Xbox One X Hands-on: Meet the New 4K Gaming King

The countdown to the Xbox One X has begun and you're probably wondering if it lives up to the hype. I had the chance to go hands-on with a dev kit of the nascent system and I have to say that I'm impressed. The system can definitely handle 4K gaming, delivering stunning visuals without so much as a stutter.

The Tiniest Xbox

My how far we've come. When the OG Xbox launched, it weighed a healthy 8.5 pounds and measured 12.5 x 4 x 10.5 inches. Fast forward to now and you've got something that isn't smaller than a breadbox, but it's definitely smaller than its predecessors. Microsoft has yet to release the One X's actual measurements, but it's definitely smaller than the One S.

Dig Those Crazy Specs!

Just to recap, Microsoft is calling the One X "the world's most powerful console." And truth be told, the company is probably right. The system is outfitted with a 1.172-GHz GPU with 6 teraflops, 12 GB of GDDR5 RAM, and a memory bandwidth of 326 GB/s. It's also the first console to feature a “liquid-cooled vapor chamber.”

I was immediately taken in by the level of character detail, like the the individual feathers of my eagle as it soared overhead. It's simply a breathtaking experience.

4K Everything!

One thing's for sure, games are definitely prettier on the One X. While the One S enhances your view with High Dynamic Range (HDR), there's nothing like playing your favorite games in 4K. I had the opportunity to play a couple of levels in Assassin's Creed: Origins on the new console. I was immediately taken in by the level of character detail, like my character's eyeliner or the scales and ridges in the crocodile pelt my target was wearing. I even saw the individual feathers of my eagle as it soared overhead scouting my enemies. It's simply a breathtaking experience.

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Despite the demands of rendering super high-resolution graphics, I didn't see any kind of tearing or stuttering. The blood flowed freely even as I was battling four warriors simultaneously.

For those desperately holding onto physical copies, the One X can play 4K Blu-Ray discs just like the One S. The new system can also stream 4K videos, which means it might be a good time to invest in that 4K Netflix subscription.

One X or Playstation 4 Pro?

So which system should get your hard-earned dollars? In terms of power, the One X beats the $399 PlayStation 4 Pro hands down. Where the One X has a 1.2-GHa GPU with12GB of high-performance memory and teraflops to spare, the PS4 Pro just increased the clock speed on the original PlayStation 4. It also has less RAM at 8GB. From gaming, to streaming to Blu-ray, the One X delivers 4K everything, whereas the PS4 Pro can't play 4K discs.

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However, the PS4 Pro does support virtual reality in the form of the PlayStation VR headset. To date, Microsoft has yet to say whether "the world's most powerful console" will be able to support any of Microsoft's upcoming VR ventures. But if I was going on power and features, my money's going with the One X. 

Bottom Line

Even though I only got to play with the dev kit, I'm excited for the Xbox One X. For $499, the system doesn't skimp on the 4K -- offering up 4K gaming, streaming and Blu-Ray capabilities as well as HDR. And to know that Microsoft managed to fit all that power into something that's small enough to sit in my entertainment center and sexy enough to deserve the privilege is definitely impressive.

Either way, I'm eager to get my hands on the real One X sooner than later.

Sherri L. Smith

Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.