A smaller, more powerful Xbox
Announced at E3 2017, the Xbox One X is now super real. It costs AU$649 and ships November 7th. Unlike a normal generation leap, the console is being sold alongside the existing Xbox One S, which will still be supported. This is similar to Sony’s approach with PS4 Pro games that also run on PS4.
Unlike the PS4 Pro though, the Xbox One X is a big leap in performance. Microsoft put a lot of focus on native 4K gaming, including improvements to existing games.
The Xbox One X is also smaller than the less powerful Xbox One S, which was the biggest surprise from the E3 press conference. 22 console launch exclusives are coming to the Xbox One line, with first party titles also coming to Windows 10. In many ways this means home consoles are even closer to PC hardware, and that consumers will likely see some performance gaps for the older console as it continues to age. Games that run well on Xbox One X might theoretically run like junk on the Xbox One S, even if the older console is still ‘supported’.
Microsoft’s also bringing original Xbox backwards compatibility to the entire Xbox One line. As in, PS2-tier games.
Microsoft’s keynote puts Sony in a tough spot. While the PS4 Pro has failed to justify its existence, the Xbox One X is noticeably more powerful and competitive. And since Sony is unlikely to introduce new hardware, the company will now need to compete on games alone as opposed to its previous power advantage.