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Xbox Series X and Series S

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Xbox Series X and Series S
Xbox Series X.png
Xbox Series S.png
Power Your Dreams.
Developer: Microsoft
Release Date: November 10, 2020
Predecessor: Xbox One
Competitors: Nintendo Switch
PlayStation 5
Generation: Ninth generation


The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are consoles developed by Microsoft and released on November 10, 2020. They are successors to the Xbox One and Microsoft's entry in the ninth generation of console gaming.

Why They Power Your Dreams

  1. The new controller is almost identical to the Xbox One's, adds a share button, uses USB-C for charging, and is backwards compatible with the Xbox One. The Xbox One controller is also fully compatible with the Series X/S for those that prefer it.
  2. The Series X supports 8K resolution and 120 FPS, and has an 8 core CPU and 12 TFLOP GPU that supports ray-tracing; this makes the Xbox Series X the most powerful console in the ninth generation.
    • The Series S is considerably weaker in terms of graphical power, but it is an understandable sacrifice for a cheaper price point.
  3. Extremely fast loading times thanks to the new SSD, especially on previous gen Xbox games. This is also helped by the Xbox Velocity Architecture, which significantly reduces loading times on games optimized for Series X|S.
  4. Very quiet cooling system. (Tip: If you have to put the Series X on its side, leave a good amount of space for each of the 3 vents, especially for the green one on top.
  5. Quick Resume, a new feature that allows players to switch between multiple games and apps at once without having to close them. Originally, you could just have 1 game and 1 app on at a time.
  6. It's backwards compatible with 39 original Xbox games, 568 Xbox 360 games, and almost every Xbox One game.
    • With the RetroArch emulator, you can also run games for other systems, e.g. PlayStation 2.
  7. The Series X|S has a program called Smart Delivery, which is a program that allows games from the Xbox One to be upgraded to the Series X|S versions at no additional charge.
    • It was confirmed that every first-party Xbox Games Studio title will be supporting Smart Delivery, and Microsoft has allowed third parties to use the Smart Delivery technology. (Ubisoft and CD Projekt being two of the companies supporting Smart Delivery).
  8. The budget-oriented Series S is perfect for those who don't mind not using discs, though this could be a problem for those who have lots of Xbox One games on disc and a limited budget. (see BQ #7 for the flaw itself)
  9. The systems have a feature called FPS Boost, which doubles the framerate of supported Xbox games from 30 to 60 FPS (or even from 60 to 120 FPS) with no additional work needed on the developer's end.

Bad Qualities

  1. Disappointing launch game lineup with a lack of system seller exclusives. However, this is mitigated with the amount of backwards compatible titles on offer.
  2. The Kinect and any games that use it aren't compatible. This is probably due to the fact that the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, killed the Kinect add-on when he took control of the Xbox brand.
  3. 512 GB of storage is way too small and limited for the digital-only Series S, especially considering the huge file size of most current-gen Xbox games, thus requiring the player to either purchase a storage expansion card to expand the memory, keep shuffling games back and forth between the internal drive and an external hard drive or SSD, or delete games to fit other games and vice versa.
    • Because the Series S is digital only, if in any case the Microsoft Store on Series X|S shuts down one day, it will become a useless paperweight unless there are hacks that allow the users to put Series X|S ROMs onto it for free.
  4. Due to the Xbox Velocity Architecture, Series X|S games cannot be played on traditional external hard drives. They must be installed on the consoles' SSDs or the Seagate expansion card. To be fair, existing Xbox One games along with 360 games can still be played with external hard drives.
    • The storage expansion cards are pretty expensive, costing almost as much as the Xbox Series S itself.
      • Since it's all digital, the storage in the Series S will be filled up quickly so buying a storage expansion card is very recommended, however buying a storage expansion card and a Series S will be more expensive than the Xbox Series X itself.
  5. The discs cases look exactly like the ones used in Xbox One, with the only difference is that the word One removed, which may make people confused when they buy a physical game or make them by a game for the wrong console. See companies charging for next generation upgrades for more information.
    • Although Xbox Series X physical games got a new redesign that looks different than the Xbox One discs (starting with Minecraft Dungeons - Ultimate Edition via first-party and Dying Light 2 Stay Human[1] via third-party), they changed physical cases for Xbox One as well which is stupid considering the Xbox One consoles are discontinued, though at least there's a huge logo to tell you what console this is for.
    • For the Series X only games, it make no sense for them to use 50 GB discs[2] which would work as a 4K Ultra HD disc (100 GB) instead of two BD discs.
  6. Just like the PS5, the Series X and S have a huge scalping problem, with double the MSRP being a common price on eBay and Amazon. Fortunately as of August 30th, 2022, you can still find an X or S model online worldwide, including Best Buy, Amazon (invitation only), Walmart, GameStop, Target and Costco).[3]
  7. Backwards compatibility for Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox games uses always-online DRM, which means you cannot play the game on disc without updating it on the internet first, and it's currently impossible to play backwards compatible games offline (without setting up Home Xbox), especially for the online outage.
  8. Despite being the most powerful console of its generation and the most powerful console as of now, Xbox Series X games run slightly worse than the PlayStation 5; however, the difference can be hardly noticeable.

Trivia

  • A few weeks before the official launch of the Series X and Series S, Microsoft released three fully-functioning refrigerators designed off the Series X, based on the joke that the Series X looked a lot like a refrigerator.
    • The first fridge was given to rapper Snoop Dogg, who is an avid Xbox gamer.
    • The second fridge was given to the YouTuber iJustine.
    • The third fridge was given away via a Twitter contest.
  • Later on, at E3 2021, Microsoft revealed the Xbox Mini Fridge, a small refrigerator styled after the Xbox Series X.
  • For the Series S, people claimed that the console looked like a speaker.
  • Much like the Xbox One S and X, the Series X|S has several Easter eggs placed around the console. For instance, 'Hello from Seattle' is written on one of the bases for the consoles, and a Master Chief logo is etched on their motherboards.

References

  1. Both unboxing videos via POPnGAMES on YouTube
  2. Grand Theft Auto V and Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) unboxing videos via POPnGAMES on YouTube
  3. IGN's guide on how to get an Xbox Series X/S without being scalped these days
  4. Making sense of Xbox DRM and Physical Media | MVG via YouTube
  5. How home Xbox and game sharing work

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