Yeah I get that. The Xbox One X though is more like on par with a mid-range PC in terms of fidelity. (I.E. Radeon RX 580/Geforce 1060.)
Halo 5 has strong art direction, arguably I don't think it is artistically as refined as Halo 4 though.
Interesting you bring up Halo 3, Reach and 4 though.
Well developers can have it both ways when it comes to chasing 4K and pleasing people who want better graphics/performance. There are good number of games offering these options on X1X and it could become more common. As long as there a native 4K option they can boast 4K.
I get the impression not a significant amount of time went into the Halo 5's X1X patch, it primarily just a resolution upgrade with other settings improved a bit. But still a massive improvement in overall picture quality.
Halo 5 is inconsistent visually, at moments it looks great and other times it looks arguably worse than Halo 4. It makes a lot of compromises like model animation from a distance, aggressive pop in, etc. I blame the engine more than the hardware. The X1X should have been able to address these problem whether its GPU or CPU related.
MS certainly likes working with UE4 and that engine is does make good use of the X1. Gears of War 4 is still one of the best looking games this gen and Gears 5 will certainly raise the bar. The engine at Turn 10 engine also fantastic, a technical marvel this gen. I'm not sure if using a single engine for every game is a good idea, but I think 343 can certainly do better than what Halo 5 has.
Halo 3 had more resource intensive lighting, but it also had lower quality assets and resolution. In Halo MCC its the most dated looking game for a reason even if it has better effects. So its not like Halo Reach and 4 look better simply because they opted for less taxing effects, there is also better optimization, resolution and assets there.
What is really using X1X to its fullest though? Would that be a really great looking game designed to run 1080p and 30 fps on the X1X? Maybe providing more stable performance and higher resolution in X1 game is already pushing the hardware? Either way, Halo Infinite will likely be on X1, X1X and next iteration of Xbox. I would hope it raises the bar on all hardware.
I think most people would opt for 1440p over 4K if they saw a significant improvement in 1440p. We even see people saying they prefer 1080p over 4K if it comes with better performance. I think most people find 1080p perfectly acceptable especially with some post processing effects.
Crackdown 3 for X1S/X1X (4/5) - Infinity Blade III - for iPad 4 (3/5) - Infinity Blade II - for iPad 4 (4/5) - Infinity Blade - for iPad 4 (4/5) - Wolfenstein: The Old Blood for X1 (3/5) - Assassin's Creed: Origins for X1 (3/5) - Uncharted: Lost Legacy for PS4 (4/5) - EA UFC 3 for X1 (4/5) - Doom for X1 (4/5) - Titanfall 2 for X1 (4/5) - Super Mario 3D World for Wii U (4/5) - South Park: The Stick of Truth for X1 BC (4/5) - Call of Duty: WWII for X1 (4/5) -Wolfenstein II for X1 - (4/5) - Dead or Alive: Dimensions for 3DS (4/5) - Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite for X1 (3/5) - Halo Wars 2 for X1/PC (4/5) - Halo Wars: DE for X1 (4/5) - Tekken 7 for X1 (4/5) - Injustice 2 for X1 (4/5) - Yakuza 5 for PS3 (3/5) - Battlefield 1 (Campaign) for X1 (3/5) - Assassin's Creed: Syndicate for X1 (4/5) - Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for X1 (4/5) - Call of Duty: MW Remastered for X1 (4/5) - Donkey Kong Country Returns for 3DS (4/5) - Forza Horizon 3 for X1 (5/5)