Xbox fans are excited for the release of the Xbox Series X, which has been lauded as the most powerful console so far. There have been many rumours flying around, but we’ve gathered everything you need to know in this review.
The Xbox Series X launch date is November 10, 2020, and it is priced at $499. The pricing is the same as PS5, the console’s main competitor. It is already hard to get hold of the console, as pre-orders have been rapidly filling up since September.
There is a cheaper option for those who want something different – the Xbox Series S uses 1440p performance instead of the 4K seen with Series X, and is priced at just $299. The good news is that this console is backwards compatible with all existing Xbox games, and both Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud are supported from its release. Want to know more? Read on.
Pros and Cons
- Much faster than previous versions. The Verge reported loading time of just 11 seconds for The Outer Worlds, compared with 53 seconds on Xbox One X.
- Many games are available on launch. From Assassins Creed Valhalla to NBA 2K21, gamers are spoilt for choice. Check out the full list below.
- Smart Delivery is enabled. Those who purchase a game on the Xbox One or Xbox One X will be able to get the Xbox Series X version for free in the future.
- Not much storage. There is only 802 GB storage, which means the rest of the internal SSD is focused on the operating system and system files. External storage solutions may be necessary for those who run out on the console.
- No traditional exclusives for a while. Xbox is aiming to ensure that all of the consoles remain equal for as long as possible, so this won’t change for at least a few years.
- Some games won’t be available at launch. For example, Cyberpunk 2077 won’t be available until later in the year, and fans of Halo Infinite will need to wait until 2021.
- CPU: 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
- GPU: 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
- Die Size 360.45 mm2
- Process 7nm Enhanced
- Memory: 16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320mb bus
- Memory Bandwidth: 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
- Internal Storage: 1 TB Custom NVME SSD
- I/O throughput 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)
- Expandable Storage: 1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
- External Storage: USB 3.2 External HDD Support
- Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
- Performance Target: 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS
Design and controller
The console itself is much taller and wider than previous consoles, and it has 2 USB ports, a HDMI port, an Ethernet port and a Storage Expansion port. The USB port, power button, eject button and sync button can be found on the front.
As for the controller, it will be familiar with those who already use Xbox consoles, but a few changes have been made. For example, there is a share button which behaves similarly to the PS4 controller. The controls are said to be more precise and responsive, with a lot of work put into optimising performance and speed this time around.
The Xbox Series X will be able to stream major new movies at full 4K resolution, which is a huge bonus for those investing in the console. Furthermore, framerates of up to 120fps are supported. DirectX ray tracing is also supported, which means that in-game light looks and behaves more realistically. The visuals also receive an upgrade with this feature. What’s more, there is support for variable refresh rate, so that screen stutters and similar issues are eradicated and make for much smoother gameplay.
SSD technology has been introduced to replace the standard hard drive. This means that games will have their quickest loading time ever, and user interface processes will be much quicker. High end audio is also set to be part of the experience due to Microsoft partnering with Bang & Olufsen, a luxury audio company.
The following games will be available at launch:
- Assassins Creed Valhalla
- Borderlands 3
- Bright Memory 1.0
- Cuisine Royale
- Dead by Daylight
- Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
- Dirt 5
- The Falconeer
- Forza Horizon 4
- Gears 5
- Gears Tactics
- King Oddball
- Manifold Garden
- NBA 2K21
- Observer: System Redux
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Planet Coaster
- Sea of Thieves
- Tetris Effect: Connected
- The Touryst
- War Thunder
- Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- Yes, Your Grace
While some may be put off the Xbox series X’s price tag, the number of pros seen with this console make it a worthy purchase for those who have spent their lives on previous versions from Microsoft. The main perks we enjoy include the huge range of games available at launch, the familiar-looking controller and the increased speed and performance, which makes gameplay much more enjoyable. We don’t particularly like how large the console is, but we do love how quiet it is when it’s running.
Which is better, Xbox series X or PS5?
This is down to personal opinion! Watch this space for our upcoming review of the two devices as we place them head to head against each other.
Should I get the Xbox series X or Xbox series S?
If you aren’t too concerned about image quality and don’t want 4K, or you are on a budget, it can be worth saving a few hundred bucks by getting the series S instead.
Is Xbox Live supported with Xbox series X?
Good news, Xbox series X is supported by both Xbox Live and Live Gold.