I guess they at least got this one thing right?
Look, I have been super critical of Microsoft, the Xbox One X’s reveal, and the utter lack of compelling software that may induce the average purchaser to spend $500 to upgrade to it. And all of those points stand. However, the one good thing that Microsoft has done with the One X in terms of game support is ensure that people who buy the system will have a vast library of games with immediately noticeable differences from how they run on the base Xbox One.
A ton of games have already been confirmed to receive Xbox One X enhancements. These include Gears of War 4, Forza Motorsport 7, Metro Exodus, Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves and a ton of indie games and third party software. This is, in large part, because unlike the PS4 Pro, which required developers to individually code their games for the system – whether by going back to their existing games and adding support to them, or by adding it to their upcoming games – the Xbox One X can itself enhance standard Xbox One games to some degree, thanks to a variety of techniques employed, such as supersampling.
Supersampling is “switched on” by default on the Xbox One X and unlike the PS4 Pro doesn’t require the developer to put effort into making their games supersample on 1080p TV sets. This will ensure that existing games will run at a higher image quality on a 1080p TV right out of the box.
This is unlike the PS4 Pro situation where so many games had next to no Pro support or had a simple resolution upscale. Although the situation has improved compared to last year (games like Shadow of War, The Surge, Final Fantasy 15 and Nioh have impressive Pro support), developer effort on the PS4 Pro has largely been disappointing. So where PS4 Pro owners were left waiting for patches to some of their favorite games to be able to enjoy them enhanced on PS4 Pro – and some of the most beloved PS4 games, such as Bloodborne, still do not support the new console – Xbox One X owners will immediately be able to enjoy their existing games with fairly substantial enhancements such as potential better anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing, along with stable frame rates.
Add to this the fact that Microsoft seem to have courted developers far more aggressively, imposing far fewer restrictions on them as far as Xbox One X support goes, and that their UWP initiative ensures that scaling games up for Xbox One X should be very easy, and you are left with a console decidedly better positioned to get enhanced games than the PS4 Pro was. Sony definitely screwed up on enlisting support for that system, that is for sure.
Of course, whether or not the notion of playing the same games you already can, just shinier, is enough for you to want to spend $500 on new hardware, is something only you can decide. As far as I am concerned, while this is something Microsoft definitely deserves credit for, it is not nearly enough to compensate for the overwhelming weakness on the compelling software front the Xbox is currently suffering from. But again, Microsost’s Xbox One X will possibly have the best console version of a multi-platform game and 1st party exclusives are going to look absolutely stunning at native 4K, so Microsoft have already done their “technical” homework on Xbox One X well before the console’s release later this year.