On Sunday during the Microsoft E3 conference, the Xbox One X was announced. The newest console to join the Xbox lineup claims to be the ‘most powerful console ever made’, at least according to the t-shirts given out at the conference to attendees. But while listening to the presentation and how the console was talked about, something very different seemed to emerge that hadn’t always been the case.
The Xbox One X does sport an impressive list of tech specs for a home console including 6 teraflops of GPU power, 12GB of GDDR5 RAM, a 1TB internal drive, and 4K UHD Blu-ray drive. These specs were rumored for weeks leading up to the conference; however, during the actual presentation they were mentioned but were not fixated on. On past presentations for new consoles, both Microsoft and Sony have gone to almost exhaustive detail about tech specs, to the point that anyone without a strong technical background could spit back the numbers without a clue as to what they meant in the grand scheme of things.
Past announcements have always felt like they were trying to sell the consoles to the PC gamer, pleading their technical advancements as proof that they could hang with the PC market. This was decidedly different. Part of that may be from the synergy of Xbox and Windows 10; rather than trying to steal market share, they would instead grab both markets and prove they can do both. It was a refreshing change of pace because no matter what technical advancements are made on consoles, the debate will always be that consoles are pale imitations to a fully built gaming PC. Stop trying to box a fight that you aren’t equipped to win.
The biggest rumblings about the Xbox One X is the admittedly high price. This price certainly isn’t going to lure in some wayward PC gamer to jump over as a main game-playing machine, and it may alienate console gamers from upgrading their current gen machines. The fact of the matter is that for a small form factor PC, the Xbox One X is fantastic, no one is going to be able to build something for the same quality, for just $500. With cable cutting becoming the norm, a media PC is more and more of a vital part of every modern home and it seems clear to me that Microsoft is pegging the Xbox One X as that perfect media hub in the living room.
I think there is room in the gaming landscape for consoles, handhelds, PCs, and every retro emulator under the sun. I would much rather my devices aim to be the best “of that type of device” possible rather than try to be something it will never have a chance of being. You wouldn’t hold your phone to the same expectations as your PlayStation and in that same vein, I don’t think you can hold your Xbox to the same expectations as a PC. The Xbox One X unveil was a step in the right direction in my opinion. I hope we can move more toward creating perfected versions of all of our gaming areas, be it console, PC, or mobile.