I don’t, so I’m not sold
A month before E3, I booked a semi-mystery appointment for Project Scorpio on the day after it’d be revealed to the world. I didn’t know the structure of the meeting (interview, hands-on, presentation, etc.), just that Scorpio, now Xbox One X, would be the focus. There’s no doubt that it’s one of the show’s more important assignments, regardless of how it’d go down.
Seated with 20-some other writers, we were shown a theater presentation for Xbox One X. It kicked off with a reiteration of the details that were revealed at the press conference, and then we saw brief overviews of Minecraft, Gears of War 4, and Forza Motorsport 7.
And it all looked great. Of course it looked great. Remember that this was a tightly-controlled environment, and anything less than great would be unacceptable based on the principles that this console is selling itself on. We were told again (multiple times, actually) that the Xbox One X is doing native 4K at 60 frames per second.
That’s what was weird about this appointment. Usually these things are meant to supplement what we already know. This one felt like it was designed to reinforce what we already know. Like it was an effort to convince us that the product works, which, yeah, that makes sense. Media approval helps drive pre-orders, right?
My real takeaway was that I’d be a lot more keen on Xbox One X if I had a fantastic home theater setup. The games looked genuinely great on a huge 4K screen. They sounded fantastic too; the spatial audio design had some end-of-race confetti guns in Forza booming independently on opposite sides of the room.
That’s not what I have at home, though. Far from it. I’d wager that’s the case for the majority of people. As far as resolution goes, the Xbox One X’s main benefit to me right now would be the 1080p supersampling. That would have my picture looking smoother than when it’s rendered at native 1080p.
The other significant benefit is relevant regardless of setup. It’s going to have games running better. Most Xbox One titles are capped at 30 frames per second; Xbox One X is likely going to push most of those games to 60 if the developer opts to release an enhancement patch.
The sum of it all leaves me to do a personal cost/benefit analysis. Getting an Xbox One X would sort of improve my visuals, but only marginally so. Games would mostly run at 60fps though. Is that worth dropping $500? Microsoft has five months to convince me that it is. In the meantime, Microsoft did its job at E3 in assuring me that the machine works. It’s a multi-step battle, but the easiest step is probably done.