Performance cuts both ways
Clearly, 30fps is an inferior gameplay experience, especially if you’re used to 60fps. Why do we have to choose between the two? Why can’t we have both?
There are certain games – like Forza Motorsport 7 – where 60 fps and 4K will be possible, but only when the Xbox One X-specific optimizations roll out.
Of course, you’ll only have to deal with this choice if you have a 4K TV. Otherwise, the benefits that an Xbox One X provides will be more limited.
The console can offer graphics boosts on a regular 1080p screen, but they’re nowhere near as apparent as the leap to 4K. Case in point: we played Gears of War 4 on an Xbox One and Xbox One X on an HDTV, but we had to look for the subtle differences by running the game side by side.
There is a bit of improvement in terms of clarity, but you have to make a conscious effort to find it. A team member actually thought the regular Xbox One version was the Xbox One X version.
Should you buy an Xbox One X?
Consoles used to be cheaper and simpler to use than gaming PCs. Buy the hardware, plug it into your TV, put in the games, then play without any complications.
This is still mostly true, but mid-generation updates like the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X make purchasing choices more complicated. Here are a few if-then statements to help you decide:
If you have a 4K TV and no Xbox One, you’ll probably benefit from buying the Xbox One X. Choosing it over the older versions means you have to spend about $250 or so more, but it lets you make the most of your fancy TV.
Besides, if you already have a 4K TV at this point, you’re probably an early adopter anyway, so go ahead and get the Xbox One X.
If you already have a 4K TV and an older Xbox, consider your budget. You’ll have to spend for another console and enjoy smaller gains. It might be smart to wait and see how many games are optimized for the Xbox One X, and wait for that one specific Xbox exclusive you can’t live without.
If you already have an Xbox One but play on a regular HDTV, skip the One X and spend the money on games instead. There are a number of them coming out during this time of the year!
Consider a PC
If you feel compelled to spend for 4K visuals and better performance, buy or build a PC instead. It’ll be a bit pricier, and you may have to do a bit of research which components perform best for your budget, but this setup will give you much better performance than the Xbox One X ever could.
- The PC has a larger games library than all the consoles combined.
- 4K monitors are cheaper than 4K TVs.
- PC games are laughably cheap when they go on sale, and these sales occur frequently. Steam, for instance, does this weekly and have massive seasonal sales.
- You can simply upgrade your PC to keep it current. This is cheaper than buying a new PC or console.
- Want to game on your couch? Connect your PC to your TV, plug in a controller, and you’re good to go.
Clearly, the Xbox One X is the best Xbox right now. If you want to keep playing console games using top-of-the-line hardware, this is the best you can do right now.
The Xbox One X, however, isn’t necessarily the best console system. We think the PS4 Pro is still king of the hill with Sony’s superior library of exclusives.
That being said, if you’ve always enjoyed the exclusive titles offered on Microsoft’s console, you can’t go wrong with the Xbox One X, especially if you meet the conditions we’ve outlined above.