Motorola’s Moto X4 is Project Fi’s first Android One smartphone

The United States will be getting its first taste of Android One very soon. Today, Google and Motorola announced that the Moto X4 will be coming to Google’s Project Fi wireless carrier with the stripped-down Android One treatment. The Project Fi Moto X4 will cost $399 and come in two colors: black or silver. It will be available for preorder starting today.

The Android One version of the X4 is a little different than the one Motorola is selling in Europe and other parts of the world. It has a “pure Android experience”, which means that it lacks some of the enhancements that Motorola adds to its Android phones. You won’t find Moto Voice, Moto Access, attentive display, or one-button nav options on the Fi phone, but it will have Motorola’s helpful gestures and some display customizations. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Fi X4 will not have Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant either — the Google Assistant will be the only voice assistant option on the phone.

The Fi Moto X4 is launching with Android 7.1 Nougat, but Google says an update to Android Oreo will be available before the end of the year. Interestingly, the company also says that the Android One Moto X4 will be among the first phones to receive Android P when that is released. (Android P confirmed, I guess.)


Image: Google

Otherwise, the hardware of the Fi Moto X4 is the same as the one announced earlier this month. It has a 5.2-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 630 processor, 3,000mAh battery, and IP68 water and dust resistance. It has a dual-rear camera with 12-megapixel and 8-megapixel sensors, plus a 16-megapixel front camera with special low-light mode. Google is providing free unlimited full-quality storage in Google Photos for the Fi X4, much like it does for the Pixel phone line.

Not only is this phone an important mark for Android One, it’s also the first non-Google phone to be offered on Google’s own Project Fi service. Prior to this, the only phones that were sold for and worked officially with Fi were Google’s Nexus and Pixel phones. Since the launch of the Pixel and Pixel XL last year, the cheapest Project Fi phone available cost $649. The Moto X4 obviously makes it much less costly to join Fi than before.

Google is giving some incentive for existing Fi customers to upgrade, as well. It is offering up to $165 on trade-in for select Nexus devices, plus a $50 bonus trade-in credit if it’s done before October 5th.

This probably won’t be the last Android One phone in the US — Google has committed to bringing the Android One experience to more price points in the future — nor will it likely be the last non-Google Project Fi phone to come. But it is a good mid-range option from a known manufacturer, which should help bring more into the Project Fi fold.

Project Cars 2 runs best on PlayStation 4 Pro • Eurogamer.net

Project Cars 2 reviews have dropped, the Forza Motorsport 7 demo arrives today and Gran Turismo Sport is en route. It’s a huge couple of months for racing sim fans, and we’re off to a good start with Slightly Mad’s sequel, packed with a raft of new technological features. The question is, in light of the sometimes shaky frame-rate found in its predecessor, how well does the sequel match up – and what are the advantages of running on PlayStation 4 Pro?

At its core, Project Cars is designed around creating a dynamic racing environment, where shifting weather conditions regularly change how each race plays out. Handling is altered with the transition from dry to wet surfaces, changing how much grip and control is present, while splashes of water partially obscure the upcoming track. It’s an aspect of the game further expanded upon in this sequel.

A new snow season covers the trackside in icy details, while wintery conditions ranging from light snowfall to a full-on blizzard round off the extra dynamic weather effects. Existing wet weather conditions are also enhanced via the use of fluid dynamics – a feature that sees pools of water build up on the track when it’s raining heavily, later receding as the weather changes and the track begins to dry out. Other elements such as changes in ambient and track temperature along with atmospheric shifts all impact on car performance too, with tyres, braking, and aerodynamics all factored into the calculations.

Some of these features are reserved for 30fps racing games like Forza Horizon and DriveClub, but Slightly Mad Studios implements these aspects into Project Cars 2 while still targeting 60fps across all platforms. It’s certainly an ambitious task given the limits of the PS4 and Xbox One hardware, so how has the developer managed this? Pixel-counting suggests that dynamic resolution scaling is in effect across all consoles. Instead of the fixed 1080p/900p resolutions found on the original PS4 and Xbox One versions, pixel counts now adjust according to rendering load.

We take a look at image quality and performance across PS4 Pro, PS4 and Xbox One in Project Cars 2. Note: an incorrect fps graph is rendered at 4:47 – the frame-rate counter is correct here though, Pro is rendering at 58-59fps in this stress test area.

Based on initial measurements, we’re looking at between 1080p to 864p on PlayStation 4, while on Xbox One resolution tops out at 972p (a little increase over the 900p in the first Project Cars), and falls to 864p when the engine is under intense load. As a result, image quality isn’t quite as consistent as the first Project Cars, with some roughness creeping into the presentation in demanding scenes where resolution drops, but in less stressful races with 16 cars and clear conditions, the game appears crisp across both consoles. PlayStation 4 features a little more refinement here, but the gap is quite subtle at regular viewing distances.

The same dynamic set-up is also present on PS4 Pro, which is given full support for this sequel, with both resolution and performance boosts over base hardware. Our measurements suggest that the game features a target resolution of 1440p, but this drops to 1360p during demanding moments, such as racing under stormy conditions with the full quota of 32 cars in play. It’s an improvement over base hardware when viewed on a UHD TV, but it isn’t enough to pass as native 4K, and the scaled image can look quite rough at times. Opinion on this will vary according to taste, but Project Cars 2 on Pro does support downsampling, so 1080p display users may get the better deal here.

When it comes to delivering a nigh-on solid 60fps gameplay experience, PlayStation 4 Pro mostly delivers, regardless of whether you’re playing on a 4K or 1080p display. Frame-rates rarely waver from the desired target, and outside of stormy stress tests with upwards of 16 cars in play, the game holds firm at 60fps, providing a smooth and responsive racing experience. Even demanding wet weather conditions rarely impact performance heavily. There’s a fair amount of tearing on display as cars are bunched up at the start of a race, but frame-rates only incur a minor drop, and these issues clear up once the cars spread out during the race.  While momentarily distracting, the relatively constant frame-times and high frame-rate ensure that the game feels good to play and moves at a smooth pace. It’s not a perfect 60fps run, but the game isn’t too far off the pace, and delivers a significantly superior experience over the standard PS4 and Xbox One consoles.

As you may expect, neither base PS4 or Xbox One are able to provide consistent gameplay at a smooth 60 frames per second. Performance is variable depending on race conditions, with the number of cars, weather, and camera viewpoint having an impact on how well the game runs and plays. This means that although much of the gameplay hits the target, both consoles fall short of hitting 60fps under demanding conditions, with plenty of tearing and drops into 40-50fps range – and sometimes below that on Xbox One. Heavy rainfall has the most impact on performance, with the abundance of alpha effects for rain drops and water splashes pushing bandwidth to the limit on both machines. Neither looks or feels great here, with distracting judder caused by dropped and torn frames.

Pared back to 16 cars with racing conditions limited to cloudy or clear skies and things improve considerably – particularly on PS4, where it’s possible to hit a stable 60fps for lengthy portions of a race. Performance only drops when cars group around corners, resulting in some tearing and short but noticeable dips in smoothness. Otherwise things hold up pretty well with the absence of snow and rain, and we generally get a decent 60fps experience that works quite well, though the experience can fall a little short on Xbox One.



Night and the City
Chris Donlan plays through L.A. Noire with his dad, who grew up in the city in the 1940s.


Night and the City

Overall, there’s clear progress in this sequel. The underlying simulation behind the game is more complex than the first Project Cars, yet performance is generally very similar on base hardware. We get an impact to image quality consistency compared to the first game owing to the dynamic framebuffer, but we gain additional upgrades in the form of improved weather and more complex atmospheric elements, which enhance the driving experience nicely. But otherwise, if you’ve played the first Project Cars, you know what you’re getting here in terms of general performance.

It’s difficult to avoid the feeling that any limitations are simply down to the current consoles being held back by the ageing hardware, but the good news is that there is an option that delivers a more consistent, visually more impressive solution – PlayStation 4 Pro. What you’re not getting is a great 4K presentation, but the trade of pixels for a more fluid gameplay experience is the right one – and it’s the best way to play Project Cars 2 right now on consoles.

Modders Are Currently Making ‘Project London’ For ‘Grand Theft Auto V’

Grand Theft Auto have been entertaining us for years and years now.

It feels as if we’ve grown up with the series, watching it develop from a bird’s eye view game, into the unbelievable open world game it is today.

Despite it’s legacy and rave reviews, it’s not 100 percent perfect. There will always be things people will find to niggle at.

Luckily though, there are a plethora of mods that help alter the play into something you can enjoy even more. A new mod, however, is set to take the piss.

“Project London” re-imagines GTA V as a, you guessed it, London inspired city.

Credit: GTA 5 Mods

GTA has been set in London in the 2D universe, though never been featured since the leap to 3D was made. This mod looks to remedy that, changing the cars, roads, police, and of course, land marks.

“I got a message the other day from some guy asking if the roads could be done-if the cars could be swapped to the opposite side in the style of British road networks. I sat down and calculated the work for that. I’m looking at 210 hours just for the roads,” ambitious modder Kieran Merrilees told PC Gamer.

With that already huge workload sitting on his shoulders, Kieran says that he’ll have to spend hours on Google Street View, as well as researching pictures and videos to get London spot on.

He, with his partners Raddz Modding and Albo1125, have apparently finished creating Wembley stadium, a few hospitals, underground stations and emergency vehicles, but there’s still a long way to go.

Credit: GTA 5 Mods

Kieran said: “Being part of various [modding] communities has made me realise that I’ve got an opportunity to do something.

“And that’s where Project London started. Compared to other games, GTA is easier to mod, it’s easy to get the files that you need in order to do work, and there are a lot of people who’re able to offer advice and help out. That fact alone spurs you on to do more.

“To be honest it was becoming aware of the modding communities that support Grand Theft Auto V that encouraged me to start doing the work I’m doing.

“Between [the three of us] we’re trying to push forward and see what we can do, and achieve as much as we can achieve.”

Credit: GTA 5 Mods

Having a career as a financial advisor for Lloyds Bank, Kieran admits that it will be a slow process, as there are times when working on the mod stops altogether.

Because of that he’s unaware of when it’ll be released, but the progress so far is promising.

Who’s going to be playing this, then?

Featured Image Credit: GTA 5 Mods

Project London is GTA 5’s most ambitious overhaul mod yet

Project London aims to build a London-like city in GTA 5. Can’t be hard, right? “I got a message the other day,” says modder Kieran. “from some guy asking if the roads could be done—if the cars could be swapped to the opposite side in the style of British road networks. I sat down and calculated the work for that. I’m looking at 210 hours just for the roads.”

The original GTA: London was set in the late ’60s, but his version is inspired by the modern city. He aims to install landmarks incrementally, before building the project out into a pseudo interpretation of The Big Smoke. Kieran tells me that doing so involves a fair bit of Google Street-mapping, researching real life videos and photos, and a touch of artistic license. Even then, Project London is an ambitious undertaking.

“It’s a lot of work, it will take time, but whenever I’m finished one thing—I’ve just finished Heathrow Airport, for example—I add it into the pack, update it, and release it. There are three of us working on it now, and while we strive to mirror reality, if we think something looks right in situ, and it still looks like London, then we’re fine with that.”

So far, this has seen Kieran—and partners Raddz Modding and Albo1125—recreate Wembley Stadium, a handful of London Underground stations, a host of the city’s major hospitals, and a range of British Emergency Service vehicles. Next, the threesome have London hotels in their sights, real life billboards, bus stops, police stations. At some point they plan to remove the base game’s iconic Vinewood hilltop sign “because, well, that’s not London, is it?”

As a financial advisor for Lloyds Bank, finding time between life real commitments marks Kieran’s biggest challenge. There are consecutive weeks where nothing gets done, he admits, but he hopes the recent formation of his three-person team can “keep the work flowing” into the future. His modding know-how is also self-taught and despite getting involved with GTA 5’s British modding community less than a year ago, the standard of his work—not to mention his output—is impressive. 

“Being part of various communities has made me realise that I’ve got an opportunity to do something,” he tells me. “And that’s where Project London started. Compared to other games, GTA is easier to mod, it’s easy to get the files that you need in order to do work, and there are a lot of people who’re able to offer advice and help out. That fact alone spurs you on to do more.”

Despite being less familiar with Grand Theft Auto’s first pre-millennium visit to Great Britain, Kieran tells me he became most involved with Rockstar’s satirically swiping series via its faux Miami, Tommy Vercetti-starring Vice City. He says he’s pored over every game since, but that GTA 5 marks his PC debut and thus the first of which he’s modded.  

“To be honest it was becoming aware of the modding communities that support Grand Theft Auto 5 that encouraged me to start doing the work I’m doing,” he says. “Between [the three of us] we’re trying to push forward and see what we can do, and achieve as much as we can achieve.”

I think the standard, vanilla GTA is a bit lacking in certain areas, and that’s why modders do what they do.

That’s not to say Kieran doesn’t appreciate the magnitude of the task at hand. As a hobbyist modder, his work is voluntary, part-time, and unpaid—and while he doesn’t lack motivation, he’s not yet in a position to even guess when the project might be finished.  

“I genuinely couldn’t tell you,” he says. “There are just so many files that need opened, tinkered with, replaced. The whole thing costs me money too—there’s a programme I need in order to do it. It’s just a lot of work, there are so many files that need replaced across the whole map—you wouldn’t believe the amount of files I’ve had to replace so far.

“Simply put, this project is something I love doing. It’s something that I’ve always loved doing. I think it makes the game overall more enjoyable. I think the standard, vanilla GTA is a bit lacking in certain areas, and that’s why modders do what they do.” 

While unable to commit to anything long-term, Project London is an exciting prospect. Following Grand Theft Auto 4’s imitative New York City and its successor’s artificial Los Angeles, a sizeable chunk of players have called for Vice City to take on real life Miami. I’d personally prefer the preconceived US trifecta eschewed in favour of something closer to home. And while I’ve no idea if Rockstar feel the same, Kieran and his team’s efforts could go a long way towards satisfying my appetite.   

No matter the timeframe, Project London is, for Kieran, strictly entertainment. I ask him if he’d ever consider a career in development off the back of something so ambitious.     

“That’s not something that particularly interests me, this is solely something that I like to do in my spare time. I love working with the GTA British community and working on something like this improves everyone’s ideas for mods and what they wish the game could be like. 

“I know there is a lot of us that wish we had a new GTA London and this project, ambitious as it is, goes a ways to realising that. There are a lot of us working to give the game a British-leaning look. We do a lot of hard work and I’m proud of that.”

More information of the Project London work-in-progress mod can be found via its GTA 5 Mods page. 

Time Magazine exclusively uses iPhone to photograph portraits for ‘Women Firsts’ special project

iPhones have been used in a multitude of different photography projects, including many magazine covers, movies, and more. Now, Time explains that it has exclusively used an iPhone to shoot its “Women Firsts” edition this month…

Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

Time Magazine this month is highlighting “women who are changing the world” by telling stories of women such as Shonda Rhimes, Ellen Degeneres, Hillary Clinton, Nikki Haley, and more.

The photographer responsible for all of the portraits in this month’s Time Magazine is Luisa Dörr, a 28-year-old who is making a name for herself on Instagram with her photographs that are exclusively shot on an iPhone.

She explains in an interview with Time that the decision to shoot exclusively with an iPhone was met with confused reactions by many of the powerful women shoe photographed for this project:

Photographing people on the street and my friends with the iPhone is one thing. Photographing powerful, famous women is quite another. At first, it was difficult. The subjects were surprised to see someone like me. I felt like they were expecting to see someone older and more senior, with a few assistants and many cameras and lighting setups.

>Usually we didn’t have very much time with the subjects, because they have extremely busy schedules, so the photographs had to be taken quickly.The shortest shoot was two minutes and the longest shoot was 20 minutes, but most shoots were around five to 10 minutes.

She also says that she used an iPhone 7 for the majority of her shots, but some were from devices as old as the iPhone 5. She also says she uses the first-party Camera app wtith HDR:

I used my iPhone 5 for the first portrait session of Mary Barra, and then changed to the iPhone 6, and then the 6S Plus. During the course of the project, the iPhone 7 was released, so I was able to photograph the last 36 subjects with the iPhone 7.

I use the regular camera, in the square format. And because in FIRSTS we were working with natural light and it was complicated to play around with even a little bit of light control, I started using automatic HDR. In Janet Yellen’s portrait, for instance, with HDR I can have detail in her face and in the sky.

It’s a pretty interesting story and the full coverage is definitely worth a read on Time:

Microsoft and Facebook launch open source project to make neural networks portable | VentureBeat | AI

Microsoft and Facebook have announced a new open source project today that’s aimed at creating a shared model representation for neural networks across different programming frameworks. Called the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX), the new project will make it possible to share models across the Cognitive Toolkit, PyTorch, and Caffe2.

ONNX is supposed to help solve one of the key issues in the machine learning ecosystem right now. There is a profusion of different frameworks for setting up and executing neural networks and other machine learning systems, but they’re all different, and aren’t interoperable.

Using ONNX, it’s possible for Facebook to export a trained model created with PyTorch and use it with Caffe2 for inference. That’s important for taking a model created in research (something that PyTorch is good at) and bringing it to production with Caffe2. Microsoft said that it’s working on releasing a version of Cognitive Toolkit (also known as CNTK) that supports ONNX.

The system works by tracing how a neural network generated using one of these frameworks executes at runtime and then using that information to create a generic computation graph that can be moved around. That’s possible because each of those frameworks produces a very similar end result when it comes to computation, even though the higher level representation is different.

Right now, the biggest issue with ONNX is that it isn’t compatible with some other popular machine learning frameworks, including TensorFlow, which originated at Google, and Apache MXNet, which is Amazon’s preferred machine learning framework.

Implementing support for the project is non-trivial, however. Facebook said that it had to make changes to both PyTorch and Caffe2 in order to support the project. Microsoft and Facebook have said that they hope the open source community will help them evolve ONNX, so support for more frameworks will be possible in the future.

In addition, ONNX doesn’t support some more complex networks, like those created in PyTorch with dynamic flow control. That’s something Facebook plans to add in the future.

SD Times GitHub project of the week: My MacOS

This week’s GitHub project comes university student and developer Nikita Voloboev, who’s amassed a huge repository of Alfred workflows and tools that he uses to make his macOS experience “even more amazing.”

It’s a great resource for any Apple-centric developer, and includes productivity software, more feature-rich alternatives to stock macOS software, tips and tips for customizing your Mac to fit your development style and workflow.

If you’re not familiar with Alfred, which Voloboev calls one of his favorite applications, it’s a hugely versatile productivity tool for macOS with great customizability via hotkeys, keywords, terminal interactions and integration with all sorts of Mac software.

Here are our top picks from Voloboev’s comprehensive list:

  • Alfred: the aforementioned workflow and productivity tool. Voloboev linked some his custom workflows that he uses frequently
  • Kap: an open-source screen recorder that Voloboev says he uses to quickly record GIFs with a keyboard command
  • ImageOptim: quickly removes extra metadata and compresses images efficiently for use on the web
  • Gemini: a utility for finding duplicate files on a system for when you need to clear up some junk
  • Popclip: brings up a quick menu whenever text is selected that allows you to search it on various websites, translate it or read it out loud.
  • Focus: breaks the internet addiction by limiting your time on specified websites.
  • Dash: a powerful API documentation browser and code snippet manager. Dash stores snippets of code and instantly searches offline documentation sets for 150+ APIs
  • Keyboard Maestro: a powerful hotkey solution for macOS with an active community of macro-makers — Voloboev shows off his here.
  • MindNode: a mind mapping application for structuring your thoughts visually

Top 5 projects trending on GitHub this week:
#1. TensorFlow Examples
: TensorFlow Tutorial and Examples for beginners
#2. Google AR SDK: Google ARCore SDK for Android
#3. Java Design Patterns: Design patterns implemented in Java
#4. QMUI Android: Android UI design library for increased UI development efficiency
#5. A Human’s Guide to setup.py: Provides an example setup.py file, that can be used to bootstrap your next Python project

Xbox One X pre order news: Project Scorpio boost not a problem for PS4 Pro? | Gaming | Entertainment

The tech giant recently confirmed that the Xbox One X is now the fastest-selling Xbox pre order ever.

This was backed up by information from another analyst that suggested the console was off to a good start on Amazon.

US retailer Gamestop also had this to say about the new hardware, adding: “Microsoft has done it again! 

“The innovation and power behind the new Xbox One X console is driving excitement and demand among our customers worldwide.

“The speed at which we sold through our initial pre-order supply surpassed expectations, and what we experienced with pre-orders for the original Xbox One console. This new system is definitely going to change how video games are played!” 

But while this is all good news for the console, there were others that are more skeptical about its initial impact.

The Xbox One X Project Scorpio consoles have done well, selling out at many retailers.

However, it’s unclear just how much stock each retailer had, with Microsoft unlikely to confirm other important sales numbers.

And Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter has also raised a few other points that suggest we may not know the full picture until much later this year.

Speaking on his YouTube show, Pachter added: “Xbox One X is ranked on Amazon in the pre-orders a year to date, last I looked number 66. 

“I believe the NES Classic was at number 23. It sold 2.3 million units lifetime, and you know that the bulk of those units were sold last year, so this year maybe a million, so if Xbox One X is ranked 48th bellow that, it’s not even close to a million, and of course the Amazon allocation is probably five or ten thousand units.

“The original Xbox didn’t have big pre-orders. The Xbox 360, maybe, but honestly, who was pre-ordering consoles back then, so of course this is the most pre-ordered.”

Whatever happens, fans can expect both the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro to duke it out over 2018.

Both consoles will lack exclusives and will mostly rely on the existing content from the baseline Xbox One and PS4 consoles.

Sony have already confirmed that the PS4 Pro has made a good impact for them in sales but it will be interesting to see how the Xbox One X affects this.

Xbox One X pre order UPDATE: Microsoft confirm new stock and Project Scorpio status | Gaming | Entertainment

Fans can rest assured that more Xbox One X pre order stock is heading to stores soon.

Microsoft have announced that they will be releasing details on when it will arrive shortly.

According to the tech giant, the news will be coming next month, meaning fans will be waiting until at least the end of the week to find out more.

Microsoft have also revealed that the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition unveiled during Gamescom will no longer be available.

It was always supposed to be a little bonus for those grabbing the console early, with Project Scorpio consoles now off the table.

“Although our fans may no longer be able to pre-order the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition in their country, we know people are still anxious to get their hands on the world’s most powerful console,” a message from Microsoft explains.

“We will be announcing details of the next wave of Xbox One X standard edition pre-orders next month so stay tuned for more information.”

While it may say “standard edition” that doesn’t mean fans will be missing out on anything too big.

The Project Scorpio Editions were different in cosmetics only, boasting Scorpio tags on both the controller and console.

The Xbox One X has also been breaking company records, according to the latest news shared by Microsoft.

“Within just a few days, we saw record-setting sell-out times and are currently sold out in many countries around the world,” the message adds.

“You, our biggest fans, have pre-ordered more Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition consoles in the first five days than any Xbox ever.”

While this sounds impressive and shows there is definitely interest in the new console, it’s hard to pinpoint just what kind of impact the Xbox One X has made.

That’s because Microsoft no longer share sales figures, meaning we don’t know the exact numbers of pre orders shipped, compared to the past.

It’s also been confirmed that the Xbox One X has now officially overtaken the PS4 Pro on the Amazon U.S. 2017 Best Sellers list.

An analyst at Niko Partners has crunched the numbers and revealed that the Xbox One X is now ahead of its biggest rival, even though the upgraded PlayStation console has been available all year.

“Xbox One X pre orders seem to be doing well on Amazon,” Daniel Ahmad posted on Twitter. 

“Already ahead of PS4 Pro on Amazon US for 2017 YTD.

“This is an indication that XB1X pre orders are doing quite well, especially since pre orders just started. Can’t infer more than that though.”

The PS4 Pro has already been confirmed to be a good seller for Sony, who believe it makes up about 1/5 of PS4 console sales.

So it could be massive news for Microsoft if the Xbox One X can keep up with its early success, or even continue to surpass it.

Microsoft’s Project Scorpio returns as a special Xbox One X for preorders

Microsoft first revealed its Xbox One X back at E3, and now it’s allowing consumers to preorder the console today ahead of its release on November 7th. Just like the Xbox One Day One Edition, Microsoft is also creating a special edition for the Xbox One X: the Project Scorpio Edition. Priced at $499, the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition includes a gradient design on the console itself, alongside the console’s Project Scorpio codename on the controller and console. You can preorder the Xbox One X at the following stores:

The retail packaging for this Scorpio Edition even features a giant X that’s reminiscent of the original Xbox. Aside from the graphic pattern on the console and Project Scorpio branding, the changes are purely cosmetic. There’s no little LCD display like the Project Scorpio dev unit, and the hardware inside is identical to a regular Xbox One X. This is purely for fans of the codename and early adopters of the Xbox One X.

The Xbox One X is designed to compete with Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro, and it’s certainly more powerful at 6 teraflops of graphical power vs. the 4.2 teraflops found on the PS4 Pro. Microsoft is working with third-party games studios to ensure Xbox One titles are optimized for the new power of the Xbox One X. These optimizations will be free to existing owners of games, and more than 100 titles have been confirmed for Xbox One X optimizations.

While game makers can’t create titles only for the Xbox One X, they can provide more assets, a higher resolution, and better frame rates on the console. All of these optimizations fall under a new “Xbox One X Enhanced” program. The optimizations might not always be clear, but Microsoft is using three logos in total for new Xbox One games. There’s an enhanced logo to indicate a game has been updated for the Xbox One X, and a 4K and HDR logo to note specific support. The 4K indicator simply means a game has a 2160p butter output, but that 4K support will include native, checkerboarding, and dynamic resolution. Microsoft’s HDR support is the regular HDR10 standard that is also used on the Xbox One S, and there’s no word on Dolby Vision support.

In terms of launch titles for the Xbox One X, Microsoft just revealed that Crackdown 3 has been delayed to spring next year. That leaves the Xbox One X without a major Xbox-exclusive title on launch day, and Microsoft will have to convince consumers that it’s worth the upgrade for exclusives like Forza Motorsport 7, Cuphead, Super Lucky’s Tale, and the console launch exclusive PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Both Forza 7 and Cuphead are debuting before the Xbox One X, but Super Lucky’s Tale will launch at the same time as the Xbox One X on November 7th.


http://www.theverge.com/

Microsoft is focusing on what it calls “true 4K” games on Xbox One. While most consumers don’t own a 4K TV yet, Microsoft is promising that games will also run quicker and smoother on 1080p screens. 4K is the big target for the Xbox One X, but hopefully we’ll see devs improve games for 60fps on 1080p TV screens too.

Microsoft has priced its Xbox One X at a $100 prime premium over the PS4 Pro. It’s still not clear how many titles will truly hit native 4K at 60fps, and the pricing could prove to be an issue like it was with the original Xbox One vs. PS4. At least this time Microsoft has a lot more raw power to offer for the extra cash. With canceled games and delays to its own games, Microsoft will still need to prove it has titles that will draw consumers to the Xbox One X.