E3 again. The Microsoft Briefing

http://www.xbox.com/en-US/e3

You can’t have missed the fact that Microsoft have announced their new console, They have, perhaps unwisely, discarded the name ‘project Scorpio’ in favour of the not very catchy ‘XBOX one X’ It’s more powerful, it’s got 4k native graphics. It’s also smaller than an XBOX one S. There is no doubt it is a superb console but will it sell?

I bought an XBOX one S, upgrading from a 360, so the leap in graphics was awesome. I play Dark Souls 1 on my old 360 and compared to my new console the graphics are primitive. As I understand it the One S has 4k graphics but not true 4k. However this is academic. I have just upgraded my TV and the best I could afford was a 55″ full HD (Thanks again to my mother who passed last year.). Many can’t afford that. Those who are on a budget might squeeze it enough to buy a One S (Microsoft have thoughtfully dropped the price in the US by £50!) That said they are pricing the One X at $499/£449. I have paid less for a car. Now your hardcore console gamer with plenty of cash and ready access to a 4k TV will snap it up. But most of us, myself included, will not fall into either category. 4k TV’s are still in the region of £700 at best. So effectively there would be relatively minor improvements in the rendering but the upgraded graphics would be lost on an HD tv. I could sell my XBOX one S and buy the X but that would mean I would still have to find another £250+. My wife is understanding but not THAT understanding.

So the high price of both TV’s and the One X will deter many but the One S is still being pushed. I guess that means that there will be a two tier XBOX userbase, the well off or those who will beg, steal or borrow for the best gaming platform and those who are happy to stick with the ONE or One S. Maybe when the new console starts coming down in price I might consider it.

As for games these machines run exactly the same games but with upgrades for those with the X. Many developers are also updating their older games in Autumn (Fall) to take advantage of the new machine.

MS also showcased new games, the most interesting of which were RPG’s such as the open world Anthem. The ‘Thieves of the sea.’ game looked good. ‘Middle Earth ‘Shadow of War.’ Also looks exciting but Tolkien often doesn’t translate well to games. For me though the highlight was Assassins Creed Origins. After their two previous (And mediocre!) outings they needed a radically different approach and it looks like they found it. Let’s hope it lives up to the hype.

Just one strange thing. I heard (I can’t remember if it was in the E3 thing.) that all XBOX’s will soon run not only 360 games but original XBOX games. Seems a bit like a backwards step. Soon it will be running Space invaders and Pong.

Rayner