Xbox One X launch: Is Microsoft abandoning its virtual reality strategy with new games console?

Caroline Blennerhassett
Annual gaming industry conference E3 takes place in Los Angeles (Source: Getty)

After months of speculation, Microsoft has finally unveiled its latest games console, a more powerful version of the Xbox One called the Xbox One X.

The new creation will be launched on 7 November, at a cost of £449 in the UK. The tech giant introduced the One X ahead of the E3 games show in Los Angeles, highlighting its ability to run games in 4K ultra-HD.

Xbox One X to be released this November (Source: Getty)

Microsoft rival Sony already offers a console with 4K capabilities, the PS4 Pro, which was released in November last year, but the PS4 Pro's specifications fall short of the One X.

The system, which runs games at 60fps (frames per second), is "the most powerful console ever made", Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, told the BBC.

Underneath the generic Xbox shell, Microsoft says it produces six teraflops of graphical power thanks to a custom GPU engine that runs at 1172MHz. Microsoft says the new Xbox One X is the "smallest Xbox ever," and the black design shares similarities with the existing Xbox One S mode. The new console will also be immediately compatible with existing Xbox One games.

When introducing Microsoft’s most recent Xbox design in 2016, Spencer said the console, which was then also referred to as Project Scorpio, “must deliver true 4K gaming and high-fidelity VR”.

The One X appears set to deliver on 4K visuals, but despite the machine’s capability of supporting virtual reality gaming, there was very little mention of this during the launch event this weekend and no demonstrations of use of VR headsets, leading commentators to wonder whether Microsoft has put its VR strategy on the back burner.

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