Written by Alex Maidment (nSanity Beach)
At the time of writing, I have only had a couple of hours using and playing on the Xbox Series X, so this really is a “first” impressions piece and no doubt I’ll follow up with further thoughts as I get more use out of it.
This is also my first day one console, so these impressions really are based on my own views around this console launch and I can’t compare it to others or whether the launch as a whole is better or worse.
The overall impression is that it’s a great bit of kit but it’s let down ever so slightly by a lack of real console launch line up, however, that doesn’t spoil the excellent upgrade that this console offers over the last generation. In fact, I’m already viewing this Xbox as “has a lot of potential for future games”.
1) It’s fast and smooth
We all know that the Xbox Series X is powerful and that gives it the capability to be fast, but I was still surprised by how fast it is. From loading games like Forza Horizon 4 to moving around the home screen, jumping into chat or browsing the games pass library, it just does everything with ease and so far is very smooth.
2) 4K HDR Gaming looks great!
I know this is nothing new and PC gamers will tell you how they’ve been able to play in high res at high refresh rates for years, but that doesn’t take away from the jump in performance from the last generation of console.
I’ve upgraded from an original Xbox One and a 5-year old high-spec gaming PC and when comparing Forza Horizon 4 to either of those systems, it does feel like an entirely new game and just performs so well!
3) Internal Storage won’t last long!
On my Xbox One, I had 3TB of storage between the internal HDD and an external SSD and I never ran out of space, although CoD: Modern Warfare did make it close. I’ve plugged my SSD into the new Series X so I still have a good library of games but the internal SSD might not last long before needing that expensive 1TB upgrade currently offered by Seagate.
With Forza Horizon 4, Destiny 2, Halo MCC, Ori and CoD: Black Ops Cold War pre-installed, I’m over 50% full already… With AAA games taking up more than 100GB each, I’m just hoping Microsoft start supporting more proprietary SSD options and in larger sizes than 1TB!
4) Patience will be needed to make the most out of the Series X
While I’m already enjoying the new console, the lack of Halo and other new first party games at launch are a shame for me. It’s actually left me relying on CoD Black Ops Cold War to really test the console, and maybe I’ll look into the likes of Assassin’s Creed and Watchdogs just for something new and different to play.
I have no doubt that within a year, new games launches will start to show off everything the new generation can offer, but some patience is likely needed.
5) It’s restored my faith in consoles
The last generation of consoles were great fun, but for the most part lacking in power. The original Xbox was underpowered from day one, while this new generation feels a bit more future proof and is a genuinely welcomed upgrade. To get the same sort of performance on my PC I would be looking at a cost of 2x (and more) the Xbox Series X in upgrades and that makes the new console worth it for me!
Watch this space for more thoughts coming soon!