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Xbox One X Enhanced Games: Here's What It Means

At E3, Microsoft announced the Xbox One X, a 4K powerhouse that uses a whopping 6 teraflops of graphics power to output games in 4K with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and tons of special effects. To highlight the games that take advantage of the Xbox One X, Microsoft has released a series of badges to appear on game boxes and digital download pages to highlight what they do on the new system.

Here's what they mean when you go shopping for games:

4K Ultra HD: A game with this badge can output in 4K, either natively or through the use of checkerboarding or dynamic resolution. These titles are the ones that will take full advantage of your new 4K TV or monitor.

HDR: HDR is short for High Dynamic Range, and it promises a wider array of colors and more brightness. You'll have to make sure your 4K TV or monitor supports HDR, as well. The less powerful Xbox One S also supports HDR.

Xbox One X Enhanced: Microsoft says this means that "a developer has done special work to take advantage of Xbox One X’s 6 teraflops of power. Specific enhanced features will vary by game." So it may not always be obvious why a game is considered enhanced.

This badge can be applied retroactively to old games that have been updated, or added to new games that have used Microsoft's new developer tools. We'll have to compare games when they're released to see just how judiciously this badge is applied.

This is especially confusing because Microsoft claims all games, even those that haven't been enhanced, will still perform better on the Xbox One X compared to other Xbox One models.

We've reached out to Microsoft for a full list of enhanced titles, but we know announced games so far include Forza Motorsport 7, Resident Evil 7, Halo Wars 2 and Killer Instinct will be considered enhanced.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is an editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.