Xbox One X hands-on preview, unboxing, release date, specs and more

Xbox One X launches in a couple of weeks. Trusted Reviews has compiled all the latest news about the artist formerly known as Project Scorpio including its specs, release date, price, games and more. We also have a hands-on preview of the console after testing a few games on the machine.

Related: PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X

Xbox One X hands-on: Worth an upgrade?

While I haven’t yet received a One X to fully test, I have had a chance to play some Xbox One X Enhanced Games on the console at various press events seeing first-hand what the additional power and visual fidelity adds to certain titles.

At a recent Xbox One X showcase, I got to play Forza Motorsport 7 and Middle Earth: Shadow of War on the One X. Both games looked absolutely stunning, primarily thanks to the incredible use of HDR bringing colours to life on the display. On a personal note, I’ve always considered HDR the real shining star over 4K as the real technical advancement, as it really makes visual spectacles pop, and Shadow of War was a great example of this. Battling in the pits of a volcano, with flowing lava causing great contrast with the dark rocks, was an incredible scene. I discuss this in much greater depth in my preview, which you can read by clicking the above link.

However, the thing is, the Xbox One S also supports HDR, making me question if the bump to 4K is significant enough for S owners to make the not-so-small investment of £449.99 to upgrade to the shiny new console. At the moment, it’s too early to tell. Once we get the console in-house and can fully test everything the console brings to games, from faster load times, prettier graphics, sharper images and everything else Microsoft has promised for both 4K and 1080p TV owners, we can deliver a more definitive verdict. For now, I very much love the idea of the One X, but am still unsure if it does enough for existing owners to make the upgrade.

Xbox One X pre-orders: when can I buy one?

You can now pre-order the Xbox One X right now! Most major retailers have the console in stock, however the recently-unveiled “Project Scorpio” edition of the console is in very limited supply, which you can check out below in a nifty trailer:

Related: Xbox One X vs Xbox One S

It maintains the £449.99 price of the standard console, meaning this is something hardcore Xbox fans will want to have in their collection.

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Amazon UK 

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Very

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Argos

Pre-order Xbox One X from Microsoft Store

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Amazon US

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Walmart

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Gamestop

Microsoft has also released an extensive list of games that will support Xbox One X upon its release later this year, including many existing Xbox One titles that are set to receive free updates going forward. At the time of writing Microsoft’s list of supported games has now surpassed 130.

Xbox One X Specs: How powerful is the Xbox One X?

Here’s a quick breakdown of all the key Xbox One X specs:

  • CPU: Eight-core 2.3GHz processor
  • GPU: 40 compute units at 1172MHz
  • RAM: 12GB GDDR5 (shared between system and GPU)
  • Bandwidth: 326GB/s
  • Storage: 1TB hard disk
  • Disc: UHD Blu-ray player
  • Video: 4K output, HDR 10 support
  • Audio: DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Atmos, PCM 2.0, 5.1, 7.1
  • Wireless: Bluetooth, dual-band Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, IR blaster
  • Connectors: 2x HDMI (2.0b out, 1.4b in), 3x USB 3.0 ports, IR out, S/PDIF, Ethernet

First, let’s look at the headline Xbox One X specs before moving onto how this will affect gaming resolution and performance.

The One X uses an eight-core processor, likely from AMD although not officially stated, running at 2.3GHz. Seasoned PC gamers might not think this sounds like a lot and, indeed, it isn’t. But keep in mind console processors are packed into an incredibly tight space, and more GHz means more heat. This is still a substantial boost over the Xbox One, whose eight cores ran at 1.75GHz.

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In the graphics department, the One X will get a GPU with 40 compute units running at a seriously impressive 1172MHz. Even more startling is the massive 12GB of GDDR5 memory, which is a handy combination of more and faster memory. This 12GB will be shared by the whole system, so some will be reserved for the CPU with the rest going to the GPU.

You’ll get a 1TB hard disk inside your Xbox One X, along with a UHD Blu-ray player. And that’s all we know.

Scroll down to bite your teeth in the Xbox One X’s performance, but first, let’s quickly address the all-important matter of its price and release date.

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Xbox One X Price and Release Date: Where can I pre-order the console?

At E3, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One X will be released on November 7 2017 – just in time to make it this year’s Christmas must-buy.

The company also divulged that it’ll be relatively affordable for such a powerful new-gen console, costing £449 in the UK and $499 in the States.

That’s huge news for those who bought an Xbox or PS4 back in 2013 and have been waiting to upgrade to the next ‘major leap’ system. That starting price also puts it close enough to the PS4 Pro, which will give potential buyers of Sony’s latest console some serious pause for thought.

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Xbox One X Performance: How does it stack up against its rivals?

The biggest way performance has been boosted over the current-gen Xbox One S is the GPU (graphics processing unit). Up from 12 compute units at 914MHz, we now have 40 cores running at 1172MHz. Cores and clock speeds don’t mean everything, so you’re not getting ten times the performance here.

But what you are getting is impressive 4.6x performance multiplier. This opens up a huge number of possibilities for developers, with ultra-high-resolution textures and 4K resolutions now a core part of the game development process.

For PC gamers who want a rough comparison to a GPU currently in the wild, the 6TFLOPs (trillion floating point operations per second) figure bandied around when the Scorpio was announced is roughly akin to Nvidia’s GTX 1070, a card that can handle 1440p and UHD gaming at a push. But there’s much more to graphics power than TFLOPs, and consoles are always much more efficient at making use of hardware than PCs.

Digital Foundry was shown a single stress test running on One X hardware, so we don’t have any information on how real games will actually run, but Microsoft has revealed a lot of details on how it will support different resolutions and graphics settings.

Related: Upcoming Xbox One Games

Still, the stress test, which is based on Forza Motorsport, ran at Ultra HD resolution at 60fps, which is an enticing prospect when you consider the One X, apparently, was only using 70% of its graphical might to do this. Microsoft then turned up the heat to higher graphics settings, and DF says the console ‘didn’t break a sweat’. What this means in reality we don’t quite know, but it all sounds very promising.

This isn’t just a console for 4K TV owners, though. Games developed for Xbox One X will have customisable graphics settings for all types of displays, so even if you only have a 1080p TV you’ll still be able to ask your One X to render everything in UHD and then downscale it to 1080p for the sharpest gaming experience you’ve ever seen. Or, for better performance, you could just amp up the graphics settings but keep the resolution at 1080p.

In other words, this is a PC in console’s clothing.

The One X will run all current Xbox One games and should improve performance, whether or not they have been updated for the new console. It runs on the same software as Xbox One, so you won’t have to buy all your games again.

Related: Best Xbox One Games

Xbox One X is VR-capable, but…

The Xbox One X is capable of running games in virtual reality, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer isn’t yet sold on the technology.

Speaking to Stevivor, Spencer says that while he’s a fan, he doesn’t feel the tech or games are quite there yet, and that will affect its availability on One X.

“I love the technology behind VR. I have an HTC Vive; I have an Oculus Rift. I’ve used the PlayStation [VR] device a lot in demos and stuff,” he said.

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“I think VR will find its spot in gaming; I would make that bet,” he continued. “We designed Scorpio as a VR-capable console. Whether that happens this year, next year or the year after… like I said, I still think the creative community has to get its arms around what are these new tools, and this new feeling – this new immersion.

“What experiences do you put in people’s hands to have a long-term engagement? Most of these things I’m playing now feel like demos and experiments, which I actually think it’s absolutely the right thing to have happened. That’s not a criticism at all. But I think it will take time.”

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Spencer believes that in order for VR to become a mainstream success, it needs to be wireless.

“In the long run, we need untethered solutions. You need to have the compute capability to not be wired to the display that’s on my head. That means I either have some kind of high-bandwidth wireless HDMI or I have compute here.

“With the HoloLens we’ve chosen to put compute in the HMD itself, so it’s right there. The other thing I think most people who look along in this technology is a mixed reality world, where I have a head-mounted display that can go from a fully enclosed, opaque world that is VR to a fully transparent one where I’m seeing augmentation in my world. I should have one device that spans both.”

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Amazon UK 

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Very

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Argos

Pre-order Xbox One X from Microsoft Store

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Amazon US

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Walmart

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Gamestop

One major VR title we’re expecting to see on Project One X is Fallout 4, which is currently in development at Bethesda. Due to launch in 2017 for HTC Vive. Pete Hines recently gave Hip Hop Gamer an update on the project, and it sounds pretty damn exciting.

“Fallout 4 VR is the most incredible thing you’ve ever seen in your life. You can’t even imagine what it’s like, playing in VR and how realistic it looks and everywhere you turn your head. It is going to blow your mind. It is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen,” game director Todd Howard told Hines.

No mention of this game was made during Microsoft’s 2017 E3 event though, so we’re not sure exactly what’s going on.

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