Xbox Series X review
At first, the Xbox Series X may not have been a necessary buy, but after well over a year on the market, Microsoft’s powerful platform is starting to shine. Mind you, it will always be a terrific piece of equipment, and it has the potential to become a fantastic next-generation platform in the coming.
However, up until this point, the new Xbox lacked the first wow factor that we’ve grown to expect for each fresh generation of consoles. There haven’t been many titles that properly take use of Microsoft’s new platform, as well as the Xbox One’s familiar user interface doesn’t help to dispel the impression that things were more of a continuance of what we already have. When you first start up the flagship Xbox, it’s natural to feel a little disappointed, but quickly the upgrades start to become apparent.
The Xbox Series X now offers a selection of titles that demonstrate the capabilities of Microsoft’s new components, which is a blessing. Microsoft has updated a number of older Xbox One titles to take use of the latest console’s remarkable technological capabilities, and they include Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, Psychonauts 2, & Microsoft Flight Simulator.
And that’s fantastic news because the Xbox Series X has always pleased us in terms of hardware. It offers the type of amazing performance that was formerly only ever seen through high-end gaming PCs as well as is extremely quick and nearly silent. This guarantees that games, both new and old, look and function better than they’ve ever been and gives Microsoft a strong basis to develop upon for the future.
However, Microsoft has crammed a substantial amount of power into the Xbox Series X’s monolithic-like body for just $499, £449, or AU$749. This is in contrast to high-end gaming PCs, which typically cost thousands. The ultimate result is a system that is priced economically as well as technologically sophisticated, with much shorter load times and increased visual fidelity in games. Several quality-of-life features, like as Quick Resume & FPS Boost, that we’ll go into more depth about below, further sweeten the deal & make gaming much more fun.
The Xbox Series X is deficient in certain crucial areas, despite the fact that its sheer physical power cannot be overstated as well as its additional time-saving functions are undoubtedly welcome.
The Xbox Series X has Xbox Game Pass, but still lacks the same selection of “must-have” exclusives that the PS5 and even Nintendo can provide. It’s a monthly membership service that gives you access to thousands of games, making it the finest offer in gaming right now if you enjoy trying out new games from different genres every month.
Even while Xbox Game Pass mostly features older games, many of them including Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, as well as Sea of Thieves—are designed to make the most of Xbox Series X’s power. As a result, it’s a wonderful way to play next generation games for less money. Additionally, all first-party games are available on the service from day one, and because Microsoft purchased ZeniMax Media, a number of Bethesda games are now available on Xbox Game Pass, including upcoming games as Starfield as Well as the Elder Scrolls 6. Activision Blizzard will now be part of Microsoft, which implies that in the future, Call of Duty-style games will be available on this platform.
The Xbox Series X is as strong as you’d expect it to be, but unless you’re already deeply enmeshed in the Xbox ecosystem, we wouldn’t recommend purchasing one. Alternatively, if you only desire the greatest Xbox console experience available right now. For everybody else, it might be wise to hold out until another generation’s game selection expands. Our whole Xbox Series X review is below.
Release Date and Price
- Xbox Series X is now available (released November 10, 2020)
- Price of the Xbox Series X is $499, £449, or AU$749
On November 10, 2020, the Xbox Series X went on sale in every country, providing Microsoft a two-day advantage over Sony’s PS5, which had been released on November 12. If you’re curious about Sony’s console, read our PS5 review.
The cost of the Xbox Series X is $499, £449, or AU$749. On November 10, the Xbox Series S, a console with less features and support for solely digital media, went on sale for $299.99, £249.99, or AU$499. To learn more about the Xbox Series S, read our entire review if that pricing seems more enticing.
Although not exactly pocket change, this is a fair price for such new Xbox. While neither comes anywhere close to being as strong as the Xbox Series X, that is the similar price even as Xbox One is around launch & equals the MSRP of the Xbox One X. You’ll have a difficult time finding a gaming PC for this price given that perhaps the Series X has specifications comparable to those of a gaming PC.
However, as previously said, we advise purchasing an Xbox Game Pass Premium membership, which costs $15/£10.99/AU$15.95 per month, if you really want them to get through your Xbox Series X. Though this is a further expense, it also gives you accessibility to hundreds of Xbox Game Pass games, Xbox Live Gold, cloud gaming, & free monthly games. In the long run, this should be less expensive than purchasing games separately.
Game Pass frequent subscriptions cost ($9.99 / £7.99 / AU$10.95) but still only give you access to the system on consoles & to do ahead with cloud gaming on smart phones. If you don’t care about the bells as well as whistles of Game Pass Ultimate, it might be worth picking one up instead.
It’s important to note that the Xbox Series X is also accessible in a few countries, like the US, UK, and Australia, through Microsoft’s Xbox All Access membership program. Xbox All Access offers the console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on such a 2-year plan for $34.99/£28.99/AU$46 per month with no up-front expenses, which feels like a pretty excellent bargain and gives you entry to the latter for the duration.
However, the PS5 & PS5 Digital, which are offered at comparable price ranges, are also worth looking into. The PS5 Digital costs $100 less than the Xbox Series X. However, we won’t get into them in detail at this time.
- Contemporary, streamlined style
- It is incredibly silent
- Produces the same quantity of heat as the Xbox One X
- Relatively minor UI and dashboard tweaks
The upright tower form of the Xbox Series X, though it can also be placed horizontally, is more similar of a desktop gaming PC than that of its predecessors.
The cuboid-shaped panel is matte black throughout & weighs 4.45kg; yet, a green tinge can be seen inside the recessed cooling vents on upper edge, creating a brilliant optical illusion that enhances the console’s aesthetic.
The Xbox power switch is located at the top-left of the console’s interface, the disc drive is located at the bottom-left, as well as the pairing button & USB 3.2 port are located at the bottom-right. Cooling vents, an HDMI 2.1 output connector, two USB 3.2 ports, a networking port, a store expansion slot, as well as a power input connection are all located on the console’s rear.
Most of the ports on the rear of the console include tactile indicators, which are tiny raised dots that let you know what port you are tapping. For instance, the current input port includes just one elevated port compared to the 3 raised ports just on USB 3.2 ports. This is done to help with reach-around wiring and also to makes the console easier for those who are blind to use.
Except for a subtle Xbox logo with in corner of a left side & 4 rubber pads just on right that allow the console to lie horizontally, the edges of the console are blank. Since previously noted, the top of the console is meant to aid with ventilation, as here is really where the Xbox Series X exhausts whatever heat it creates. Just on bottom of the console are some additional cooling vents as well as a slightly higher disc-shaped pedestal.
This console itself has a sleek, monolithic, and basic appearance. It is heavier & larger than average, however it appears much smaller than its actual size. When placed either horizontal or vertical, we discovered that it fit well into an Ikea Kallax shelf unit (39 cm x 39 cm) and harmoniously fitted into its surroundings.
You’ll probably love or loathe the Xbox Series X design, but we thought it was a refreshing departure from the lowest recorded Xbox consoles. It’s a stylish advancement from the plain One S & One X versions since it looks like something an adult would genuinely want to possess. The console doesn’t become dirty, but the matte black style does make it simply scratched & scuffed.
The upgraded tactile textures and redesigned shape of the Xbox Series X Controller make for a more ergonomic and pleasant playing experience while yet feeling familiar in the hand.
The Xbox Series X controller doesn’t appear to be a very significant improvement over its predecessor from the outside. It maintains the conventional button & trigger configuration and also has a comparable design. But if you look more closely, you start to see the little adjustments Microsoft has made.
To begin with, the outside of the gamepad now has a matte finish which strongly resembles the style of the console. The black controller that tends to come also with console easily accumulates noticeable scuffs & scrapes, & given the amount of hand-on time control systems are subjected to, it’s feasible that you’ll find it difficult to maintain yours looking in top condition for coming years. While this certainly has a sleek appearance, it does have some drawbacks. However, there are several color options for the controller, some of which may be less prone to damage, like Electric Volt, DayStrike Camo, & Pulse Red.
But aside from that tiny complaint, we discovered that the Xbox Series X controller, in terms of both appearance and feel, is comparable to a more expensive controller. Triggers, grips, & bumpers on the updated pad now have a tactile texture, something we felt to increase the controller’s sense of security in our hands.
The gamepad also seems less cumbersome because, despite the controller being the same size just like its predecessors, the bumpers & triggers have been softened and shrunk by a few millimeters. Previous Xbox One controllers often felt fairly tanky if you already have tiny hands, but this straightforward modification increases comfort in a subtle but perceptible way.
The ‘Share’ button as well as the hybrid D-pad are two of the controller’s most noticeable modifications. The Share button effectively serves as a capture button that makes it simple to take snapshots of your game. Clicking it once creates a screenshot, while holding it down longer automatically records a 15-second video. The Xbox One requires you to click the home button before selecting X or Y to take a screenshot, so this is considerably simpler. However, depending on the size of your hands, you may find it difficult to rapidly snap a screenshot.
The hybrid D-pad, but at the other hand, seeks to bridge the gap between both the traditional D-pad on the Xbox One controller as well as the interchangeable, faceted disc-shaped D-pad on the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. The end result is a disc covered by a traditional-looking D-pad. Once more, this is a little but appreciable update that aims to increase control & leverage over D-pad while also making the user experience more pleasant.
However, the controller’s design has remained mostly unchanged. It preserves its USB charging connector and pairing button at the top, its 3.5mm audio jack & expansions port at the bottom, as well as its View, Menu, or Xbox buttons on the face.
The Xbox Series X controller features practical upgrades in addition to aesthetic ones. The decreased latency Microsoft has bragged about undoubtedly contributed to the controller’s improved responsiveness, as pairing the gamepad wirelessly through Bluetooth with a variety of devices, such as the Xbox One, the iPhone 11, as well as a Mac, was simple.
The Series X controller once again uses AA batteries. However, if you want to avoid the hassle of constantly changing or charging batteries, you can either buy a Play & Charge Kit, or you can attach your controller with console via USB-C.
Buy Xbox Series X If
You desire shorter loading times and more fluid gaming
The Xbox Series X’s lightning-fast SSD significantly reduces game loading speed, for both new and old titles, and its unique RDNA 2 GPU enables 4K/60fps gameplay. You’ll be relieved to learn that here, anyone can have either frame rates and graphic fidelity if you’re sick of having to choose between the two.
You wish to have a wonderful audiovisual multimedia experience.
For people who are using their console as just a home theater system & want powerful audiovisual specifications, the Xbox Series X is fantastic. It comes with a built-in 4K Blu-ray player, accessibility to a wide variety of streaming services, plus compatibility for Dolby Atmos & Dolby Vision.
You would want to continue having access to your previous Xbox games & accessories.
3 generations of Xbox games are backward compatible with the Xbox Series X, so customers won’t have to worry about playing your previous games on your new system. At launch, over than 1,000 backward-compatible video games will be accessible, and so many Xbox One components will also be backward-compatible. You can easily switch between the old & new consoles thanks to Smart Delivery as well.
Do not buy Xbox Series X if
You desire a fun, unique gaming collection.
The Xbox Series X exclusive game catalogue is largely made up of titles which are already available on other platforms as well as optimized versions of Xbox One games, which leaves a lot to be desired. Don’t expect to be amazed right away, but we do anticipate the library to expand over time.
You don’t want to buy a 4K TV at the very least.
Whereas the Xbox Series X offers faster loading times & a wealth of quality-of-life functionalities, you won’t be able to take full advantage of the console’s visual upgrades without seeing at least a 4K TV. Additionally, you won’t be able to play the game at 120 frames per second without even an HDMI 2.1-compatible screen.
You anticipate a complete next-generation UI redesign
You shouldn’t anticipate a significant change from the Xbox One interface from the Xbox Series X, aside from vibrant backgrounds as well as increased speed.