There are some consoles that go for a flashy exterior but that can’t be said about the Xbox Series X, which actually looks like a black box. That’s not a bad thing, as when it’s in use I usually forget it’s there, unlike my white Xbox One S - but this is to talk about the new, not the old.
The size of the cardboard box belies how heavy the Series X is, as it’s quite a hefty beast. You get the power cable, HDMI cable and one controller, as well as a leaflet that tells you how to set up your new device; which basically amounts to “Download the Xbox app and follow the instructions”.
I won’t go into the technical stuff for two reasons. Firstly, there are plenty of places that have been going over that kind of thing since before the consoles came out. Secondly, I just don’t understand a lot of it - teraflop? Utter nonsense.
I thought that it was a nice touch that the Xbox Series X will download updates while you’re setting things up using your mobile device. It means you’re not sitting twiddling your thumbs, depending on the speed of your connection, and are ready to go quicker. Another great touch was being able to transfer games from your Xbox One to the Series X, rather than download them completely. Some games will require a patch, if they’re designed to look better on Xbox Series X, but it’s still hours saved.
Loading up the console is noticeably faster than the Xbox One. When you get into the menu screens, they will look familiar if you had a previous-gen console. In fact, it will look exactly the same, because it’s supposed to. You can even import the settings from your old console, if you like.
Loading games is nice and quick, with Watch_Dogs 2 and Dauntless being two games where I noticed the loading times being much faster. I keep fast travelling in San Francisco and reaching for my phone, forgetting that I’ll barely have time to pick it up, let alone tap on Twitter.
Unfortunately, installing doesn’t seem to be any faster than the Xbox One. Sure, the Xbox Series X can’t do anything about my download speed, but installing from the disc should have been faster than the previous generation, surely.
I’ve previously explained why I was planning on buying this rather than the competitor, and a part of that was Xbox Game Pass. It’s kind of annoying that Microsoft didn’t push a bunch more titles onto the service to celebrate the new launch. Yes, there are a load of games there already, and I’ve not played them all, but it would have been nicer to have some new stuff, rather than mostly games I could have played a week earlier.
However, those are really the only negative things I can think to say about the console, and one of those isn’t even about the Series X. It’s nice and quiet during use and even quieter when it’s not reading from the disc. With the old console, I couldn’t leave it in quick start mode as the fan was too loud whilst “off”. With it being in the bedroom, it wasn’t conducive towards a good night’s sleep. Thankfully, the Xbox Series X is nice and quiet in quick start mode, and it’s downloaded a whole bunch without disturbing my night.
Hopefully this has convinced you one way or the other about which console you want to buy this generation. If you have a bunch of Xbox One and Xbox 360 game discs (and a few Xbox discs) hanging around, then this is a worthy upgrade that will keep you playing for the generation ahead. But even if you don’t have them, it might still be worth a look.
Xbox Series X Review
A powerful, quiet, upgrade on the previous generation, with some great ideas and graphical capabilities.