Microsoft’s Head of Operations, David McCarthy, said in an interview with gaming news site MCVUK that the Xbox One X, which is slated for release on November 7 will “feel like a premium PC experience.”
It is a bold claim because, as McCarthy admits, gamers seeking “the best of the best” in terms of hardware have always preferred the PC. Consoles were primarily for casual gamers on a budget.
Some doubt that the new Xbox will be able to match the performance of a PC, but with a wealth of experience with the software as well as the hardware of both consoles and PCs, Microsoft may be more qualified than anyone else to make a comparison between the two.
Perhaps that’s why McCarthy is so confident the hardware in the new Xbox will rival that found in a top-of-the-line gaming PC.
“If you felt as a console gamer that you had to compromise and you looked longingly at that PC space and said, ‘I want those top-end things’ – well, now you can get them [on the new Xbox],” he said.
The One X will have more processing power than any console ever made, boasting a liquid cooled, Vapor Chamber processor generally reserved for servers and high-performance PCs, gamezone.com reports.
The processor will support 60fps frame rates, which are common on PC games but which consoles have long been incapable of producing. A higher frame rate means motion will look more fluid; many learned gamers hold frame rate to be the most important benchmark by which to measure graphics performance.
The software development kit (SDK) will simplify cross-platform development and afford developers a degree of flexibility they have never had before in the console environment.
“[Developers] don’t need a unique version for Xbox One X,” McCarthy says, “…It’s been very, very straightforward for developers to get stuff up-and-running in a day or two on Xbox One X. And what’s exciting about that, for us, is that it leaves them the headroom to do what they want, whether that’s to take advantage of a 2,160 frame buffer, or push their frame rate to the absolute max.
Presumably, McCarthy means that developers can easily port games made for PC and other platforms onto Xbox One X, and then choose how they want to use the console’s powerful hardware to enhance each game. Moreover, McCarthy’s statement seems to indicate that the new console will automatically and seamlessly boost the performance and the look of its predecessor’s games (Microsoft has announced that Xbox One games will be playable on Xbox One X).
New games are also being developed for the Xbox One X; many will be exclusive to the new console. Microsoft showcased 42 Xbox One X games at E3. Most of those games feature extensive multiplayer gameplay and little or no single player options.
In contrast, the bulk of Sony’s PS4 exclusives are primarily single-player and narrative driven.
Competition in the console space has been tepid lately, as the PS4 has dominated the present generation of console gaming. As of January, over 55,000,000 PS4s had been sold, as opposed to about 28,000,000 Xbox Ones.
The significant improvements Microsoft is making in the hardware of its Xbox One X will certainly bring the company back into contention in the console gaming market. If the claims McCarthy has made prove true, November’s Xbox could become a viable option for hardcore gamers who never would have dreamed of buying a console.
If Xbox One X captures that market, other console makers will be forced to keep step, and, for the first time in years, the console sector will become a hotbed of competition.