GAMING
Xbox One X enhanced games: a visual comparison
The Xbox One X makes (some) legacy games look a lot better. Here's what that looks like for three noteworthy Xbox titles: Halo 3, Quantum Break, and Gears of War 4.

Microsoft's brand-new Xbox One X is finally here! And while it sounds incredible on paper for gamers that recently upgraded to a killer 4K setup in their living rooms—especially since the console also doubles as a handy 4K Ultra HD player for your favorite (expensive) movies—the Xbox One X doesn't just make new games look good.


A big list of older titles have received an "Xbox One X Enhanced" designation, which means that their developers have done some extra work to make them play even better on Microsoft's newest console. As Microsoft describes, "this may include higher resolutions, faster framerates and/or improved textures," and different logos give you a visual clue of what tweaks a developer made to a particular title.


Here's what these improvements look like for a few noteworthy Xbox one titles.

Halo 3: going oldschool

Seeing an Xbox 360 game brought to 4K is really incredible, and Halo 3 might be the best Xbox One X enhanced game you can find right now. The upgraded version features an enhanced color palette and nine times the pixel count over the (very old) Xbox 360 version—like shooting a photograph with a potato versus an iPhone X.


In this video, Luke TheNotable compares the game's Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions to the Xbox One X enhanced version.


Luke TheNotable: "Looking at the Xbox 360 graphics, there are obviously some anti- aliasing issues. Notice how the leaves on the trees just look kind of totally undefined and all sort of one big blob. When we flip over to the Xbox One X enhanced Halo 3 edition, you see a lot of these problems fixed. The trees are going to instantly look a lot more defined and better. Also notice that the floor and rock face just becomes more clear. This is because of the higher resolution."

Quantum Break: improving Littlefinger's looks

Even though nobody played the first-person shooter Quantum Break, it looked great on the Xbox One. So how does the Xbox One X improve its visuals? According to Ars Technica, "Quantum Break fares a little better on Xbox One X, if only because the original game rendered at an astonishingly low 720p resolution, then used an MSAA implementation to fuzz its way toward a full 1080p. That MSAA trick has returned for the game's Xbox One X patch, and while it's hard to tell exactly what the game's base resolution is, 1440p is a safe bet."


That said, don't expect constant, silky-smooth gameplay in this time-manipulation-themed title.


Digital Foundry: "We get a huge boost to the resolution, and slightly wobbly performance with a game that is, admittedly, still very demanding across multiple platforms".

Gears of War 4: chainsaw bayonet splatter in 4K

Nothing quite says realistic gameplay like an ultra-high-resolution blast of blood and guts when you ram a gun with a chainsaw into some ugly-looking Locust's stomach. Ah, technology.  


Microsoft has dedicated an entire page to the improvements found in the enhanced version of Gears of War 4 for the Xbox One X, which includes a new 4K resolution, HDR, and a way to toggle 60fps at 1080p or 30fps at 4K—if you prefer performance over looks, or vice versa.


Outsidexbox: "I'm getting some super-duper light shafts on my Xbox One X version."