Xbox Series X Review: Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass has been around for a while now, offering an easy way to get access to a suite of games for a rather affordable monthly price of $9.99 or £7.99. This has long made it one of the best bargains in the gaming world.;
But I’d argue that Game Pass is an essential partner for the Xbox Series X. While the aforementioned launch line up of Xbox Series X games might be a little lacking, Game Pass provides a huge range of new and old games to play on the flagship console. Furthermore, many of these come with Xbox Series X and Series S enhancements, meaning the Xbox Series X is the best place to play such games you may have missed on the Xbox One. ;
Fork out $14.99 or £10.99 a month and you’ll get access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which provides access to Xbox and PC games, as well as cloud streaming and save syncing between all three platforms.;It’s simply a fantastic deal.;
What’s more a whole suite of upcoming Xbox One and Series X games will be released day-one on Game Pass, meaning its one of the most affordable ways to get new games.;
Xbox Series S Vs Xbox One S Verdict
With comparative price points and similar sleek designs, the Xbox Series S and Xbox One S are easily mistaken at a glance. Delve deeper, though, and the power gap between Microsofts two cheap consoles become abundantly clear.
The Xbox One S will soon be seen as a legacy system, unable to provide the next-gen bells and whistles like ray-tracing and blazing fast load times, but its a tempting value proposition nonetheless, particularly if you can find a good Xbox One S deal.;
The Xbox Series S, however, is the console of choice for those looking to experience the next-generation of gaming at a superb price point. Its digital-only, of course, so youll be at the mercy of your internet connection when it comes to downloading games. If thats a problem, the Xbox Series X might be the next best choice.
Xbox Series X Restock Guide: Check Stock At Walmart Gamestop Best Buy And More
Check Xbox Series X inventory and stay on top of the latest Xbox restocks here.
We haven’t seen many Xbox Series X or Series S restocks lately. This week, Walmart had the consoles available via Xbox All Access, but other than that, it’s been quiet. The recently revealed Halo Infinite-themed Series X bundle has also been out of stock since the day it was announced. Often times, Xbox Series X restocks occur with little warning, but hopefully as we enter the holiday season more consoles will be available. You can check out all of the retailer listings for the Series X and Series S below.
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Xbox Series X Restocks At Best Buy
Best Buy restocked the Xbox Series X and Series S online on July 14. The retailer most recently restocked the Xbox Series S on July 29. While Best Buy didn’t have any consoles on store shelves around launch, recent restocks have sometimes included an option for in-store pickup. The latest restock was the fourth time Best Buy replenished its stock this month.
Psychonauts 2 Arrives August 27th
One of the most interesting and unique games in Xboxs summer lineup is Psychonauts 2. The follow-up to the original game is a mind-bending platformer. It gives players powerful psychic abilities and delves into the minds of others.
You play as Raz who is working his way up from a Psychonauts intern to a Junior Psychonaut. In the game you are able to upgrade your psychic powers in a variety of ways including PSI challenge cards. Best Buy Blogs own Jon Scarr had a chance to go hands-on with a preview of the game and chat with director Tim Schafer.
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Xbox Series X Vs Xbox Series S Games What Games Will They Play
The Xbox Series X and Series S are able to play the same games at launch, although it is still unclear when and if Microsoft will decide to develop titles than can only be played on the more powerful platform. We imagine this wont come into fruition for a number of years, since the company doesnt want to shut anyone out of its growing ecosystem.
Backwards compatibility play a huge role in the next-generation of consoles, with Microsoft standing at the forefront thanks to its implementation of Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Play Anywhere. A number of Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles are already playable and enhanced on Xbox One, all of which will be playable on the new series of machines.;
The optimised enhancements you receive for certain games will differ depending on the console youre playing on, too. Games will still receive ample improvements, but they will always peak at 1440p and a certain level of performance, likely because the horsepower simply cant compete with its older sibling.
You also need to remember Xbox Smart Delivery, which grants you the same game across all platforms regardless of where its purchased. This includes all of your saves, achievements and other important information that might be associated with online and serviced-based titles. Cyberpunk 2077, Assassins Creed Valhalla and Yakuza: Like a Dragon are just some of the games confirmed to support it thus far.
What Is Xbox All Access
Once you do find a new Xbox in stock, you dont necessarily have to pay for it all up front. Both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are part of the Xbox All Access program, which allows you to lease a console complete with Xbox Game Pass by making small monthly payments.
Xbox All Access starts at $24.99 a month for 24 months for the Xbox Series S, and costs $34.99 a month for 24 months for the Xbox Series X. Both memberships include 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate , which gets you access to hundreds of Xbox games including the Halo, Gears, Forza and Elder Scrolls franchises. When you factor in Game Pass, both of these monthly plans add up to roughly the same amount as buying everything up front, so All Access is worth considering if you dont want to dish out a few hundred bucks all at once.
Xbox All Access memberships are available at various retailers, including Best Buy, Walmart, Target and GameStop. Just note that youll have to qualify for a line of credit via Citizens One.
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Xbox Family Settings App
In May 2020,; Xbox presented a preview version of an app that allows parents and guardians to set daily limits for their children’s playing time, provides weekly activity reports, filters out age-restricted games, and places limits on online communication. This is the attempt of Microsoft, Xbox’s owner, to promote a message of responsible gaming. The full release is expected in the end of 2020 or later.
Xbox Series X Vs Series S
The Xbox Series X isnt the only console in the 2020 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.
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Xbox Series X Price Analysis And Release Date
- Xbox Series X release date: Out now
- Xbox Series X price: $499 / £449 / AU$749
The Xbox Series X launched globally on November 10, 2020, giving Microsoft a two-day head start against Sony’s PS5, which released on November 12 .
Xbox Series X stock is hard to come by. Select retailers have shown Xbox Series X stock available to order, but supply has been snapped up almost immediately.
The Xbox Series X is priced at $499 / £449 / AU$749. A lower-specced, digital-only version of the console, the Xbox Series S, also launched on November 10, priced at $299.99 / £249.99 / AU$499.
While this isnt exactly pocket money, its a pretty decent price for the new Xbox. Its the same price as the Xbox One was at launch, and matches the MSRP of the Xbox One X, both of which are nowhere near as powerful as the Xbox Series X. And, considering that the Series X has specs similar to a gaming PC, the $500 mark is pretty good going youll be hard pressed to find a gaming PC at this price tag.
However, as mentioned, if you want get the most out of your Xbox Series X we recommend picking up an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, which costs $15 / £10.99 / AU$15.95 a month . While this is an additional outlay, it does grant you extra access to hundreds of Xbox Game Pass games , Xbox Live Gold, cloud gaming and monthly free games, which should save you money in the long term compared with buying games separately.;
- Emits same amount of heat as Xbox One X
- Minimal UI and dashboard updates
Quiet As A Whisper But Pretty Toasty
A major upside of the Xbox Series X is how unexpectedly quiet it is. We’ve almost become accustomed to consoles revving up like they’re about to take off when running games that really put them through their paces; but the Xbox Series X is the quietest Xbox we’ve had the pleasure of playing on, even if we need more next-gen-specific games to truly make a call on this.
When you’re on the home screen, the console puts out around 30dB of sound that’s about the audio level of a whisper and this changes very little when you actually load up and play games. When playing Sea of Thieves, No Man’s Sky and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, we found the decibels never exceeded 33dB.
That said, when installing a larger update we recorded levels up to 45dB, which is roughly as noisy as a printer in action. Even then, that’s not too loud, and it barely registers over the sound of actually playing a game. This was also the case when playing the next-gen titles we’ve sampled so far.
It’s welcome news for those who don’t want their gameplay interrupted by the whirring of a struggling machine but with this quietness still comes a fair bit of heat. The Xbox Series X is on a par with the Xbox One X when it comes to heat emission, with heat dispersed through the cooling vents at the top, which we advise leaving ample space for. The console itself does get toasty, too, but we didn’t find that this impacted performance when running more intensive next-gen titles.
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Xbox Series S Vs Xbox One S Specs
Specs are where the two consoles differ significantly. The Xbox Series S is Microsofts more affordable next-gen console, and while it might not match the Xbox Series X in terms of pure technical prowess, it delivers a massive upgrade over the Xbox One S. Here are the key Xbox Series S specs you need to know:;
- CPU: Eight-core 3.6GHz custom AMD 7nm
- GPU: 4 teraflops at 1.550GHz;
- RAM: 10GB GDDR6;
- Framerate: Up to 120 fps;
- Resolution: 1440p with 4K upscaling;
- Optical: No disk drive;
- Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD;
The Xbox Series S may be impossibly small, but theres a lot of power inside. The console will target a resolution of 1440p instead of native 4K , and is capable of 120fps gaming. Though its GPU is considerably less powerful than the Xbox Series X’s, its armed with an almost identical CPU and 10GB of GDDR6 RAM. Thats less than the 16GB the Xbox Series X, but its considerably more than the Xbox One S which only has 8GB of GDDR3.
One important thing to note is that theres no disk drive on the Xbox Series S, and youll only have 512GB of storage to play with. Unlike the One S, though, it comes with a super-fast NVMe SSD instead of an achingly slow mechanical hard drive, and it can be expanded with the 1TB Storage Expansion Card from Seagate.
- Optical: 4K HD Blu-Ray Drive
- Storage: 1TB HDD
Second Generation: Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 was released as the successor of the original Xbox in November 2005, competing with Sony‘s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo‘s Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. As of June 2014, 84 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold worldwide. The Xbox 360 was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information divulged later that month at the Electronic Entertainment Expo . The console sold out completely upon release in all regions except in Japan. Several retail configurations of the core Xbox 360 model were offered over its lifetime, varying the amount of RAM and internal storage offered.
The Xbox 360 showed an expanded Xbox Live service , the ability to stream multimedia content from PCs, while later updates added the ability to purchase and stream music, television programs, and films through the Xbox Music and Xbox Video services, along with access to third-party content services through third-party media streaming applications. Microsoft also released Kinect, a motion control system for the Xbox 360 which uses an advanced sensor system.
The second major revision of the Xbox 360 was the Xbox 360 E, released in 2013. It featured a case style similar to the upcoming Xbox One, and eliminated one USB port and the S/PDIF, YPbPr component and S-video connections, but otherwise shared the same specifications as the Xbox 360 S.
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The Broad Goal For Xbox Series X: Make It Easier To Play Games On Whatever Device You Want With Whoever You Want To Play With
Microsoft’s been talking about a new Netflix-like video game streaming solution for awhile now, called Project xCloud. You can even use it yourself for free it’s currently in beta, and is set to go live soon.
The idea is you can play whatever games you want on whatever device you want . That plan is still in the works, and is a part of the vision for the next generation of Xbox but so is a physical disc drive and a digital storage system as well.
But this isn’t a video game streaming box. Xbox Series X is very much a video game console in the traditional sense.
In the long run, Microsoft wants Xbox Series X to be the centerpiece of a broader strategy to get people playing games on whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want, even without owning a physical video game console.;
Backwards Compatibility On Xbox Series X
Another of the Xbox Series X’s best features is the breadth of its backwards compatibility. There are well over 1,000 backwards-compatible titles available, meaning youll be hard-pressed to find an older game you have that isnt supported on the Series X.
As mentioned previously, we found these titles loaded faster and simply played better; improved stability means fewer frame rate drops, which makes older games feel nicer to play, even if they’re otherwise a little outdated by the standards of modern blockbusters.;
This backwards compatibility also extends to Xbox accessories. We found that we could easily connect the original Xbox Wireless Controller and the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 to the Xbox Series X with no issues, and we were also able to connect our headsets.
Any officially licensed Xbox One accessory that connects either wirelessly or via a wired USB connection should work on the Xbox Series X, such as the Xbox Wireless Headset; however, its worth noting that optical port connections arent supported, although some of these products may work with a firmware;update.
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Third Generation: Xbox One
The Xbox One was released on November 22, 2013 in North America, as the successor of the Xbox 360. The Xbox One competes with Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Nintendo’s Wii U and Switch as part of the eighth generation of video game consoles.
Announced on May 21, 2013, the Xbox One has an emphasis on internet-based features, including the ability to record and stream gameplay, and the ability to integrate with a set-top box to watch cable or satellite TV through the console with an enhanced guide interface and Kinect-based voice control.
On June 13, 2016, Microsoft announced the Xbox One S at E3 2016, which featured a smaller form factor, as well as support for 4K video and HDR. At E3 2017, Microsoft unveiled Xbox One X, a high-end model with improved hardware designed to facilitate the playing of games at 4K resolution.
Since November 2014, Microsoft has stated it will not release sales numbers for the Xbox One line. Industry estimates project global sales of the Xbox One family to be about 50 million units. Xbox head Phil Spencer said that while they do internally track sales figures, they do not want their developers to be focused on these numbers as to affect their products, and thus have opted not to report further sales of Xbox hardware going forward.