Microsoft reveals Xbox One X but no VR at launch

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Microsoft has opted for power, 4K resolution, and backward game compatibility with Xbox One X — but no VR.

The console, developed under the name Project Scorpio, was announced at E3 2017, an electronic games expo held in Los Angeles and is Microsoft’s opportunity to claw back some market share from Sony PlayStation VR.

It will sell in Australia from November 7 for $AU649. A release around six weeks before Christmas means it’s game on between Microsoft and Sony to have their console around your Christmas tree.

As well as being a gaming console, it will double as a Blu-ray player for 4K content, and can upscale lower resolution content to 4K.

Sony has slaughtered Microsoft in gaming console sales to date so Xbox One X is Microsoft’s best chance to turn things around.

Sony last week announced it had sold 1 million PlayStation VR systems despite production issues which slowed down the rollout. According to market research firm IDC, Sony sold 429,000 VR headsets in the first three months of this year alone.

The Xbox One X is not sold with a virtual reality headset but you should be able to use mixed (VR and augmented reality combined) headsets by other computer manufacturers and Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset.

The Xbox One X seeks to take on the PS4 Pro by offering faster gaming graphics.

The change of processor type between PlayStation 3 and PS4 meant that in the Sony world, old games on disks would not play on the new PS4.

Microsoft on the other hand makes it possible for gamers to continue using old games from not only Xbox One but from Xbox 360 using emulators.

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said Xbox would expand the Xbox One backward compatibility library of nearly 400 popular Xbox 360 games to include original Xbox classics, starting with “Crimson Skies”.

At E3, Xbox showcased 42 games, 22 exclusively from its developers.

Sony last year cut down its standard console size and Xbox has done the same — it’s smaller.

Games with 4K resolution can run smoothly at 60 frames per second. Xbox One X has an 8-core CPU rated at 2.3 Gigahertz, six teraflops of graphics processing power, 12 Gigabytes of GDDR5 RAM memory and a 1 Terabyte hard drive.

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