Faster Storage Delivers Much Shorter Load Times
All games and saves on an Xbox Series X or Series S are stored on a much newer and much faster type of storagecalled NVMethan the platter-based hard drive the Xbox One uses. This new storage helps provide some of the most obvious improvements to the overall user experience and games for this new console generation, with a night-and-day difference in console startup, game boot-ups, and in-game load times.
Xbox Series X Review: Features And Os
The Xbox Series X is a tale of gains and losses, at least when it comes to features. On paper, this is an all-new generation, but the reality is more complicated. The Xbox Series S and X share an OS with Xbox One, and the 2013 Xbox One is a wildly different proposition than what we have today.
Xbox Series X media support is a bit of a mixed bag.
For fans of the old school Xbox vision as the center of your entertainment system, the reality is that the Xbox Series S and X are dropping many of the features that enabled that. HDMI pass-through is gone, along with the IR Blaster. This means that the Xbox Series S and X cannot control your TV/cable box for surfing channels seamlessly without switching hardware signals.
The OneGuide TV app has been completely removed, and perhaps oddly, even the ability to play 3D Blu-ray has been killed as well. Typically, Microsoft cites low usage as its primary reason for removing features. In fairness, the trends certainly seem to suggest viewership is increasingly moving towards apps like Netflix and Disney+, as over-the-air and cable TV viewership wanes. Still, if you built up your entertainment system around the Xbox One’s features, it may sting to know that these are gone.
While the Xbox Series X media support is a bit of a mixed bag, Xbox doubles down on gaming features with considerable success.
When emerging from Quick Resume, you’ll get a small notification in the top right.
Is Xbox Design Lab Available In My Country
Xbox Design Lab is available in the US, Canada, and most Western European countries. The service was temporarily paused in October 2020 to prepare for the launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S but returned in July 2021 with more customization options than ever before.
Todayâs best Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller deals
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Xbox Series X: Platform And Os
Microsoft will deploy the same OS to Xbox Series X that is available now on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, albeit with some design refinements you can see a glimpse of in the above video, showcasing the new Fluent Design Xbox dashboard. New fluent elements, new fonts, and a dashboard designed to support 4K TVs are among things being considered for dashboard improvements in the future. Additionally, the Xbox Series X will support animated Dynamic Themes, taking cues from PlayStation. The first theme is a wavy pattern, although we expect more to be added for launch.
For developers, Microsoft is working on a new developer environment dubbed GameCore, which will reportedly bring Xbox development more closely in line to that of Win32 on PC. Additionally, GameCore comes with other benefits for developers, allowing games to scale more seamlessly across different Xbox SKUs without additional work, scaling resolution, and other details to meet various power levels. This sort of system is ideal for the Xbox Series S console, which will output games at up to 1440p with a vastly more powerful CPU and SSD than on the Xbox One consoles. We’ve heard that GameCore as a development environment is currently in a beta state, which a couple of smaller games are planning to launch using early versions of the tools around the Xbox Series X launch.
Xbox Series X Review: A Full Year Later The Xbox Series X Is Proving Its Worth
For those taking a more cautious “wait and see” approach, you might have been put off by the Xbox Series X launch lineup. You may have been wondering how the consoles held up over time. After over six months of near non-stop usage, I’m pretty confident to call the Xbox Series X my favorite console of all time.
For over a year, my Xbox Series X has become my primary console of choice, and the cornerstone of my leisure time. And after Microsoft’s E3 2021 showcase, I couldn’t be more excited for the platform’s future.
As the Xbox Series X passes its first birthday, we’re going to cover the hardware and design, its capabilities as a gaming console, as well as a centerpiece of your entertainment system. What are we losing, and what are we gaining? Are the tradeoffs worth it? Do the games honor Microsoft’s claim that this is the most powerful gaming console ever made? And is the Xbox Series X a worthwhile gaming investment for the future?
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What Is The Xbox Series S
The Microsoft Xbox Series S plays all the games and other content you can play on the Series X, only slower. The Series S is slightly down-specced from the Series X, with a slower CPU and GPS, a bit less memory, half the storage space, support for 4K video max, and no optical drive. The Series S can stream content for games but cannot play hard media you already own or buy.
The Series S console lists for $300, or you can buy it with a 24-month, $25-per-month Xbox All Access subscription. The Xbox Series S console is a lower-priced choice for players who dont want to spend $500 on a game console or who are more casual about their gameplay. With the current shortage of available Xbox consoles, youll probably have to pay close to $500 to buy a Series S console anyway, unless you luck out by finding one during the brief availability windows when a new shipment arrives at a retail store or website.
How Does The Xbox Series X Compare With The Ps5 And Xbox Series S
Broadly speaking, the PS5 and Series X offer roughly the same specifications vis-a-vis processing power, storage and new graphics features like ray tracing. One potential performance advantage the PS5 might have is its new hardware decompression silicon, which could speed up loading of high-resolution textures even more. Sony also overhauled the controller, now dubbed DualSense, to add some intriguing-sounding haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
The Series S, with its $300 price and smaller footprint, looks like a really good alternative to either console if you’re budget constrained, especially since 1440p is perfect for connecting to a relatively inexpensive monitor instead of a TV. As ever, it comes down to which games you want to play most.
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What About Xbox Series S
Codenamed Project Lockhart, the Xbox Series S, is the cheaper, digital-only alternative to the new Xbox Series X.
The lower-cost console had been rumoured for a while along with the disc-less feature, and faster CPU. Think PS4 Pro without the disc dive. Microsoft has said that Xbox Series X will be part of a family of consoles and it seems they were true to their word.
Not sure which console to buy? Check out our comparison of the PS5 vs Xbox Series X for more info.
Auto Hdr On Xbox Series X
Like the Xbox One, the Xbox Series X allows for calibration of HDR for games. We’d advise setting this before playing any games, as it ensures the balance of contrast is spot-on, giving you the best visuals possible.
For our initial review, we primarily had access to a selection of backwards-compatible titles which are the best indicator of the boost in performance the Xbox Series X delivers over its last-gen counterparts. With the above settings enabled, we found that the games immediately looked better on the Xbox Series X which isn’t particularly surprising, given that Microsoft has implemented native HDR for these titles.
We go into detail as to how this performance boost improves Xbox Series X Optimized titles further down, but in short, when playing backwards-compatible titles on the Xbox One S and Xbox Series X versions side-by-side we could clearly see the visual upgrade.
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Xbox Series X Price Vs Playstation 5 Price
After many leaks and speculation, Sony confirmed the PS5 Digital and PS5 prices at £360 and £450 respectively. That came as a pleasant surprise to those who’d expected the PS5 to be priced much higher than the rival Xbox Series X.
As it turns out, the full-fat PS5 and Xbox Series X cost the same, although the all-digital Series S undercuts the PS5 Digital Edition by a fair margin of £90 .
Bear in mind, however, that the Xbox Series S is less powerful than the Series X, whereas the PS5 Digital Edition is identical to the standard PS5 except for the lack of a disc drive.
- See how the two consoles compare: PS5 vs Xbox Series X
Save Money With Xbox All Access
If you live outside the United States, you might not be familiar with the Xbox All Access program, but its one of the best ways to get your hands on the newest Xbox consoles without breaking the bank.
Xbox All Access allows you to pay for the console in monthly installments over the course of two years. You also get access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which features hundreds of games to play on your Xbox console, PC, or Android phone .
To get your hands on an Xbox Series X with the Xbox All Access program, it will cost you just $35 a month. Over time, this works out to be slightly cheaper than paying for both the console and two years of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate individually. The Xbox Series S will cost $25 a month, making it a very affordable pathway to next-gen gaming.
With the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S release, Microsoft is expanding the Xbox All Access program to 12 countries. More countries will be added later in 2021, but here is the full list of supported countries and retailers for the time being.
Microsoft has released a new controller for the Xbox Series S and X consoles. While the new Xbox Core Controller looks very similar to the older gamepad made for the Xbox One consoles, it does have a few new features. The biggest is the new share button thats right in the middle of the gamepad.
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Xbox Series X Review: Games And Ecosystem
Witcher 3’s performance mode hits 4K 60 FPS with ease, even without the future optimization patch CD Projekt RED is working on.
The Xbox Series X has promised to be the “world’s most powerful console,” but what does that mean in reality? At least, in theory, it means that games will hit 60 frames per second more consistently, at 4K resolution more consistently, while also bringing in some next-gen visual features. Some of those advanced features include ray-tracing reflections and shadows, which aims to cast light more dynamically, rather than artificially, elevating the visual fidelity of your games. Microsoft also offers FPS Boost and Auto HDR to enhance past-gen games, too, while other companies are eager to sell those enhancements for a premium.
The architecture brings in some of the latest tech from AMD, with a massive CPU boost over the past-gen consoles. The way Microsoft has built its Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S platform enables past-gen games designed for Xbox One to gain natural performance boosts on Xbox Series X.
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Quick Resume On Xbox Series X
Perhaps the most welcome of the Xbox Series Xs features is Quick Resume. The purpose of Quick Resume is to allow you to continue a game from a suspended state pretty much instantly. So, within seconds, you can jump back into the game where you left off, as if you never stopped playing, without having to sit through loading screens again. Not only that, but you can jump between multiple games that have been left in this suspended state in no time at all.
We found that we could seamlessly jump between gameplay in a matter of seconds, as long as the games you’re hopping between have already been booted up at some point beforehand. We were able to jump from being in a timberyard as Alan Wake to being Alyson Ronan in Dontnod’s Tell Me Why within 11.4 seconds by pressing the Xbox button on the controller and selecting the game from the sidebar. That’s from gameplay to gameplay no loading screens. If we wanted to access Tell Me Why from the Xbox dashboard home screen, selected as the current game we were playing, the time from the dashboard to gameplay was 2.7 seconds.
Microsoft hasn’t said if there’s a limit to the number of titles that you can have in a suspended state at one time, but we found more than four would start taking a toll on the machine. And we found that if we stacked more than four games in a suspended state, some required a full boot-up again, with the console closing the first game opened.
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What Are The Hardware Specs On The Xbox Series X
On February 24, 2020, Microsoft announced the Xbox Series Xs upgraded GPU will put graphical performance at 12 teraflops, which firmly places it above standard Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. To put that into perspective, 12 teraflops is roughly nine times as powerful as the original Xbox One console and twice as powerful as the Xbox One X. The Series X also implements GDDR6 memory technology.
The improved NVMe SSD aims to reduce game loading times, which enables gamers to hop into digital realms much faster. Additionally, the Series X will feature a new CPU developed by AMD and Radeon. The CPU will build on AMDs Zen 2 and Radeons RDNA 2 models and aims for up to 8K/120fps performance on games. Microsoft is also working closely with HDMI Forum to get the highest quality HDMI 2.1support.
The end goal is low latency and smooth visual performance on games, and while it will likely be a few years before most consumers are able to make full use of this power, the potential is inarguably exciting. Improved GPU/CPU from AMD also means the Series X graphics will feature improved lighting realism via DirectXRaytracing. Microsoft has patented a new form of variable rate shading as well, which it claims will result in more stable frame rates and higher resolution, with no impact on the final image quality.
Xbox Series S Games Specs Price How It Compares To Xbox Series X
Now that we’re less than a week from launch, here’s the essential info you need.
Senior Editor / Reviews
I’ve been writing about and reviewing consumer technology since before the turn of the century. I’m also a photographer and cat herder, frequently at the same time.
Microsoft’s much anticipated next-gen Xbox Series X console will be hitting store shelves very soon, but it has a challenger from its own house: The less powerful, less expensive Xbox Series S, which targets 1440p, all-digital gameplay rather than 4K. It costs $300 , and like the Series X will ship Nov. 10 and entered preorder at the same time. And it’s looking very attractive compared to its higher-end but $200 more expensive sibling.
The Series S will deliver 1440p at up to 120 frames per second, incorporate a Velocity Architecture 512GB SSD with support for the $220 1TB Seagate expansion SSD — the expansion costs almost as much as the console — and be able to upscale games to 4K and stream media at 4K.
We’re not complaining about that.
Will Older Xbox Games Work On It
Yes, it’s backward compatible as far as the original Xbox, and many of them will play and look better, thanks to the component upgrades that apply to every game running on the console. Unlike the transition from earlier generations, this one should go more smoothly. The new hardware is mostly just faster versions of the previous components, and the last Xbox One operating system also used DirectX 12 and supported HDMI 2.1, so at least there’s nothing that requires emulation or rewriting. But it lacks an optical drive, so that may be a hurdle to face playing older games.
Microsoft has called out at least two new features to improve the experience of running multigenerational games: HDR reconstruction, for automatically tonemapping SDR games to HDR, and Smart Delivery. When you pay for a game, it gives you the rights to that game for both Xbox One models, Series S and Series X, and automatically chooses the correct version. But it’s also optional for developers and publishers , and it’s not clear whether it applies to older games you’ve already paid for. We’ve started to see publishers charge $10 extra for “bundles” that include both versions.