What is it?

According to Microsoft, the Xbox One X is the "world's most powerful console". It promises "faster load times," "steadier frame rates" and "better resolution" for a "more immersive" gaming experience. After trialling it for the past 10 days, I'd agree with much of that. Some of the games my family and I have enjoyed have been stop-and-stare stunning. But whether the Xbox One X is landing with enough of those exclusive experiences is a topic up for debate.

A scene from Forza Motorsport 7, a game that's been enhanced for those playing it on the Xbox One X.
A scene from Forza Motorsport 7, a game that's been enhanced for those playing it on the Xbox One X.

How does it work?

The Xbox One X looks and feels much like your other consoles. Microsoft has jettisoned the crisp white of the Xbox One S and gone back to black for the X. It's now much closer in shape and design to its main competitor, the Playstation Pro, but weighs a little more. You'll need to copy over all your save games from your old Xbox (it's super easy) and download an update straight away, and there's a flash new welcome screen each time you boot up. It comes with thunderous music, so make sure your home theatre isn't turned all the way up or it'll shake the floors. But that'll be great for all those 4K UHD blu ray movies you can play through the console's optical drive.

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What comes in the box? A controller, a couple of wires and a handful of vouchers. But it's the console that you came for, and the Xbox One X lands with plenty of internal firepower. For the tech-heads, it's "40 per cent more powerful" than any other console on the market. That's thanks a GPU with six teraflops, 2160p frame buffers, a one terabyte hard drive and - get this - a "liquid-cooled vapour chamber". That sounds more like a recovery centre for high-performance athletes than a video game machine.

A scene from Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, a game that's been enhanced for those playing it on the Xbox One X.
A scene from Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, a game that's been enhanced for those playing it on the Xbox One X.

What's the best thing about it?

If you've got a 4K television, and there's no point buying an Xbox One X unless you do, every enhanced game looks absolutely stunning. The first one I booted up was Rise of the Tomb Raider, and the difference was instantly obvious - so good that I fully intend to play through the entire story again. Likewise, you haven't played Forza Motorsport 7 until you've seen it on this. Every hubcap, windshield and sunset glistens like you're really there. I'm not an Assassin's Creed fan, but if you want to really test out the X's graphical capabilities, all those dense jungle greens and desert oranges might be the best way to do it. My son also thinks Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection is a massive improvement on the original, and he loves Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure, a recent release aimed at kids who love The Incredibles and Toy Story.

A scene from Zoo Tycoon on the Xbox One X.
A scene from Zoo Tycoon on the Xbox One X.

What's the worst?

While the list of enhanced games for the Xbox One X numbers around 130, the lack of exclusive titles on launch is probably the console's biggest downfall. Sea of Thieves and Crackdown 3 were supposed to be ready in time, but were delayed until 2018. That leaves gamers with a choice between recent releases like Call of Duty: World War II, Assassin's Creed: Origins and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, which are available across all platforms, or playing the enhanced versions of Xbox games that have already been out for a while, like Forza Motorsport 7, Destiny 2 or Gears of War 4. Nothing wrong with that, but some might want to wait until there are a few more exclusive offerings before upgrading.

A scene from Rise of the Tomb Raider, a game that's been enhanced for those playing it on the Xbox One X.
A scene from Rise of the Tomb Raider, a game that's been enhanced for those playing it on the Xbox One X.

What do game developers say?

"I've been lucky enough to be in the industry for a long time and had to ship on a ton of new consoles and generally there is a lot of shifting that happens when you're developing on a brand new box," says Bill Giese, the lead developer for Forza Motorsport 7. "The Xbox One X has just been this beast from day one. We were able to look at the game and say, 'My gosh, turn this up,' and, 'What if we turn this up?' So it's been really interesting trying to build for this incredibly detailed beast of a machine. It automatically made all versions of the game look better."

The scenery in Assassin's Creed Origins on the Xbox One X is stunning.
The scenery in Assassin's Creed Origins on the Xbox One X is stunning.

Okay, how much is it?

The Xbox One X might be the most powerful console on the market, but at $749 it's also the most expensive. Compare that to the Playstation Pro (under $600) and the Xbox One S (under $500) and you've got a real humdinger of a decision on your hands. You might want to sleep on that for a bit.