Microsoft aims for hard-core gamers with Xbox One X

The new console is the latest step in Microsoft’s effort to brand its gaming franchise as the home for dedicated gamers after losing market share to rival Sony.

LOS ANGELES — Microsoft ratcheted up its bid for the attention of hard-core gamers Sunday, unveiling the Xbox One X, a supercharged entry into the Redmond company’s video-game console line.

The device, set for release Nov. 7 for $499, brings support for games displayed in ultra-high-definition 4K resolution.

Phil Spencer, the leader of Microsoft’s Xbox unit, introduced the device at the beginning of the company’s presentation at the E3 gaming trade show here.

He hearkened back to the ambition of the team of young executives who pushed Microsoft to enter the video-game hardware market 15 years ago with the Xbox, and spared no superlatives in describing the newest entry.

The Xbox One X, “the most powerful console ever made, sets a new standard,” he said, and it’s compatible with games built for the vanilla Xbox One.

It is also the most expensive mainstream console on the market, a test of whether there’s room for a supercharged console priced somewhere between a traditional device and a high-end personal computer.

The Xbox One X is the latest stop on Microsoft’s redemption tour after the initial stumbles of the Xbox One. Before the 2013 release of that console, Microsoft pitched the Xbox One primarily as an entertainment hub, turning off a portion of the dedicated audience accustomed to shelling out hundreds of dollars for a gaming machine.

The PlayStation 4 grew a wide sales lead over Xbox One, and Microsoft has refocused its efforts on the game side of its console since. Microsoft also stopped disclosing console sales totals, focusing instead on metrics like subscribers to the Xbox Live multiplayer and social networking service.

Microsoft, along with Sony and Nintendo, typically release a new console every few years and compete to draw the…

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