It's the question we always ask ourselves whenever some new shiny technology comes out. The same is going to be true of the Xbox One X, Microsoft and the world's most powerful games console.
If you already have an Xbox One console then it's a serious question to ask yourself. You've spent money already, is it worth spending even more for an upgraded model? Hopefully we can help.
Xbox One X: What's different?
Compared to the other members of the Xbox One console family, the big upgrade with the Xbox One X is the sheer power of the thing. It's 40% more powerful than any other console currently on the market, and a big step up from the Xbox One S.
The center of that is the 6 teraflop custom GPU which allows the Xbox One X to provide native 4K gaming at up to 60 frames per second (FPS). The poster child for this is the new Forza Motorsport 7, an in-house effort from Microsoft that hits both of those magical numbers.
Beyond just higher resolution gaming, though, the Xbox One X and its power will allow for better quality graphics, with better textures and detail, and even folks not gaming at 4K will see the benefit.
If you're thinking of getting an Xbox One X then its graphical capabilities are probably high on the list. Other things to note are that it still has an internal power supply, like the Xbox One S, and the whole package is even smaller than Microsoft's 2016 iteration on the Xbox One console.
Doesn't the Xbox One S do 4K?
Yes and no. The Xbox One S can push 4K video, but it cannot play games at 4K. The Xbox One S is equipped with a 4K UHD Blu-ray player and is capable of streaming 4K video from online sources like Netflix and Amazon Prime. The Xbox One S also does HDR in both video and games, like the Xbox One X.
It's important to remember, too, that all Xbox One games will work on all versions of the console. You don't get any exclusives by going for the Xbox One X, just better looking, better performing games.
If your desire for 4K doesn't really stretch to games and is more geared towards movies and TV content, the Xbox One X may well be overkill. The Xbox One S can handle that.
Should I upgrade?
If you're thinking about upgrading to the Xbox One X then it really needs to be all about the games. If you're looking for the best looking, best performing console games around then it's the one for you.
Consider the pricing as well:
- The Xbox One X will cost $499 when it goes on sale on November 7. Currently, there's only the 1TB model being discussed, but any higher capacities will naturally cost more.
- The Xbox One S has recently had a price cut and will start at $249, exactly half the price of the newer model.
If you're on an original Xbox One console and your desires for 4K don't stretch much beyond better-looking movies, the Xbox One S is the better shout. If you're in it for the games and you're OK with spending $500, then it's looking like a great buy. Even at 1080p resolution you'll get the benefits of better looking, better performing games.
You can always sell your old console, too, to narrow the gap to the asking price.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine