Xbox Series X is actually backing up what Microsoft has been saying about it but that’s where things get interesting. So let’s just jump in first things first the physical hardware itself it’s a solid black brick. I mean look at it it’s a fairly big size I’m not gonna lie if you’re fortunate enough to have say like a ps4 pro and an xbox under your tv know that this chunky guy is like gonna take up the space of both of them combined otherwise visually it kind of disappears into your home setup.
If you have the room xbox has kind of taken the exact opposite of the design philosophy of the PS5 here and it’s straight up just a humble plastic black box with no real colors or lights other than that standard Xbox power button that lights up when it’s on. Now if we’re nitpicking a couple of small things that do bother me the plastic itself is surprisingly prone to fingerprints and the power button itself has a really cheap hollow click to it when you press it doesn’t really feel like you just spent 49,000 bucks also the ventilation on the top of the unit or on the right side.
If you keep it on its side it’s not lit with a green light it’s only a paint accent on the inside it’s just another subtle thing kind of like the design of the whole box itself it’s just kind of low key. Last but not least it can sit horizontally don’t worry but it barely feels designed for it other than some small feet and the look and the design of the console seemingly suffers for it. But again that’s just personal taste, I’m a bit of a design snob firing it up though user interface wise.
It’s noticeably quicker in just jumping around bouncing between menus loading up different screens like the settings screen or HDR setup all the slicker newer store look all of it just pops up satisfyingly quick. The speed is most notable of course when using the new quick resume feature so I’m sorry if I’m repeating myself a little bit. But like basically the console can keep multiple games in a suspended state and bring them back alive extremely quickly if you just want to re-access them so jumping from one game to another in such a quick fashion on a console feels truly like new console next generation magic. You know say you’re playing a game then you hit the xbox button click on another game and then boom the game’s intro screen pops up and then after a few seconds the game is ready to go waiting for you there usually paused and then you hop in now you may not be taking advantage of that all the time.
Me personally, I usually just chug through one game at a time but, I know some friends that play single player games and then occasionally hop into you know other online games they play with friends to do a raid or claim a reward. So this stuff works for situations like that just re-firing up a game and then boom there it is ready to go it’s cool not gonna lie a lot of people have been talking about it and I’d say that the hype is kind of real next thing about the hardware is the controller this is another aspect where xbox seems to have been thinking, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it we really just see some updates here and there.
There’s now a dedicated share button which makes accessing screenshots and recorded clips a bit easier think of its use kind of similar to the share button on the PS4 controller. How you can just press it or press and hold it to do different functions also gotta point out the d-pad is majorly tweaked and it’s just much better overall.
The whole controller it’s fairly similar to previous gen but with improved connectivity which is nice but the feel in the hand feels slightly more premium that’s about it you know a bit more fancy with nice textured triggers and a cool texture around the whole controller so it almost feels like an in-between of last gen’s controller and the higher priced elite controller it’s like a nice happy medium if nothing crazy new and surprising at all but enough of that the hardware gets even more impressive when you actually play a damn game on it so first let’s talk backwards compatibility I know we’ve touched on this before.
It’s not as sexy and exciting as new stuff but it shows the direction they took and the work they put into the hardware and how it can be pretty impressive you know many games from xbox one and 360 generation will look and perform a bit better be it through a bunch of things like auto HDR capability sometimes some Frame Rate improvements. If the game previously had an uncapped Frame Rate and most significantly across the board load times.
Now load times are great though this is like what I’m saying the shift to SSD technology for next generation consoles is really making a huge difference PC fans already understand this but like here’s fast traveling in the witcher 3 we’re just gonna let it run also another really good example for older games is the initial first startup load of grand theft auto 5.
I said a next generation thing, So if you are just a console player, I will definitely guarantee that jumping to this new high-speed loading will feel pretty awesome to you of course that all is also noticeable on more next-generation games which we got our hands on a few games optimized for Xbox series X but aren’t necessarily massive new next-gen only games. You know like there are games that have significant upgrades Gears 5 has an insane 4K 60FPS. Now while, we’re at it forza horizon 4 did get updated to be an optimized xbox series x game and the jump is noticeably significant the game looks incredibly better smoother cleaner higher resolution it’s a big difference and it made us say wow here and the new games in particular first things first dirt 5.
We got to check out a pre-release version of it haven’t seen the final thing running but it seems impressive so far also with forza and a couple of other new games we did get to experience the smart delivery thing in action it’s as simple as kind of like downloading an update to your xbox one game. If it has that option and then your games library can be organized by seeing which games are completely optimized by xbox series x like yakuza like a dragon for example which we also got our hands on not really like a massive next generation showcase by any means the game has been out in japan for quite some time now but like smooth frame rate and just yakuza games are awesome.
Console performs very well and churns out high frame rates and great load times and all of it is way better. If you have a fancy new 4k HDR TV maybe even with high Refresh rate support like seeing it in action here really makes next-gen feel a bit more substantial me personally as a fan watching youtube videos. Stuff that doesn’t always really come across our video honestly can’t even do it completely justice like you have to see what in motion you can’t really see the High Refresh Rates on youtube or the HDR. The important stuff well I mean if you’re watching casually at least like statistically maybe you watch this stuff on your phone.
It’s a little bit trickier to show what next generation brings but that’s where it all feels really substantial you know also the console hasn’t gotten loud for us and we haven’t had any heat issues at all but as you can tell we haven’t completely pushed this thing to the limit yet games in general just might not be quite there yet as there are no straightforward exclusives designed specifically for this machine quite yet even some other games that we know would really push this console to the limit are still a bit of A ways out, Cyberpunk 2077.
We’re really looking forward to putting this thing in the console and seeing what it does so right now like day one in a lot of ways there’s not a lot of surprises if you’re already a daily xbox user but I don’t mean that’s a bad thing it’s impressive like how much xbox has built up their ecosystem the value of game pass cross-generational account stuff all that stuff that carries over but still jumping in it feels like less like a massive new and exciting overhaul thing and more like you had an outdated smartphone for a few years and just upgraded to the best new one you know a lot of the good stuff about Xbox series x is completely under the hood I think that’s totally okay of course but like if you’re a halo fan or a fable fan you’re gonna have to wait a little while overall like I said I think the hardware is really good here.
I think it sets a bright future for the next generation of xbox with all the stuff they’re building like I said game pass is cool all the game streaming is cool the cross account thing the working with pc is cool this hardware does seem like a good choice if you like power if you have a crazy nice tv but you don’t have a pc or you don’t want to bother with a pc but it’s also as day one console purchases just go there’s only a handful of small experiences to really test the waters so I think the framework is great.
I’m just waiting for the games I’m excited for more games but again if you can’t tell I’ve said it a couple of times but didn’t really have much new to play on this and I was straight up kind of disappointed. I think the jury’s still out there but at the very least hardware wise I think this is a good machine for third-party gaming seriously though. I gotta stress like having HDR having a good tv having that High Refresh Rate and playing something like Dirt five you are gonna believe the next generation is here.
I give you some info some pros some cons and of course a lot of personal opinions so we want to hear from you guys down in the comments. I’m sure you have a lot to say no console war fighting please. We’re past that we’re adults now in all seriousness though any questions you guys have be sure to leave us down in the comments also we want to know what games you are interested in next gen be it on xbox or pc or ps5 lets us know.