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Xbox One X Review: does Microsoft’s 4K machine live up to the hype?

Is Microsoft Xbox One X truly a 4K console? Well, we won’t know until its release this coming Tuesday (November 7) — but a lot of sites have been in possession of the console for a few days now and the early reviews are really promising.

You can check out an in-depth video review from Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry above and then check out a round-up of review from around the web below.

AnandTech

If you are a console gamer, there’s going to be little to not like about the Xbox One X, except maybe the price. It’s a steep jump, since the Xbox One S can usually be found for close to $250, and that generally includes a game, whereas the Xbox One X is $499 right now with no games included. But even if you don’t own a 4K TV, the Xbox One X is going to provide much better visuals than the S, even though both will output at 1080p, thanks to the downscaling of higher resolution graphics on the X.

ArsTechnica

If you’re already satisfied with the games on your old Xbox One, $500 is a lot of cash to part with for graphical improvements and tweaks for a subset of the same available games (and if you don’t have a 4K and/or HDR TV, the value proposition looks even worse). And if you’re looking to buy your first console to go with your new 4K TV, you should probably decide between the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X based more on their competing software libraries (and prices) than any sort of overwhelming performance difference. If you want the best-looking versions of games like Halo, Gears of War, and Forza Motorsport for much less than a 4K-capable PC, though, the One X is here for you.

CNET

Xbox One X lays a credible claim to the title of most powerful game console ever, but it has an uphill battle for your gaming dollar, especially if you already own an original Xbox One.

GameInformer – In Progress

The review embargo for Xbox One X is up, but Game Informer’s verdict is still undetermined, and won’t be posted until I spend more time with the console and its games. Microsoft sent us an Xbox One X last week, giving us a nice runway leading up to today’s embargo, but a number of games I’ve deemed essential for weighing in on the performance of Xbox One X are currently unavailable for review.

Gamespot

If you game on a 1080p TV and don’t have any plans to upgrade to a 4K one, the Xbox One S is going to be a better fit for you. While you will get some graphical enhancements with the X, you don’t really get your money’s worth if you don’t have a 4K HDR TV. But what if you already own a 4K HDR TV and an Xbox One? In this case, I’d only recommend getting the X if you have the disposable cash to spare for the increased visual fidelity and performance benefits. If you have a 4K HDR TV, don’t have a current gen console, and are looking to purchase one, however, the Xbox One X is a great choice.

Engadget

Ultimately, the Xbox One X offers some major performance upgrades that gamers will notice — especially if you’re coming from an original Xbox One. But it’s also a bit disappointing since it’s coming a year after the PS4 Pro, and it doesn’t offer VR yet. For Microsoft fans, though, none of that will matter. It’s exactly what the company promised: the fastest game console ever made.

IGN – In Progress

The Xbox One X is a very impressive collection of hardware crammed into a sleek case. It runs cool and quiet as it delivers impressive performance in the enhanced games we’ve been able to test out so far. It’s hard to believe Microsoft exclusives like Gears of War 4 can look so good and run so smoothly on a box that costs less than half of what you’d pay for a high-end gaming PC. Plus, it caters to home theater enthusiasts with 4K ultra-HD Blu-ray playback and Atmos sound.

PC World

Forgive me for repeating myself, but this is a long review and I want to make sure you didn’t miss the most important point: The Xbox One X is the best price/performance ratio on the market at the moment. Sure, you can build a PC that outperforms it at every turn—some of you reading this probably have. But native 4K gaming for $500? And in a form factor this small and this quiet? That’s pretty incredible, especially when you consider the jump from the original Xbox One—probably Microsoft’s low point for console engineering.

The Guardian

Multiplatform titles will almost certainly look better on Xbox One X than on PS4 Pro, sometimes very noticeably (and elements like increased draw distance and smoother frame-rates can have a palpable effect on your gameplay experience), but is it worth the extra £100? That’s a conversation you need to have with your aesthetic standards and your wallet.

True Achievements

Should you buy this console? The answer really comes down to two things: affordability, and your existing setup. There’s no doubt that £450 or $499 isn’t cheap as far as a new console goes, but then the most powerful console ever made was never likely to be. For anyone upgrading from a vanilla Xbox One but who already owns a 4K TV, you’ll instantly see a huge difference — it will be like going from a CRT to HD all over again.

The Verge – 8.5/10

The X does offer the best graphics currently possible on a console. If you don’t care about Sony’s exclusives then the Xbox One X will be the best console to play all the cross-platform games coming out. If you already have a large stack of Xbox One games and you’re using the original console, this is going to be a nice upgrade if you own a 4K TV.

VG247

Make no mistake – if you pick this machine up you’ll immediately feel the difference and the benefits, even on a 1080p display. With that said, this upgrade still also feels like a mere stepping stone to bigger, better things next generation. Still, Microsoft can rest assured they’ve built a brilliant technical marvel and one of the best mid-generation console upgrades ever.

Windows Central – 4/5

After experiencing a game with Xbox One X enhancements, particularly in 4K, it’s simply hard to go back to standard HD. There are no doubts about the hardware potential. It’s just that as of writing, it’s hard to know for sure how much waiting you’ll have to do to see the console and that expensive 4K display achieve their money’s worth.

Wired – 7/10

The Xbox One X is what the Xbox One should have been at launch: a well-designed practical console that, like the Xbox 360 before it, makes a generational leap in graphics. If it had been, perhaps Microsoft wouldn’t find itself in the situation it’s in now: a games company with a brilliant bit of hardware and so very little to play on it.

XboxAchievements.com

Sure, the Xbox One X is expensive and you’re only going to get the true benefit out of it with a 4K TV, but if you’ve got that disposable income, we can’t recommend it highly enough. Like we said, if Microsoft can pull their finger out and deliver some truly original first-party experiences, then the platform holder will be in a good place. If not, we’ve still got those third-party titles to keep us warm at night.