So, you’re thinking about picking up a Black Friday Xbox One X deal in November? The latest version of Microsoft’s current-gen console, the Xbox One, is the most powerful gaming machine you can buy that isn’t a gaming PC. It costs more than its closest rival, the PS4 Pro, but the upsides arguably make it worth spending the extra cash. Before you decide whether to buy it or hunt down a bargain or two and all the best Xbox One accessories, here’s everything you need to know.
What is the Xbox One X?
A beefed-up version of the Xbox One, basically. It takes up less space in your living room, and Microsoft has replaced the Xbox One innards with more powerful variants, so games will both load faster and will look better on your TV. It can run games in 4K resolution and supports High Dynamic Range (HDR), which allows for a richer colour pallet.
You’ll need a TV that supports both if you want to take full advantage, but even if you only have a 1080p TV, you’ll notice smoother performance. Unlike the standard Xbox One X (and the PS4 Pro), it comes with a 4K HDR Blu-ray drive that will really make your favourite films and TV series pop.
Those extra bells and whistles come at a hefty price: it’s at least $250 dollars more expensive than the regular Xbox One, and as much as $200 more expensive than the Xbox One S, another iteration of Microsoft’s console.
What Xbox One X games can I play right now?
It doesn’t have as many blockbuster exclusives as the PS4, and almost all its exclusives can be played on PC as part of Microsoft’s Play Anywhere service, so they’re more “console exclusives” than true exclusives. The notable exceptions are Halo 5 and Sunset Overdrive, which aren’t available on PC.
One of the Xbox One’s best features also runs over to the Xbox One X: backwards compatibility. That means it can play games from the Xbox 360 and even some from the original Xbox, and it’s as easy as popping in your old disk. It’s something the PS4 doesn’t have. Highlights include the Mass Effect trilogy, the original Red Dead Redemption and Halo: Reach.
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What Xbox One X games are on the way?
As the most powerful games console, the Xbox One X will make 2019’s biggest releases including Anthem, The Division 2, Rage 2, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Skull and Bones look absolutely stunning.
The next year is also set to be a solid one for Xbox One exclusives: with huge titles like Gears 5 and Crackdown 3 due up alongside smaller budget games such as Tunic and Ori & The Will of the Wisps, the Xbox One X 2019 lineup is looking equally impressive as the the PS4 Pro, if not more so.
There’s still no news on when Halo Infinite is coming, sadly so that might be more than a year out.
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How much is an Xbox One X?
The official price for the Xbox One X is an eye-watering $500/£450, but you can usually find deals that knock anywhere from $50 to $100 off that price. For example, it’s on sale for $400 at Walmart right now - a heavy discount. Price cuts in UK stores are less frequent than in the US.
Instead of just buying the console, you should consider buying a bundle with the Xbox One X and one of more games that you plan on playing. You’ll normally find bundles with the latest releases, and some will even throw in three-month membership to Xbox Live Gold, Microsoft’s premium online service.
How long before the next Xbox comes out - Xbox Project Scarlett?
Microsoft has, unsurprisingly, confirmed it’s working on a next-gen console, but has provided little-to-no detail on it. Insiders have claimed that it’s codenamed the Xbox Project Scarlett, and that it’ll be out in 2020 - but for now, that remains speculation. You’ll still get a good few years out of the Xbox One X yet.
Conclusion - Should you buy an Xbox One X?
Simply put, the Xbox One X is the most powerful games console you can buy. Its upgraded CPU, graphics card and RAM means games will look better and run smoother on it than on any other machine apart from a gaming PC. If you want maximum performance, this is the console you want - just make sure you have one of the best 4K TVs for gaming.
Because of its backwards compatibility, it’s also perfect for you if you’ve always played on Microsoft consoles and you have a collection of Xbox 360 and Xbox games.
The high price will put some people off, and at $250 more than the regular Xbox One, it’s worth asking yourself if it’s worth settling for a less powerful setup. It’s also more expensive than the PS4 Pro, Sony’s most powerful console, which arguably boasts a better library of exclusives. Currently, unlike the PS4, it doesn’t support a virtual reality headset - although that will probably change at some point in the future.