Xbox One Ten review: Still the nigh powerful console
“The abominable Xbox One X is the best way to play console games.”
- Improves performance for all games
- Xbox One X Enhanced games expect and run astonishing
- 4K UHD Blu-Ray player
- Sleek design
- Very piece of cake to use
- 4K recording options are express
- Timeliness of Xbox One Enhanced patches is unclear
- Performance improvements tin be unpredictable in not-Enhanced games
This review was last updated by Digital Trends contributor Cody Perez on 5/15/2020.
When Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One X, an upgraded version of the Xbox Ane with an intimidating $500 price tag, it claimed the new hardware would exist “the about powerful panel ever made.” Years later on, with the console in hand, nosotros tin confirm that the Xbox I Ten makes skilful on that promise. Well, at least until the Xbox Series X comes out later this yr, that is. Nonetheless, power on its own doesn’t always translate to improvements. Both loyal Xbox fans and potential PS4-owning converts are itching to know – does the most powerful Xbox truly meliorate games new and quondam?
Short answer? It does.
Every game we’ve played, whether it received an “Xbox I X Enhanced” patch or non, delivered a noticeable performance boost over the Xbox One and Xbox One Due south. It does this regardless of your setup — though the proceeds is most noticeable if you lot have a 4K HDR10 TV.
While games look and run ameliorate, though, the differences are not then vast that y’all can’t live without them. Similar its PlayStation counterpart, the PS4 Pro, it caters to gamers who simply can’t tolerate a second-all-time experience. Still, the Xbox One Ten is now the best console for virtually multi-platform games in terms of power until the adjacent-generation comes.
Inside the black box
The Xbox One X is a refinement of the Xbox One design. It is, as Microsoft has pointed out many times, 40 percent smaller than the original Xbox Ane. It’s roughly the same size every bit the Xbox One Southward, admitting a chip denser at 8.4 pounds. Don’t let the “twoscore percent smaller” figure fool you, though. Sony’south PlayStation 4 Pro is about the same size, and the PS4 Slim is smaller nevertheless.
We prefer the matte black terminate of the Xbox I X to the white Xbox One Due south, which tends to show more wear over fourth dimension. We also prefer its fan placement. The sides of the device are covered with small, subtle air holes, every bit opposed to the 1 S, which had numerous big fan holes over half of its casing. That should make the Xbox I X easier to stack with other devices without restricting airflow.
Les Shu/Digital Trends
Y’all’re not going to buy the Xbox One X considering of how it looks, though. As reported, the Xbox One X has the most impressive console hardware to engagement. Information technology features an eight-core two.3 GHz x86 CPU, a custom AMD GPU that can crank out 6 teraflops, and 12 GB of DDR5 RAM. Fifty-fifty compared to the PS4 Pro, that’s a lot of graphics processing power. The Pro, which is far more powerful than the standard PS4, has a GPU that computes 4.ii TFLOPS and “just” 8GB of RAM.
The merely disappointing hardware in the Xbox One 10 is its terabyte difficult drive. Having double the infinite of the standard Xbox 1 model is an improvement, but it’s still not plenty storage for anyone who buys games online often. Fifty-fifty if you’re just downloading the Xbox Live Games with Gold, the publisher provides every calendar month, well-nigh players volition fill up that hard drive up in no time. Worse, 4K assets and uncompressed sound files can inflate the file sizes of games — we’ve recently seen several games easily interruption the 100GB marker — then it’due south off-white to say that a few big games will eat up that drive infinite pretty quick.
Still a solid abode theater device
The One X keeps all the ports from the Xbox One S, and for players who prefer to buy games at the store, it has a 4K UHD Blu-Ray histrion. The console has HDMI in and out, in case y’all want to filter your TV service through the Xbox and use Cortana to change channels instead of your remote. This feature works exactly as it does on the One S – and nosotros even so adopt a remote. You’ll too find iii USB iii.0 ports — two in back, i in front — which may come up in handy if you want to have reward of the console’s recently added mouse and keyboard support or connect an external hard drive to store more games. Lastly, there are IR-out and S/PDIF ports for advanced surround sound setups and, of course, a good one-time fashioned Ethernet port.
Every game runs at least a picayune better on an Xbox One X.
Many of the features higher up don’t contribute directly to games, just they tin can be useful for your home theater setup. We liked how the Xbox Ane S could serve equally a 4K UHD Blu-Ray player, game console, and TV streaming box all at in one case. And the Xbox Ane X can practise the aforementioned. 4K Blu-Ray and HDMI pass-through are features you won’t find on whatsoever PS4.
The console too supports avant-garde environs sound options, such as Dolby Atmos. Atmos, which bounces audio off the walls and ceiling to brand simulate the effect of sound traveling, can exist spectacular, only an Atmos surround audio system is extremely expensive. At that place are headphones, including gaming headsets, which simulate the experience, but they are rare.
Like the Xbox I S, the Ane X does not accept a defended Kinect port. Players upgrading from an original Xbox One tin can yet use information technology, but you must purchase a Kinect-USB connector. It’s a small, but noticeable inconvenience for upgrading Xbox One players. Microsoft has already ended production of the Kinect, so the port’due south absenteeism isn’t surprising.
Xbox 1 Enhances, but some games more others
What does all the power exercise to make your video games better?
First affair’s commencement; the games that show the most improvement are those where developers put in extra fourth dimension and optimized for the hardware. These games, which Microsoft brands equally Xbox One Enhanced, evidence off the panel’s maximum potential. Primarily, that means running at 4K resolution in loftier dynamic range (HDR) without any toll on the game’southward framerate. All the Xbox One Enhanced Games we played showed large improvements in visual fidelity and a smoother framerate. At a time when it feels like bugs and performance issues are dragging games down, seeing games run ameliorate than before is gratifying.
Les Shu/Digital Trends
Microsoft has announced over 100 current and upcoming games that have, or volition have, Xbox One X Enhanced patches. While nosotros accept a handy list of Enhanced games that are already out, Microsoft allows you to filter your games list just to show your Xbox I Ten Enhanced games. It may not help you decide what to play, but it’s a nice touch, especially for new owners who want to put the console through its paces.
Gears of State of war 4, one of a few games we had admission to that received an Xbox One Enhanced patch ahead of the console’south launch, we found that the game looked considerably sharper on the Ane X, even compared to the 4K upscaling of the Xbox Ane Southward. We found that non-essential details in the environment, including brick walls and trees, retained their sharpness fifty-fifty when nosotros weren’t near them. JD Fenix’s confront, which normally features tremendous detail in cutscenes and when seen up close, retained its definition in combat sequences, where the game’south camera pulled further abroad.
The new console’south increased fidelity can change how you experience games in unexpected ways.
Super Lucky’s Tale, an Xbox Ane console exclusive accommodation of the Oculus Rift’s 3D platformer that launches alongside the One 10, does not feature a high level of detail, only simply runs sharp with an incredibly high and smooth framerate. Information technology runs the style all games should run, without any hitching, stuttering, or quirks. To be fair, office of this is just that the game is well-made. Is isn’t equally if there were substantial issues on other Xbox I models — rather, the One Ten maximizes the game’s colorful, cartoon aesthetic.
The new console’due south increased fidelity can change how yous feel games in unexpected ways. In one section of
Gears 4, we looked up at the moonlit heaven and noticed that not only was the moon brighter and more than detailed than it was on the Xbox I S, merely nosotros could see wisps of calorie-free and energy around it. The
Gears of War
franchise takes place on a fictional, World-similar planet chosen Sera. When we played the game for the kickoff time, we paid no attention to that fact — but with the increased fidelity of the Xbox I Ten, the game felt more similar a fully realized world.
X gonna’ requite it to ‘ya
Every game runs at least a trivial better on an Xbox 1 X. Fifty-fifty games that weren’t Xbox One 10 optimized, running at 1080p on a not-UHD monitor, ran a niggling better on the 1 Ten than the One Due south. You lot might think that’due south obvious, but it’s far from a given. Even with its general “boost” style, which was added months later launch, the do good of the PS4 Pro is largely relegated to games optimized for the platform, and ofttimes those benefits are most visible only on a 4K screen. The Xbox Ane X does what virtually players expect from a more powerful device. It automatically uses that ability to run games better.
Les Shu/Digital Trends
In that location’s a catch, though. The way a games’ operation improved, especially when playing on a 1080p Telly, varies from title to title. For instance,
DOOM featured slightly improved visuals and almost imperceptibly shorter load times. Yet even on a monitor without HDR, the colors and lighting in
Destiny 2 showed brighter, highlighting details on my ship more than clearly.
too featured a smoother framerate on a 4K Tv set, compared to the 4K-upscaled visuals of the Xbox One Southward. Nearly games we tried featured one or two of the following – sharper visuals, an improved framerate, or slightly improved load times.
Would you rather buy the console with the greatest games or the console that helps not bad games play their all-time?
Simplicity is both a blessing and a curse. If you have a 4K HDR10 TV with a 60Hz refresh rate, the console will automatically detect and adjust your settings. On a system level, though, there are no options to adjust or optimize how the console uses its extra power. Especially for not-4K players, the ability to choose between improving fidelity, smoothing out a framerate, or minimizing load times, would be benign.
Since the PS4 Pro launched in 2016, some games accept added additional options similar these. None of the 10+ games we played on the console showed such options, though not all of them had received “Xbox One Ten Enhanced” patches, which would presumably add together those features.
4K video capture is possible, simply not easy to share
In add-on to playing games, the Xbox One X allows y’all to capture screenshots and tape 30-second video clips in 4K. While information technology’s a nice touch, the functionality feels extremely limited. Video clips taken in 4K show up at a lower resolution when you postal service them to Xbox Alive. You tin set your screenshots and videos to tape directly to an external difficult drive, but the drive must be NTFS-formatted, which means y’all cannot shop your clips and videos on the same external that y’all’d utilize to store boosted Xbox 1 games.
In other words, recording gameplay in 4K is primarily a feature for tech-savvy owners who are willing to take the extra steps necessary to get their loftier-resolution gameplay online.
The Xbox One 10 is the all-time console for playing popular multi-platform games. While the $500 price is hard to accept, the hardware is impressive enough to arrive feel similar money well spent, and information technology is regularly on sale for much, much less than that these days with the launch of the Xbox Series X coming soon.
Still, when we expect at the gamers about likely to buy it — players who already ain a game panel — it becomes a tougher sell. There are no Xbox 1 X-sectional games, and the console’s greatest force is connected to an expensive peripheral: a 4K idiot box.
While we tin can absolutely recommend the Xbox One 10 over the $400 PS4 Pro on a hardware level, the PlayStation 4 platform offers a much larger number of exclusives, including some of our favorite games of the year. Past contrast, Microsoft’s first-party software output seems to have declined in recent years.
Ultimately, the Xbox One Ten presents an interesting contraction for serious gamers. Would you rather purchase the panel with the greatest games or the panel that helps great games play their all-time? Information technology’s a pick that console gamers have never had to make.
Is at that place a improve alternative?
Non at this time, as nosotros are still waiting for the release of the Xbox Serial 10 and PS5. Until then, Xbox One X provides the best technical feel of any game console. If y’all’re willing to invest in a high-end gaming PC, that has its advantages, but it’s also more complicated.
How long will information technology last?
The original Xbox Ane remains relevant even subsequently the Xbox 1 X is introduced. That said, the Xbox Series 10 is still set to release afterwards this year. Fortunately, nearly all games are expected to be compatible with the Xbox Series X for at least the offset year the new generation is out. Nonetheless, time is ticking on when the Xbox One X volition be not worth information technology with how backwards compatible the upcoming consoles are.
Should you purchase information technology?
Yeah, if you don’t have a panel this generation. The Xbox One X is regularly on sale, with a price that is easily justified past incredible performance, a wide set of features, and a massive library. That said, the Xbox Series X is coming later this year and will exist compatible with most, if non all, Xbox One games, and so you might be better off waiting for it or the PS5.
This article was last updated past Digital Trends contributor Cody Perez on May 11, 2020.
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