o un­der­stand the Xbox One X, you have to re­mem­ber how badly Mi­crosoft botched the launch of the Xbox One. From a po­si­tion of to­tal dom­i­nance, it came up with a con­sole that was both more ex­pen­sive and less pow­er­ful than Sony’s Plays­ta­tion 4, and ini­tially it was even go­ing to restrict how you could play and sell on your games.

All in all, it’s hard to de­scribe such a catas­tro­phe with­out the use of pro­fan­ity. So let’s talk about the Xbox One X in­stead. The ‘world’s most pow­er­ful games con­sole’ is built to make the most of that 4K tele­vi­sion you up­graded to not so long ago with gor­geous HDR vi­su­als, im­pos­si­bly smooth per­for­mance and su­per-fast load­ing times. Such is the sheer oomph that Mi­crosoft has packed into this mod­est black box, the One X is tech­ni­cally 40% more pow­er­ful than Sony’s Ultra Hd-ca­pa­ble Plays­ta­tion 4 Pro.

So does this Her­culean slab of hard­ware live up to its lofty ex­pec­ta­tions? Yes, so long as you’re OK with some games us­ing be­hind-the-scenes trick­ery to hit that magic 4K marker, and with your choice of ti­tles not be­ing quite so daz­zling as they are on Sony’s ma­chine. You see, even with six ter­aflops of graph­i­cal might, the Xbox One X is still go­ing to force you to make a cou­ple of com­pro­mises.

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