The Xbox One X is the most powerful console ever made. Should you buy Microsoft's powerhouse 4KHDR console or get the PS4 Pro?

By Allen Kim
November 20, 2017

Microsoft is betting big on the new Xbox One X. With enough hardware to power a high-end gaming PC, the Xbox One X is the most powerful console ever made. Microsoft and Sony have been locked in a long-rurning battle for console supremacy, and the Xbox One X could be their first step toward taking the console crown ever since the Xbox One and the PS4 were released.

For the first time we’re seeing mid-cycle upgrades as opposed to new, next-gen consoles. This change has the potential to shift the gaming landscape significantly. Instead of completely new consoles phasing out the previous generation, it will allow a wider range of consumers to adopt and stay locked into an ecosystem for much longer instead of having to start with a clean slate on a new console.

The first thing you notice when you see the Xbox One X is its smaller profile. While packed to the brim with more powerful components, it’ll take up less space on your shelf. They even managed to stuff the power supply into the chassis, and the Xbox One X is a feat of engineering and design. It is, however, noticeably heavier despite the smaller dimensions.

First and foremost, if you’re thinking of buying an Xbox One X, you must have a TV capable of taking advantage of the new Xbox’s two key features: 4K resolution and high dynamic range (HDR) color. I cannot stress the importance of having the right TV if you’re thinking of buying an Xbox One X. If you don’t have a TV capable of supporting 4K HDR, you’re better off waiting until you’re able to do so as you won’t be able to take advantage of some of the console’s best features. I was able to test the Xbox One X on a Samsung Q7 QLED TV, which was easily one of the most enjoyable TV viewing experiences I’ve ever had.

Certain games will be available in “Enhanced” versions. This could mean having all or some combination of the following enhancements: 4K resolution, HDR support or a faster framerate. Playing games with true 4K resolution and HDR support is a sight to behold — games look absolutely gorgeous. And being able to play games at 60 frames per second (FPS) was a joy, and you certainly notice the difference when you see 60 FPS compared to 30 FPS.

Even if a game does not offer an “Enhanced” version with better graphics, one of the bigger, less heralded benefits is the faster load times. In many instances, load times were cut nearly in half, which is no small feat. Slow loading screens are the bane of gamers everywhere, and these shorter loading screens were wholly appreciated.

The Xbox One X comes with a 1TB hard drive (less than 800 GB is available for you to use), and the new “Enhanced” Xbox titles take up a lot of space due to the added 4K assets, so you will more than likely need an external drive to store all of your games. Xbox One titles typically take up 40 GB of space, and the “Enhanced” titles regularly exceeded 70 GB.

Another advantage that the Xbox One X has over the PS4 Pro is the addition of a 4K Blu-ray drive, whereas the PS4 Pro has just an HD Blu-ray drive. Sure, both consoles can stream content in 4K, but 4K Blu-ray discs offer considerably better image quality. 4K Blu-ray players are not cheap and the difference in quality can make a noticeable difference compared to an HD version. Having a 4K Blu-ray built into the Xbox One X makes it a more future-proof option.

Microsoft created the most powerful console ever built and it’s not even close. The Xbox One X is significantly more powerful than the PS4 Pro and it doesn’t look like Sony will overtake them anytime soon. If you’re looking for the absolute best graphics on a console, look no further than the Xbox One X (provided by Microsoft for review). While there are still a limited number of “Enhanced” titles that take advantage of the new Xbox’s powerful hardware, that list continues to grow. Now, it’s time for Microsoft to expand their library of console exclusives.

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