The Xbox One X has been met with a bit of bemusement by Australian gaming hobbyists so far. First we couldn’t pre-order the machine but could instead go on a waitlist. Then it was announced that the unit was cost Aussie punters a whopping $649.95 AUD. Then pre-orders for the machine finally opened but the amount of available units was extremely limited and they sold out quickly. The question, however, remains: what the hell is the Xbox One X and what will it do for me that my launch model won’t?
Is it really that much smaller? It is. The first thing your Xbox One X has over your launch model Xbox One is that it takes up a fraction of the space. Smaller than the launch model by almost two thirds, the design of the Xbox One X is quite similar to that of the more recent Xbox One S, but a little thinner and a little flatter. That it can be as powerful as it is and still be so compact is an indicator of how Microsoft’s design ethos for the system has changed internally since Don Mattrick was in charge of the project.
Can I still use my old controllers? I include this in the piece because this is the sort of question that would come up a lot when I used to work for Unnamed Video Game Retailer a little under a decade ago. The controller has not changed. This is great because it means you can just pick up where you left off and all your old ones will still work just fine. Win win.
Will I have to redownload all my games on launch day? Mercifully, no. It’s actually really easy to get your current device ready for the Xbox One X launch. There’s a menu option on your current console that will walk you through getting your games 4K ready (if available) and backing them up to an external drive, step by step, so everything is ready to restore to the new device on the day.
Will my current Xbox One games library work on the Xbox One X? Yep! All the games you’ve collected for your Xbox One will be playable on the Xbox One X, however only some of them will be truly enhanced by the Xbox One X hardware. You can view the full list of titles that will take advantage of the new hardware via this handy post from Windows Central.
Where’s my backwards compatibility, dammit? Good news! Games from every era of the Xbox library will be playable on your Xbox One X. A 400-strong raft of titles from the original Xbox console and the Xbox 360 are ready to go right away on the new machine.
I can’t afford an Xbox One X. Is my launch model Xbone being left behind? Thankfully, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Microsoft states that they intend to maintain support for previous two models of Xbox One hardware. This means every new game coming to the XBO library will still run perfectly on the launch hardware. If you want the best possible experience while playing them, however, the Xbox One X is the machine you want.
I was promised faster load times. Are they? Felt like it! Without much basis for comparison on the newer and unreleased titles I tried, older titles like Rise of the Tomb Raider and Quantum Break certainly felt like they were loading in quicker than I remembered.
Can I get it in colours other than black? Not yet. We’re tipping there’ll be all sorts of limited edition and commemorative consoles in the future but on launch there will only be the standard black version you can see in our header image. We’re sure this won’t trouble you too much, it’s a pretty nice design.
Okay but I don’t have a 4K HDR tv yet! That’s okay, not that many people do tbh. Games that are enhanced for Xbox One X will still output in 1080p for those on Full HD screens AND they’ll run much more smoothly than on the older hardware.
What’s this Mixer thing about? Mixer is Microsoft’s new game streaming service. Basically, Mixer will function as Xbox’s own in-house version of Twitch. it boasts a feature called FTL (or Faster Than Light) communication, which sounds a bit wanky. What isn’t wanky is what FTL gets you which is instantaneous streaming rather than the 15-20 second delay offered by platforms like Twitch. Time’s going to tell on how Mixer will be recieved by the Xbox community but on paper, it seems pretty tight.
One more thing …
How about that Minecraft themed console? We actually kind of wish this one was coming in an Xbox One X model because after getting a good look at it … we have to be honest, its actually really nice.