The latest version of the Xbox, which developer Microsoft says is the “world’s most powerful console”, has gone on sale in the UK.
According to its specifications, it is 40% more powerful than any other games console on the market - its six teraflops of internal graphical computing power surpassing the 4.2 found in Sony’s flagship PlayStaion4 Pro.
The One X is likely to face strong competition from PlayStation and Nintendo over the Christmas period but the firm’s UK boss said he believes the new system offers a “better gaming experience”.
The machine also supports gameplay in 4K resolution and is the only games console to support Dolby Atmos sound technology, technology which Xbox UK and Ireland boss Harvey Eagle says is becoming more attainable for players.
“We believe now is the time to bring true 4K gaming to the living room. We are convinced by 4K technology and how it suits gaming,” he said.
“We think it really adds to the level of immersion in the experience. If you look at independent research it’ll tell you that by the end of this year they’ll be almost four million 4K TVs in the UK and over the next four years you’re going to get to a point where almost half the households in the UK will have a 4K screen in the home.
“So we feel that this is technology that is important, relevant for gaming and close to a tipping point, and that’s the reason why we’ve really built this machine now. To really take advantage of that important 4K moment in technology.”
Microsoft has said the One X will be able to run more games at 4K resolution than the PS4 Pro, as well as offering backwards compatibility for older Xbox 360 and original Xbox games.
However, the One X is more expensive than the £350 PS4 Pro, at £449.
Some critics have also claimed Microsoft, in launching a new console just a year after their last update - the Xbox One S - are overstretching consumers. But Mr Eagle says the company’s focus is on offering choice as it battles Nintendo and PlayStation.
“Xbox One X is very much positioned as a premium device, and it’s aimed at gamers who want the very best in console gaming, and they’re prepared to pay for that,” he said.
“We do have Xbox One S, which as you know, only came out a year ago and if value is more important, we believe Xbox One S represents the best thing in value for gaming and also 4K entertainment. That’s a device that’s aimed more for the family gamer - for someone who wants 4K entertainment in the living room, maybe someone who’s buying a console for the first time.
“So we feel like we’ve got this great choice offering now for people with the Xbox One family of devices.”
Sony’s PlayStation has dominated the console market in 2017, and the Japanese firm last week announced it had reached global PS4 sales of 67.5 million, but one market analyst firm has upgraded its forecast for the One X’s performance based on feedback on pre-order volume.
Piers Harding-Rolls, from IHS Markit, said: (The Xbox One X) has been developed to regain legitimacy with early adopter, core console gamers that are heavily motivated by graphical fidelity and content frame rates.
“A small share of PS4 Pro gamers that are keen to have the most powerful hardware for playing third-party published games are likely to shift their usage across to the new console, which may moderately shift the sales share of games between the two competing platforms.”
Mr Eagle said the end result of a better gaming experience would entice gamers to the new Xbox.
“By design we set about building the world’s most powerful console - that was the intent that the team set out with,” he said.
“I think the other thing that’s important is to translate for people what is the benefit of that power, and the benefit is simply that it’s going to mean your games are going to look and play better on Xbox One X.”