One might ask, "Why can't company X release an extremely powerful console with top-of-the-line specs that could blow any gaming console out of the water?" Well, that's because creating such a device would carry an incredibly expensive price point, and a lot of consumers probably wouldn't want to shell out that much money.
If one ignores the price, however, the Xbox One X appears to be fitting for this era. Microsoft's new machine boasts 4K gaming. Not the PlayStation 4 Pro's kind of 4K, which employs techniques and clever processing to deliver 4K resolution, but true, native 4K gaming — sometimes even at 60 fps.
It makes sense. It's all about 4K now. Unlike 3D, which appears to be kinda dead now, 4K isn't a gimmick — just a beefy resolution bump from 1080p — no glasses, no tricks, no fumbling with peripherals; just honest-to-goodness stunning visuals. Yet to experience 4K, one would of course have to own a 4K-capable TV or monitor, and without which, the Xbox One X's marquee feature basically becomes pointless.
Microsoft Takes A Risk With The Xbox One X, But A Calculated One
But despite the risks involved in outing a $500 machine, Microsoft might just know what it plans to do with the console — it knows people will buy the Xbox One X, and even which ones, specifically.
Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of Xbox, says that Xbox One X stands to attract the best kind of gaming customers of all. In an interview with Business Insider, he says that particular customer "buys a lot of games," and "plays a lot of games."
Spencer's remarks illustrate the reasoning behind companies' desire to output more powerful consoles generation after generation — those gamers Spencer referred to keep on wanting better, more polished gaming experiences than the last generation was able deliver. Maybe that's why Microsoft launched the Xbox One in 2013 at the same price the Xbox One X now sells for — it knows players would want to make the jump from the Xbox 360.
But early on, the Xbox One didn't become as successful as its contemporary, the PS4, especially with the latter's much-lower $400 price tag. Thus far, Microsoft has approximately sold 26 million Xbox One consoles. Sony has sold double that number.
Spencer knows this risk well, and he even admits that the Xbox One X will underperform in terms of units sold.
"We're gonna sell more Xbox One S consoles next year than we will Xbox One X," said Spencer.
The Xbox One X Is A Console For Gamers Who Want A Premium Experience
Spencer knows that there will be people who are willing to buy the Xbox One X even at its steep price, and those are mostly rich folks who want a premium experience.
"You ask who is that person today? I'm gonna bet a large percentage of those people have a current-generation console already. So in that world, I have to show them an experience that's demonstrably better. And that's where we started with Xbox One X," said Spencer.
Microsoft's reasoning seems to be that any gamer who'd want the Xbox One X probably already has a pretty beefy gaming machine — which costs a lot of money. Chances are they'd look for a more premium experience later on, and they'd see the Xbox One X offers true, native 4K, and they'll be able to afford it, no sweat. They've already managed to buy expensive consoles in the past, anyway.
So there you have it. Not only is Microsoft sure the Xbox One X will sell, but it knows exactly the kind of people who'd be willing to put out money for it.