Viewpoint: Why I’m worried about the Xbox One X

Now before I start, I want to make something very clear: I’m a huge Xbox supporter. I’ve followed them since the beginning, since the times when Halo was just becoming a thing. I have lost many, many hours to gaming on the Xbox family of consoles, sometimes almost religiously. I have a ridiculously large Gamerscore that is way too important to me. I live and breathe Xbox basically. However, I would be lying if I said that I was confident about the upcoming Xbox One X.

I’m worried for several reasons, but the biggest is the price of the machine. At $499, Microsoft will have to pray to the gods to get this console sold in any meaningful numbers. I understand that it will be ‘the most powerful console’ on the planet. I understand that it offers ‘true 4K’ – but that’s not enough. Very few people are going to be interested in a console launching at that price, no matter the power. Further to this, the original Xbox One launched at the same price, and look where that got Microsoft.

So what about the games? A new console launching at that price should have a few big hitters to convince people to jump in right? Nope. Sorry, but a shinier Forza 7 isn’t enough to make me want to spend $499. I love Forza, but it isn’t enough. I’ll get the regular version of the game on the Xbox One S, thanks. What about a new Halo game to really push the machine and entice gamers in? Nope. No sign of it. A huge mistake by Microsoft. As for third-party games like Assassin’s Creed Origins and Anthem, they look great, but they’re the same games on other platforms looking slightly better. It’s not enough to make me want to splash, like I did with the Nintendo Switch, because of the fact it offered something different. (My first Nintendo console by the way!).

This is the console to beat

That brings me nicely to my next point. I possess a very powerful PC that can push almost all of the modern games to their limits. That’s the system I go to when I really want to see my games looking prettier than ever. And it’s glorious. The Xbox One X therefore, seems oddly placed to me. Why would I play games on there, when they would look better on my PC? That’s not to mention that almost all PC games are cheaper in the first place. So that leaves us with exclusives being the key reason why anyone would purchase the Xbox One X. Well, as we’ve already discussed, the exclusives don’t really exist. At least not yet. By the time they’re ready, surely we’ll be looking ahead to the next Xbox anyway?

There’s no doubt in my mind that Microsoft is proud of the Xbox One X. It’s a machine they’ve created for hardcore console gamers. But I can’t help but feel it’s more a response to Sony and their (largely pointless) PS4 Pro than anything else. It seems that the claim to have ‘the most powerful console’ on the planet was the goal, without much thought on how that was actually going to be sold. The Xbox 360 was a great console, but it had very little to do with its power. It was the amazing games and the great price that helped to make it such a beloved console. No killer exclusives and a very high price are major deal-breakers for any console, ‘midlife’ upgrades or not. The whole console is redundant before it’s even been released in my opinion, and I don’t like to say that at all. As someone who loves the Xbox family, I’m pretty worried that this is going to be a failed attempt, pushing Microsoft even further back in relevance.

What do you think?