame rate performance in games for the Xbox One and Xbox One S which were designed with these specs built into them. This of course means overall smoother frame rate functionality and, as is the case for all of the above benefits, applies to all games from older Xbox models even if you’re playing them with the One X on a non-4K non-HDR TV.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro console also offers up superior performance for older and new Sony-compatible games when used with HDTVs. Super-sampling is a particular feature that has been included in the PS4 Pro for superior non-4K TV gaming performance. However, even with these similarities, the Microsoft One X console outshines its latest Sony counterpart almost across the board with the kind of power and smoothness it delivers, at least based on what we’re seeing so far.
The bottom line here is that the constant mention of 4K in association with the Xbox One X shouldn’t scare you off if you don’t yet own a 4K TV. Though the overall gaming experience while using the HDR and 4K-capable One X on a serious, premium 4K HDR TV will be a far superior thing to using the console on even the best HDTV models, it also shouldn’t make you think that upgrading to a 4K TV model is also an absolute must if you want this console. The Xbox One X is still going to deliver its money’s worth on your possibly older non-UHD TV set while at the same time being ready for when the jump to a full 4K HDR TV is made.
In-game footage from Forza 7 with the Xbox One X
On the other hand, if you are the owner of a 4K HDR TV and already own either an Xbox One S console or even the older Xbox One model we’d say that upgrading to the One X isn’t going to be the best possible choice right after it comes out. For one thing, while the older models lack the hardware and graphics rendering chops of the latest version, they do come with many of the same other firmware updates and HDR support specs (especially the Xbox One S, which also plays back 4K Blu-ray and supports Dolby Atmos sound). Instead, we’d suggest that the Xbox One X is going to see a price drop for the newer console into 2018. That’s when replacing an Xbox One S model with the newest console will be particularly valuable to would-be 4K gamers. Especially those who already have a 4K TV on hand.
The Xbox One X isn’t yet available on pre-order and won’t start shipping until November 7th, so there’s plenty of time to decide about buying it. In the meantime, the Microsoft E3 2017 announcement of the One X’s impending arrival has already affected Xbox One S prices for those of you who want one of these consoles. The Xbox One S –which supports 4K upscaling of 1080p games (but not native 4K gaming) and also comes with a 4K Blu-ray player and HDR support—now sells for less than ever. Amazon.com currently has some great discounts running for Xbox One S bundle packages of both the 500GB and 1 TB models.
The 1 TB model is selling for just $284.99, at a discount of nearly $60 from its older $349 price tag and it comes bundled with “Gears of War 4” as a nice bonus. If you’d like an even better deal there’s also the 500GB Xbox One S model with Minecraft bundle for just $235, also on amazon.
All of these are worthwhile alternatives to the One X if you’re not willing to wait until November for HDR, 4K upscaling and smooth gaming performance.
Story by 4k.com