Microsoft has announced a few interesting pieces of news regarding its upcoming Xbox One X console this week, starting with most notably the news from Mike Ybarra that Alpha ring members can now start preparing for the launch by downloading 4K content updates.
This functionality was announced during the Xbox live show at Gamescom in August.
Essentially you can transfer any of your Xbox One Enhanced games to the new console via external storage or network transfer.
This way you don’t need to download everything on November 7th when you pick you your new console.
In addition to this, preparations for the Xbox One X launch are well underway at The Coalition, the devs behind Gears of War 4.
They’ve announced that they will be pushing One X enhancements for the game out alongside a new October map update later this month.
“As we prepare for the Xbox One X Enhancements coming this November (more on that in a second), the release of the October Map Drop will coincide with our Xbox One X Ready Update in late October”, The Coalition announced in a post on its website.
The Xbox One X update will allow the game to support HDR assets, as well as allow the game to support full, native 4K resolution.
These updates are due to drop sometime during October – well before the console itself launches on November 7 next month.
The Xbox Scorpio was said to support “high-fidelity” virtual reality when it was announced at E3 2016, although not much has been heard about it since.
Although the PlayStation PSVR headsets haven’t necessarily set the world alight, the unit, which many might consider more niche and for a limited crowd, has still shipped 1 million unit.
Now, for the first time in a while, Xbox has opened up about the possibility of VR on Xbox One X – but it doesn’t sound like good news.
Speaking to Wired, Albert Penello, senior director of product management and planning at Microsoft explained why.
“We learned with Kinect and the Wii that just translating a typical game experience to VR is not a winning strategy.
“It’s the oddball VR-specific stuff that makes it sing. It wasn’t something we wanted to distract developers with this year.”
While we don’t want to put words into Penello’s mouth, it certainly doesn’t sound as though he believes it has mainstream appeal
He also did not feel the technology had mainstream appeal, retorting to Wired: “Is it a viable consumer product? For a certain size of audience.”
It’s worth noting that Penello hasn’t ruled it out completely and the senior Xbox official did say that “there’s still a tonne of experimentation in VR.”
But we wouldn’t hold our breath for any Xbox One X VR announcements anytime soon.
As alluded to before, there’s less than one month to go until the official launch of the Xbox One X and Microsoft will sure be hoping it helps bridge the gap in sales with Sony’s PS4 which has steamed ahead this generation.
Thankfully, Microsoft and Xbox One fans have been handed some slightly positive news from Lewis Ward, IDC Research Director for Gaming and VR/AR who was speaking to GamesTM in their latest issue.
Speaking about how well Xbox One X could do, Ward said:
“No, the XB1X won’t be enough for Microsoft to catch up. It should give PlayStation 4 Pro a run for its money in 2018 in the United States and the United Kingdom, however.
“I’m projecting about four million XB1X consoles shipped from Q4 2017 through the end of 2018, and about five million PlayStation 4 Pro consoles shipped in the same timeframe.
“The way shipments break down globally, however, that implies a very tight race in the United States and the United Kingdom.”
Although this is still a big win for the PS4 Pro, it doesn’t perhaps reflect the price difference and actually implies that the years ahead could feature a much closer battle for supremacy between the two console makers.
Finally, for this week it has been that revealed that Microsoft is up to its old tricks once again, hiding a fun little Easter egg inside the Xbox One X, repeating the stunt that proved so successful with the Xbox One S last year.
The S featured a small Master Chief logo etched on the inside of the slimline Xbox console launched last year and in a similar fashion, Microsoft has included a little-hidden image inside the Xbox One X.
It’s unlikely you’ll ever actually see it yourself – unless you break it or void the warranty – but inside, etched onto the console’s circuit board you’ll find a little Halo Master Chief riding on top of a scorpion.
A wonderful homage to both the Project Scorpio codename Microsoft used and a clever play on words considering the Chief would occasionally use tanks in the games which were known as Scorpions