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Xbox One X hands-on preview, release date, specs, pre-order info and more

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xbox one x

Xbox One X is arriving in just a few weeks. Trusted Reviews has compiled everything you need to know about the artist formerly known as Project Scorpio including its specs, release date, price, games and more. We also have a preview of the console after testing a few games on the machine.

Related: PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X

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Xbox One X hands-on: A big upgrade?

While I haven’t yet received a One X to fully test, I have had a chance to play some big upcoming and recently-released titles on the console at various press events seeing first-hand what the additional power and visual fidelity adds to certain titles.

At a recent Xbox One X showcase, I got to play Forza Motorsport 7 and Middle Earth: Shadow of War on the One X. Both games looked absolutely stunning, primarily thanks to the incredible use of HDR bringing colours to life on the display. On a personal note, I’ve always considered HDR the real shining star over 4K as the real technical advancement, as it really makes visual spectacles pop, and Shadow of War was a great example of this. Battling in the pits of a volcano, with flowing lava causing great contrast with the dark rocks, was an incredible scene. I discuss this in much greater depth in my preview, which you can read by clicking the above link.

However, the thing is, the Xbox One S also supports HDR, making me question if the bump to 4K is significant enough for S owners to make the not-so-small investment of £449.99 to upgrade to the shiny new console. At the moment, it’s too early to tell. Once we get the console in-house and can fully test everything the console brings to games, from faster load times, prettier graphics, sharper images and everything else Microsoft has promised for both 4K and 1080p TV owners, we can deliver a more definitive verdict. For now, I very much love the idea of the One X, but am still unsure if it does enough for existing owners to make the upgrade.

Xbox One X pre-orders: when can I buy one?

You can now pre-order the Xbox One X right now! Most major retailers have the console in stock, however the recently-unveiled “Project Scorpio” edition of the console is in very limited supply, which you can check out below in a nifty trailer:

Related: Xbox One X vs Xbox One S

It maintains the £449.99 price of the standard console, meaning this is something hardcore Xbox fans will want to have in their collection.

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Amazon UK 

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Very

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Argos

Pre-order Xbox One X from Microsoft Store

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Amazon US

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Walmart

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Gamestop

Microsoft has also released an extensive list of games that will support Xbox One X upon its release later this year, including many existing Xbox One titles that are set to receive free updates going forward. At the time of writing Microsoft’s list of supported games has now surpassed 130.

Xbox One X Specs: How powerful is the Xbox One X?

Here’s a quick breakdown of all the key Xbox One X specs:

  • CPU: Eight-core 2.3GHz processor
  • GPU: 40 compute units at 1172MHz
  • RAM: 12GB GDDR5 (shared between system and GPU)
  • Bandwidth: 326GB/s
  • Storage: 1TB hard disk
  • Disc: UHD Blu-ray player
  • Video: 4K output, HDR 10 support
  • Audio: DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Atmos, PCM 2.0, 5.1, 7.1
  • Wireless: Bluetooth, dual-band Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, IR blaster
  • Connectors: 2x HDMI (2.0b out, 1.4b in), 3x USB 3.0 ports, IR out, S/PDIF, Ethernet

First, let’s look at the headline Xbox One X specs before moving onto how this will affect gaming resolution and performance.

The One X uses an eight-core processor, likely from AMD although not officially stated, running at 2.3GHz. Seasoned PC gamers might not think this sounds like a lot and, indeed, it isn’t. But keep in mind console processors are packed into an incredibly tight space, and more GHz means more heat. This is still a substantial boost over the Xbox One, whose eight cores ran at 1.75GHz.

Related: Xbox One X Games

In the graphics department, the One X will get a GPU with 40 compute units running at a seriously impressive 1172MHz. Even more startling is the massive 12GB of GDDR5 memory, which is a handy combination of more and faster memory. This 12GB will be shared by the whole system, so some will be reserved for the CPU with the rest going to the GPU.

You’ll get a 1TB hard disk inside your Xbox One X, along with a UHD Blu-ray player. And that’s all we know.

Scroll down to bite your teeth in the Xbox One X’s performance, but first, let’s quickly address the all-important matter of its price and release date.

Related: Nintendo Switch Review

Xbox One X Price and Release Date: Where can I pre-order the console?

At E3, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One X will be released on November 7 2017 – just in time to make it this year’s Christmas must-buy.

The company also divulged that it’ll be relatively affordable for such a powerful new-gen console, costing £449 in the UK and $499 in the States.

That’s huge news for those who bought an Xbox or PS4 back in 2013 and have been waiting to upgrade to the next ‘major leap’ system. That starting price also puts it close enough to the PS4 Pro, which will give potential buyers of Sony’s latest console some serious pause for thought.

Related: Best Xbox One deals

Xbox One X Performance: How does it stack up against its rivals?

The biggest way performance has been boosted over the current-gen Xbox One S is the GPU (graphics processing unit). Up from 12 compute units at 914MHz, we now have 40 cores running at 1172MHz. Cores and clock speeds don’t mean everything, so you’re not getting ten times the performance here.

But what you are getting is impressive 4.6x performance multiplier. This opens up a huge number of possibilities for developers, with ultra-high-resolution textures and 4K resolutions now a core part of the game development process.

For PC gamers who want a rough comparison to a GPU currently in the wild, the 6TFLOPs (trillion floating point operations per second) figure bandied around when the Scorpio was announced is roughly akin to Nvidia’s GTX 1070, a card that can handle 1440p and UHD gaming at a push. But there’s much more to graphics power than TFLOPs, and consoles are always much more efficient at making use of hardware than PCs.

Digital Foundry was shown a single stress test running on One X hardware, so we don’t have any information on how real games will actually run, but Microsoft has revealed a lot of details on how it will support different resolutions and graphics settings.

Related: Upcoming Xbox One Games

Still, the stress test, which is based on Forza Motorsport, ran at Ultra HD resolution at 60fps, which is an enticing prospect when you consider the One X, apparently, was only using 70% of its graphical might to do this. Microsoft then turned up the heat to higher graphics settings, and DF says the console ‘didn’t break a sweat’. What this means in reality we don’t quite know, but it all sounds very promising.

This isn’t just a console for 4K TV owners, though. Games developed for Xbox One X will have customisable graphics settings for all types of displays, so even if you only have a 1080p TV you’ll still be able to ask your One X to render everything in UHD and then downscale it to 1080p for the sharpest gaming experience you’ve ever seen. Or, for better performance, you could just amp up the graphics settings but keep the resolution at 1080p.

In other words, this is a PC in console’s clothing.

The One X will run all current Xbox One games and should improve performance, whether or not they have been updated for the new console. It runs on the same software as Xbox One, so you won’t have to buy all your games again.

Related: Best Xbox One Games

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Xbox One X is VR-capable, but…

The Xbox One X is capable of running games in virtual reality, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer isn’t yet sold on the technology.

Speaking to Stevivor, Spencer says that while he’s a fan, he doesn’t feel the tech or games are quite there yet, and that will affect its availability on One X.

“I love the technology behind VR. I have an HTC Vive; I have an Oculus Rift. I’ve used the PlayStation [VR] device a lot in demos and stuff,” he said.

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“I think VR will find its spot in gaming; I would make that bet,” he continued. “We designed Scorpio as a VR-capable console. Whether that happens this year, next year or the year after… like I said, I still think the creative community has to get its arms around what are these new tools, and this new feeling – this new immersion.

“What experiences do you put in people’s hands to have a long-term engagement? Most of these things I’m playing now feel like demos and experiments, which I actually think it’s absolutely the right thing to have happened. That’s not a criticism at all. But I think it will take time.”

Related: Star Wars Battlefront 2 preview

Spencer believes that in order for VR to become a mainstream success, it needs to be wireless.

“In the long run, we need untethered solutions. You need to have the compute capability to not be wired to the display that’s on my head. That means I either have some kind of high-bandwidth wireless HDMI or I have compute here.

“With the HoloLens we’ve chosen to put compute in the HMD itself, so it’s right there. The other thing I think most people who look along in this technology is a mixed reality world, where I have a head-mounted display that can go from a fully enclosed, opaque world that is VR to a fully transparent one where I’m seeing augmentation in my world. I should have one device that spans both.”

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Amazon UK 

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Very

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Argos

Pre-order Xbox One X from Microsoft Store

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Amazon US

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Walmart

Pre-order: Xbox One X from Gamestop

One major VR title we’re expecting to see on Project One X is Fallout 4, which is currently in development at Bethesda. Due to launch in 2017 for HTC Vive. Pete Hines recently gave Hip Hop Gamer an update on the project, and it sounds pretty damn exciting.

“Fallout 4 VR is the most incredible thing you’ve ever seen in your life. You can’t even imagine what it’s like, playing in VR and how realistic it looks and everywhere you turn your head. It is going to blow your mind. It is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen,” game director Todd Howard told Hines.

No mention of this game was made during Microsoft’s 2017 E3 event though, so we’re not sure exactly what’s going on.

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Will you be waiting to buy an Xbox One X? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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When is the next Steam Sale? Get ready for some Halloween bargains!

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Best Steam Deals

 Steam Summer Sale closes, countdown begins!

Taking place regularly throughout the year, Steam Sales offer some of the year’s absolute best PC gaming deals. A recent leak has confirmed the next three major sales including the upcoming Halloween Sale, which is sure to have plenty of spooky bargains.

When is the next Steam Sale?

The dates for the upcoming trio of Steam Sales were recently revealed in a report by Kotaku UK, confirming that we’ll see two more before 2017 comes to a close.

Steam Halloween Sale: October 26, 2017 – November 1, 2017

Steam Autumn Sale: November 22, 2017 – November 28, 2017

Steam Winter Sale: December 21, 2017 – January, 2018

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That means the next chance you have to get your hands on some hugely discounted video games is October 26, with deals expected to begin at around 6PM GMT.

It’s worth noting that Valve is yet to officially confirm the above dates, but they do fall in line with the expectant times found in previous years. We’ll be sure to update you once things are confirmed.

Are you excited for the next Steam Sale? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

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Pixel 2 Problems: Google investigating reports of screen-burn issue

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Pixel 2 XL

Google is actively investigating problems with the Pixel 2 XL display, after reports that review handsets are suffering OLED screen burns. 

The Pixel 2 XL, while a brilliant Android phone, had a weak point in our reviews: Its underwhelming screen performance.

But it seems the screen’s problems don’t end there, with journalists reviewing the Pixel 2 XL reporting that after around a week’s worth of use they are noticing screen-burn, with buttons and navigation bars seemingly leaving ghosts-like images on the panel even after they are no longer being displayed.

It should be noted that our reviewer Max Parker has seen no evidence of this on his Pixel 2 review units.

Screen-burn has long been an issue in the display world, affecting TVs and monitors as well as the odd smartphone display. It usually takes the form of semi-visible images of previously displayed icons or video content left ‘burned’ into the display even when they’re no longer supposed to be visible. The problem can go from causing a minor but annoying distraction to making a display unusable.

One reviewer Alex Dobi posted a photo of his Pixel 2 XL online which showed visible screen burn in the form of menu buttons showing up when the display should be showing a grey background.

While Google has defended the pOLED display, which comes courtesy of manufacturing partner LG, in terms of colour and contrast, the company did say it is looking into these potentially more serious problems.

“We put all of our products through extensive quality testing before launch and in the manufacturing of every unit. We are actively investigating this report,” a Google spokesperson said.

There is a chance that such screen burns could fade over time, but for a flagship phone with a hefty price tag, Google will have been expected to have created a near-flawless display for its Pixel 2 XL.

For people keen to get their hands on a phone loaded with Google’s machine learning prowess but want a decent display as well, then the smaller Pixel 2 with its AMOLED display is arguably the safer bet than its larger sibling.

Related: Pixel 2 deals

Is screen burn a big no-no for you when it comes to smartphones? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook. 

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Pay with Google will make it trivially easy to splash your cash online

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Google is making it easier to splurge your cash online and through your Android smartphone with the launch of Pay with Google. 

First introduced back in May with the goal of removing the need to fill out fiddly payment forms when buying things online or signing up to services such as Netflix, Pay With Google now provides an option that automatically sends the payment details you have linked with your Google account or the cards you use with Android Pay and sends them on to the merchant or service that needs them.

This means that all the card details, addresses, names and other information that can be laborious to tap into a web form through a smartphone, are all taken care of automatically by Pay with Google.

“Google sends the merchant your payment info and shipping address using the information from your account—no typing required. Then, the merchant will handle all the details just like any other purchase,” explained Pali Bhat, Google’s vice president of product management for its payments division.

Pay with Google will also work with the Chrome web browser and for security purposes the automated tool will ask for you to authenticate the purchase with a security code or using your Android device, but other than that the whole process is promised to be almost trivial to use.

So far Pay with Google works with 15 companies, including the likes of Airbnb, JustEast and StubHub. More support from companies, websites and apps should be expected soon as Google is offering a developers the Google payment API (application programming interface) to allow them to easily add Pay with Google into their software and payment processes.

Related: Google Pixel 2 review

Is Pay with Google a good idea, or will it make spending money online too easy? Tweet us @TrustedReviews or let us know on Facebook. 

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Steam Sale Leak: Dates for next three deal events leaked online

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Best Steam Deals

The dates for the next three Steam Sale events have seemingly been leaked online, prompting widespread excitement amongst deal-hungry gamers.

Forget new game launches and DLC drops – the big event on most gamer’s calendar is the coveted Steam Sale. Every so often, Valve’s online video game store Steam will produce mind-bendingly cheap deals on a range of titles, including many AAA offerings.

But there’s often very little notice when it comes to Steam Sales, mainly because developers don’t want you hanging around to purchase their games if you know there’s a discount coming up.

The good news is that it appears that times and dates for the next three Steam Sale events have been leaked. Gaming news site Kotaku has reportedly confirmed these dates with three developer sources, suggesting that the leak is in fact legitimate.

So when will they take place? Apparently, the schedule is as follows:

Steam Halloween Sale: October 26, 2017 – November 1, 2017

Steam Autumn Sale: November 22, 2017 – November 28, 2017

Steam Winter Sale: December 21, 2017 – January, 2018

That means the next chance you have to get your hands on some hugely discounted video games is October 26, with deals expected to begin at around 6pm GMT.

However, it’s worth noting that Valve hasn’t officially confirmed these sales, so we recommend taking this leak with due caution – regardless of what developer sources are saying – for now.

We’ll be updating you with more details about future Steam sales, so make sure to check back on Trusted Reviews for the latest.

Related: Best PC games

Have you managed to bag any great deals in Steam sales gone by? Let us know via Facebook or tweet us @TrustedReviews.

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The Best Cat Litter Boxes

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After considering nearly 30 litter boxes, we chose 10 and had 12 cats use them and three humans clean them. The Nature’s Miracle High Sided Litter Box is the best. It’s a simple, open box that’s big enough for most cats, with higher sides and a lower entry than other open boxes, so it contains mess yet is still easy for your cat to get into. Its smooth finish makes it easier to clean than other boxes with divots, hard angles, and seams, and it’s dirt cheap.