Last week, Xbox Series X preview units were made available for media member selection. Microsoft didn’t send us any of these units. I’m not sad, but today I cut onions and peppers while listening to Phoebe Bridgers and then, without thinking, rubbed my eyes. True story. This morning, the reporting embargo was significantly lifted for those who were given a hands-on preview of Series X. Here’s everything I learned about the Xbox Series X today.
First, the bad news: don’t expect to use up all of that terabyte of storage.
Microsoft has long touted the X-Series 1TB solid-state drive (SSD) as the main feature of the upcoming console. As anyone with an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 will tell you, a considerable amount of internal storage is reserved for files that aren̵
We don’t know how big the Xbox Series X games will be. But it goes without saying that with all of those snazzy 4K textures and so on, some marquee entries are sure to be made Halo 5: Guardian look like an iPhone app. (For comparison we know some starting titles on the Sony site, including Spider-Man: Miles Morales and the remaster of Demon soulswill clock in the 50-60 GB range.)
Of course, there are a few known workarounds. Microsoft will sell a 1TB expansion card for the Xbox Series S and X for $ 220 ($ 311). This allows you to play games as if they were running on the console’s SSD. Xbox One games stored on external drives will work on the new consoles from day one. However, if you want to keep the console in its delivery state, you should prepare for data management Tetris.
The start times are quick.
Next generation games were not made available for testing, but some Xbox One games that will be playable on Series X were. You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that games load faster across the board on the Xbox Series X than on the One X. What might surprise you is how much master these load times are.
After testing by The edge, Warframe The One X took 91 seconds to charge, but the Series X only took 25 seconds. Assassin’s Creed OdysseyThe One X took 67 seconds to charge and the Series X took 30 seconds to charge. The outer worldsMeanwhile, the Series X managed to boot up in just 6 seconds, compared to 27 seconds on the One X. (Check out The edgeSee the full list for further comparisons.)
The Xbox Series X itself charges in a snap, too. ONE VentureBeat The video locked the console cold start – the time between pressing the power button and displaying the system menu – to about 10 seconds. Last night I was more or less aware of how long it took to get from a turned off Xbox to the Action Movies submenu of the HBO Max app. Now? I long for a role that I didn’t know I wanted. (Here I should note that all of the Xbox Series X consoles sent for demo were preliminary builds. While the hardware is the same, these things are not final. Everything can change until the November 10th launch date.)
It’s also pretty quick to move games between external storage drives and the internal SSD. This is what gamers should do to get the most out of the console’s performance. According to VentureBeatWhen testing, it took a little over two minutes to move Assassin’s Creed Origins (a game of around 50 GB if you don’t count the DLC) from an external USB 3.0 SSD to the internal SSD Series X. The return trip took four and a half minutes. With a USB 3.0 hard drive, it took a little less than eight minutes Origins on the console’s internal drive and ten and a half minutes to put it back on the external hard drive.
The new starting sound is fantastic.
Seriously, listen up (0:46):
Some old games will see noticeable improvements.
According to VentureBeat When tested, Xbox Series X offers performance improvements for some current generation games, but not all. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice saw his average frame rate jump from 37 FPS on the One X to a solid 60 on the Series X. Final Fantasy XV jumped from 42 on the One X to 59 on the Series X (in the “Lite” mode of the game, for what it’s worth).
Meanwhile the people are with Digital foundry found some notoriously delayed segments of popular games – including the Parisian level of Hitman 2 and the geothermal valley in Rise of the Tomb Raiderboth hovering at or slightly above the 30 FPS mark – held strong at 60 FPS on the X Series. Dead or Alive 6The 4K mode, which is at around 30 FPS on the Xbox One X, was also able to achieve this “full frame rate” Digital foundry.
But hardware can’t outperform software and a game like this Nobody’s heaventhat is locked at 30 FPS ran at the same frame rate on both computers.
Quick resume sounds like the coolest new feature.
If there is one thing that everyone agrees on, it is “literally” a “breakthrough” feature. (Sorry, but a ton of other people made that joke, so I wanted to get in on the pun action.) Microsoft has long been beating the drum of Quick Resume since the Xbox Series X was unveiled. Short version: You can pause any game at any time, switch to another and switch between them within seconds. It’s a bold claim, but one that appears to hold water, at least under these preview-approved conditions. Of course, on current consoles you can suspend most games when you take a break for the night or something, but you’ll have to quit if you want to start another.
Tom Warren, at The edgewas able to suspend five games at the same time and switch between games in about five seconds. Jeff Bakalar for CNET has meanwhile switched from Ori and the will of the wisps to the astonishingly large Red Dead Redemption 2 in 16 seconds. Michael Higham, at GameSpotcould miss six games, but had to close a seventh completely. What’s more after The edgeSome always connected games will not work with this feature. Sea of thievesFor example, quick resume was not supported. (Yes, cool as it is, the function of the function has some limitations.)
Frame rates and upscaled resolutions sure sound good. But Quick Resume seems to me to be the next generation upgrade among all the X Series improvements. As someone who hops between floating platforms like a mustache plumber between games, I can’t wait to try this feature out.
It’s a big AF.
But you already knew that.
The controller seems like a minor upgrade.
If you’ve used an Xbox One controller, you have an idea of what Microsoft’s next-generation controller looks and feels like. The stick and button layout are more or less identical. The shape too. There are some obvious notable differences, however.
For one, it appears to be more weighty – not in terms of literal ounce-to-ounce comparison, but in terms of the distribution of that weight. According to VentureBeat, it has mostly been managed. The new Share button also introduces a long-awaited feature that puts the Xbox Series X on par with the PlayStation 4 (which has had a Share button for generations). At the GameSpotMichael Higham described the new Okto-directional D-Pad as “clicky” and “stiff” but “responsive”.
All in all, to paraphrase a seemingly unanimous opinion, it’s a nice controller, but not as nice as the current generation’s elite controllers.
So what is the takeaway?
Everyone who tested it seems to have the same thought: Going back to the Xbox One X – let alone an Xbox One or an Xbox One S – wanted to go back to the Stone Age. Like moving into a central air apartment or trying blueberry and basil sorbet for the first time, the Xbox Series X seems to have some of those little life changers. But there’s a lot more to know about how these new consoles will fit into our lives and what types of gaming experiences they will offer. Stay tuned. In the coming weeks and months we will learn more about Microsoft’s next generation consoles.
Everything we know about the Xbox Series X
We are months away from “Christmas 2020,” which means we are months away from the Xbox Series X that exists in the wild. There’s a new halo on the horizon, and we’ve all heard a lot about these teraflops, but beyond that, information has come out slower than self-serve frozen yogurt …