Gamers have been hearing about Xbox One X, formerly known as Project Scorpio, since summer last year. Great anticipation has come with every new detail learned about the system. Yesterday, Microsoft finally detailed their newest and most powerful console, Xbox One X. The display Microsoft put on for Xbox One X was indeed very, very good, but it was not great and it’s all because of price and games.
Xbox One X is quite the hardware achievement for Microsoft and the visuals gamers will witness will likely be exceptional. The system will be backwards compatible with all Xbox One games players currently own. This was great to hear, though it felt like a formality as Microsoft would have been crazy not to allow that to happen.
Backwards Compatibility has been an incredibly great benefit to Xbox One owners. The addition of Xbox 360 titles has bolstered the already strong library of games for Xbox. The company is taking Backwards Compatibility a step further by bringing original Xbox games to Xbox One.
This is a wonderful piece of news for gamers and will again add great benefit to being an Xbox One owner. Will this mean free original Xbox games for Games With Gold? Microsoft has done a fine job of providing peripheral benefits to owning its console. They have done a nice job of making the system about more than just the exclusive games you can play, something Sony hasn’t done as good of a job of doing.
Microsoft showed off a number of exciting, upcoming games from third parties as well as many of their own. A new Ori was confirmed, plus Crackdown 3 and Forza Motorsport 7 are confirmed to be releasing this year. State of Decay 2 and Sea of Thieves will both release during the early part of 2018. Ubisoft’s epic series Assassin’s Creed Origins is coming this Oct. 27, while Metro: Exodus launches in 2018. Finally, EA closed the show with an incredible demo of the upcoming game Anthem.
While all of these games were incredible to see and are very exciting, Microsoft lacked that killer blow. For the most part, all of the Xbox One exclusives we saw, we knew were coming. None of them really added a ton of pop to what folks already had in mind. When you have a conference as important as this one and you don’t have any real major surprises, it does feel like a minor let down.
Besides, it felt a little weird to see Microsoft close the Xbox One X show with a multi-platform title. Wouldn’t it have been more advantageous to show off a gameplay demo of an Xbox One exclusive? Don’t get me wrong, Anthem‘s demo is amazing. However, it is the Xbox briefing, not EA Play. The firm should have closed with a demo for Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2 or even a teaser for the next Halo. Closing your crucial show with a game that’ll release on PS4 just felt a little off to me.
Now, I’m not trying to be snobby about the games we saw. The games shown off were and are incredibly exciting, and the event has me ready for what’s coming this fall and beyond. But all of this fits into the small, yet essential detail of Xbox One X, its price. Microsoft seems to not have learned their lesson about price and the public’s reaction to it.
Xbox One X is going to be launching with the price of $499. I understand it’s the most powerful console ever made and all of that. However, when Sony debuts PS4 Pro at $399 last year, albeit the system is underpowered, it still feels like an horribly missed opportunity for Microsoft.
Had the company come right out and said Xbox One X is launching at $399, I guarantee you gamers’ reactions would have been over the moon. Sure, this might mean selling the console at a loss, but in order to get people completely amped for this new system, $399 would have been the way to go.
The price of $499 is still reasonable compared to some of the $599 and $699 numbers people were throwing out. But again, the games that were shown off didn’t have enough umph to compensate for the slightly disappointing feel of $499.
Something current Xbox One owners should think about is the fact that the $499 price tag will likely be less. Odds are, you will not want to have two Xbox One systems, so when you trade in your base Xbox One, you’ll gain value there. I’m betting a trade-in will drop Xbox One X into the $399 range or even lower.
I will say Microsoft has done a nice job of lining up a small handful of exciting exclusives that will release during the first six months or so of Xbox One X’s life-cycle. Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, Forza Motorsport 7 and State of Decay 2 will be excellent debut titles for the system.
Overall, I am happy with what Microsoft is bringing to Xbox One X. Was their showing perfect by any measure? No, it was not. But the slate of games and value Xbox One continues to deliver gamers is outstanding. Backwards Compatibility continues to be an advantage Xbox One holds over PS4, and the addition of original Xbox games makes that even more true.
If you are going to be jumping into the mid-generation hardware upgrades with either an Xbox One X or PS4 Pro, the former still feels like the way to go. We’ll see how things shake out and what sorts of offers Microsoft can string together to make Xbox One X’s price less intimidating. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Xbox One X.
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