So far there have been three Forza titles released on PC; Forza Motorsport 6: Apex, a subset of FM6 content released for the purpose of porting the Forza Engine to PC, Forza Horizon 3, a game that had issues so severe they weren’t (mostly) fixed until after six months of patches, and Forza Motorsport 7, which launched with problems identical to those that were already fixed in Horizon 3. I won’t bore you with details, but suffice it to say the problems facing the Forza Engine on PC is something experienced by a large portion of the player base. They aren’t the occasional bugs experienced by a minority of players like you see with other PC games due to hardware/software variability. In my opinion, as it currently stands, the Forza Engine is fundamentally broken on PC.
Xbox games might be hit or miss performance wise on PC right now, but it’s Microsoft, they’ll get it eventually, right? The prospect of reducing the number of boxes hooked up to screens is enticing, so you choose to continuing investing in your PC. Games there will of course also run at 4K given good enough hardware. The price of doing so however is significant. If you’re building a 4K gaming PC from scratch you’ll need to spend at least $2000. Or, let’s say all you need to do is upgrade your graphics card. The Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti is the only consumer card available right now that can reliably play games at 4K/60fps with high graphical settings. The Founders Edition straight from Nvidia has an MSRP of $700, and custom cooler designs from other OEMs cost even more. Compared to the $500 of the Xbox One X, that’s an increase of at least 40%. And this is all before even taking into consideration the RAM shortage of the past couple of years, or the current digital currency mining craze requiring PC graphics cards, both of which have inflated prices well beyond MSRP.
Yes, technically some games on PC with maxed out settings will still look better when compared side-by-side to the same game running on a One X. These differences will usually be relatively minor however, like shadow quality for example, and won’t be noticeable in motion. Let’s also not forget how small the One X is for a modern console, and is tiny compared to your average desktop PC case.
The Xbox One X is an Absurdly Good Value
Microsoft fully delivered on their promise of 4K gaming, there’s no doubt about it. Games that have been updated or developed to have Xbox One X enhancements are nothing short of stunning. Games from the Xbox 360 and even the original Xbox that have received updates to take advantage of the hardware are a real treat for longtime fans of the platform. Even games that haven’t been updated for the new hardware will run at their full resolution and framerate.
The hardware isn’t perfect unfortunately. It’s entirely possible to get a system that draws more power, runs hotter, and is significantly louder than others. While I don’t think it’s bad enough to be a deal breaker, it is certainly disappointing. Also, it’s practically impossible to use a Kinect with the One X, which is in contrast to Microsoft’s promise that all accessories would work with their new console. For the gamer that needs to live on the bleeding edge though, these drawbacks can be looked past. At $500 you’re getting a gaming console that consistently performs better than the $100 cheaper PS4 Pro, and is significantly cheaper than a 4K gaming PC.
The Xbox One X represents a sort of soft reboot of the Xbox One for the Phil Spencer led Xbox division. Microsoft has provided best in class hardware, and now they need to follow it up with more exclusive titles. If you’re like me and don’t have the time for every major release year after year, there are plenty of titles to play in 4K on Xbox right now. But even then, the Xbox One exclusive titles not from the Halo or Forza franchises have so far been few and far between compared to those on PlayStation. Coming in March is Rare’s Sea of Thieves, which has looked great in beta, and we should finally get Crackdown 3 before we hit E3 as well. After that we’ll know if 2018 will provide early Xbox One X owners with a lush library of games.