Microsoft’s strategy for the future of video gaming is to ensure that no one falls behind. It intends to ensure that a wide number of devices, regardless of their graphic capabilities, will have access to a massive collection of games, virtual pals, and a developing, service-driven economy.
The Xbox Series X is at the forefront of this concept, serving as Microsoft’s flagship system for the next generation and a direct competitor to Sony’s PlayStation 5. According to Microsoft, it is the most powerful gaming system currently released and will serve as a gaming model for future experiences. If that isn’t enough to entice you, it also intends to honor the brand’s history through backward compatibility.
So, has it achieved what it set out to do? Or does the present shortage of meaningful new titles in the initial months of release prohibit it from becoming a computer worth owning? I’ve spent several weeks using the console and can confidently tell that the Series X is a beast. It has insanely rapid loading times, crystal-clear performance, and a degree of fluidity I’ve never seen before.
Microsoft has spent a long time attempting to reclaim the gaming brand it lost with the lackluster launch of the Xbox One, and under the command of Phil Spencer, the company is now closer to becoming the leader of the field. So, let’s dig down into what makes this next-generation console so unique and discuss if you should buy one.
Xbox Series X – Pros And Cons
- Extremely powerful
- Game Pass provides library access
- Settings and loading times are lightning fast
- Both the body and the specifications are built to last
- Supports native 4K gameplay at 60 frames per second
- Huge potential More storage than the PS5
- Gaming at as much as 120 frames per second is also supported
- Heavy and bulky, they’re difficult to conceal in typical TV cabinets.
- Large exclusives are few
- Due to software similarity, it lacks a wow factor
- Untapped next-generation potential
Xbox Series X – Specs
So, what lies within the alluring black box? The following are the Xbox Series X’s primary specifications and features:
- AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 12 Teraflops and an 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU
- 1TB of personal storage
- As much as 8K resolution and 120 frames per second
- Ray tracing for stunning lighting effects
- Load times are nearly instant, so that you can get right into the game.
- Quick Resume allows you to switch between open games quickly.
- Backward compatibility with the Xbox One is complete.
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Gears Tactics, Gears 5, and Yakuza: Like a Dragon are among the many titles available through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Xbox Series X – Design
The Xbox Series X has become a large slab of the console with a design that has garnered parallels to a kitchen refrigerator. While it isn’t exactly attractive, its shape follows function. The more powerful a gadget, the more heat it generates, and that heat must be taken away from the components in order for them not to overheat and be able to run more complex modern games,
The Series X’s form is partly due to a massive fan on the top. It draws cool air in through the ventilation slits at the bottom of the console, cooling the components as it goes, then expels heated air from the 144 holes located at the top panel. You would be correct if you picture the case as a chimney.
All of this may sound pretty industrial and noisy, but huge fans are typically much quieter than smaller fans since they can move additional air while not having to work as hard. And thus, it is proven: the Series X fan is extremely quiet, even while the gaming console is being pressured by something like a demanding game. A majority of the time, the panel is barely audible over the ambient sound found in the average living room.
However, although Microsoft has apparently gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure the Series X’s cooling system is as noise-free as possible, the same care was not given to the disc drive, which generates a lot of noise.
It’s not a big deal with disc-based games because they install to and operate from the system’s onboard storage, needing the disc to spin just momentarily when the console boots up. However, it is a problem while playing Blu-rays and DVDs. During scenes with low volume, the Xbox fan can be clearly heard; a standalone 4K Blu-ray player is noticeably quieter.
Although the Microsoft Xbox Series X was designed to be primarily vertically oriented, as evident by the direction of the Xbox branding button, it may also be positioned horizontally.
This may be preferable in some cases. Even though the device rarely gives any auditory indication of how hard it’s working, it does emit a lot of heat when stressed by a graphically heavy game. Therefore it is critical that you give it lots of space to ensure air flows freely through it.
Xbox Series X – Controller
While most people are unlikely to notice and perhaps even detect the difference, the new Xbox Series X controller is a touch smaller than its predecessor, making it more comfortable for younger and smaller gamers.
The underside is also more noticeably textured, and the mottled effect has spread onto the surfaces of both the trigger buttons, which are matte instead of shiny and curve to a less noticeable peak. Essentially, the controller is more ergonomic and simpler to handle, which is unquestionably a good thing.
A new Share button on the controller’s face is ‘inspired’ by the DualShock 4 on the PS4.Tap the button to save a screenshot immediately, or hold down for a few seconds to capture the past 29 seconds of gameplay. Meanwhile, the d-pad has been modified to mimic the design of the Elite Series 2 Controller. This makes it more beneficial for games that necessitate sweep actions combo fighting games sans jeopardizing the positivity of up, down, left, and right presses.
The controller also has Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) that is designed to instantly synchronize every controller input to what you see on screen. Of course, your TV’s lag will also play a role here, but accelerating things up at any stage in operation can only be a good thing. Indeed, the console seems quick to react to commands, though it’s difficult to tell how much of it is due to DLI versus how much is due to the console’s improved performance elsewhere.
The controller of the Series X improves on the already outstanding controller that came before it, although not significantly. We don’t recommend replacing your controllers immediately, and you don’t have to: Xbox One controllers operate perfectly with the Series X.
Xbox Series X – User Interface
Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way first. The Xbox Series X has the same user interface as the Xbox One, but it is faster and smoother. You’re ready to go once you’ve configured the console with the associated smartphone app or onscreen menu. If you choose, you may easily move your games to the Xbox using an external hard drive. Copy the Series X-optimized games to the internal drive and you’re ready to go. The user interfaces of the Series X and the Xbox One are identical.
If you didn’t notice the new console under your TV, people would think you were playing on the Xbox One. This isn’t always a bad thing because it means you’ll have to spend less time getting acquainted with a new UI. In addition, unlike the PS5, there are no issues with game saves. When you start a game, your saves are instantly synced, allowing you to resume where you left off.
Even when compared to the PS4 UI, the Xbox UI isn’t my favorite. When you look at the graphic representation of the PS5’s UI, it also feels a little dated. Nonetheless, we expect that Microsoft can improve the UI in the near future with additional features, gimmicks, and an aesthetic overhaul.
Microsoft has all of the popular app libraries on the Xbox, including Apple TV, Netflix, Prime Video, VLC, Kodi, and many more. If you want a console that can also serve as a video streaming device, the Xbox Series X has more alternatives than the PS5. Not to add that the Xbox Series X supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, while the PS5 does not.
Overall, while the UI is familiar and has issues, it has evolved over the years and, above all, is the smoothest it has ever been on the Xbox Series X. With a plethora of legacy apps, the console is also ideal for anyone searching for a media consumption device.
Xbox Series X – Games
When you turn on an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, you’ll be welcomed by the broadest launch selection in Xbox history. Here are the complete list Xbox Series X games:
- Dead by Daylight – Xbox Game Pass & Smart Delivery
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – Smart Delivery
- Borderlands 3 – Smart Delivery
- Bright Memory 1.0
- Cuisine Royale – Smart Delivery
- Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
- DIRT 5 – Smart Delivery
- NBA 2K21
- Ori & the Will of the Wisps – Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery
- Forza Horizon 4 – Xbox Game Pass & Smart Delivery
- Observer: System Redux
- Gears 5 – Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery
- Gears Tactics – Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery
- Grounded – Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery
- Planet Coaster – Smart Delivery
- War Thunder – Smart Delivery
- Warhammer: ChaosbaneSlayer Edition
- Sea of Thieves – Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery
- The Falconeer – Smart Delivery
- King Oddball – Smart Delivery
- Maneater – Smart Delivery
- Manifold Garden – Smart Delivery
- Watch Dogs: Legion – Smart Delivery
- Yes, Your Grace – Smart Delivery
- WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship – Smart Delivery
- Tetris Effect: Connected – Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery
- TheTouryst – Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon – Smart Delivery
And in an extra nice play from Microsoft, all the exclusive games on the Xbox Series X console are also going to be available on the Series S, the Xbox One, and PC.
Xbox Series X – Graphics and Performance
To evaluate the visuals and performance of the Xbox Series X, we used both native backward compatibility plus platform-specific optimizations. After the patch installation, we have yet to find a game that does not play well with the Series X other than those that support Kinect. Simply insert a disc or download the app from the digital library before getting started.
The seamless nature of keeping your previous console experience while introducing so many quality-of-life enhancements is quite welcome, as evidenced by the loading speed of every game we tried. Regardless of whether or not it received a bespoke upgrade to support the system, the Xbox Series X is capable of dramatically reducing the time it takes to enter into games while also boosting resolution and performance. The stats are for loading immediately from the title screen into gameplay.
However, there are certain drawbacks to backward compatibility. If a title hasn’t gotten an update to allow compatibility with the Xbox One X in the past, it can look extremely shabby graphically. While it’s smooth and enjoyable to operate, Watch Dogs 2 is a jumble of aliasing artifacts and short draw distances due to the technological restrictions imposed by the initial Xbox One hardware.
Similar criticism can be leveled at games like Alien Isolation and Wolfenstein: The New Order, which don’t benefit fully from Series X due to their original state. This isn’t a deal breaker, but it’s something to consider for people who intend to delve deep within their existing library. Targeted updates are different altogether, with Final Fantasy XV getting a new lease on life with substantially improved loading speed and performance that’s now locked at 60fps.
It’s a similar tale with NieR: Automat and Monster Hunter World that demonstrates that older generation games with uncapped frame rates can go considerably further without breaking a sweat on the Series X.
Games with locked frame rates that cannot be adjusted on Series X.
Thus you can only profit from backward compatibility to a certain extent before hitting a brick wall. Having this many games at your fingertips, though, is a net advantage, regardless of whether they could be pushed further with some tuning.
During testing for this review, I experimented with the following games, which have been specifically optimized for Xbox Series X:
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- The Touryst
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Forza Horizon 4 Gears 5
- Watch Dogs Legion
- Gears Tactics
- Tetris Connected
The term “optimized” can refer to various things depending on the game. Still, you can typically expect enhanced performance, visual quality, and graphics features like ray tracing and performance of 120fps that were just not possible on prior generation consoles. Gears 5 is, without a doubt, the most stunning example, bringing a third-person shooter, which previously performed admirably on Xbox One X, and refining it to be much better.
(Left: Xbox One X, Right: Xbox Series X)
The Coalition has placed its own stamp on a new update that improves visual quality by adding more detail to its characters and environs. The Series X also allows the company to reduce the latency of controls, leading to a considerably smoother overall experience when actively reloading among hordes of locusts. The main takeaway is the 120 fps multiplayer for people with suitable televisions, which significantly improves the fluidity of the action.
Another iconic game is Yakuza: Like a Dragon, another franchise that has been a PlayStation fixture since its creation – but it has now jumped into Microsoft’s open arms. With the PS5 version already here, this remains the only method to play the seventh installment on next-generation hardware. The bizarre RPG has two modes: one that favors performance and another that ramps the aesthetics to unimaginable proportions. Below are screenshots comparing the two.
(Left: Xbox One X, Right: Xbox Series X)
Given its status as a turn-based RPG, I spent most of my time playing at 4K/30fps, satisfied with the lesser performance so that the gorgeous cities of Yokohama and Kamurocho could shine. However, the option is available if you prefer to play at 60fps at 1440p. This is the first time the engine has reached such a benchmark on a console.
The reflections of streetlights in shallow puddles on Series X have a radiance that older consoles lack, and the enhanced resolution allows characters and buildings to shine with flair. Aliasing and jagged edges are considerably minimized in both modes, demonstrating that a ton of work has gone into developing Yakuza shine.
Xbox Series X – Sound
The Series X offers acoustical capabilities. It reaches the heart of a soundtrack and delivers it with decent clarity, solidity, and atmosphere. When you play an Atmos-enabled game or watch a film like Gears 5 or 1917, the console creates a terrific feeling of place by filling the room with effects that sweep over the soundstage as the action unfolds.
However, when comparing the Series X to the Sony UBP-X700 Blu-ray player, it’s evident that the latter is a sound step up in almost every manner. As Lance Corporal Schofield dashes through enemy-infested streets in 1917, the Sony’s additional punch, detail, precision, and dynamic expressiveness combine for a more intense and compelling overall experience.
No one expects a games system to outperform a dedicated Blu-ray player in terms of sound, and the Xbox Series X’s audio performance offers little reason for criticism.
Xbox Series X – User Experience
The UI for Xbox Series X is nearly identical to the previous generation. Yet, the console’s power makes everything feel significantly more unified and pleasant during moment-to-moment navigation. Instead of needing to wait for resources to load on Xbox One, you can switch between menus and programs in seconds. It’s such a striking contrast that I found it difficult to return to the previous hardware.
Sharing screenshots and videos have been a feature of the Xbox ecosystem for a long time, and the new controller makes it possible to do so with the touch of a button. Everything you take is automatically posted to Xbox Live for saving and sharing after the fact. You can also do it from your console.
There are still a few more hoops and jumps to pass through before uploading a screenshot than I’d like, and the overall performance needs to catch up to the PS5 – but it’s a far cry from what came before it. Like past generations, Microsoft is expected to continue to improve its user interface in the following years, but it is in a solid spot right now.
Accessing your games, participating in online groups, and swapping games between drives is a breeze, showcasing the SSD’s impact. Quick Resume is a game-changing new feature that has revolutionized my approach to gaming on Xbox platforms.
It allows you to switch between up to six games almost instantaneously, plunging you right into the action without loading progress or waiting for a barrage of logos to pass. After Quick Resume was able to recollect the states for numerous games after being unplugged overnight, I was astounded by its fluidity and labeled it witchcraft.
The SSD stores cached instances of each game, which the Series X can switch between in an instant. As a result, there is no harmful effect on performance or aesthetics; you are simply returning to a game as if it had been freshly booted. Specific titles that require a steady internet connection currently do not support the feature, which is understandable. Still, the fact that the vast majority of experiences, both old and new, support it out of the box is astounding. I did find a few problems, the most notable of which was the loss of all audio in Yakuza: Like a Dragon when you boot up using Quick Resume.
The Xbox Series X also has a 4K Blu-ray player, which is significantly superior to what was included with the One X and One S.
When we tested a movie that supports both 4K and HDR, the experience was seamless and responsive, and the image on the screen looked positively stunning.
Xbox Series X – Price And Release Date
The Xbox Series X Price was priced at $499.99 in the United States, £449.99 in the United Kingdom, €499.99 in Europe, and AU$749 in Australia.
Microsoft is running its Xbox All Access program, allowing you to get the system with a 2-year subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $34.99 per month for 24 months. I believe this purchase scheme is outstanding, albeit hampered at launch due to a scarcity of suitable platforms.
However, Microsoft deserves credit for making it available to gamers, making an expensive piece of gaming hardware much more affordable.
According to our experience, obtaining an Xbox Series X for sale has proven extremely difficult, as official stock at the Microsoft Store and retail partners such as Amazon and Walmart Xbox Series X has run dry, so Xbox Series X restock can be a huge challenge. However, inventories have improved in recent months. While there are unlikely to be any significant reductions on Amazon Prime Day, there are likely to be some fantastic bundles and peripherals included. It best buy Xbox Series X during black friday sales and promotional offers.
Is Xbox Series X Future-Ready?
The Xbox One Series X has already been out for a while, and time has been kind to the console, with the release of Best Xbox Series X games like Halo Xbox Series X and Forza Horizon 5 helping to grow its library of next-gen titles.
Microsoft updates have also helped the console use less power and operate cooler on standby, which is much appreciated, and its dashboard has been improved to 4K quality. These minor tweaks help, but the Series X’s main selling point is its incredible power and ability to run virtually any Xbox game from the last decade.
As a result, it’s an excellent addition to any home console setup, representing both the past and present of console gaming in a single box. In our opinion, it’s still the most reasonable long-term purchase you can make if you’re a fan of Xbox platforms. Since launch, the PS5 has had the upper hand in terms of significant exclusives, but which of the two you should choose is a different story.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X – Is the PS5 superior to the Xbox Series X? Yes. Unlike the Xbox Series X, Sony’s PlayStation 5 offers an extensive library of titles that help to justify the high price. Demon’s Souls, Horizon Forbidden West, Returnal, and other games make recommending it easier.
Talking about the best tv for Xbox Series X, some of the Xbox Series X best-buy TVs include LG C2 OLED, Samsung QN90B QLED, Hisense U8H, TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 QLED, Insignia F50 QLED, Sony A95K OLED, and Samsung S95B OLED.
Should You Opt for Xbox Series X or Not?
You should buy the Xbox X Series if…
You’re already engaged in the ecosystem: Microsoft is considerably more interested in players joining their ecosystem than in the platform on which they play. That implies that if you’re currently a subscriber to Xbox Game Pass and want to take advantage of all that Xbox Series X has to offer; the Xbox X Series could be the next-generation system for you.
You’re not looking for something new: This may appear to be a dig at the Xbox Series X, but it isn’t. Instead of embarking on a new and riskier endeavor like the PS5, Microsoft has chosen to improve the design components of its existing systems and push them further than ever before. The interface and controller remain substantially identical but have been enhanced thanks to minor tweaks and more capable hardware.
You’re prepared to wait for exclusives: There are currently no new first-party exclusives created particularly for Xbox Series X. Microsoft, on the other hand, has bought a number of new studios that will bear fruit in the coming years. With this in mind, early adopters will have to be patient before this console realizes its full potential.
You should not buy the Xbox Series X if…
You’re a new Xbox player: Xbox Series X leverages backward compatibility and its existing ecosystem so much that it might dissuade new consumers from jumping onto the brand. If that’s you, it might be better to wait until it has secured a greater variety of games and features before investing your hard-earned money.
You want big games right away: Halo Infinite Xbox Series X has been delayed, and Microsoft’s exclusive slate beyond Master Chief’s next adventure is incredibly light right now. This picture will change, but that wanted instant satisfaction from next-gen gaming might not find it here.
You don’t have a 4K display: Much like the PS5, many of the Xbox Series X’s defining games and features shine best at a high resolution. Those still operating with a 1080p display would be best going for the Xbox Series S. It’s cheaper and would be better suited to an older television or monitor.
The Xbox Series X is an undeniably excellent gaming console. We’d argue it’s not even a gaming console in the traditional sense. It’s like a gaming PC for pro-level gaming but at a fraction of the price.
That ability to be future-proof is why it is well worth the investment. As more games realize some of its potentials, you can rest assured that you have invested in a system that has the grunt to handle it – and then some.
It is also silent, which explains the large fan grille on top, and while the Xbox Series X lacks that initial wow factor, we believe its day in the sun will come later when that massive engine beneath the hood gets the run it deserves. Then it’ll be thrill ride after thrill ride.
The Xbox Series X’s future seems bright, with several exclusives that will turn heads. Future Bethesda titles will be mainly tailored for the Xbox Series X, if not entirely exclusive to the device. As a result, purchasing an Xbox Series X today would be more of an investment for the future as the XSX’s library expands and improves.
You can’t create a PC with the same gaming features as the Xbox Series X for $500. The Xbox Game Pass grants you access to a myriad of titles to play at your leisure. The Xbox Series X is a doorway for you to experience next-gen gameplay at a much lesser cost than a PC with the same hardware. And, after using it for months, the Xbox Series X is still a worthwhile purchase.
Have you used Xbox Series X, or do you have any questions related to the Xbox Series X? Please talk to the team Reviewsed in the comments section below.
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