Xbox Series X review: The future is not here

Microsoft is ready to pull its next-generation console out of the oven, but the center is still frozen.

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The Xbox One launched back in 2013 with an admittedly weak software lineup and some messaging snafus that gave its rival PS4 an early lead that Microsoft was never able to recover from. Expectations were sky-high following the runaway success of the Xbox 360, but that momentum didn’t fully carry over to its successor. Microsoft is now entering the newest console generation aiming to reclaim former glory with an approach that is likely to thrive or languish in tandem with the fortunes of Xbox Game Pass.

The Xbox Series X is touted as the ultimate way to enjoy Xbox Game Pass and a wide variety of third party games with top-of-the-line visuals. It commands a relatively high price tag at $499 but offers lots of promise following a console generation where the underlying hardware was often a scapegoat for poor framerates and repetitive game design. Microsoft is putting lots of weight behind its backwards compatibility program, allowing Series X owners to access loads of legacy content with the opportunity for enhancements. For prospective buyers, backwards compatibility should be front and center on the list of importance because the availability of next-gen software and experiences is so poor that older games might be all there is to enjoy in the near future.

Next-gen hardware

The Xbox Series X packs an octa-core AMD CPU and RDNA 2-based GPU into its boxy frame along with a solid-state drive for holding the operating system and games. This hardware combination is important because it will be the baseline for AAA game development for the foreseeable future, including software made available for PC. Compared to the restrained selection of parts found in the Xbox One, the Series X’s guts should enjoy a much-longer relevant lifespan than its predecessor and will likely be a solid match for the current crop of 4K HDR-enabled televisions.

Speaking of new televisions, the Series X has support for all the new features provided by the HDMI 2.1 specification. These include support for high resolutions, refresh rates, variable refresh rates, and auto-low-latency mode when paired with compatible displays. To make it more simple, the Series X has the capability to offer a sharper image quality, smoother motion, low input lag, and variable refresh rates for games that support such features.

The physical appearance and build of the console are strong, especially when placed against its main rival, the PS5. The dark grey chassis works well in both vertical and horizontal orientation and I was able to easily integrate it into my entertainment furniture setup. The included cooling system sucks air up through the bottom of the frame and exhausts out the top with no issue. During my time evaluating the console, I never once noticed the sound of fans or anything else audible from the Series X. This is a welcome change from the Xbox 360 days and a real upgrade over the Xbox One, which had a tendency to sound like a hovercraft when asked to play demanding games. Time will tell how the Series X holds up in this regard.

The new gamepad that comes with the Series X is very similar to what we got with the Xbox One S pad. While it does feel shaved off in a few parts, the basic shape and feel in-hand remain consistent with previous designs. The d-pad got a redesign to mimic both of the options found on the Xbox Elite pad. I’m not very fond of how it feels in practice, but that could change as I accrue hours with it. It comes in the box needing a pair of AA batteries to operate and I would have preferred an integrated, rechargeable battery such as that found on the PS5. I was able to hook it up to my PC and had zero issues getting it to work with a variety of titles. I suspect that the Series X pad will likely find a home with many PC gamers.

Next-gen software?

The home screen is functional, but leaves much to be desired.
The home screen is functional but leaves much to be desired.

As good of an impression as the Series X makes with its physical design and internal components, it disappoints on the software side in equal measure. The system UI is largely similar to the Xbox One and the dreadful Xbox apps for Windows 10 — it is functional,  but the less time I spend with it, the better. During the initial setup period, I was bouncing around the menus attempting to toggle options or customize the appearance and found that the overall layout of the home screen and settings menu to be less-than-desirable and hardly intuitive. A few times, I wasted minutes looking for the settings menu as it would sometimes be in the home row of apps and other times not. You will need to spend a fair amount of time with the home screen tiles and app placement to get your apps and games into an arrangement that makes any sort of sense. I also found download speeds to be painfully slow, even when the system network diagnostic showed speed in excess of 200Mbps. When I tried to download the same games on the Windows 10 PC connected to the same switch, the download saturated the connection.

Xbox Game Pass is integrated into the UI pretty cleanly, which is a good thing because at launch it will be about the only way to get games to play if you aren’t bringing an established digital Xbox game library with you. I was provided with an assortment of games to test the Series X prior to embargo, ranging from older games with Series X enhancements to new titles expected to launch alongside the console. I cannot speak about more than a few of these new titles as they ended up needing more time to be ready for launch, but the initial impressions were underwhelming at best. The standout release among the launch software would be Yakuza: Like a Dragon. It installed and operated smoothly with an option for 4K output. As a cross-gen title, it was never going to knock anyone’s socks off as a preview of what the new console generation might bring, but it got the job done. Sadly, this is the current high-bar for 2020 Series X software (from the selection that was made available to me).

Several catalog titles received enhancements for the Series X launch, including Gears 5, Gears Tactics, Sea of Thieves, Forza Horizon 4, and The Touryst. Gears 5 is the clear standout here, as the 4K/60Hz boost with improved settings that bring it to parity with the PC version is solid. It looks and plays the part of what one would expect to see from a previous-gen game promising to make use of upgraded hardware. Sea of Thieves got a patch that allowed for 60Hz output, a first for consoles. The added smoothness and controller responsiveness is the icing on the cake for an already solid multiplayer pirate adventure. It is now arguably superior to the PC version thanks to the inclusion of HDR output. I personally found the enhanced version of Forza Horizon 4 to be disappointing after spending hundreds of hours with the stellar PC version over the last two years. Players can choose between visuals or framerate, but both options seem to use settings lower than the PC Medium equivalent.

The rest of the backwards compatibility library features only slight or no enhancement. Some titles will be getting patches down the road that will bring them in line with the experience found in the previously mentioned titles, while others will simply make use of features like Xbox Auto HDR. I tested a few Xbox 360 games that made use of Auto HDR and it seemed to work well enough. It is not a feature compelling enough to warrant paying for the Series X by itself, but welcome. Note that this qualifier doesn’t apply to anyone who is a rabid fan of Geometry Wars, which was greatly enhanced by Auto HDR.

Gears 5 gets a 4K/60Hz upgrade on the Xbox Series X.

Load times seemed solid across the board, but I saw nothing that lined up with the lofty promises made during the console announcement in regards to the solid-state drive. In general, the experience was akin to what you would find on a random gaming PC with a SATA SSD. Red Dead Redemption 2 is notable for having load times in excess of 2-3 minutes on Xbox One X. When I loaded it up on Series X, I was able to go from the main menu to walking around Saint-Denis in just over a minute. This is a notable improvement as Red Dead Redemption 2 does have any specific Series X enhancement. The load times still fell short of the NVME SSD in my gaming PC, but this situation could change as new software is written to take advantage of the storage solution in the Series X.

I expect the drive space will be a serious issue for early adopters of Series X. Games are not getting any smaller and with Xbox Game Pass, it took almost no time for me to stuff the SSD to the brim. I imagine that the bundled Series X drive starts sweating when it sees new users navigate to the digital store page for the newest Call of Duty. Microsoft is selling add-on SSDs that are expensive and should be factored into the purchasing decision when looking at the Series X.

When will this console make sense?

As it stands right now, anyone who is angling to pre-order or buy a Series X console for launch will be investing in a promise from Microsoft that things will get better. Earlier in the year, I felt like the push for backwards compatibility was going to be a nice bullet point for the Series X to go along with fancy new games. The reality is that, without backwards compatibility, the Series X is nearly a paperweight. Even compared to thin launches in the past, Holiday 2020 looks like a bonafide woofer for those hoping to dive into next-gen. I saw nothing running on the console that looked remotely next-gen or did anything other than match some older PC titles. Obviously, this can and will change at some time in the future, but people will be paying $500+ right now. Even Xbox One had Ryse: Son of Rome, a flawed game that at least looked next-gen at the time. Unless you slept through the entire previous generation, have a brand new 4K HDR TV, and are dying to play Gears 5 or Sea of Thieves, consider waiting to buy the Series X until some sort of compelling software arrives.


This review is based on hardware provided by the manufacturer. The Xbox Series X launches on November 10, 2020, for $499.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 5, 2020 6:00 AM

    Chris Jarrard posted a new article, Xbox Series X review: The future is not here

    • reply
      November 5, 2020 6:28 AM

      The review as a whole is a bit more negative than I would have expected. If there is time I'd also like more detail (can you test remote play for us on PC for example?) - pretty please!

      Not sure I fully agree with this part of the conclusion :

      "Unless you slept through the entire previous generation, have a brand new 4K HDR TV, and are dying to play Gears 5 or Sea of Thieves, consider waiting to buy the Series X until some sort of compelling software arrives."

      I mean, if you don't have a really good gaming computer or can't afford one, that is also a really good reason to buy an XSX.

      For anyone with a current gen Xbox, it's a pretty beefy upgrade in terms of frame rates and performance stability too.

      Thank you for the review, the download speed issue does concern me!

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        November 5, 2020 6:39 AM

        That's exactly me, I bought an Xbox One for Halo 5 and sold it immediately after. Now I have a ton of previous gen games to play on the XSX and PS5 (never had a 4) while we wait for new stuff.

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          November 5, 2020 7:32 AM

          Me too but for the xbox 360. Bought ace combat, traded everything in for the ps3. I have two generations and a gamepass! I will have an instant backlog as soon as I buy one.

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            November 5, 2020 11:42 AM

            Me third. I think the Series X will be great for me.

            - I was basically all PC for the whole generation

            - I have a barely used PS4 that I can use to play some current and near future exclusives

            - I already have gamepass and got started on some PC titles

            I really hope I can get my hands on one soon!

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 6:40 AM

        Improved load times and quick resume are worth the price of admission for me, but those weren’t mentioned in the conclusion.

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          November 5, 2020 6:43 AM

          RDR2 taking 1min to load was a disappointing note.

          I mean, with quick resume that's only an issue once, but still - seems high?

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            November 5, 2020 8:18 AM

            RDR2 is going to be the outlier for loading times and 1 minute is pretty good compared to 2+ minutes on XBONE.

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              November 5, 2020 9:17 AM

              Yeah, loads take a while even on a faster PC, plus it's not an Series optimized title, just standard back compat bonus.

              Tho even if it were enhanced, I'm not sure if they'd be able to make it load any faster.

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          November 5, 2020 6:45 AM

          Yep!

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        November 5, 2020 7:24 AM

        It's not like these things are going to see a massive price drop for at least a couple of years, so I don't see the point in waiting. Spend $600 now or spend $600 6 months from now, at least if you spend it now you get an extra 6 months out of the hardware.

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          November 5, 2020 5:58 PM

          Or you could just wait a year or more for the price to drop even more. It's not like you have to have this device either.

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        November 5, 2020 9:28 AM

        I am with Milleh. I always had top of the line PC until mid 2015. I already had an xbox one so I honestly reviewed if I needed that spend and if I actually would use the PC as much. I decided to give it a shot and it has worked good for the most part to use my xbox as my primary machine.

        Now when I play Warzone, I can tell that the PC master race people load their game faster and I feel like they have a slight advantage, but with the upgrade the gap should be bridged for now.

        I am also excited for Quick loading and quick resume as I have 2 games on the go and this will actually entice me to throw a 3rd in the mix.
        No new new games is a bummer, but really I am happy with trying ASSCREED and Cyberpunk. Not like I have time to play all of them anyways.

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        November 5, 2020 9:32 AM

        Crabs was payed by Sony!

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        November 5, 2020 10:42 AM

        I can't agree with the sentiment that you get a beefy upgrade in terms of framerates, at least not with the software I got to use (and I can't speak about several titles as they got yanked from review consideration during the review period). I have no doubts that things will get better as time goes on, but as it stands right now, you aren't getting much for the money.

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 1:33 PM

        It's pretty much the tone of most of the reviews

        http://chattypics.com/files/shackbrowseUpload_1jx217z0at.jpg

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          November 5, 2020 2:24 PM

          Eh, most reviews I'm reading aren't nearly as negative, though of course it all comes down to the same message : great hardware, no next gen games yet

          IGN, Anandtech, Tech radar, Eurogamer, The Verge, Wired - all go more in depth in their review and don't come accross nearly as negative in my opinion.

          I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, it's just an observation, the shacknews review is the shortest and most negative by far imo of all I've read / watched so far.

          Most reviews don't cover nearly as much as I want, but the Shacknews one covers the least.

          The chattypics image isn't loading for me for some reasons :(

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            November 5, 2020 2:37 PM

            Sorry that's not really fair of me.

            I did read one other more negative and shorter review today, the one that complained about the controller because it wasn't a mouse, I blanked that review out I guess haha

    • reply
      November 5, 2020 6:31 AM

      Not a great review!

      From the tone it feels like the Series X is more of a continuation of the One X.

      I didn't read anything about the quick resume stuff?

    • reply
      November 5, 2020 6:32 AM

      milleh is staring sadly into his double double

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 9:31 AM

        LARGE DECAFF BLACK

        • reply
          November 5, 2020 10:50 AM

          Only Canadians will get this reference!

    • reply
      November 5, 2020 6:36 AM

      Sidenote:
      I flipped through a few vid reviews. It is a damn shame that they're all talking about higher frame rates yet they are all rendering their youtube vids at 30fps!

      C'mon!

    • reply
      November 5, 2020 6:39 AM

      Shame FH4 upgrades were disappointing, I was hoping for good stuff there. I mean it has dynamic scaling so it should work nicely I'd think.

      Also a shame it sounds like you weren't able to check out Valhalla which I'd imagine is probably the biggest nextgen title at launch? Watch Dogs Legion comes to mind also. Some are working in backwards compat mode but those should be optimized I imagine.

    • reply
      November 5, 2020 6:42 AM

      Similar review as Jason Schreier

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-05/xbox-series-x-review-future-of-video-games-not-quite-here-yet?srnd=premium

      I think everyone knows there isnt much reason to get one yet, but if you don't have a good PC or an Xbox already, its not a bad deal. ALl Gamepass games work well.

    • reply
      November 5, 2020 7:19 AM

      Tis a great review. I'm really happy to hear how quiet the system is, especially since I'm acutely aware of even my Xbox One X these days. The only thing I would have like to have known that wasn't in the review is how fast moving from a USB 3.0 drive to the internal SSD is, as I'm sure that is to become a standard operation for most people.

      I also think most people are aware that there aren't going to be "launch titles" anymore like there were in days past, especially in 2020. I am excited to see how developers use the Velocity Architecture further on down the road.

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        November 5, 2020 1:37 PM

        Even if people knew it's a valid criticism, the competition has 4 new 1st party games on day one.

        • reply
          November 5, 2020 2:23 PM

          Sackboy, the Astro Playroom thing and....? Everything else is DLC or remake.

          • reply
            November 5, 2020 2:26 PM

            Spider-man Miles Morales
            Sackboy
            Demon's Souls
            Astro's Playroom (comes preinstalled)

            • reply
              November 5, 2020 2:39 PM

              Right, so two games and then a remake and a DLC.

              It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out in any case.

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                November 5, 2020 2:42 PM

                But that's the thing, the "DLC" and the remake both look pretty good. Even dismissing them as dlc and remake are still 4 games

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                  November 5, 2020 2:49 PM

                  Well I wasn't dismissing them, but alright. Sure there are four games.

              • reply
                November 5, 2020 5:28 PM

                I don’t think you have any idea how huge of an audience is out there for Demon’s Souls. A whole generation of young adults raised on Dark Souls who were too young to have experienced it on PS3. They’re not looking at it like a remake. It’s the holy grail game they’ve dreamed about playing for ten years.

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                  November 5, 2020 5:30 PM

                  But I wasn't saying anything for or against what's being released on the PS5 at all....

                  • reply
                    November 5, 2020 5:58 PM

                    You wrote it off as a remake to suit your original contention that nobody does launch titles anymore. It is a remake, to be sure, but it’s also a massive holy grail system seller too.

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                      November 5, 2020 6:04 PM

                      It is true we’re old and don’t realize there is an entire generation of kids who instead of being raised on Quake vs UT, we’re raised in Dark Souls. :p

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                      November 5, 2020 6:44 PM

                      I’m not sure what the wtf is about. Here’s your post: http://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=40106505

                      You straight up say people know there aren’t going to be launch titles like in days past, especially it being 2020. I just can’t agree that that’s Sony’s philosophy, especially with Demon’s Souls, which people could easily spend 100 hours playing - long enough for a second wave of Ratchet & Clank and potentially, new Final Fantasy (exclusive), Resident Evil Village (exclusive features for PS5) and who knows what else. Sony appears to have a very pre-planned roll -out schedule worked out that is high priority for them.

                      • reply
                        November 5, 2020 7:09 PM

                        Because of the isistance that I wrote anything off or was doing anything other than asking what games and stating that there are two games, a dlc, and a remake.

                        No judgements, no saying something is better or worse. Nothing. I really don't like the fanpersonism that demands twisting other people's words and positions.

                        It's a stressful day and having people twisting words for whatever reason kind of sucks.

                        • reply
                          November 5, 2020 7:20 PM

                          I was responding directly to your statement that people don’t expect launch titles. It seems pretty clear Sony thinks customers want launch titles, because they held back a huge cult title like Demon’s Souls for an entire generation in order to make it a launch title/system seller.

                          I’m sorry you’re having a stressful day. I’m not trying to put you down. It’s just there’s this semi-alternate dimension of young kids that are going apeshit over Demon’s Souls remake. It’s definitely a cultural phenomenon that’s going to make a lot of kids grab PS5s for no other reason than to finally play it. It’s pretty freaky.

            • reply
              November 5, 2020 5:38 PM

              Using Astro's Playroom as a trump card for an exclusives argument may not hold up to future scrutiny.

              • reply
                November 5, 2020 11:05 PM

                It's still a game, albeit small

          • reply
            November 5, 2020 2:30 PM

            I am definitly pumped for those two and Demons Souls!

    • reply
      November 5, 2020 7:23 AM

      I hate that all these reviews are dumping on this thing so hard. Yes, there are no launch games. Welcome to pandemic ate my games 2020!

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 7:27 AM

        I mean if you just built a new PC recently for Cyberpunk 2077 you're kind of in the same boat. And like the SX you have plenty of older games to play on until whatever you're waiting for comes out.

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 8:58 AM

        Eh, it's a MS console.You get used to it.

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 9:22 AM

        I just read another negative review, and one of the main negative points was that they didn't like the controller because it's not a mouse...

        I just rolled my eyes and closed the browser

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 1:37 PM

        Sony has 4?

    • reply
      November 5, 2020 7:30 AM

      The lack of a new interface is annoying, but I feel quicker loading and quick resume for 5 games is worth the price of admission for now.

      I don’t think it’s that negative.

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 9:23 AM

        5 games can be quick resumed? That's impressive as hell.

        Though more impactful if you buy all games digitally, I'm sure. I know it would still resume a disc based game quickly once the disc is in there and verified, but that's still a drag. Unless they did away with the need for that like they originally wanted to last gen?

        • reply
          November 5, 2020 9:30 AM

          10+ apparently can be quick resumed, I can't wait to try that out

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            November 5, 2020 9:31 AM

            Over 10? wtf. Is it based on how much storage you have free then?

            • reply
              November 5, 2020 9:34 AM

              I'm not sure, I can't wait to play around with it though!

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                November 5, 2020 9:36 AM

                That's crazy. When people were initially saying you could quick resume multiple games, I assumed 2-3 at the most.

                Where did you hear that you can do 10 or more?

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                  November 5, 2020 9:38 AM

                  A YouTube video I watched from the preview weeks quoted that number, mind you it depend son the size of the games I think.

                  Here's another reference

                  "Xbox Series X 'Quick Resume' Retains Around 12 BC Games on Average | ResetEra" https://www.resetera.com/threads/xbox-series-x-quick-resume-retains-around-12-bc-games-on-average.296552/

                  So maybe new AAA Games only a few, but smaller games many more

                  • reply
                    November 5, 2020 9:45 AM

                    Hmm, so size dependent then? Sounds like there's a certain amount of space reserved and that's it.

                    I wonder what happens when you reach the limit? Is there like a counter or meter or guide or any sort of indication for any of this? Does it notify you that the current game won't be able to quick resume because you already have too many in the save state? Does it automatically close out the oldest ones instead? That would be rough if you left any off in a position far from a save point. Lots of questions for this stuff!

                    • reply
                      November 5, 2020 9:50 AM

                      Lots of good questions!

                    • reply
                      November 5, 2020 8:11 PM

                      I’m wondering too. The current Xbox had no notice at all that you’re about to kill a quick resume game. PS4 does.

          • reply
            November 5, 2020 9:34 AM

            Thatd be great if a review were to test out such features as to inform rather than complain about what it can't do.

            • reply
              November 5, 2020 9:40 AM

              That's ridiculous, actual reporting?! Pffft
              Inflammatory commentary only!

    • reply
      November 5, 2020 7:36 AM

      Oh, you mean consoles need games to make them worth playing? This is why everyone has been looking forward to the PS5 despite it's funky exterior design. The hype about the Xbox in the chatty has been in stark contrast to the rest of the internet.

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      November 5, 2020 8:39 AM

      I am glad Walmart canceled my preorder.

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 9:14 AM

        Curious, between when you placed your pre order and now what has changed for you?

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          November 5, 2020 9:25 AM

          I wasn't sure if we were even getting a review unit at the time.

          Now we have one, and I have been in constant communication with Chris during his review.

          I don't think I need this product.

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            November 5, 2020 9:26 AM

            With your gaming rigs at Intergalactic HQ? Probably not.

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            November 5, 2020 9:28 AM

            Ahhh ok, makes sense, do you didn't initially order one just because you thought you might personally want one

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              November 5, 2020 9:31 AM

              I wasn’t sure at the time. I ordered it because I knew we needed to cover it. I think about my Xbox One X. I barely use it because 9/10 times I want to play the games on PC. I understand that I am not your average consumer, but that is why I am not getting one.

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                November 5, 2020 9:33 AM

                Makes sense

                I suspect I won't use mine as much once I someday get a 3080

                I am looking forward to proper hdr and quick resume, but things like network speed slowness and remote play being worse than gamestream concern me

                I've never played Halo 5 so there is also that :D

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                  November 5, 2020 9:58 AM

                  Maybe I would be more hype if Halo Infinite shipped with Series X, and it was a timed console exclusive. and it was a good video game

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                  November 5, 2020 6:48 PM

                  Let your kids use it to play cross platform games with you. That honestly seems like one of the best uses for an Xbox if a person already owns a high end PC.

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 9:22 AM

        You're going to end up buying one in a few months at the same price. I don't see the point in waiting, you'll spend the same amount of money and get less use out of it.

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      November 5, 2020 9:22 AM

      The bubble is strong with this review, I know most people on the Shack have $2000+ killer rigs, but way more people do not have that luxury. With an rapidly aging PC that has the bare minimum for gaming these days, a Series X looks like the perfect upgrade for my One X. This review is very hard on the console coming from a PC enthusiast perspective, literally the one customer that gains the least from owning a Series X. Also this note stuck out to me:

      This is a welcome change from the Xbox 360 days and a real upgrade over the Xbox One, which had a tendency to sound like a hovercraft when asked to play demanding games.

      Does the original Xbox One have noise problems? The One S I had and One X I currently own have never been audible while playing intensive games, not once. Weird to not compare Sony’s console in this regard when you compare many other aspects in the review against them.

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        November 5, 2020 9:34 AM

        yea you hit it on the head. In Canada a 3080 is $999 vs $629 for the Series X. If I wanted to go the 3080 route I would also have to upgrade everything else. As a dad with less gaming time, this is the perfect solution for me.

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          November 5, 2020 9:35 AM

          Absolutely!

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          November 5, 2020 9:40 AM

          Also the 3080 doesn't even come with a computer! It's not really a fair comparison.

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            November 5, 2020 9:42 AM

            Yeah... it really isn't. In fact it has me having a tad bit of buyers remorse.

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          November 5, 2020 10:25 AM

          It's not just the price difference, it's the quickly loading/swapping of games and less time spent tinkering (driver/windows/launcher updates etc).

          My PC is always connected to my TV so I really only game with it. If I want to upgrade my CPU/mobo/GPU it's going to cost me close to $1500. A 3070 on its own is close to $900 CAD after tax.

        • reply
          November 5, 2020 10:49 AM

          While I'm not a scientist, I think expectations should be tempered on comparing the 3080 to the Series X GPU. From what I've played and am allowed to talk about, I didn't actually see any quality/framerates that would exceed what you'd get on a 2060 vanilla. In some cases, the results were worse.

          • reply
            November 5, 2020 10:55 AM

            I've been making the 2060 comparison myself with all the footage I've seen - that's what's in my living room computer right now, so I'm pretty familiar with what it can do.

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            November 5, 2020 11:02 AM

            The XSX gpu is only as powerful as a 2060....?

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              November 5, 2020 11:09 AM

              Not even remotely true, even if you just base it on TFLOPS then Series X almost double the 2060 add that it's using more modern RDNA2 and running on 7nm architecture, https://technical.city/en/video/GeForce-RTX-2060-vs-Xbox-Series-X-GPU

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              November 5, 2020 11:34 AM

              Don't hear what I'm not saying. I'm sure the GPU is beefy, but I can only comment about what software I've seen myself and can directly compare like for like.

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                November 5, 2020 12:02 PM

                Right, that's fair.

                I think we can expect 2080 level performance, certainly not 3080.

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                  November 5, 2020 1:03 PM

                  Yeah, once we are a year or more into the cycle, things will get much better. But I can only review what I'm given.

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        November 5, 2020 10:00 AM

        If we are talking about affordability, wouldn’t Series S be the product of choice?

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          November 5, 2020 10:04 AM

          If you’re still on a 1080p panel, abso friggin lutely, the XSX is a crazy value. But I am a stickler for physical media. I know it matters less and less with each console generation, now more than ever. I am a curmudgeon with my physical game library ways.

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          November 5, 2020 10:06 AM

          Affordable for what can be seen as a very high end PC spec.

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          November 5, 2020 11:28 AM

          Long term the price difference with retail games/sales and second had overrides the s price difference.
          The reason to buy the s is if you plan to use gamepass and are running an old tv or a monitor.

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            November 5, 2020 11:38 AM

            id happily pay a bit of a premium for an S with an optical drive, quite disappointed it doesnt have one but i get that microsoft want to funnel you into gamepass and digital purchases, makes sense for them.

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        November 5, 2020 10:15 AM

        Considering that a current high end video card will set you back close to $700 right now, the $499 console is a damn good choice financially for most people, and obviously kids who parents would rather have instead of a gaming PC. They are no-fuss, easy to set up, easy to use devices. Yes, XSX doesn't have much in the way of exclusives to start with, but they still have next-gen games coming day one.

        Personally, I ordered both consoles. I'll likely use the PS5 for exclusives and to catch up on PS4 exclusives, and the XSX for everything else. Gamepass also makes this an easy choice for the XSX. I can play the games on my PC, but when I am tired of sitting in front of this thing (which I do all day for work), it's nice to chill on the couch with a big OLED TV and game comfortably.

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          November 5, 2020 10:19 AM

          Talks about high GPU prices, then proceeds to talk about buying both consoles and sitting in front of a mult-thousand dollar TV.

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            November 5, 2020 10:25 AM

            I also have a 3090.. Am I still cool?

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              November 5, 2020 10:32 AM

              Not until you send it to me. Then we're square.

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                November 5, 2020 11:20 AM

                Yeah, probably not going to do that.. :) My point wasn't so much about what I was doing, but that those with less resources could be doing. As for myself, I don't have kids and I have worked from home since March. The fuel savings alone paid for the video card.

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                  November 5, 2020 12:02 PM

                  I think the Series X is not really a great product simply due to the lack of games. That will obviously be remedied with time but there is very little reason to buy one over a ps4 unless you didn't play the limited xbox one exclusives or never owned a PC or laptop capable running them. It's a feat of engineering but the value proposition for simply backwards compatibility is pretty negligible.

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        November 5, 2020 10:31 AM

        Yeah, I don't know what he's talking about. Original xbone was even quieter than my xbonex - and I only ever (barely) hear that when playing RDR2

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        November 5, 2020 11:29 AM

        I don't see how this review is telling people to buy a PC, it just says don't buy a Series X yet because the software just isn't there.

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        November 5, 2020 12:56 PM

        PC gamers can be such hypocrites. People have no problem cheering the purchase of $1200 video cards for a small bump in framerate or visual fidelity. My favorite is giant multicore CPU's, 64GB ram for gaming rigs that will never take advantage of it. The most expensive NVME drives are bought when time and time again benchmarks show they offer no benefit for games. Yet here is a machine for a cheap price in comparison that offers more bang for the buck than any rig out there with a immense library of games and people are lampooning it. I'm looking forward to the bump in performance. How much of a different game will Cyberpunk be for the person playing on a 1080Ti and a 8600k vs the latest and greatest. Probably not much. Console guy will play it the same. As long as it's relatively bug free and performs well they will get the same enjoyment. Probably more because they wont be constantly staring at the framerate counter in the corner.

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          November 5, 2020 12:57 PM

          I'll be purchasing a 3080 or 6800XT as soon as they are widely available.

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        November 5, 2020 4:07 PM

        This so hard. Yes.

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        November 5, 2020 8:01 PM

        Yes, this. I haven’t had a gaming PC in years. Console gaming is where it was at for me until only recently. Console gaming is affordable and you don’t need to fuck with drivers and windows settings. It just works.

    • reply
      November 5, 2020 9:37 AM

      Now that reviews are out I wish MS would just ship out everyone's consoles :D

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      November 5, 2020 10:14 AM

      Since it sounds like you are really judging it based on its backward compatibility performance (which is fair, there aren't a lot of launch titles) this is a good video from Digital Foundry that outlines why a lot of those titles are not showing any real decrease in load times:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y-Fy1Q2O2k&feature=youtu.be

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        November 5, 2020 10:52 AM

        I can only judge it based on what was made available.

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      November 5, 2020 10:53 AM

      That is one hell of a powerful headline.

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      November 5, 2020 11:13 AM

      ooohh..spicy. looking forward to the ps5 review!

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      November 5, 2020 11:25 AM

      There is something about the next gen consoles hitting as we are seeing huge performance jumps on the PC side, ZEN 3 kicking everything down, 30XX series and the AMD GPU that is finally going to compete with Nvidia.
      And this time we have several huge titles incoming that will need all that power plus just lots of new games in general. The consoles need games to play to make a difference.

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      November 5, 2020 12:58 PM

      Honestly written. I like.

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      November 5, 2020 1:13 PM

      I've watched finngamer unbox the XBOX Series X and I still stand by my comments from Sept that it looks cheap:

      Old thread:
      https://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=39939413#item_39939413

      finngamer unboxing:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diTwiz-1mTA

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        November 5, 2020 1:18 PM

        I'm always bummed that that green thing on the top doesn't actually emit light - that's the only thing that bugs me about it. ;)

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          November 5, 2020 1:34 PM

          Yep, agree

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          November 5, 2020 2:17 PM

          I'm actually glad about that. I don't like having my attention drawn by hardware, especially when I'm watching a movie in the dark.

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            November 5, 2020 2:20 PM

            I think it should pulse on power up coordinated with the boot up cinematic then stop. That I’d like. :)

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          November 5, 2020 5:40 PM

          The PS5 emits blue light. It looks cheap.

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            November 5, 2020 11:09 PM

            Can it be turned off? My entertainment center has slatted doors, so a constant glow would be visible and sounds bad.

        • reply
          November 5, 2020 7:03 PM

          I see mod opportunities here. A cool green glow would be awesome.

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 1:45 PM

        The X or the S?

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          November 5, 2020 2:38 PM

          Both. I was basing my original dislike on the marketing photos, but now that I’ve seen finngamer unbox the Series X (the black one!) it looks even worse in his less than perfect lighting.

          Yeah I am probably being too harsh. If the S has the same texture as my XBONE controller then yeah it might look better IRL.

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            November 5, 2020 2:40 PM

            I like the looks of the S more, cannot speak about materials or build quality but it feels like a Braun product

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              November 5, 2020 2:44 PM

              I like the S more too. But as all of my XBOX 360 games are physical discs (and I don't own any XBONE games) I'd be hard pressed to by the S.

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                November 5, 2020 2:45 PM

                yeah I wouldn't either, the big one or bust

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              November 5, 2020 2:55 PM

              It's freaking impressive how small the S is

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                November 5, 2020 4:53 PM

                You’re right. And the PS5 is sooooo big it won’t fit on our family room TV stand (it is divided into 3 columns and none of the 3 are wide enough to fit it).

                I’d probably have to stand it upright behind the TV.

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      November 5, 2020 2:22 PM

      fuck, i thought i just got an XSX shipping notice from amazon, but it's just a pack of floss sticks i bought a month ago :(

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 2:29 PM

        Ouch

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        November 5, 2020 2:41 PM

        Just as good. Maybe better!

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        November 5, 2020 3:46 PM

        I'm not even an Xbox guy and I don't get where he's coming from. The Xbox Series X is the 'best ever Xbox' - it'll play a very very good portion of your old Xbox games, better than you ever played them.

        Consoles are weirdly becoming PCs, kinda. You buy a new console, to play your old games better and obviously, hope for future cool games.
        The Series X has a shitload of good features, good hardware design and anyone who has owned AT LEAST one Xbox before, would be kinda wise to buy it to re-play those old games at their best.

        I think it's a pretty compelling product. I don't care for Xbox games sadly but beyond that, it's a cool thing.

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 4:40 PM

        WE’LL EMAIL YOU WHEN AVAILABLE


        Fuuuuuuuuuuuu!

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 11:26 PM

        Did you check you order status? Yesterday mine went from no estimated delivery date to guaranteed delivery on 11/10.

        Still hasn't shipped yet but I guess it'll be delivered by Amazon so the shipping notice won't be updated into the night before.

    • reply
      November 5, 2020 4:31 PM

      For those getting a Series X next Tuesday, we basically only have Watch Dogs Legion and Assassin's Creed Valhalla to showcase the new fancy tech right?
      Which one are you guys getting?

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 4:59 PM

        Halo 5 :D

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          November 5, 2020 5:39 PM

          Gears 5? lol

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            November 5, 2020 5:46 PM

            That too haha,. apparently the console version has graphics settings now enabled that the pc version doesn't even have yet - global illumination stuff

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              November 5, 2020 5:49 PM

              I spent some time comparing my SeX capture with the PC version and it was more or less impossible for me to tell them apart. It looks fantastic. It was by far the most impressive technical feat I've seen from the console thus far and I'd hope that it becomes a guide on what we should expect for titles labeled as "enhanced".

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                November 5, 2020 5:51 PM

                Did you have a chance to compare hdr windows vs console? I'm curious how they compare for Gears 5

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                  November 5, 2020 6:04 PM

                  I saw no difference in HDR output when comparing identical games (Gears 5, Forza Ho4, Ori 2, Valhalla) on the same display.

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                    November 5, 2020 6:07 PM

                    You probably can't comment on Valhalla, but not consistent 4k @60fps on xsx?

      • reply
        November 5, 2020 5:03 PM

        'On Xbox Series X, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla runs in glorious 4K at a buttery 60 frames per second and truly feels like a next-gen title.'

        Hmmm, not sure my 1080ti will be able to do that...

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          November 5, 2020 5:32 PM

          Yea my 1080 definitely won't be able to do that. That's why I decided to get this over upgrading my computer.

        • reply
          November 5, 2020 5:34 PM

          I assume you're going to get this then?!

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            November 5, 2020 5:45 PM

            ill wait for benchmarks, if it performs better on xsx than my pc then probably!

            • reply
              November 5, 2020 5:49 PM

              Does the ray tracing stuff entice you at all, since you can't enjoy it on your pc yet? I think that's kind of what I want to see on my xsx since I don't have a video card yet.

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                November 5, 2020 5:52 PM

                Absolutely, if a game on xsx supports ray tracing I'll buy it there vs pc, since I don't expect to be able to get a 3080 until at least February now

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          November 5, 2020 5:41 PM

          Valhalla cant even run at 60fps at 1440p on a 3090 on PC...

        • reply
          November 5, 2020 5:42 PM

          Lol that is a major bullshit statement

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          November 5, 2020 6:19 PM

          Ahhh the classic buttery smooth claim.. for some people 45fps is buttery smooth 60

          • reply
            November 5, 2020 6:24 PM

            After 15 years of Sony and Microsoft putting out games with uncapped frame rates that jump between 30 and 60, a lot of console players don't really have a point of reference for "smooth"

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      November 5, 2020 11:33 PM

      While I do get only reviewing what you can and also it being a valid thing to highlight that there isn't more launch games it does seem like PC graphics card get a free pass with this. There isn't any next gen games for the 3090 or 3080 either. I think people buying the Series X or a 3080 know there isn't games to push it at the moment.

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