During their E3 press conference yesterday Microsoft unveiled their latest console, Xbox One X (or X1X for short). Formerly known as Project Scorpio, the X1X will be the most powerful gaming console on the market when it releases on November 7th, 2017. While most people are happy with the announcement, I’m honestly worried. I fear that the release of the console will hurt the gaming community.
Before I clarify my last statement I should provide more information on Xbox One X. Compared to the PS4 Pro and Nintendo Switch, the X1X will undoubtedly be the most powerful console ever developed. It features not only the fastest CPU with a 2.3GHz 8-core AMD custom “Jaguar” CPU, but also the best graphic performance with a GPU that can output “6 teraflops of performance.” Ya, not really sure what that means except that it’s better than the PS4 Pro’s 4.2 teraflops of performance.
Additionally, the console comes with 12GB GDDR5 RAM, 1 TB storage, and even liquid cooling. It will also feature a 4K/HDR Blu-ray drive and will be the smallest Xbox to date. The machine is designed to improve performance of Xbox One and 360 games as well. The X1X will cost $499.99 at launch. Overall it’s an impressive console and truly an accomplishment of the gaming industry. So then what’s the problem?
The problem with the X1X is not only that it isn’t a true “next-gen” console, but it perpetuates a trend that will negatively impact the gaming world. Let me explain. While the X1X is a powerful console, it’s barely an improvement over the PS4 Pro or even the Xbox One S. In fact, while it does elevate console standards, its impact is minimal. Most won’t recognize the change in the graphics quality or appreciate it, same for the console’s speed. X1X falls short in this regard, making me wonder if its funding could have been better spent.
The major issue is not with the device itself, rather it’s with the concept behind it: the constant push for releasing updated consoles. The release of these consoles often takes advantage of consumers, causing them to spend more money for features they don’t really need. But what is truly striking about the X1X is that it’s not much of an upgrade to the Xbox One S, a console that was literally released less than a year ago! The Xbox One S already featured an improved GPU, 4K resolution support, and an expanded hard drive.
Honestly these slight improvements do not justify buying an entirely new system that already shares most of the same features. Even if you wanted to upgrade from the original Xbox One I’d recommend the One S over the X1X. You can get most of the same features and a game included for nearly half the price! Just by glancing at Bestbuy.com I easily found a 1TB One S with 4K support and Battlefield 1 included for $299.99. It just doesn’t seem worth the upgrading to the X1X to me.
But perhaps my biggest concern is if the X1X is successful. If this device succeeds then we may see a constant push for consumers to buy updated versions of consoles. Every year we would see companies advertising their latest machine, trying to influence us to spend more money. Imagine having to spend nearly $500 yearly to stay on top of gaming trends and be able to have the best gaming experience possible. It’s ludicrous to say the least.
I don’t usually say this but I want the Xbox One X to fail. I have nothing against Microsoft, on the contrary I think their intervention in the gaming world has been mostly positive. But its latest console needs to die and fast. We cannot let companies impact the market like this, influencing consumers to buy the latest tech just to enjoy our games to the fullest.
Eric M. Wilusz.
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