With the launch of the new console from Microsoft the Xbox One X out today, I was lucky to go to my local Game store (Maidstone in Kent) in the UK, for the launch of the new console. The store was very busy for a launch for a new console.
The first thing you’ll notice after firing up the Xbox One X is how quick and smooth everything feels. The Xbox dashboard can sometimes feel a little clunky, with 1-2 second delays moving between screens and the occasional freeze-up or glitch.
There’s none of that on the new machine. Navigating the user interface from tile to tile is rapid and responsive – everything seems to happen with satisfying immediacy.
Load times are also dramatically reduced. I tried out a couple of notoriously slow loaders and found that the delay between launching the game and actually getting to play it has been slashed.
With Witcher 3 takes 1 minute, 45 seconds to load on the One S – on the One X that’s been cut to 47 seconds. With the likes of Grand Theft Auto 5 is up and running in an incredible 27 seconds, down from 1.07 on the One S.
The speed boost is all well and good, but all the extra power is in there for one main reason – to produce stunning 4K graphics. And that’s where things get a bit tricky.
There will be plenty more to come, but at the time of writing there are only a handful of games that have been optimised to take advantage of the One X at full throttle, so it’s difficult to judge exactly how much of a leap forward it represents.
Assassin’s Creed Origins might be your best bet. It looks absolutely amazing in 4K. Ancient Egypt is beautifully rendered with gorgeous textures on sand and stone. It takes full advantage of HDR too – hangs around for sunset and you’ll see some stunning reds, golds and blues as the sun goes down over the desert.
Some games, such as Gears of War 4, let you choose between playing in 4K with a 30fps frame rate, or in 1080p at 60fps in “performance mode” if you prefer smoothness over increased resolution. It’s nice to have the option, and hopefully, this will become standard practice with new games for the system.