Microsoft Tests Its Xbox One X On Crappy TVs To Assure Users Without 4K Televisions Can Still Have Fun


The Xbox One X has been advertised as an essential 4K gaming machine, one that can take experiences and amp them up to new levels for those that have capable televisions. But…what about those that don’t have capable televisions?

While 4K TV’s are no doubt getting cheaper, not everyone has the budget, nor the drive, to upgrade just yet – and Microsoft is actually pretty aware of this.

Speaking with Wired, senior director of product management Albert Penello explained that rigorous testing went into the Xbox One X to make sure it’s 4K ready. “I’m guessing that around half the people who buy a One X on day one will already have a new TV,” he explained.

But for those that don’t, Microsoft created a side project for testing purposes known as the Dream Killer – which is essentially a crappy old television. “It’s where we break designers’ hearts,” explained principal design manager John Snavely, who works with the redesign team on the Xbox software interface.

With this project, engineers and designers get the idea that not everyone has a 4K TV. “It’s a TV we should’ve thrown away a long time ago. It’s awful. We put a lot of time into making sure our content looks good on the Dream Killer,” he explained.

So the experience for the Xbox One X appears to be built for everyone, even if 4K users seem to get more benefits – especially with certain games. Chris Tector, studio software architech for Forza Motorsport 7 developer Turn 10 Studios, explained, “Having that moment when you race in the rain, on Nurburgring, in this purpose-built car and you’re hearing the rain hitting the body, it gives you that feeling of when a storm’s started while you’re driving and you’re tensing up inside. It’s all these components: the graphics, audio and simulation – you’re fighting the car to keep it on the road – it builds up and turns into one of these moments.

“But it’s the emotional impact that I hadn’t anticipated.”

So there you have it. Apparently the Xbox One X has benefits to offer, even to those that don’t have a 4K television yet. But we’re still intrigued by the idea that there’s an old crappy TV lurking around Microsoft. Is it color? Is it black or white? Does it have the twisty knob and the built in speakers on the side? If a 4K game can look good on that, there’s hope yet.

The Xbox One X arrives on November 7th.