Xbox Series X Review
Welcome to the New Generation of Xbox Consoles
The Xbox Series X is a powerful machine that can run the newest games. Without fresh, high-profile, exclusive titles, the system doesn’t make the argument the PlayStation 5 makes with its few PS5-only titles, but that criticism will become irrelevant when more Xbox games come out with significantly better graphics and performance than their Xbox One counterparts.
However, the Xbox Series S is generally not considered a better value for the money than the Xbox Series X, even though it costs half as much. You can save a couple hundred if you give up the optical drive, half of the storage capacity, and are satisfied with much less processing power. Even though the Xbox Series X is more costly, you get a lot more for your money.
In the end, the Series X and the PlayStation 5 are on equal footing, so you’ll have to compare the titles available for each console to choose which one is better suited to you. Backwards compatibility is superior for the Xbox Series X, but the PS5’s DualSense controller offers a few more haptic feedback gimmicks and more exclusives when it launched in 2019.
- 4K (4,000 pixels) / 60 fps (Frames Per Second) gameplay (4K [4,000 pixels] / 120Hz [hertz] support)
- Hundreds of games are backward-compatible including accessories
- Impressive 4K (4,000 pixels), HDR (High Dynamic Range) graphics
- Effortless execution
- Dolby Vision and Atmos support
- Fast load times on SSD (Solid State Drives)
- Stylish design
- Improvements to the UI (User Interface) are minimal
- Full visual experience requires compatible T
- Few games support 4K/60 (4000 pixels / 60 frames per second)
- The library of games that can be played on both the original Xbox and Xbox 360 is limited.
- Significant in weight and size
The Series X is the most powerful console available for playing Xbox games, both new and old.
Even these days, the Series X is still difficult to acquire. It has been on the market for more than a year and has accumulated a large library of games for its customers to play. It even comes with a few brand-new titles.
People anticipating that the new Series X console will blow their minds may be a little underwhelmed by the Xbox One X to Series X graphical jump. However, many games that stutter on older hardware will run nicely at 4K resolution.
Price and availability
The majority of retailers are out of stock. Unfortunately, there will probably still be a chip scarcity in 2023.
At the time of this writing, prices for the Xbox Series X begin at $499 in the U.S. At least on paper, the Xbox Series X costs about the same as the PlayStation 5.
Xbox Series X SPECS (Specifications)
- Optical Drive: 4K (4000 Pixels) UHD Blu-ray Drive
- External Storage: USB 3.2 External HDD Support
- Die Size: 360.45 mm2
- CPU (Central processing unit): 8x Cores, 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
- Process: 7nm Enhanced
- GPU (Graphics processing unit): 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs, 1.825 GHz Custom rDNA 2 GPU
- Memory: 16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320b bus
- Memory Bandwidth: 10GB, 560 GB/s, 6GB, 336 GB/s
- Internal Storage: 1TB Custom NVME SSD I/O Throughput: 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s
- Expandable Storage: 1TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
- Performance Target: 4K, 60fps (Frame-Rate Per Second), Up to 120fps (Frames Per Second)
The $499 Xbox Series X and $299 Xbox Series S are Microsoft’s newest consoles. The Series X has 4K HDR visuals, great speed, and quick load times due to its Zen 2 CPU, RDNA 2 GPU, and SSD storage. The added power and optical drive are justified by the $200 premium. The Xbox Series X is a powerful and fun gaming system and a competent rival to the PlayStation 5.
The console comes with a customized AMD Zen 2 processor with eight cores running at 3.87GHz. An additional custom RDNA 2 GPU uses 52 cores running at 1.825GHz (processing 12 teraflops), including raytracing. In addition, the system has 16GB of GDDR6 RAM and a 1TB solid-state drive (SSD). High dynamic range (HDR) games and multimedia, including Dolby Vision, are supported on the Xbox Series X. It’s also an improvement over the Xbox Series S, which has a 40-core CPU at 3.6GHz and a 20-core GPU at 1.565GHz for 4 teraflops.
Aside from the 1TB of internal storage, you can add another 1TB by plugging a Seagate Storage Expansion Card into the back of the system, or by connecting a USB hard drive or SSD over USB 3.1 The Series X has a slot-loading Ultra HD Blu-ray drive that can play 4K video in addition to 1080p-capable Blu-ray discs and 480p-capable DVDs. There is no optical drive on the Series S.
Xbox Series X Available Ports
In order to maintain the console’s minimalist design, a USB 3.1 Type-A connector, and a Blu-ray disc drive are visible on the front of the Xbox Series X. A button for pairing a wireless controller is also included. Because of this, connecting a controller to charge or an external hard drive to transfer games to and from the Series X is quite simple.
On the Series X, you’ll find a significantly broader range of ports on the backside. A single HDMI 2.1 connection is included, which is essential for 8K gaming and allows 120Hz TVs to make the most of the 120 fps frame rate for specific games. Additionally, there are two extra USB 3.1 connections, which are helpful if you want to keep your console linked to an external storage device.
On the Xbox One and One X, there was an optical audio connector and an HDMI-in port. Only those with strong audio systems would likely notice the loss of optical audio, as the HDMI connection can still deliver Dolby Atmos and surround sound. Since we don’t know how often HDMI-in was utilized, its removal from the Series X isn’t a significant problem. Additionally, it eliminates the possibility of connecting an HDMI cable to the incorrect port and then wondering why your TV isn’t receiving a signal. The expansion slot is the most notable port. The Series X may be expanded with an additional 1 TB of quick storage using the exclusive external PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) 4.0 SSD (Solid State Drive).
The New Xbox Series X Hardware Design
The Xbox Series X’s outward appearance is different from its predecessors, but the changes to the UI and dashboard on the console are less noticeable than its predecessors.
The Xbox Series X measures 12” x 6” x 12” (inches) or 5.9 x 5.9 x 30.1 (cm) and weighs 9.8 lbs. with right-angle corners. The side panels are smooth black plastic. The top has a grid-like grill similar to the original Xbox. The front has a USB port, an eject button, a power button, and a slot-loading optical drive, along with a controller pairing button.
There are two USB ports, an HDMI output, an Ethernet port, a power cable connection, and a storage expansion slot in the back. The Xbox Series X, however, lacks an HDMI input.
The Xbox Series X can stand vertically or horizontally. Though, in my opinion, it looks better in the upright position and can be positioned more easily than when laid down on its side. For the bottom-to-top air intake and exhaust, it might even be better to place the console vertically to allow the cooling system to work more efficiently.
The console does naturally run silently and cool. If you touch the top vent, you will notice a certain amount of warmth coming out of it. In light of its small size, it is still a powerful feat of engineering and technology by Microsoft. It would be difficult to have the same powerful hardware fit into a gaming PC of this size. You should be in for a pleasant user experience if you connect the system to a 4K or high-refresh-rate monitor.
Minimal Improvement to the Xbox Series X User Interface
The Series X user interface is similar to the Xbox One menu system. The home screen tiles highlight open and/or recently used applications as well as games. Underneath this main row is My Games & Apps, which displays your whole software library, some content suggestions, games to play, and your friends’ recent accomplishments. When you scroll down to see more recommendations, there are also categories of media and games, some of which you may already have. You will see the Game Pass, Store, Entertainment, Events, Community, and Pins. Other online gaming events that are currently running are also shown.
If you press the Guide button and select My Games and Apps you’ll see pinned software to bring up your pins with another menu item for further browsing of your entire library.
The Guide button activates the Xbox Guide menu at any time, even if you are not currently in a game. This menu has tabs for typical tasks and settings. The Guide first shows your recent applications and games, with the option to go to your library or the home screen. To see if any of your friends are online. Then, if you scroll right, it will let you initiate chats or display your achievements and even provide options to take video clips or screenshots. The far right tab shows the current profile and options for switching to other users.
All in all, the Xbox Series X’s user interface (UI) is very similar to that of the Xbox One. If you were anticipating a major overhaul, don’t feel too disappointed since the Xbox One user interface (UI) was already very inclusive with many options to choose from.
There are a number of intriguing options that translate very well from the Xbox One to the Series X, such as remote access to your console and streaming games over Wi-Fi, to name a few.
There is an expectation that at some point in the future, we should see the streaming of games from the Series X using cellular broadband, though that has not currently been integrated into any Xbox console but should become part of Microsoft’s Project xCloud initiative for game streaming in the future.
I would say that one of the best features of Series X is the ability to sync across several platforms. There are a few Xbox games that can be streamed to your Android smartphone, but only if you have a subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass theme and user interface (UI) is perhaps better emphasized in the Series X UI, which is a good thing if you’re trying to find something new to play.
Xbox Series X Quick Resume Feature
Quick Resume is one of the most useful new user interface improvements. With this feature, you may have several games open at the same time and bounce between them as if they were temporarily paused. It’s a great way to spring into action between one game and the other right where you left off.
Although the Quick Resume feature is not entirely instantaneous, it’s a lot quicker than starting a game from the beginning. Now that the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles have been on the market for a while, several optimized games have been updated to make use of Quick Resume. Overall, Quick Resume is a pleasure to use. This functionality seems like a “game-changer” (pun intended). The Quick Resume feature is a great way to go between single-player and multiplayer games when your buddies join the action. When you’re playing a game, press the Xbox button on the controller to switch to another one. You may now return to the original game you were playing and continue where you left off. Easy as pie.
Xbox Series X Gameplay Performance
Games modified for Xbox Series X/S feature up to 4K visuals, enhanced visual effects, and faster SSD loading times. Most optimized games have Smart Delivery, which means your copy works on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S and installs the optimal version. Check Microsoft’s list of optimized games or the physical copy of the game box to review how they operate with the new Series X/S console.
Most likely, at the time of this writing, only a few games will deliver 4K graphics at 60fps. Several games with complex graphics, animations, and effects make it difficult to obtain a steady frame rate. Some games sacrifice frame rate for details, while others employ dynamic scaling that ultimately renders reduced resolution. And some games have menu options that may allow you to choose between performance and detail.
The SSD-powered games load rapidly. This is a solid performance improvement from the Xbox One, or Xbox One X. Various games optimized for Xbox Series X/S may feature native 4K rendering as the default, with visual effects including raytracing (raytracing is a rendering technique for computer graphics that models the physical behavior of light.). It’s not a mind-bending leap in graphics like 8 to 16-bit or 2D to 3D, but it’s a hefty pump in processing power. You may even add an additional 1 TB (920GB) of storage by inserting a Seagate Storage Expansion Card in the back of the console. The Xbox Series X/S both support USB 3.1 storage.
Since the release of the Xbox Series X, there have been many more games optimized for the console’s 12-teraflops of graphical capability. In previous generations, there were some performance issues with screen tearing and frame rate drops, so it’s fair to say they have come a long way. Even recently, a major patch has made the game perform much better on the Xbox Series X. I have found that in most cases, it achieves 60 frames per second, taking advantage of a dynamic resolution that scales from 4K to 1440p as the action heats up. But keep in mind that a full 100% native 4K experience isn’t going to be delivered by this patch. Until you consider how much work went into making the graphics seem better than the Xbox One X version, it doesn’t sound all that remarkable on its surface, but the aforementioned patch utilizes the PC version’s Ultra settings, which enhance texture quality as well as better lighting and improved shadow accuracy.
Xbox Series X|S – Official Next-Gen Walkthrough – Full Demo [4K]
Xbox Series X New Game Availability
Although the Xbox Series X did not come with a large selection of games when it was first released, it currently has an impressive library that is less cross-platform and more next-gen. Notably, Microsoft has promised to release these titles on Xbox One, Windows 10, and Windows 11 PCs. In my opinion, though, they are only worth playing on the flagship Xbox if you do not have one of our finest gaming PCs or laptops. With regard to other familiar titles that we are waiting for with interesting features, there are other Xbox Series X/S enhanced games that you can play that will run better than on older Xbox hardware.
Xbox Game Pass
Since its inception, the Xbox Game Pass has provided a convenient method to play a variety of games for a reasonable monthly fee. As a result, it’s long been regarded as one of the finest values in gaming.
Game Pass is a must-have for Xbox Series X. While the Xbox Series X launch lineup is a bit weaker, Game Pass offers a vast selection of new and classic titles. Many of these games include Xbox Series X and Series S upgrades, making the Xbox Series X the greatest hardware to play them on.
The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate costs $14.99 a month and includes access to Xbox and PC games, cloud streaming, and save syncing.
Xbox Series X Backwards compatibility
Microsoft and Xbox fans insisted on backwards compatibility before the Series X’s arrival. Prior to the release, I had to lower my expectations given all the buzz. However, the backwards compatibility on Xbox Series X is far better than I expected, and I certainly applaud Microsoft’s due diligence in this regard.
Overall, the Series X’s backwards compatibility is robust but not very comprehendible. Hundreds of Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles, as well as every Xbox One game except those requiring Kinect, may be played on the console. But not every game from the second and third generations can be played, though. On one of my Xbox 360 titles, I received an error message stating that the game was not playable, and it prompted me to review Xbox Backward Compatible Games | Xbox.
To put it another way, you can play many Xbox games from any generation on the Xbox Series X by just inserting the disc into the console. Installing the game will begin only if it is backwards compatible, which many are. If you have Xbox Game Pass, you may download any game listed on the program that dates back to the first Xbox.
It’s unlikely that these older games will instantly be able to make use of the Series X’s increased graphical processing capabilities. However, since they can be loaded straight to the console’s SSD, they’ll boot up in a matter of seconds. In addition, any games that have performance issues on older hardware will likely have improved playability.
Due to the Series X’s sheer graphical capabilities, Xbox One titles with high-performance objectives, performance modes, or dynamic resolution scaling operate at their optimum settings. The Series X plays these games in backward compatibility mode, so they won’t benefit from AMD’s (Advanced Micro Devices) rDNA 2 (Radeon DNA) architecture until they’re eventually optimized in the future.
In my opinion, Microsoft should encourage developers to spend some time patching older games on Series X. The auto HDR backward compatibility feature employs machine learning to add HDR to games that have never been re-mastered.
Minimal Changes to the Xbox Series X Game Controller
The Xbox Series X wireless controller is, uh, quite similar to the Xbox One. They have a similar curved shape, distinguished grips, and a plastic exterior.
The most obvious update is the inclusion of a “Share” button. Similar to the PlayStation 4, 5, and Nintendo Switch, the new Series X Controller has a Share button in the center which allows users to quickly send recordings and screenshots to their friends with the press of a button.
There is also a brand-new direction pad, a concave disk that should give better accuracy. The plus-shaped pad on the previous controller has been replaced with an octagonal direction plate with prominent indentations. Beyond these updates, the gamepad has a USB-C port instead of micro USB ports for wired usage and battery recharging.
I still like the Xbox controllers since they were introduced with the Xbox 360 controller. I think the new Xbox Wireless Controller is a good improvement from the original. With a quick look, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the Xbox One controller. Improved D-pads and textured triggers make a familiar controller even more enjoyable to use.
I found the triggers to be somewhat smaller and more tactile, as are the shoulder buttons. The new controller’s joysticks also have a more pleasing click than the previous one.
Still, they contribute to a beautifully improved Xbox Wireless Controller. The controller still uses AA batteries. Alkaline batteries are still needed but may be changed out with a USB-C rechargeable battery pack using a USB-C if you are so inclined.
Microsoft has an Xbox Wireless headset to pair with the controller. The headset connects through Bluetooth to the Xbox. Over-ear headphones support Dolby Atmos and DTS for those who want an enhanced listening experience.
Overall, it’s basically the same functional gamepad as before. It is one of the most comfortable controllers I have ever used. There are a few additional functions in the new controller, but it’s basically the same.
Summation: Overall highly recommended
The Series X console from Microsoft is lightning quick.
The Xbox Series X enhances game performance and graphic quality and reduces load times. Smart Delivery, Quick Resume, and backwards compatibility are advantages. However, it lacks UI upgrades and satisfying exclusive new games.
The Series X is the ultimate Xbox. It can run generations of Xbox games and do it well. It won’t be fussy or noisy. $499 is undoubtedly a lot to spend on a gaming computer without next-gen features, but I consider it fair and reasonable for the technology you’re receiving. The newest AMD CPU and graphics technologies promise plenty of power, and loading games in seconds rather than minutes is a treat. While PCs have SSDs, you’d struggle to provision a gaming system with the same power and storage for $1,000, let alone even half that amount. The games are incredibly beautiful. The Series X makes gaming simpler, quicker, and better.