Microsoft's E3 presence was heavily dominated by the news surrounding the mysterious Project Scorpio. The new console under development finally got it's official debut (leaks and teasers not withstanding). The Xbox One X, which is it's own acronym (XB.O.X), finally brings 4k gaming to Microsoft users. Just about every piece of information, from pricing to a release date to the most fine tuned specs were released at E3.
What is 4K Gaming And Why Do I Care?
A valid question for the vast majority of us that could really care less about the resolution of our Kill Cam. Before we get into the XB.O.X's details, I want to tackle exactly why 4K gaming actually matters so much to some.
First off, 4K itself just refers to the resolution something is played back at, basically how many pixels can fit on a particular screen. The more you have in a smaller space the finer the definition. Now 4K gaming is actually a little more than just the resolution. When it comes to gaming, "4k" is pretty much used interchangeably with Ultra High Definition.
Ultra High Defenition (UHD) is bassically the combination of 4k resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR). HDR, in layman's terms, provides deeper contrast which provides more lifelike detail as well as a more "true-to-life" color gamut. More colors doesn't sound like much but I'm told technically speaking, your television doesn't even provide close to the amount of color combinations we see in real life.
For more information on what exactly 4k, UHD and HDR means from someone who actually knows what they're talking about, Gizmodo has a great article going into more detail.
But Wait The Xbox One S had 4K Gaming
No. The Xbox One S had 4K video playback. So when streaming through services like Hulu or Netflix, you could enjoy 4K video. Unfortunately players on the Xbox One S would have to hack and slash their way through the land of Skyrim in regular old HD. Game systems tend to do this. Though technically speaking, the Xbox One S was one of the first games to support UHD, it did not support "4K gaming" only video.
That's the trick with marketing these days. Even our beloved game and console makers are willing to play Jedi mind tricks on us. If you're a hardcore gamer that demands the best possible graphics, you have to check, double check and then recheck again to see if it's just 4K resolution or actual UHD and what formats it supports. It seems like a lot to go through but some of us do take it that personally!
Okay, On To The XB.O.X
I really can't get enough of the acronym, hats off to the marketing team! The Xbox One X is rightfully being totted as the worlds most powerful console to date. The game absolutely packs more power then any other console under the hood. It boasts impressive graphics capabilities and actual, true 4K video AND gaming. In addition to the impressive resolution, the XB.O.X also boats impressive frame rates with most games gunning for over 60 FPS.
In all fairness, the game system really is, from a technical perspective, the most powerful console to day. On the other hand, Microsoft really has to prove it. They did a great job showing off at E3, but a lot of critics are asking if it justifies the price tag. Weighing in at $499 (USD) the XB.O.X is $100 more than it's primary competitor, the PS4 Pro. We're talking about a 125% premium for claiming that title. Granted, the PS4 Pro really compares more to the Xbox One S (XB.O.S just isn't as cool of an acronym), the XB.O.X is kind of a league of it's own so there's a mild justification for the price premium.
To help justify the premium, Microsoft showed off 42 game titles on the 4K Gaming platform at E3, 22 with exclusivity. That should be a big help in capturing enough gamers willing to pay the premium for not only access to exclusive games, but exclusive games in UHD. At the end of the day, a lot of this is speculation. Microsoft announced a November 7, 2017 release date. Cutting it close, it is just in time for the holiday season. We will just have to wait until then to see if "the most powerful console in the world" can translate into "the most powerful console in gamers livingrooms".
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