Accustomed to seeing everything at 1080, I was very curious to see firsthand what was behind the 4K technology, the HDR, and all those good things that promise to take the current generation to a new level. I was able to do it by the hand of Xbox One X and some of its next releases. Games that, like in the case of ‘Forza Motorsport 7’, we will speak long and lying these days.
For now it’s about focusing on the console, what it offers, how it wants to improve our way of playing, what it promises and what it delivers, whether Xbox One X is the revolution that Microsoft ensures and, at the end of the road, if that’s so important as they seem to make us believe for the Xbox future.
First impressions with Xbox One X
After seeing the console in front of me I was surprised how small it was. Even more than photos and videos. It is something less than an Xbox One S, yes, but between refrigeration, teraflops and other technical virguerías, it seems to me amazing that they could have put all that in there and that the cacharro does not take to fly.
The environment was not suitable to check if the performance caused some remarkable sound, and bringing the ear closer was not going to be useful much at a time when everything seems to make noise if you tune the ear. I did touch several of them over the course of an entire afternoon, and after being on for hours, none of them made the slightest glimpse of my fingerprints.
It is small, does not seem to be an acoustic and thermal hazard, it is beautiful and seems specially designed to be placed next to the TV. There where you can enjoy not only 4K games, but also series and movies in the same format. It is certainly a much better orchestrated assault on the room than Kinect.
However the TV, TV, we already know it. He was funny at the time and left a gap for a couple of fun jokes that have ceased to be fun with the passage of time. What a player looks for on Xbox One X, just like on any other console, are games.
The future of 4K games
He would be the first to rejoice if the current situation of the Xbox division and its consoles was a very different one. Some heads have fallen since the launch of One (hello, ‘Scalebound’), people are worried about the future of the brand, and decisions such as launching a new version of their console with a catalog of exclusive games nothing spectacular, no helps to blur that idea.
The catalog is ungraceful, by variety and number, but not the games that are included there. We have ‘Cuphead’ around the corner (finally), ‘Sea of Thieves’ sailing on the horizon,’ Forza Motorsport 7 ‘showing here and now what the new machine is capable of, and nice surprises like’ Super Lucky’s Tale ‘which, at the very least, bring some freshness to a collection of games that smelled a little bit addicted.
There was no occasion to confirm my suspicions with ‘Crackdown 3’, but to make sure that the work of a first party to take advantage of One X will not be the same as that of a third. The rest were games that, or had already tried or are not essential in the difficult task of inviting me to change console.
None of them will be fully exclusive to Xbox One, not even those under the Xbox label. Everyone is sponsored by Play Anywhere which, after all, is the first seed of doubt in the minds of those who are considering or jump to an Xbox One or take advantage of that money to improve their PC. After all, they will receive the same games. More actually. Why take risks?
At 4K we will adopt it sooner or later
The answer to that question from Microsoft is in the miracle of engineering that has given life to Xbox One X. A very powerful console able to move everything you throw if the one behind development knows what it does. A machine capable of standing before a car race and someone who sees it, and does not know what the issue is, believe that he is actually watching a recording.
Do you want to know how the experience of standing before a TV to the last playing at 4K resolution? It’s fantastic. Seriously, it’s mind-boggling, of those things that, as happened with 3D or virtual reality, it’s hard to understand if you do not have it in front of you. Bad examples, I am aware that none of them has finished taking off, but luckily for Xbox One X, sooner or later we will end up going through 4K just like we did for DVD, mp3 music or streaming series.
Without everything you need to achieve that visual zenith, without a suitable TV or sound system that takes advantage of the possibilities of Dolby Atmos, Xbox One X is just a console in which the games at 1080p look terrifically good. Perhaps also with better distances of drawing or faster loads, but it is not something that would put the hand in the fire without having realized a comparative of the same game in both formats.
Not just the same, more than one. And if I have high hopes that the work of Turn 10 or Rare will be model in that sense, I would not put my hand in the fire for a ‘FIFA 18’, a ‘War Shadows’ or any other game that did not have the Microsoft’s hand controlling their threads. That is to say, although Xbox One X already has demonstrated to me of what is able, without games endorsed by the own Microsoft I do not know what performance will make the rest of companies.
Xbox One X is a joy, but Xbox needs to react
Having been a staunch user of Xbox 360 during the past generation, and having applauded the decisions and launches that Microsoft took at that time, I would like nothing better than to offer a ray of hope to those who have bet everything for this machine.
That they will enjoy a superior quality is undeniable, but the price to pay, that of an uncertain future as far as exclusive releases is concerned, seems dangerous to Microsoft’s nearest tomorrow. Hopefully, Phil Spencer will come on stage for the next E3 and make me swallow each and every one of my words. Hopefully an iron competition with which to brake the feet to a Sony that puts the brake in its catalog of launches or ventures to raise the price of its online service because it knows that it has the fry by the handle. Hopefully.
It’s hard to find a situation so promising and, in turn, so discouraging. Would you like to have a 4K TV and enjoy the beauty of the sky, the asphalt and the cars of ‘Forza Motorsport 7’? Of course, tell me where to sign. Would you bet on Xbox One X knowing that this is the only exclusive game of 2017 in which I will be able to take the last drop of your chances? Let me first check out how well it looks at 1080p on Xbox One S.
The complicated thing comes when, not even forcing that answer to decant the balance, I am clear what my answer would be. Microsoft has not cheated us at any time, said from the first day that Xbox One X was not for those who do not have a 4K television. But I’m very concerned that just with ‘Forza 7’, ‘Crackdown 3’ and ‘Sea of Thieves’ on the horizon, Microsoft believes that its catalog is for me.