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 Vs Series S
The Xbox Series X isnt the only console in the new Xbox lineup, with the cheaper all-digital Xbox Series S also now available. It doesnt have quite the same raw power, but it might be a much better buy for gamers on a budget .
The Xbox Series S has the same CPU as the Xbox Series X, but with a much less powerful GPU. The console is still more powerful than an Xbox One X, but targets 60fps at 1440p instead of native 4K like the Xbox Series X. It can still be upscaled to 4K, and supports framerates of up to 120fps.
The Xbox Series S has all the same features of the Series X, but with less GPU power to target 1440p at 60fps.
Removing the more powerful GPU hardware and the disk drive has enabled the Xbox team to reduce the consoles size by 60% compared to the Xbox Series X. This will make it a much more comfortable fit in most entertainment centers, and it doesnt come at the cost of loud fans or poor heat dispersion.
Apart from the resolution and size, the two consoles share all the same new features mentioned above, like Quick Resume, an upgraded SSD, ray tracing, and more. Its the cheapest way to access next-gen hardware and games, although you wont get pure next-gen resolutions. Check out our full comparison at the article below.
Will The One X Be Small And Cute Too
It’s small! Microsoft says it’s the smallest Xbox ever.
The Project Scorpio developer kit that Microsoft revealed earlier this year threw us off for a bit:
But in our side-by-side gallery , you can see that the final version is even a little bit smaller than the already-small Xbox One S. While it isn’t the smallest by much — it’s actually slightly wider and deeper — it’s shorter and thus very slightly smaller than the Xbox One S by volume.
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Xbox Series X Review: Backwards Compatibility
In the run-up to the release of the Xbox Series X, backwards compatibility was touted a lot by Microsoft, as well as keen Xbox gamers. Such was the hype, I had steeled myself for disappointment. But I neednt have worried as backwards compatibility on the Xbox Series X is superb.
Simply put, getting an Xbox game from any generation to run on the Xbox Series X is just a case of getting the disc and popping it into the console. If the game is backwards compatible, and many should be, then itll begin an installation process. If you have access to Xbox Game Pass, then you can simply download any game thats listed on the service that dates back as far as the original Xbox.
These games wont immediately be able to put the graphical horsepower of the Series X to use, if ever. But the fact they can be installed directly to the consoles SSD means theyll load up in seconds. And any games that used to run badly on older hardware, should at least be a little smoothed out.
There are limits in that a game locked at 30 frames per second wont suddenly run at 60 fps or more unless it gets optimized. I found that to be the case with Red Dead Redemption, which runs at 4K/30 fps on the Series X, much like it did on the One X. Throwing Assassin’s Creed 2 in the Series X results in a game that loads a lot faster and feels smoother than it ever did on the Xbox 360.
Quick Resume Acts Like The Ultimate Pause Button
Using their fast storage access, the Xbox Series X and Series S allow you to suspend almost any game by creating a snapshot of it in system memory. You can then start another game, watch a movie, or even turn off and completely unplug your console. The next time you start the game in question, itll pick up exactly where you left off. Its a lot like switching between open apps on a smartphone, and you can do it with several games at once. Games already boot up faster on the new consoles because of their storage speed, and if youre playing more than one thing, switching between games using quick resume saves a lot of time and frustration because you skip any menus and save/load screens that you might otherwise be forced to navigate. And in the few months weve been using the console, every time we boot up a game for the first time in weeks only to load up exactly where we left off in seconds is a delightful experience.
Initially, Quick Resume support was somewhat spotty, with several games encountering problems with the feature but recent patches have improved overall stability, though there are still occasional, unavoidable issues. For titles like the 2018 remaster of Dark Souls, which uses an always online server system, Quick Resume just about always results in a server disconnect, which will boot you to the title screen .
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Best Wireless Gaming Headset Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen : 12999 Argoscouk
The successor to the bestselling Xbox one X headset, Turtle Beachs second generation stealth 700 wireless headphones deliver seriously impressive sound in a neat package that forgoes some of the garish, primary-coloured trimmings of other gaming headsets.
The rigid design makes them feel sturdy and premium, while the aerogel foam padding keeps your ears comfortable during long play sessions. There are no wires, dongles or base stations required on Xbox series X just synchronise over Bluetooth and youre good to go. Multiple connections mean you can listen to your music or make phones calls while you play.
How About The 385 Older Xbox 360 Games That Were Updated To Work On The Xbox One
Yep! Xbox exec Mike Ybarra tweeted that Xbox 360 backwards compatibility is a go, meaning the growing library of patched Xbox 360 titles — including Alan Wake, Mass Effect and Red Dead Redemption — will work as well.
360 Backwards compatibility will of course work on Scorpio. #xbox
By the way, there are now 385 different Xbox 360 games that run on Xbox One. Full list here.
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Xbox Series X: Design
Youd be forgiven for saying that the Xbox Series X looks like a small-form-factor PC, because it does at least when its standing upright. Its monolithic design could be seen as uninspired. But I rather like the system’s clean and unfussy appearance. Its big, however.
Measuring 15.1 x 15.1 x 30.1 centimeters and weighing 9.8 pounds, the Series X is a rather bulky machine, though not as large as the PS5. This means youll struggle to fit it into an entertainment unit, unless you place the device on its side. Theres a quartet of soft pads on one side of the console to show you which way it should be positioned when lying sideways. These also prevent the console from slipping around.
I think the Xbox Series X looks a little clunky and clumsy on its side, a bit like the lovechild of an audio amplifier and a brick. I keep mine upright and sitting partially behind my TV, and it looks rather nice in that space, particularly as you can peer into the top vent of the console, which has some green accents around the holes towards the middle.
In fact, while it might look a little clunky peeking out from behind my TV, I think the Series X looks rather good sitting on a desktop. If you plan to plug the system into a 4K or high-refresh-rate monitor, you could be pleasantly surprised.
Xbox Series X Review: Controller
Ever since Microsoft came up with the Xbox 360 controller, Ive been a fan of the Xbox controllers, and the new Xbox Wireless Controller is a neat evolution of its predecessor. Though glance at the peripheral, and youd be hard-pressed to spot any major differences from the Xbox One controller.
But thats not a bad thing, as its a fantastic controller. Small improvements like textured triggers and an improved D-pad take a familiar controller and simply make it better.
The Xbox Wireless Controller has long been one of the most comfortable controllers Ive used, taking the Xbox 360 controller and building upon it. And the same is true with the new controller, though it does have a few extra features.
From a quick glance, the most notable change is the addition of a share button for sharing screenshots and recordings with a simple tap. Youll then notice that the D-pad is a hybrid one: a concave disk that should deliver more precision, particularly if you play traditional beat-em-ups. The finish on the new controller has a more matte look, with the black appearing smokier. The Xbox button is also now all-black.
The new controller fits my hands almost exactly like its predecessor. The triggers are slightly smaller and feel a little more tactile, as do the shoulder buttons. And the joysticks have a firmer, more satisfying click to them than those on the older controller.
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Won’t Those 4k Files Murder My Hard Drive Space
Quite possibly. Forza 7 will clock in at 100GB, which is about 1/10th of the space on the Xbox One X’s 1TB hard disk.
Still, Microsoft won’t send the bigger files to consoles that can’t use them anyhow, like Xbox One and Xbox One S.
“4K assets will be downloaded to Xbox One X and the standard 1080p assets will be downloaded to an Xbox One S,” a Microsoft rep told Stevivor. “hen it comes to game content our intention is to download the correct assets to the correct console.”
What Size Is The Xbox One X
This may be surprising to some, but the Xbox One X is actually much smaller than the original launch Xbox One console we got in 2013 despite the increase in power. To put this into perspective the initial Xbox One measured at 17 x 14 x 5 inches, while the much more powerful Xbox One X measures 11.8 x 9.4 x 2.4 inches to make it the smallest Xbox ever even when compared to the Xbox One S, which is geared towards casual players. The Xbox One X fits neatly into anyones entertainment centre because of this.
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Xbox One Provides Access To Game Pass
These days, Xbox Game Pass is the biggest draw of an Xbox console. If you’re not familiar, Game Pass is a monthly subscription that provides unlimited access to over 100 games.
You can download and play them on your Xbox for as long as you stay subscribed, and it’s full of high-quality games. Plus, all titles published by Xbox Game Studios come to Game Pass on their day of release.
Game Pass is $10/month for console only. There’s also Game Pass Ultimate, which is $15/month and includes access to Game Pass on PC, as well as Xbox Live Gold and other perks. For more info, see our full guide to Xbox Game Pass.
Both the Xbox One line and Xbox Series X/S provide full access to the Game Pass catalog, at least at the time of writing. The Xbox Series S|X will run the games better and faster, however, thanks to those consoles packing SSDs and more powerful internals.
That means if you want to check out lots of the titles on Game Pass, an Xbox One is a decent way to do so. However, many of the same games are on Game Pass for PC, so if you have access to a decent gaming computer, an Xbox One is largely redundant.
Xbox Rechargeable Battery: $24/19
One of the only real downsides to the Xbox Wireless Controller is it still uses AA batteries to power it rather than a rechargeable cell. Chemical batteries arent particularly elegant to use, not exactly great for the environment and can get quite expensive, as after a few lengthy game sessions theyll run out of juice. So to avoid that inconvenience youll need the Xbox Rechargeable Battery.
That means parting with $24/£19 if you want to have one controller with a rechargeable battery pack. Itll save you money in the long run, but its a little disappointing Microsoft didnt put a rechargeable battery pack in the new Xbox Wireless Controller by default.
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The Best Cheap Xbox One X Deals In December 2021
ByJames Pickardlast updated 3 December 21
Get the latest Xbox One X prices and deals
Xbox One X bundles are basically non-existent right now. With the new generation of consoles well and truly established, it seems we’re seeing the previous 4K golden child on its last legs.
Many are looking to buy Xbox Series X and it’s at a price comparable to the figures we’re seeing for a renewed Xbox One X console. At the moment, we’d recommend holding off for the new console unless cheaper stock finds its way to the shelves.
- Need something to play? Here’s all the latest cheap Xbox game deals
Xbox Series X Review: Ports
Keeping with the clean look, the Xbox Series X has only a USB 3.1 Type-A port and a Blu-ray disc drive on the consoles front. There’s also a wireless controller pairing button. That makes it very easy to quickly plug in a controller to charge, or an external hard drive to transfer games and saves to and from the Series X.
Around the back of the Series X, theres a much wider port selection. Youll find one HDMI 2.1 port: crucial for gaming at 8K, and allowing TVs with 120 Hz panels to take advantage of the 120 frames per second frame rate for certain games. There are also two more USB 3.1 ports – handy for external storage that you plan to keep connected to your console – as well as an Ethernet port and Kensington lock.
Theres no optical audio connection or HDMI-in port, like there were on the Xbox One and One X. However, dropping optical audio is likely to be a pain for only people with powerful audio systems, and the HDMI connection can still carry Dolby Atmos and surround sound signals. Were not really sure if many people used the HDMI-in, so dropping it from the Series X isnt a big deal. It also avoids any chance of plugging an HDMI cable into the wrong port, then wondering why your TV isnt getting a signal: something that’s happened to me before.
The most noteworthy port however, is the expansion slot. This is for the proprietary external PCIe 4.0 SSD that will let you expand the Series X with an extra 1 TB of speedy storage.
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So Which Should You Buy
Honestly: neither. You should look into picking up an Xbox Series S or a more powerful Xbox Series X. Both of these systems are in the next-generation console family for Xbox gaming, and are future-proofed for at least the next 5+ years. The Xbox One consoles will be riding off into the sunset within the next two years, likely being cut off from future games.
If you absolutely are intent on getting an Xbox One console, and not a Series S/X console, the main issue here is whether or not you have a 4K television. There are gains to be had by using the Xbox One X with a 1080p set, but they will be nowhere near as pronounced as they would with a 4K display with HDR. I would argue that, unless you’re going to get a 4K TV or monitor shortly, that you could probably stick with an Xbox One S. However, as time has gone by, it feels like developers are increasingly prioritizing the development of the Xbox One X versions of their games. Many modern games run far worse on the Xbox One S. Even if you don’t have a 4K TV to enjoy the extra pixels, you’ll enjoy better performance across the board.
It all boils down to personal preference, but the Xbox One S is going to be the real bargain console for the remainder of the year. The X will compete for the hardcore audience against Sony’s less-powerful PlayStation 4 Pro and even some higher-end gaming PCs.
Optimized For Xbox Series X
Games built using the Xbox Series X|S development kit showcase unparalleled load times, visuals, responsiveness, and frame rates up to 120 FPS.
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*Server availability and wait times may vary. Supported games only. Game catalog, features and availability vary by device and region. Streaming limits apply. Xbox.com/gamepass
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