Microsoft’s freshly-launched Xbox One X is a seriously powerful games console which also doubles as a premium home cinema system, thanks to its support for 4K HDR video streaming, UHD Blu-ray playback and other impressive media specs. Here’s how the One X will replace your current TV streamers and entertainment devices, plus how it compares with the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro for media chops.
Microsoft’s new Xbox One X console is an absolute demon. Billed as ’40 percent more powerful than any other console’, the One X is rammed to the nostrils with seriously strong specs. You can expect hyper-realistic visuals for your games sessions, which might get a little disturbing when ploughing through grannies in GTA and the rest.
Of course, consoles these days aren’t just a workout for your thumbs. As well as playing adrenaline-fuelled games, the likes of the Xbox and PS4 Pro can stream 4K quality movies and shows from online services like Netflix. You get built-in optical drives for enjoying UHD Blu-rays and can even plug in other streamers, to expand their functionality.
So how does the Xbox One X stack up as a home entertainment centre and is it better than the One S and Sony’s PS4 Pro? Here’s all you need to know.
Xbox One X vs One S vs PS4 Pro: 4K video streaming
Like the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro before it, Microsoft’s shiny new console can of course stream video in up to 4K Ultra HD resolution. That means movies and shows will be blasted at your eyeballs with a glorious 3840×2160 pixel resolution.
That’s not it for the gorgeous visuals, however. Full HDR10 support will offer a wide colour gamut, combined with strong contrast between light and dark areas to produce hyper-realistic images.
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This all means that the Xbox One X will work as a centre for streaming 4K and HDR content via the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, YouTube and other online services. Available content is set to explode in 2017, as many devices now support 4K and HDR media – including phones like the Sony Xperia XZ Premium.
The existing One S already offers support for 4K HDR video streaming of course, as does Sony’s PS4 Pro. So if you already own one of those consoles, you don’t need to upgrade to the One X to enjoy Ultra HD.
Of course, if you don’t have a 4K HDR-ready TV, you won’t be able to enjoy the powerful visuals on offer. Likewise, you’ll need to ensure that your home is set up for 4K streaming, if you want to enjoy UHD Netflix video. So you may need to factor those into the overall price if you’re thinking of upgrading.
Xbox One X vs One S vs PS4 Pro: Movies on disc
The One X isn’t just built for streaming video, however. Microsoft’s console is also a 4K and HDR Ultra High Definition Blu-ray player, thanks to its built-in disc drive. Good news, as we’re seeing a strong collection of 4K HDR Blu-rays released these days. Plus, if you’ve seen our best 4K Blu-ray players round-up, you’ll know they aren’t exactly cheap.
The One S also offers UHD Blu-ray playback, so again there’s no difference between the two Xbox consoles. However, Sony rather strangely decided to not bother with a 4K Blu-ray drive, presumably on a cost-cutting mission. So if you want to enjoy those crisp Ultra HD visuals, you’ll have to stick to streaming.
Xbox One X vs One S vs PS4 Pro: Audio quality
One fully expected addition to the One X is the support for Dolby Atmos surround sound.
Dolby Atmos uses upfiring speakers to offer the most immersive sound experience possible. As far as surround sound goes it’s impressively accurate, as long as your speaker setup (or headphones) can handle it.
Microsoft has already rolled out Dolby Atmos support to the Xbox One S as well as the original Xbox One, so we’d have been shocked not to see it included as standard in the One X. This is mainly used for more immersive gaming, so you can hear bullets coming at you from every angle. However, Dolby Atmos will also work for movies, to take full advantage of that Ultra HD Blu-ray player.
While the One S also supports Dolby Atmos, Sony’s PS4 Pro does not; you’re stuck with standard Dolby Digital. That’s another win for Microsoft, then.
Xbox One X vs One S vs PS4 Pro: Connectivity
The One X sports an HDMI 2.0b port for outputting video at 2160p resolution, at 60Hz.
You also have an HDMI 1.4b port for input. That means you’ll be able to use Microsoft’s device as a pass-through for your existing set-top box. So even the likes of 4K UHD Sky can be accessed via your console controller and home screen, without the need to switch to a different feed.
Ports are rounded off by three USB connections.
Xbox One X vs One S vs PS4 Pro: Storage
Microsoft packs 1TB of storage space into the new One X console as default. That’s a good amount of room for installing games, downloading DLC and of course sticking a load of movies and music onto your console, to enjoy at your leisure.
The older One S starts at 500MB but you can pay a little more for more storage, if desired. The same goes for the Playstation PS4 Pro.
Xbox One X UK price and release date
Microsoft’s new Xbox One X will hit the UK in November 2017, specifically November 7. The asking price is £449. Not cheap, but considering the performance and features on offer, that’s really not a bad deal.
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