The big news at E3, the video game industry’s annual trade show that’s going on this week in Los Angeles, is Microsoft’s introduction of a new Xbox game console.
The new gadget is called the Xbox One X, and it’s designed to deliver high-fidelity, PC-quality games on a device that’s easier to use than a computer. That kind of power won’t come cheap. The new console will cost $499, which is well above every other current console, including Sony’s competing, but technically less capable, PlayStation 4 Pro.
Even if price weren’t an issue, it’s an open question whether gamers will really be interested in a more powerful machine. Instead of playing games, US owners of both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 spend roughly half their console-using time doing things that don’t require a super-charged game machine, such as streaming video and watching movies on disc, according to a recent report from Nielsen that’s charted here by Statista.
While the Xbox One X should be able to display 4K and HDR videos with aplomb, so too can its more affordable sibling, the $249 Xbox One S, For now, the Xbox One X seems to be aimed squarely at Microsoft’s most ardent Xbox fans.