10 things you need to know about the Microsoft Xbox One X

All the details about Microsoft's super-powered console and this autumn's launch

Well, it's finally here: Microsoft just properly unveiled the Xbox One X console.

First teased last year as Project Scorpio, the Xbox One X is the most powerful home console ever built, seemingly surpassing the PlayStation 4 Pro with its processing power and certainly leapfrogging over last year's Xbox One S.

What does that mean? Well, primairly it means the ability to run many games natively in 4K resolution, with some able to do so at 60 frames per second. And it's still an Xbox One, so it'll run all the existing games for the console, plus it has an Ultra HD Blu-ray player within.

But at S$699, it'll be a big investment for a lot of folks who may have just bought a new console within the last several months or even couple of years. Thinking about it? Here's everything you need to know right now, based on the previously revealed details and everything Microsoft just shared at E3 2017.

Additional words by Chris Rowlands

1) It’s as powerful as everyone hoped

As expected, the Xbox One X is a real beast of a gaming machine: a total of eight 2.3GHz processor cores pair with a six-teraflop graphics processor (as promised by Microsoft), together with 12GB of GDDR5 RAM. Besides its volume, that memory is faster, too, than the 5GB found on the Xbox One.

Don't know your teraflops from your flip-flops? All that power essentially means that the Xbox One X will be blisteringly quick. As an example, a souped-up Forza Motorsport 6 demo running at native 4K resolution and a frame-rate of 60fps earlier this year still had more than 30% of its processing power going spare.

2) It’ll run full 4K games

Unsurprisingly, with all of that power going spare the new Xbox One X will be able to deliver full 4K content - including games. There's a 4K UHD Blu-ray player on-board, too, but it's the option to serve up 4K HDR games (rendered with a wide colour gamut) that's properly exciting.

The PS4 Pro runs a few games in native 4K, but most titles instead utilise an extremely clever type of upscaling to get 4K-like images from games running at slightly lower resolutions. That shoudn't be necessary for the vast majority of Xbox One X games - it's got more than enough power for native 4K.

Not only will new games run in native 4K, but earlier Xbox One titles like Gears of War 4Halo Wars 2Killer Instinct, and even Minecraft will get native 4K updates too. Third-party titles like Resident Evil 7Final Fantasy XV, and Rocket League will also get Xbox One X updates, although they may not all run in native 4K - some could be upscaled from lower resolutions.

Curiously, there's been no official word on VR. It's certainly powerful enough (the PlayStation 4 is, after all), but maybe that's something Microsoft is saving for another date. Or maybe they really just don't want to get into that game while it's still fairly small.

3) It’ll run Xbox One games better than ever

That's not to say, though, that the Xbox One X won't run legacy titles - but it'll do so in a different way to the PS4 Pro. Where Sony's top console switches half of its power off when running older games, Xbox One X uses all of its power even on Xbox One and Xbox 360 games.

That should mean frame rates that never falter from their maximum (though they won't go beyond that, due to in-game limitations), and dynamic drops in resolution shouldn't ever be necessary. That'll be a big bonus even for gamers without a 4K screen.

But this approach, unlike that of the PS4 Pro, means old games have to be checked and optimised for Xbox One X - they won't necessarily work by default. That could mean, as is the case with Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, that a small minority of games have compatibility issues. We're just speculating here, but it's a reasonable concern.

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