The Xbox One X launch has finally arrived, and it seems that the console is a massive success. I wasn’t necessarily expecting it to fail, but I find myself struggling to understand the demand for a console whose major selling point is that it can display games at 4K resolutions. The same goes for the PS4 Pro. It’s major selling point is that it can display games at a higher resolution than the standard PS4. The demand is definitely there since these systems are selling. I just don’t really get it is all.
I’ve heard that the Xbox One X can run many high-end games at a steady 60fps instead of the normal 30fps. That’s something I can recognize as appealing since the difference in quality is immediately noticeable and better. That’s not the main selling point of these upgraded consoles though; instead, it’s the 4K resolution. I’ve seen 4K content running on 4K screens before, and I honestly couldn’t see much of a difference from normal HD unless I got uncomfortably close to the screen. I could definitely see this as a selling point for a PC. Using a PC puts you pretty close to the screen to begin with, so you’d actually be able to appreciate the difference 4K offers. On a console though, I’m just not seeing why so much of the focus is on that over the ability to run games at 60fps. Then there’s the triple-A sector’s own pushing of 4K resolution. In a word: it’s puzzling.
We’ve been hearing publishers like EA and Activision complaining about the rising costs of development for awhile now. They used this reason to excuse everything from the lack of features in major games, to buggy launches, to the extreme proliferation of microtransactions and loot boxes in games that they don’t have any business being in. Yet, here is that same crowd of publishers and hardware makers pushing yet another jump in visual quality and processing power. Why? Why would they want this? Why are Sony and Microsoft so eager to have to market yet another device to replace their established and popular game machines so quickly. Why are publishers who have already been pleading poverty so eager to scale up production times and costs when their consumers haven’t really been pushing for it at all? One would think that they’d welcome the chance for development tools to catch up to the current standards and make it possible to reduce the amount of time and energy required to produce modern games. Instead it’s the opposite. As I’ve said several times already, it’s all really quite puzzling. I dunno, maybe it’s just me.
What’s your take on the push for 4K? Does it appeal to you or do you find it puzzling too?