Microsoft pulled a bit of a pleasant surprise during the E3 2016 games trade show by announcing Project Scorpio - a 4K-capable version of its console which it called the "most powerful console yet" - would go on sale in 2017.
At E3 2017 it's confirmed the official name: Xbox One X. So here's everything you need to know about Microsoft's new monster console ahead of its worldwide release date on November 7 2017.
Xbox One X: Hardware and specs
Microsoft's mid-generation successor to the Xbox One was rumoured to be a far more powerful than Sony's new, fully 4K-capable PS4 Pro before official specs were available. And now we know that to be true.
The Xbox One X runs on what is called the Scorpio Engine, which uses a custom SoC (system on chip) with an enhanced version of the Jaguar core CPU adopted by the Xbox One S. Almost every other aspect is beefed up too:
- Processor: Eight custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz
- Graphics: 40 customised compute units at 1,172MHz
- Cooling: Liquid cooled vapor chamber
- RAM: 12GB DDR5
- Memory bandwidth: 326GB/s
- Hard drive: 1TB 2.5-inch drive
- Optical drive: 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player
That's powerful enough to run games at true 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) at up to 60fps.
The inclusion of a UHD optical drive is interesting because Sony decided against a 4K Blu-ray deck for its PS4 Pro. The Xbox One S has a 4K player, too.
And all that in the smallest Xbox console ever. Yep, the One X is smaller and better looking than any Xbox before it.
Xbox One X: Does it replace the Xbox One?
Microsoft has been clear from the first mention of then-called Project Scorpio that it will be a part of the Xbox family. Games that run on Xbox One or Xbox One S will also run on Xbox One X, but with better graphics, higher frame rates or resolutions. It's a similar story to the way the PS4 Pro plays PS4 games but often with enhancements and sometimes in 4K.
The message pushed by Spencer is that "no one gets left behind", so as One X pushes things forwards, Team Xbox is keen to ensure that the humble Xbox One gamer doesn't feel they have to go out an buy a new console to keep up. Equally, those who do get the One X will still be using the same services as they do now and be part of the same Xbox Live community.Microsoft confirmed at E3 2017 that all Xbox One accessories will also work on Xbox One X.
Xbox One X: True 4K gaming at 60fps and virtual reality
The Xbox One X is all powerful, capable of running true 4K gaming at up to 60fps, which you won't get from the Xbox One S.
When then-called Project Scorpio was announced, there was also a fair amount of talk of VR - which the One X is more than powerful enough to handle. Bethesda has already shown off plans for Fallout 4 in VR - which we've had a chance to demo - so another aim of the Xbox One X will be to deliver high-fidelity VR gaming.
Since, Microsoft has confirmed that Project Scorpio will support the company's own Mixed Reality headsets in the future. Devices that utilise the tech formerly known as Windows Holographic offer a mixture of VR and augmented reality (AR), and that means virtual reality games will eventually be part of the new console's make-up.
However, rumour has it that Microsoft will not be showing off Xbox VR content at E3 2017. So one to wait on until 2018.
Xbox One X release date and price
The Xbox One X will launch worldwide on 7 November 2017. No staggered launch from country to country, meaning there's plenty of time to buy one ahead of the holiday season.