The new, supercharged Xbox is a powerhouse, but you’ll need an expensive TV to make it worth the price.

Announced a lifetime ago in June of 2016, the Xbox One X—previously known as Project Scorpio—is finally here. And after a week or so of hands on time, here’s how it seems to be measuring up.

First thing’s first: The $500 Xbox One X is not a new Xbox, at least not in the traditional console generation sense. It plays the same games as the regular Xbox One (the latest model of which is the slim, white Xbox One s that currently goes for $240 on Amazon). But with more power under the hood, it plays them better, so long as the games are optimized to take advantage. The two big things that Xbox One X enables, for compatible games played on expensive TVS, is 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range or HDR. Otherwise, the One X can give you higher framerates and more highly detailed textures. Nice little bonuses, but nothing earth shattering.

For our tests, I used a couple of different setups. First, an Xbox One S connected to a HD 1080p monitor—the baseline of what the current Xbox One is capable of. I also tried the One X on that same monitor, to see what sort of improvements you might expect without a 4K TV. And last but not least, the Xbox One X on a big ol’ 55-inch Samsung QLED Series Q7 (which will run you about $1,600) for 4K and HDR—the best conceivable combo. I also tested a handful of compatible games but only a handful because while about 100 games are slated to get Xbox One X enhancements eventually, only about a dozen have them right now, and a decent share of those titles are old, or kind of obscure. Whatever conclusion you take away from this review, it will always be a good decision to just wait a bit and see how the library shakes out.


When it comes to show ponies, last year’s Gears of War 4—which has full 4K and HDR support or 60fps support but not both at the same time—was one of the most illustrative of what you can get out of an Xbox One X in the optimal, expensive scenario. The game supports two graphics modes: “Performance” for high framerate you can appreciate on any TV, or “Visuals” for 4K resolution, or more modest visual improvements on non-4K screens.

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