As we are coming up to 2-3 years since Xbox One and PlayStation 4 run outs, and redefines allowing them to now can run at 4k resolution, and ever since then I have been on the fence whether should I fork out my cash and see what everyone has been shouting about. On Black Friday in 2018, I decided to take the plunge and bought myself an Xbox One X. So, here is my take after a month and a half of owning one.
So firstly, when I first brought the X back then my “TV” (actually, more of a computer monitor) was only able to run at 1080p which is a bit for a pisser when the console can run a 4k. However, there were some positives to take – First among which is that with some games that are optimized for Xbox One X can run at a higher frame rate even at 1080p which for games like Hitman 2 run incredibly smooth.
Including some 360 and original Xbox games also get noticeable improvements at 1080p. Along from the gameplay side at 1080p there are some improvements, other than this it runs relatively quickly compared to my old original Xbox One which is a bonus and as it runs a different cooling system compared to my Xbox One X it doesn’t sound like there is a jet engine in my room. Which is a relief because it does ruin the moment when you’re trying to watch a film. And also considerably much smaller and cables much more simplified than its predecessor which does make it easier to manage cables. Other than this on a normal conventional HD TV, it doesn’t really show the full potential of what it can really do.
Fast forward to boxing day and picked up a nice deal for a 43’ 4K TV which really allowed the Xbox One X to really flex its muscles with 4K and HDR as well (HDR already available on Xbox One S) and on a much bigger screen it all look excellent and worth the investment at the end in terms of picture. Remember though that even with a much higher framerate on a lower graphical setting can also look rather pleasant.
However, there is one pitfall I would like to mention which involves HDR. You know in all modern games with terms of changing brightness settings it always has the usual “adjust the brightness till the image is barely visible” with HDR however there seems to not be an industry standard way of changing it. Some of them use a similar system to brightness and or matching the inner circle to the outer circle (white mostly) and other require judgement which is a tricky thing to do (may require a bit of practice) and adjusting numbers which are a bit fiddly if you’re not used to it immediately. So hopefully soon all games would have a similar setting which would be much easier for newbies making their way onto 4K consoles.
Now, is 4k consoles worth the investment? Ehhhh, kinda is my best answer really – it depends on your situation and your needs really. For my situation as an example upgrading from the original Xbox One to an X was a justifiable decision in my books and even on a computer monitor running at 1080p, there were noticeable performance improvements. But to really get the maximum from your 4k consoles you really are going to need a 4k TV to get the maximum from the consoles.
If you are looking into getting a console for your 4k TV then that is also a no-brainer as well, but there is a case for not doing so and looking into cheaper alternatives such as the Xbox One S as an example. If the next generation of consoles goes as expected, that will have 4k as standard then there also a case of just hanging on till then. In the end, really graphics are all well and nice but doesn’t really matter if it’s at 4k or not when even at 1080p some of these games like Forza and Hitman can look as stunning. So there really isn’t a good or bad decision to make if you are looking to invest into one, but make sure you have the funds to do so.