Microsoft and Xbox have released their next generation of consoles today. There is two to choose from: the 4K compatible Xbox Series X or the disc-less Xbox Series S. Both will play your old games and have access to Game Pass.
The bad news is that if you haven’t preordered you will not be able to buy one for a while. Even if you did preorder one in September and October you may only receive yours in late December. This is a disappointment as if you weren’t sure about it and now have done enough research to jump then you are currently out of luck.
I still play on my original Xbox One and despite being tempted to get a Series X, I don’t think I will anytime soon.
The Good and Bad
Xbox Series S (£249.00)
The S is more powerful than the original Xbox One and smaller too but doesn’t have a disc drive. That being said, it’s still less powerful than the Xbox One X and while its 512 GB SSD drive will run games faster this drive will fill up quickly.
Old games like Gears 5, Forza 4, and even Skate 3 will run better, faster, and look sharper.
Xbox Series X (£449.00)
The X is the most powerful console released by Microsoft and currently, the most powerful console ever released. Unlike the S it has a disc drive so old and new games can be played with discs. Like the S it has an SSD but is double the size at 1 TB. This drive again will fill up quick.
While the S is suitable for 1080p screens and kind of 4K, the X is designed for 4K and 8K screens. Most people like me don’t have a 4K let alone 8K screens but having the ability to play games in 8K shows that the developers are planning.
With the X you are getting more closer to PC like gaming. While it can suspend and quick resume up to five games now and switch between tasks, it still can’t multi-task like a PC. If for example if you like to play games and listen to some YouTube music in the background you can’t. Spotify allows you to do this but every other entertainment application available does not do the same. This is a shame as even the launch Xbox One let you do this to a small extent with its Snap feature before it was ultimately removed.
Old games like Gears 5, and Forza 4 will now look like new games and even old Xbox and Xbox 360 games will run better, faster, and sharper.
I have to say Microsoft has done a commendable job with the Series X and it shows that they have learned from their previous mistakes. If you are cynical you could argue most of the success with the console is down to the inclusion of the SSD and increase of RAM but this doesn’t take away from its design intention. The unrivalled access to thousands of old games from Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One will sell many consoles by itself and the addition of Game Pass means that hundreds of games are available to play for free (including the subscription charge). While the games included in Game Pass are often hit and miss it’s a bullet in the console selling point. If you are considering getting a new Xbox the X is the one to get.
This is because S costs less, but has no disc drive, and a smaller SSD. If you don’t already have an external disc drive the amount you would have to spend to make having an S worthwhile would equal or cost more than an X.
That said my biggest issue with the X is its size. Most consoles go for the horizontal shape but even when the X is lying down it is a black block of a machine. It’s like a gigantic rectangle Ouya. The S does better with its design and is a slim white machine that is smaller than the original Xbox One and about the size of an Xbox 360 S. This is one reason I haven’t bought the new console, I set up my systems to take as less space as possible but the X is like a small PC and in that case I rather play on a PC. I would expect a smaller model of the X in about 2-3 years.
If you are like me who has other consoles, and a PC I would recommend you avoid the S and wait for for the X to be redesigned as a cheaper and smaller device. If you are new to gaming I would recommend you get an S with Game Pass offering value for money. If you have a family with young children I would recommend you get a Nintendo Switch or possibly an S.
The PlayStation 5 is out soon and I feel it’s even worse designed console than the Xbox and suffers the same in terms of price, compatibility, size and shape.
In the end, it might come down to brand loyalty whether you wait like me or try to get the newest consoles as soon as possible. Whatever the case their isn’t any games out soon that will put the current hardware to the test.