2017 was the year where Sony was contented to let its strong list of console-exclusive games do the talking. Last year's Best Console winner, the PlayStation 4 Pro, is still the console to beat for this generation but Microsoft and Nintendo weren't resting on their laurels. Microsoft introduced the Xbox One X console in the later part of 2017, a significant upgrade over the Xbox One S, while Nintendo decided to switch (pun intended) things up with the first portable console, the Nintendo Switch.
Both consoles are remarkable machines in their own unique ways.
The Nintendo Switch was a remarkable turnaround for a company that was reeling from the massive failure of its previous console, the Wii U, which was never even launched in this region. The Switch is capable of running games at 720p/1080p, a first for a Nintendo console, but its charm is truly felt when you get to play games like the launch title Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in portable mode. And in high-definition fidelity.
The Xbox One X was a great showcase of how far Microsoft's engineering capabilities have come since the first two Xbox consoles. The Xbox One X is a substantial upgrade to the original Xbox One and even the Xbox One S, which was released in 2013 and 2016 respectively, and comes almost exactly a year after Sony delivered a somewhat similar performance boost with its PlayStation 4 Pro. With 6 TFLOPS of power from an AMD Radeon GPU, 12GB of GDDR5 RAM and a 2.3GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar processor, the Xbox One X comfortably outperforms the PS4 Pro. On hardware alone, it’s smaller, more powerful, and even includes a 4K Blu-ray player over its PS4 Pro rival.
Microsoft set out to build the most powerful gaming console and they succeeded; the One X does offer the best graphics currently available on a console. At S$699, native 4K gaming is finally a reality for the common gamers, which used to be only possible with expensive high-end PC gaming hardware. Consider this, the bare minimum to play PC games at 3840 x 2160 (native 4K aka 4K Ultra HD) requires an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, which already cost more than the price of the One X. Factor in all other necessary components, and a good 4K-capable gaming PC will set you back by S$3,000 at least.
If you are looking for a living-room gaming console that can give you the best looking games in true 4K, the Xbox One X is your only option. For now.