Xbox General Manager Dave McCarthy is exuding confidence in the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine UK. In an interview (via SirusGaming), McCarthy welcomes comparisons to the PS4 Pro. He thinks that the Xbox One X is in another league. In fact, he doesn't even think it's a fair comparison. He'd rather people start comparing the Xbox One X to high-end PC hardware, since that's the performance bracket that Microsoft is claiming to occupy. Here's what he said:
“Well on some levels I think there’s aspects of even Xbox One S that I’d compare [to the PS4 Pro] in terms of HDR gaming, 4K video streaming capabilities, 4K Blu-ray support. There are only two consoles in the world that support 4K Blu-ray, and they’re both Xbox Ones – Xbox One S and Xbox One X. I make more of a comparison [with Xbox One X] to what the higher end PCs are doing right now."
Now there's a strong boast! Forget the video game console that Sony is pushing, says McCarthy. That's pretty cute, but Microsoft is reaching for next-level resolution and next-level performance. When you think Xbox One X, don't think home console, think high-end gaming machine. He continues:
"There is a big difference with 40% more processing power, in terms of ensuring that consistent frame rate, including that frame buffer that’s going to get you all those 4K textures, ensuring the spatial audio is going to be at a premium for you. So it really is that top-end experience."
If Microsoft wants to play this game, then this is probably the right angle to play for now. The Xbox One X does represent a pretty impressive value. You'd be hard-pressed to find a gaming PC setup that rivals the performance of the Xbox One X in a comparable price range.
If you want a gaming PC capable of pushing out native 4K visuals, which the Xbox One X definitely can do with proper optimization, you're going to spend about $350-$400 on the GPU alone. If you're building a PC, that still leaves you with a motherboard, hard drive, memory, CPU, and a few accessories to buy. At least with the Xbox One X you don't have to worry about any of that stuff, but you are getting similar performance.
You'll notice a pretty crucial component missing from McCarthy's killer argument for the Xbox One X's superiority, and that's exclusive games. The Xbox One X is, in fact, that most powerful gaming console on the planet, and it probably will be for a while after it launches, but what's the good in having all of that horsepower if it's not being used to power some can't-miss games? When we consider the PS4 and PS4 Pro, in 2017 alone we've seen huge releases like Uncharted, Horizon, Nioh, Persona 5, Gravity Rush, and Yakuza.
Xbox One X owners will be playing... the waiting game. Forza 7 will be huge, and there are a bunch of Xbox One games getting enhancement updates, but there aren't really any showstoppers to speak of. Crackdown 3 has been pushed back considerably, and Sea of Thieves is still looking like more of a niche title. If Microsoft wants to ensure the Xbox One X's success, it needs to start securing more exclusive games that we actually want to play.