In this article, I will be reviewing Microsoft’s Xbox Series X gaming console two years later. We will delve into various aspects, including its design, updates, Xbox Game Pass, user interface (UI), storage options, and its capabilities as an entertainment device. By the end, we’ll determine whether the Xbox Series X is worth the investment.
Read Also: Xbox Series S Review
Design and Build Quality
One thing that hasn’t changed in the past couple of years is the design of the Xbox, which is a bit disappointing, to be honest. It would be great if Microsoft could find a way to make the Xbox Series X more compact. Currently, it’s too large to fit into my already sizable TV cabinet, so I have to keep it on top. It’s so bulky that I can’t even hide it behind my TV, but at least it’s not as tall as the PlayStation 5.
Ports and Connectivity
The Series X comes equipped with an HDMI 2.1 port, delivering breathtaking 4K resolution and silky-smooth frame rates. You’ll also find three USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports for effortless connection of controllers and accessories. Enjoy robust and reliable wireless connectivity through the 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, and if you prefer a wired setup, the Ethernet port supports 802.3. Syncing compatible accessories is a breeze, thanks to the dedicated dual-band Xbox Wireless radio. With its versatile connectivity options, the Series X has you covered.
When starting up the Series X, it now boots up even faster than it did when it was first released, as long as you don’t have to install an update or anything like that. It typically gets up and running in just 10 to 15 seconds, which is quicker than the 20 seconds it used to take back in the day. This is true even if you have energy-saving mode enabled and everything else. So, it’s quite impressive!
Xbox Series X UI and Theme
I’m not a huge fan of the Series X user interface, which could be more user-friendly, especially in terms of settings. While it looks better with 4K support and dark mode, it still feels somewhat outdated. However, getting back into recently played games is quick, thanks to the speedy loading times of this console generation.
The launch lineup for the Xbox Series X wasn’t particularly exciting. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was impressive, and Dirt 5 provided some entertainment, but the rest were mostly updates of old games or forgettable titles. However, over the past 24 months, the Xbox Series X’s game library has expanded significantly, and you’ll have no trouble finding some great games to enjoy.
Graphics and Audio
Now, there’s a solid lineup of games that can fully leverage the Xbox Series X’s 120-hertz refresh rate support, offering more options than what you’ll find on the PS5. The FPS boost tool, which can enhance the frame rate of older titles, works flawlessly, delivering super-smooth performance without any hiccups. One of my personal favorites for making the most of the 120-hertz feature is the fantastic Metal Hellsinger.
The console also boasts Dolby Vision support for a wide range of titles, extending beyond the official list of supported games. This allows next-gen technology to truly shine, producing stunning visuals in most major titles on the console. Despite its impressive visual capabilities and raw power, the Series X remains remarkably quiet during most of its usage. It only tends to get a bit noisy when you insert a disc, occasionally producing some clicking and whirring sounds. Even when playing the most demanding games at low volume, I never noticed the cooling fans becoming obtrusive. I suppose one of the advantages of its larger size is the effective cooling system, along with the fact that it’s not confined inside a TV cabinet.
Additionally, you have comprehensive support for Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X spatial audio, which is fantastic news if you have a proper home theater setup or use a high-quality compatible headset. It’s these little details that truly make a difference.
Absolutely, the standout feature of the Xbox for me is still Xbox Game Pass. For a modest monthly fee, you won’t need to open your wallet for games anymore. You have access to hundreds of games, ranging from timeless classics to the latest triple-A titles, all readily available at your fingertips. There’s truly something for everyone on this platform. Despite the monthly subscription cost, it has undeniably saved me a considerable amount of money in the long term.
Xbox Series X Storage
My Series X comes with one terabyte of internal storage, and it filled up quite quickly when I started downloading Game Pass games enthusiastically, just like an excited school kid. Sometimes, I have to delete games I haven’t finished yet just to make space for new ones. Fortunately, you can easily expand your storage by inserting a custom one-terabyte expansion card into the back of the console at any time.
If you’re excited and considering using the Series X for both gaming and content streaming, you’re in luck. The console’s entertainment menu seamlessly supports nearly all of the popular streaming services, including Disney Plus, Netflix, Prime Video, Now TV, Apple TV, Crunchyroll, and YouTube. Moreover, you’ll discover a variety of music streaming services at your disposal, such as Spotify, Deezer, and Apple Music.
Is Xbox Series X Best console for 2023?
For me, in the Microsoft vs. Sony battle, the Series X comes out on top. However, when it comes to gaming, I still prefer the Steam Deck due to its portable design and the vast Steam library of affordable games. With the Steam Deck, I don’t have to pause my game when I need to take a break, which is a significant advantage. Plus, you can still stream your Xbox session to an Android smartphone for a more portable experience using either the remote play feature or Microsoft’s Project xCloud streaming service.
So, even two years after its launch, the Xbox Series X continues to stand out as an exceptional gaming console. Its remarkable performance, swift loading times, and stunning visuals make it a top choice for gaming enthusiasts. The Xbox Game Pass, with its extensive game library, remains a standout feature, delivering great value in the long run.
While the design may appear a bit bulky to some, the overall user experience is seamless and enjoyable. Ongoing updates have enhanced the console’s performance, and the array of streaming services accessible through the entertainment menu transforms it into a versatile entertainment hub.
For gaming aficionados seeking a potent and feature-rich console, the Xbox Series X is undoubtedly a worthwhile option. With its ever-expanding game library and continuous improvements, it maintains its status as a solid investment for gaming enthusiasts.
Can the Series X be placed in a TV cabinet?
The Xbox Series X is quite chunky and might not fit into smaller TV cabinets.
Does the Series X support Dolby Vision?
Yes, the Series X supports Dolby Vision for a range of titles, providing stunning visuals.
Is Xbox Game Pass worth it?
Absolutely! Xbox Game Pass offers a vast library of games for a reasonable monthly fee.
How much internal storage does the Xbox Series X have?
The Series X comes with one terabyte of internal storage.
Can the Xbox Series X be used with external drives?
Yes, you can expand the storage using a custom expansion card or supported external drives.
The Xbox Series X impresses with its powerful performance, extensive game library through Xbox Game Pass, and versatile entertainment options. While the design may be bulky for some, the console's fast loading times and stunning visuals make it an excellent choice for gaming enthusiasts. With regular updates and a vast array of streaming services, the Xbox Series X stands as a top-notch gaming console worth the investment.
Graphics and Audio Quality9
Xbox Game Pass10