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 in fact, right now I’d go as far as to say that Xbox Game Pass is the best deal in gaming.
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.
How The Xbox One X Factors Into Everything
When does the next generation Xbox become the current generation of technology? The Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 have taken console gaming on a great leap forward, but what will their next generation look like? The PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X are wildcards for the gaming industry. Were not used to seeing consoles that exist within a generation. An Xbox slim, sure, but not a new console with more power.
The Xbox One X is Microsofts first attempt at an iterative console. Its not the Xbox 2, but it is something new within the same generation. Microsoft calls it the Xbox Family. Your games will play on any version of the Xbox One, backwards and forward compatible.
The Xbox One X versions will offer 4K resolution and various enhancements that the developers can choose to add based on the extra power the system has over the standard Xbox One. It plays the same games, just a little better.
If Microsoft sat on the Xbox One hardware for another 2-3 years, they would be incredibly far behind the curve. The Xbox One X is meant to close that gap a little, but ultimately, there will be an Xbox 2 in the form of Project Scarlett.
Xbox Series X And Series S Controller
The fourth generation Xbox Controller doesn’t change much from the Xbox One controller, but the new wireless Xbox Controller does add a capture and share button, a hybrid d-pad, and better gripping on the bumpers and triggers. The controller is also promised to be cross compatible with certain PC’s and mobile devices.
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Xbox 2 Specs: Gpu Ram Hard Drives And Much More
Are you the person who goes hunting for specs when a console is announced? Does the sound of teraflops get your disc drive spinning? Youve come to the right place. Our Xbox Two specs page is where we dive into the details.
Well look at the Xbox One X and its insides first, then well look at industry trends to find out what the next console could have under the hood. If its coming down the pipeline, were going to talk about it, so come join the conversation!
Is Xbox One X The Xbox 2
Normally, that wouldn’t even be a question, but in a post PS4 Pro world, we have to wonder if it’s truly a next generation console, or something iterative like the Pro, which Sony has explicitly stated is not the PS5.
Typically, we classify generational leaps as a jump in power that’s significant when compared to the last console. That’s why models like the Xbox One S don’t count, because they’re largely the same.
Now, Xbox One X offers things like native 4K which is something you would normally expect from only the most powerful PC rigs.
Another major component of a “new generation” is usually a new format, and in many cases, the inability to play older titles . This is where things get murky with Xbox One X, because Microsoft is trying to break down the walls between generations as we know them.
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When Is The Matrix Awakens Release Date
The Matrix Awakens is now available now for Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5.
The demos release date was 9th December 2021, with the official description inviting players to tune into The Game Awards on that date, when the experience will be revealed.
If youre wondering how to watch The Game Awards 2021, which kick off at 1am tonight from the UK point of view, click the link in this sentence.
Where To Buy The Xbox Series X
The next-gen Xbox Series X console launched on 10 November 2020, just before Sony’s PS5 release date – 12 November in the US, and 19 November in the UK.
Unsurprisingly stock sold out fast. Microsoft has promised more stock is on the way, but if you’re struggling, it’s worth checking all of the following sites and signing up for notifications from any that are offering them:
Find out if your TV is compatible with the Xbox Series X.
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A Lot Can Change In A Few Years
The Xbox One is a very, very different console to what Microsoft intended it to be.
Gone is the Kinect, one of the systems signature features, making way for more power to become a games console proper, rather than a ‘family entertainment system’ it was originally intended to be.
The result was what many people saw as an under-powered piece of kit – ultimately resulting in the Xbox One X, a supercharged version of the console using a very different technical architecture, which rocketed the Xbox into 4K territory .
What’s clear from Xbox Series X is that Microsoft know exactly what this is.
The tower structure nods to gaming PC – and the performance will be some two times faster than the Xbox One X.
Fps Boost On Xbox Series X
Microsoft has added a new feature to Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S post-launch called FPS Boost, which has the potential to quadruple the framerates of older titles. It means that games that were previously locked to 30 frames per second can now hit 60fps – some games can even hit 120fps.
At present, FPS Boost only applies to Xbox One games, and to a specific selection of games. But the list is fairly extensive and were likely to see this feature rolled out to Xbox 360 and original Xbox games in the future. FPS Boost is a fantastic upgrade, particularly for those with an Xbox Game Pass subscription, as it allows Xbox One games to utilize the power of the Xbox Series X. So, for compatible games, it feels less of a technological step back when you decide to revisit some of your favorite Xbox One games.
If, for some reason, you don’t want to play these games at a higher framerate, you can also turn it off on a per-game basis. However, we’d recommend leaving it on as it makes games look visually smoother and feel far more responsive.
We’ve included some of the games which benefit from FPS Boost below, but you can also check out the full list here.
- Far Cry 4 – 60fps
- The Elder Scrolls V: Special Edition – 60fps
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Xbox Series X Review: Price And Availability
Released worldwide on November 10, 2020, the Xbox Series X is nearing its first birthday, at the time of writing. And it’s still stupidly hard to buy.
We’ve been tracking Xbox Series X restocks for month upon months, and still most retailers are out of stock. When they do get new stock in, it sells out in moments. Sadly, with semiconductor shortages ongoing, it doesn’t look like the Xbox Series X restock situation will get any better before 2023.
If you do find an Xbox Series X in stock, then expect prices to start at $499 in the U.S. and £449 in the U.K. On paper at least, the Xbox Series X matches the price of the PS5 in those respective nations. However, its more expensive than the PS5 Digital Edition, which costs $399, or £349. But these consoles are often found in bundles that come with a higher ticket price. Speaking of that, if you have $10,000 to burn you could check out the Gucci Xbox Series X.
New Games New Hardware
New hardware needs new games to make the most of it, and Microsoft and its partners have announced a host of games that are coming to its new console. The biggest of these is Halo: Infinite, the latest entry in the long-running sci-fi first-person shooter franchise thats become synonymous with the Xbox brand since its debut way back in 2001.
Unfortunately, Microsoft recently delayed Halo: Infinite, meaning it will now release in 2021, rather than arriving alongside the new console. News of the delay, which Microsoft attributed in part to the pandemic, came after the games visuals were met with criticism after their initial unveiling, prompting developer 343 Industries to admit, We do have work to do to address some of these areas and raise the level of fidelity and overall presentation for the final game.
With other Xbox staples like Fable and Forza Motorsport without release dates, the delay has left third-party publishers to fill in the rest of the launch lineup, including Assassins Creed Valhalla, Dirt 5, Watch Dogs Legion, and Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Heres a guide to the best launch day games, and heres what the months ahead are looking like in terms of new releases.
Assassins Creed Valhalla is a high-profile launch title for the new consoles.
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Xbox Series S: Everything You Need To Know
The Xbox Series S is a great way to get the benefits of the next-generation of console gaming, but without the need to upgrade to a 4K TV. It launched in November 2020 alongside the Xbox Series X, with the aim of offering improvements to performance and graphics, and a decrease in load times but without the 4K graphics.
The Xbox Series S is targeting gaming at 1440p and at 60 frames per second, which draws quite the contrast with the powerful Xbox Series X. Still, the Xbox Series S is a great way for players to reconnect with the Xbox ecosystem and the best place to play for those who are looking to upgrade from the Xbox One this year without breaking the budget.
Below you’ll find everything you need to know about the Xbox Series S, including details on its design, price, release date, and specs.
Xbox Series X Entertainment
Microsoft understands that acting as an all-encompassing entertainment portal is a redundant ambition in 2020. This is a console designed to be played through new 4K televisions, and few of those are going to come without robust, built-in support for Smart TV and entertainment applications. The loss of support for HDMI-In makes OneGuide redundant. As Kinect stirs six feet under, so too does the need to beg and plead with your Xbox to pause a show. In an age where the use of second-screen devices is ubiquitous and so the Xbox One’s Snap functionality the ability to run an app or watch television side-by-side with a game was removed from the OS back in 2017, and no picture-in-picture solution has been re-introduced for Series X.
Instead, the Xbox Series X keeps it simple and comes loaded with just about every application that you could need. There are over 28 entertainment apps available through the store, so if any of your favourites are missing on Xbox One they will be missing here too. Media control for 4K UHD, Blu-Ray, and DVDs also shares the same underlying architecture with the Xbox One player, which is to say that it is functional and inoffensive. While the console is quiet in just about everything that it does, expect to hear a little bit of noise when using physical media as the disk drive whirrs into action.
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Xbox Series X Final Thoughts
The Xbox Series X is an unconventional next-generation console. It’s arriving with thousands of playable games from day one, each of which appears to play better than they ever have on console, but the broad appeal of that offering will likely depend on where your allegiances have been for the last generation.
If you’re returning home to Xbox after seven years with the PS4, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, and Sea of Thieves might be older titles, but with their optimisation for Xbox Series X, they look and feel as if they could have released yesterday. Similarly, other exclusives that are yet to receive optimisation patches Ori and the Will of the Wisps and Halo 5: Guardians, for example play wonderfully, as do games like Quantum Break and Rare Replay that were initially optimised for One X and are receiving huge free gains on the new hardware. If you’re new into Xbox, there’s plenty here for you to play.
Microsoft Has Unveiled A New Xbox 20/20 Monthly Event Will Showcase The Future Of Xbox
In a bid to ramp up promotions for Xbox Series X, Microsoft has announced a monthly showcase event called Xbox 20/20. According to the developer, the showcase will feature whats next in the world of Xbox.
With the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Microsoft has had to switch up its promotional plans for Xbox Series X. It originally planned to reveal games for the upcoming console at E3, but with the events cancellation, Microsoft has now turned to a monthly digital update format, instead.
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What Smart Delivery Games Will Be Optimized For The Series X
Developers who launched games on the Xbox One and offer their titles as part of Smart Delivery will have the option to upgrade their games’ graphics so it uses the Series X’s hardware upgrades to its full potential.
It’ll be up to the individual developer to decide whether or not they want to essentially remaster their title for the Series X. During its Xbox Game Showcase announced that a handful of more titles will receive the Smart Delivery treatment once the Series X launches
Here is the current list of Smart Delivery games that will have improved textures and graphics when players run them on the next-gen consoles.
- Halo Infinite
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Sea of Thieves
Multimedia On Xbox Series X
The Series X also offers a range of multimedia features. For one, the console boasts a built-in 4K Blu-ray player thats simple to use.
You also have access to a range of streaming services: theres Netflix, , Disney Plus, and others that are available on existing Xbox One consoles, plus some that are new to the platform, including Apple TV Plus and region-specific apps such as Hulu in the US and Sky Go in the UK. All of these can take advantage of the console’s 4K UHD capabilities, although some require a decent internet connection.
While all the most popular entertainment apps are available, we did find that there are still some that we wish we had access to, such as ITV Hub and BBC iPlayer in the UK.
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Xbox Series X User Interface
The Xbox One dashboard underwent so many revisions that it often felt as if it were in a perpetual state of beta. It has been heavily scrutinised and revised over the years, and Xbox Series X launches with what is perhaps the best Xbox dashboard to date as a result. It’s flexible and fast, designed to let you navigate high-traffic areas of the dashboard with ease and shift the elements that slow you down out of your way.
While the user interface may look aesthetically identical to what is currently available on Xbox One, the speed and responsiveness make it effectively unrecognisable. The console takes fewer than 20 seconds to go from a full shutdown to the dashboard, and just a fraction of that should you have the Instant On startup mode activated. Once you’re onto the dashboard, navigating between the various sections of UI and Guide has been made as frictionless as the Fluent Design will allow.
The dashboard can be customised to introduce specific blocks for your most-played games and entertainment apps, or used to pin different elements of Xbox Live to the landing page to cut down on friction specific Friends, Clubs, Communities, and even services like Xbox Game Pass. That customisation also extends to the Guide, where you are able to reorder the tabs to prioritise access to Achievements, Capture & Share, People, Parties & Chats, and Profile & System settings.
Xbox And Pc Game Pass Support
Among Us was available through PC Game Pass for months before its eventual launch on Xbox consoles, but that didn’t stop the game from joining Xbox Game Pass the moment it was released. Now, subscribers can enjoy Among Us on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC through Microsoft’s subscription service, with cross-play and cross-progression enabled between the platforms. Among Us is also coming to Xbox Cloud Gaming on Dec. 15, 2021. With so much going for it, Among Us is one of the best Xbox Game Pass games on the service.
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