Xbox Series X: A full Review of the Gaming Console

Xbox Series X: Microsoft’s powerful console wasn’t vital at launch, but it’s improved since. It’s a great piece of hardware, but it required a few upgrades to justify its price.

Even since it’s two years old, don’t anticipate Xbox Series X Black Friday 2022 deals. Given its recent release, price decreases are unlikely. Black Friday Xbox offers will focus on games, accessories, and maybe Xbox Game Pass memberships.

The console lacked a wow factor until lately. Few games take use of Microsoft’s new technology. The Xbox One user interface didn’t help the samey sensation.

Price of Xbox Series X

The Xbox Series X premiered on November 10, 2020, two days before Sony’s PS5 on November 12. (in select countries and November 19 for the rest of the world). Interested in Sony’s console? Read our PS5 review.

The console costs $499/£449/AU$749 Xbox Series S, a digital-only system, debuted the same day for $299.99 / £249.99 / AU$499. Read our Xbox Series S review for more.

This isn’t pocket change, but a fair price for the new Xbox. It’s the same pricing as the Xbox One and Xbox One X at launch. Both are weaker than Xbox Series X. Considering the Series X’s gaming-like features, $500 is a terrific pricing. You’d be hard-pressed to get a respectable PC at that price.

To get the most out of your Xbox Series X, we suggest a $15 / £10.99 / AU$15.95 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership (annual subscriptions are also available, which cuts a little off the yearly cost). This is an additional cost, but it gives you access to hundreds of Xbox Game Pass games (including Bethesda and EA titles), Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and monthly free games, which should save you money over time.

Xbox Series X

Xbox Series X Design

The Xbox Series X’s upright tower shape resembles a desktop gaming PC, however you can also place it horizontally.

The cuboid-shaped console measures 15.1 x 15 x 30.1cm and weighs 4.45kg. It’s matte black save for a green colour within the recessed cooling vents on top — a smart optical illusion that enhances the console’s aesthetic.

The Xbox power button is at the top-left, the disc drive is at the bottom-left, and the pairing button and USB 3.2 port are at the bottom-right (the pairing button also acts as an IR receiver). Back of console contains cooling vents, HDMI 2.1 port, two USB 3.2 ports, networking port, storage expansion slot, and power input port.

On the rear of the console, tactile indications (raised dots) show which port you’re touching. USB 3.2 has three raised ports, however the power input has just one. This improves reach-around cabling and visual accessibility.

UI and Dashboard of Xbox Series X

The Xbox Series X’s outward appearance is different from its predecessors, but its UI and dashboard are more subtle. Xbox Series X has the same dashboard as Xbox One. Microsoft updated the Xbox One in August 2020 to simplify its UI and merge it with the console.

The Xbox Series X UI is tiled with customisable pins. You can pick which games and applications appear first on your home screen, and the Xbox button on your controller provides instant access to games, apps, party chat, and other functions. It’s a simplified interface that’s simple to customise and navigate.

Performance of Xbox Series X

  • Much quicker loading times and increased stability
  • Easy-to-expand storage
  • Playback at 4K/60 fps (up to 120fps support)
  • HDR auto

The Xbox Series X has an eight-core 3.8GHz AMD Zen 2 CPU, a bespoke RDNA 2 AMD GPU with 12 TFLOPs, 16GB of GDDR6 memory, and a 1TB Custom NVMe SSD.

Controller of Xbox Series X

The Series X Wireless Controller feels familiar yet new. Its upgraded tactile textures and redesigned form make it more ergonomic and enjoyable to play.

The Xbox Series X controller looks similar to its predecessor. Similar form and button and trigger configuration. Closer investigation reveals Microsoft’s modest changes.

The gamepad’s matte finish matches the console’s. The black controller that comes with the system readily picks up scuffs and scratches, and given the amount of hands-on time controllers get, you may find it hard to keep yours looking great for years to come. Electric Volt, DayStrike Camo, and Pulse Red are some colour options (sold separately) that may be less scuff-prone.

Overall, the console controller looks and feels great. The updated pad’s haptic triggers, grips, and bumpers helped us feel more confident in our hands.

Purchase it if..

  • You want minimal loading times and smoother gameplay: The Xbox Series X’s super-fast SSD reduces game load times, while its unique RDNA 2 GPU enables 4K/60fps gaming (and supports up to 120fps). You don’t have to choose between frame rates and graphic quality here.
  • You want a great audiovisual multimedia experience: The Xbox Series X has a built-in 4K Blu-ray player, access to streaming services, and compatibility for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision.
  • You want to keep access to your older Xbox games and accessories: The Xbox Series X is backward compatible with three generations of Xbox games. More than 1,000 backward-compatible games and accessories are available at launch. Smart Delivery allows you to easily switch consoles.
  • You want more control over your storage: It’s never been simpler to manage console storage with the console or Xbox app’s ability to add game elements. Seagate’s pricey storage card enables expanding storage fast and easy.

don’t purchase it If…

  • You want an exciting exclusive game library: Xbox Series X’s unique game library is mostly optimised Xbox One games and other titles. We anticipate the library to develop, but don’t expect much at first.
  • You don’t intend to buy at least a 4K TV: The Xbox Series X provides decreased loading times and loads of quality-of-life improvements, but without a 4K TV you won’t get the most from its visual enhancements — you won’t get 4K graphics or 120fps without an HDMI 2.1-compatible display.
  • You’re expecting a full next-gen UI overhaul: Except for dynamic backdrops and enhanced performance, the Xbox Series X interface is similar to the Xbox One.

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