The Xbox One X is the console reboot Microsoft needs

The Xbox One X is the console reboot Microsoft needs
The Xbox One X console Photo credit: Microsoft

There's no need to mince words – in 2013, Microsoft stuffed up the launch of the Xbox One.

The technology corporation allowed its own hubris to drive the console's direction, rather than listening to consumers, resulting in a focus on the motion-tracking Kinect device along with functionality around watching television instead of playing games.

Now, the Xbox is being rebooted, with a new machine focussed squarely on being the most powerful console gamers can possibly play with.

"One of the mistakes we made with the Xbox One launch was requiring a Kinect to be shipped with every single one and not really landing the core gaming experience with the Kinect," says Kevin Gammill of the Xbox engineering team.

"Since then, we've kind of gone back to our roots and focussed on the gamer."

Last year, PlayStation released an upgraded version of their latest console as the PlayStation 4 Pro. It boasted 4.2 teraflops of performance, compared with the original PlayStation 4's 1.84.

The Xbox One X has a mighty six teraflops.

Seeing a game like Forza Motorsport 7 running at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second (fps) on a flash new 4K TV is truly a sight to behold. It's breath-taking.

Reading through the console's impressive tech specs is one thing, but finally seeing it in action is seriously convincing. Seeing Rise of the Tomb Raider running on it, and marvelling at both the stunning, huge vistas and the ridiculous level of detail in Lara's skin is something I won't forget any time soon.

"The Xbox One X is the console that plays the best version of the games that users want to play... you've seen our specs compared to our competitor's specs," says Mr Gammill.

He adds that there's no pressure on developers to make everything 4K or 60fps, Microsoft is just giving them the most powerful console possible to showcase their games on.

"There will be games on the Xbox One X that don't quite run at native 4K, because the game developer decided to leverage that extra horsepower for something else. We're letting the game developers decide what is best for their game and their audience, without getting in their way.

"We want them to leverage 100 percent of the horsepower, but how they do so is really up to them."

Although the extreme power of the console seems to be the main focus of the Xbox One X, Mr Gammill says it was only one of three goals in mind - the other two are compatibility and craftsmanship.

"We knew this was going to be a member of the Xbox One family, so all existing Xbox One games and accessories needed to continue to work on the new console," he says.

"Not only is this a beautiful console and the most powerful console we've created, it's also the smallest console we've ever shipped, which is kind of nuts, when you think of how much power is packed into it."

Some serious work has also gone into making transferral from Xbox One to Xbox One X as easy as possible. Before the new console arrives, users can have everything backed up from their old model onto a drive connected to their home network, all ready to drop as soon as the latest X is in the door.

In June 2017, Sony fell just shy of selling 60 million units of their PlayStation 4 range, more than double the reported 26 million Xbox Ones sold as of January 2017.

Microsoft is making a bold move to close that sales gap by leap-frogging their competitor's hardware and creating the most powerful gaming console in history.

Whether or not it pays off will depend largely on just how highly gamers value power.

The Xbox One X goes on sale in New Zealand on November 7.