A week with Xbox One X: Five perspectives, one beastly console

Xbox One X
Xbox One X (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft's Xbox One X recently hit store shelves across the globe, delivering an improved level of graphical potential to the console family. While maintaining compatibility with the existing Xbox One library, 4K resolution, HDR output, and other visual improvements are all among its capabilities, with superior versions of experiences frequently delivered on the device. As the most powerful console on the market at launch, the Xbox One X undeniably shows a lot of potential.

With a week having passed since launch, our team at Windows Central has had the opportunity to spend some extensive time with the console. Getting a chance to fully experience the new hardware, it's now clearer what Microsoft has achieved for its launch week – as well as what's to come for early adopters. We've rounded up some early opinions of our editorial team, seven days after the console's public debut.

Jez Corden, Xbox senior editor

Assassin's Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed Origins (Image credit: Ubisoft)

The Xbox One X has exceeded my expectations as someone who didn't really believe in the quality boost 4K and HDR would deliver. Games like Assassin's Creed Origins and Battlefront II are simply impossible to play on a base Xbox One after playing in 4K, even with my super-cheap 4K TV. I can only imagine how stunning it must look on a higher-end QLED or OLED, and it's certainly something I'll be saving up for in the future.With the Xbox One X, Microsoft has solved the power disparity between Xbox and PlayStation, delivering a $500 box that is comparable to higher-end gaming PCs and laptops. Hopefully, Microsoft will now turn its attention to their oft-criticized first-party line-up, but in the interim, I'll rest assured that the support from third-party game developers will continue delivering the most stunning gaming experiences on consoles, right here on the X.

Matt Brown, Xbox editor

Unlike other major console launches over the years, the Xbox One X launch admittedly felt a little underwhelming as it passed. With the same games and platform, the console didn't have anything overly flashy backing its arrival. Just the promise of leading hardware in the console space and the software to back it. And that's not necessarily a complaint with the console – Microsoft has been keen stress the device as an extension of the current generation, not a reboot.In my time with the Xbox One X, almost every promise of the console has emerged true. The Xbox family finally has a device that matches up against competing platforms and improvements have been made wherever features have seen changes. It's a black box that does exactly what it says – delivers improvements across the board to your existing Xbox One games. Although the console could've been backed by a larger offering of first-party games, it's great to see widespread support from developers worldwide.If any feature of the Xbox One X was a surprise after set-up, it'd undeniably be supersampling for lower-resolution displays, which was only scarcely marketed by Microsoft leading up to launch. Don't get me wrong, 4K is obviously the way to get the full experience, however, don't be so quick to dismiss the Xbox One X as a 1080p gamer. After briefly returning to my Xbox One S to test Star Wars Battlefront II, the difference is staggering (ew, so blurry).

Zac Bowden, senior editor

Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5: Guardians (Image credit: Microsoft)

I am really liking the Xbox One X, but for reasons I didn't think I would. Before it launched, I was all over the idea of getting the console for its 4K capabilities, but now I have it, I actually prefer the games that offer an option to run at a lower resolution with higher framerates. 1080p or 1440p at 60FPS is mind-blowingly good, along with the updated textures that the Xbox One X offers.Of course, 4K 60FPS is what most developers should be aiming for, however sub-4K at 60FPS is also good enough for me. I much prefer a lower-resolution game if it means I'm getting a higher framerate. Halo 5: Guardians is my example of a perfect Xbox One X game, increasing visuals to 4K while also maintaining 60fps. I hope more games achieve this down the line.I'm also really enjoying the added performance gains when loading games, using the dashboard and multitasking between apps and games. I do wish the console had launched with a 2TB model too, however, as I upgraded from a 2TB One S. Going back to 1TB from 2TB is hard, and considering "Xbox One X Enhanced" games are bigger than normal, you're getting fewer games on an even smaller hard drive. That sucks.

Richard Devine, reviews editor

I probably shouldn't have bought an Xbox One X, at least, not if I was being sensible, because I have no real intentions of playing it on a 4K display.Am I mad? Maybe, but the Xbox One X offers more than just more pixels on the screen. Improved textures, frame rates, and general performance are all something I've experienced. Case in point: F1 2017 no longer tears on the Xbox One X while keeping to 60FPS. More power. Better results.What surprises me the most is how quiet it is considering what's inside and the lack of space for air to flow. Even at 1080p my PC will spool up and sound like a jet fighter in a demanding game, the Xbox One X has so far barely been above a whisper.The library of enhanced games is pretty good, and there are some of my personal favorites in there like Forza Motorsport 7 and Project Cars 2, but I am a little disappointed there wasn't a blockbuster from Microsoft to launch it with. Maybe that should have been Forza 7, but right now it's mostly games I've already played that's showing it off the best. That's disappointing, but the One X is also a long-term investment. I eagerly await what 2018 brings to this little black box.

Al Sacco, managing editor

So I'm a total and complete Xbox newb. The last time I played an Xbox game before this past week was in the early 2000s. But as soon as I unboxed my Xbox One X, I had a sort of visceral reaction to it. I got the Project Scorpio Edition, and this thing is great looking. It's sleek with sharp lines and understated Project Scorpio branding. And it fits into my home entertainment center perfectly and matches all my other black components. I had a silver DVD player and a gray Blu-ray player that really stood out, even though I never noticed that until I replaced them with the Xbox One X, which plays DVDs and Blu-rays. So my One X not only looks great, it helped me clean up some clutter in my living room.The only games I've played so far are Super Lucky's Tale (I dig it) and Mega Man 9 (I used to love those games). So I don't have too much to say about the gaming side of things. But I rented the new Spider-Man: Homecoming flick, and the video and sound quality were amazing — notably better than my generations-old Apple TV, which I had been using as my main streaming box. I'm super impressed with the One X as a set-top streaming box so far, and I hadn't even considered that when I purchased it. I even have my cable running through it now.I really wish the One X came with a media remote, though, because using the controller to navigate movies and TV isn't ideal. I know, I know, Microsoft makes one. But for $500 bucks, it would have been nice to see the remote ship with the console. I already ordered a PDP Talon Media Remote for Xbox One, though, because I hear it's much better than Microsoft's option.

What do you think of the Xbox One X?

If you picked up an Xbox One X on launch, we want to hear your impressions over the launch week. Are you happy with the $499 investment? What do you think could be improved? Make sure to drop your thoughts in the comments.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.