E3: Microsoft Showcases its New Console Xbox One X

Xbox One X Release

This year E3 conference has brought a significant number of surprises for people craving to see the future of gaming. The biggest one for Xbox fans would have to be the unveiling of the next revision of the Xbox One Console. The Xbox One X, formerly named Project Scorpio, was revealed at E3. This new console, boasting specifications higher than any console on the market, promises improved graphics and 4k gaming. However, will this be enough to put Microsoft ahead of the console war?

Long ago, when Microsoft dropped the ball

We all remember how Microsoft shot the Xbox One on the foot in its initial release. Not only did it have to play catch up with Sony’s earlier release of the PS4, but they also made some decisions that made its core audience, the gamers, livid. One of those decisions included the Xbox One marketed as more of an entertainment system than a gaming console. The console also lacked the same performance capabilities as the PS4 and at the same time costing $100 more. Finally, the Digital Rights Management controversy where games purchased online or retail would be permanently tied to a users gamer tag, was the straw that broke the players’ backs. Add all of these ingredients together, and you end up with a recipe for a disastrous launch.

Learning from mistakes the hard way

Thanks to their sales report and a great amount of colorful user feedback, Microsoft learned from its mistakes. This year the company released its new revision with a great deal of power under its hood. The console is the most powerful one on the market sporting an 8-core Custom AMD CPU clocked at 2.3GHz, a 6 Teraflop GPU enabling 4K gaming, and 12GBs of GDDR5 RAM. One would expect that with this beefy hardware the Xbox One X would be bulky. However, it is actually their slimmest console yet. The price tag at launch for the console is currently at $500.

Xbox One X GPU

Xbox One X GPU

Exclusives and Nostalgia

At the E3 conference, Microsoft also showcased a number games exclusive to the console. These included the long-awaited Crackdown 3, Forza 7, Anthem, Sea of Thieves and many XboxID indie titles. The popular PC MMORPG Black Desert Online is also scheduled to be released for the console. The addition of Black Desert Online is a brilliant way to showcase Xbox One X’s performance capabilities given that it requires a decent gaming desktop to play. Microsoft also announced that it would add backward compatibility with some original Xbox titles. This is a good selling point for players seeking a healthy dose of nostalgia.

Forza 7 performance on Xbox One X

Forza 7 performance on Xbox One X

Will it be enough to stay ahead?

Given the Xbox One X’s dominance when it comes to specs and its early launch, will this give Microsoft an edge in its battle against Sony? I believe that Microsoft still has to overcome one major and significant hurdle which is called exclusive titles. Compared to the PS4, the Xbox One X severely lacks on the exclusive games department. They tried to disguise this throughout the conference with the phrase “Timed Exclusive”. This pretty much means that the game will be exclusive temporarily and will eventually make its way to PC and maybe even the PS4. When deciding which console to buy, exclusive titles significantly affect the consumer’s decision. Furthermore, despite all of the Xbox One X superb specifications, only the people with a 4K TV are going to be able to appreciate its power. Furthermore, unless you’re a graphic and fps junkie, you are probably not going to want to dish out $500 for 4K gaming.

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