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4K Gets More Game

4K is rapidly becoming a core feature, rather than a fancy add-on. That’s not just for the TVs themselves, but the devices those sets are connecting to.

After earlier 4K tie-ins from streaming players from companies such as Roku and Amazon, video game consoles are also starting to get the 4K treatment.

The latest console maker to join in was Microsoft, which used the E3 conference to introduce the Xbox One X, a new console with enough horsepower to support 4K gaming and video at 60 frames per second, along with support for High Dynamic Range (HDR).

Microsoft’s new console, which has been teased under the Project Scorpio label, is set to arrive on Nov. 7 and will sell starting at $499. It follows last year’s launch of the Xbox One S, a follow-on that includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc drive.

Notably, existing Xbox One accessories and games will work with the Xbox One X. The new console will implement a feature called “super sampling” to make new games look better on 1080p HDTV sets.

The new console follows Sony’s launch late last year of the PlayStation 4 Pro, a higher-octane gaming console that also supports 4K resolution and HDR.

Microsoft and Sony are entering the 4K fray as more consumers adopt the new format and more new TV models are equipped with technology to support it.

The Consumer Technology Association has already declared that the rate of adoption of Ultra HD-capable TVs has surpassed that of HDTVs. The CTA expects 15 million UHD sets to be sold in the U.S. by the end of 2017, and balloon to 24.5 million by the end of 2020.