It’s always strange when a company — outside of perhaps Harrods — tells the public that the thing they are trying to sell to them might not be for everybody. That’s not what companies are supposed to say. They’re supposed to say “Give us your money, please! Of course you’ll love this product or service!”
That’s why it was a little strange when XBOX head Phil Spencer said recently that the XBOX One X, due for release in November, wasn’t for everyone. Of course, the XBOX people have form for this; when they released the Elite controller, they were upfront about the fact that casual gamers didn’t need it. But an entire console release that you don’t need? What’s the deal there?
Well, it depends on a few factors. If you already have a One S, then unless you’re a really hardened gamer, you don’t need the X (unless you trade in, obviously). If you don’t, with the One X retailing at around $500, then you need to know what you’re getting for your money when about half that will get you the One S. So let’s examine…
The X is certainly an upgrade on its slightly elder brother. Component-wise, the S was not a huge leap on from the original XBOX One. The X, however, has a lot in common with the better mid-range gaming PCs and laptops. Essentially if you play one and then the other, you’ll see that the games look the same, but play differently. The same game played on the X will be more responsive, smoother and just feel like a better game. If gaming’s a big part of your life, you’ll appreciate the difference.
For casual gamers, who have two or three games that they rotate and really enjoy, there’s no reason to rush out and buy the X on its release. Both consoles will play the exact same games (as in “discs for the S will work for the X and vice versa”); some, however, will be released in “Enhanced for One X” form, which will support 4K and HDR and maybe have extra graphical touches. Basically: nothing that’s worth an extra couple of hundred dollars, unless you really value innovation.
Aside from the dedicated console gaming capabilities, the X does deliver a more technically advanced experience, meaning that you’ll find it more responsive if using it to stream movies and TV. The inbuilt browser is enhanced, so HTML-5 games run easily on it, meaning you’ll get the most out of your free spins at onlineroulette.org.uk and all those classics that have been released on browser sites. You’ll appreciate how much quicker it loads, too.
The One X has a more advanced cooling system, which is essential given its smaller size and greater power than the S. This ensures it will stand up to whatever you throw at it, from binge-watching old sitcoms to 12-hour Madden marathons.
Oh, and where the S was white, the X will be black. That’s probably not a decisive factor, but it does look better on a media unit.
So, do you find yourself tempted?