A Week With The Xbox Series X

Written by Alex Maidment (nSanity Beach)

At the time of writing, I’ve had the Xbox Series X for a week, almost to the minute. Day One was an exciting day – from unboxing through to jumping into Forza Horizon 4 to get a feel for what the new console can do.

A week later, the hype has sort of worn off a bit, but the fascination and excitement of using it day to day hasn’t. Firstly, while some see it as a bad thing, the slightly refreshed but pretty much same UI as the Xbox One give continuity to the console, making it feel like just another day playing the Xbox, but with a lot more power and much better graphics.

So far, the experience of jumping around the dashboard, loading different games, joining party chat have all been smooth, fast and pretty much without a hitch. I am particularly impressed with how fast everything is.

While I am still putting the console to the test in terms of games, everything I’ve played so far has looked fresh, bright and is making full use of the power of the Xbox Series X – including nice looking HDR with crisp colours, beautiful textures and great lighting.

While I started with Forza Horizon 4, I quickly moved on to Destiny 2 and specifically the new expansion ‘Beyond Light’ which is available through the Xbox Games Pass Ultimate – Destiny has never played so well! It’s a game that I’ve played on both PC and Xbox One in the past but the Series X just made it feel like a whole new game, and one I am quickly getting back into.

Then came the one I was waiting for – Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War. This isn’t a review of the game itself, but rather some impressions of how the Series X plays it. Since Cold War came out on Friday 13th, following the Series X on the 10th November, it’s been my most played game. So far, it’s mainly been a mix of multiplayer game types and a few campaign levels, but I’m enjoying it. With the new CoD game making the most of all of the features that the Series X has to offer, I’ve been enjoying the game running in 4K at 60fps with HDR and Ray Tracing enabled. It looks fantastic. The details are better than I’ve ever seen on a CoD game, all down to the power of the console now sat on my TV unit.

In the first week of owning the Xbox Series X, my playtime is probably around 20 hours, with half of that time on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. As nice as the new controller is, I’ve chosen to continue playing with my trusty Elite and I’m using a SteelSeries Arctis 7x headset and so far, the whole experience is a dream. It’s fast to switch on, fast to load games, makes everything look fantastic when in games and has just made gaming feel good again.

Sure, after a week I’m yearning for more games made for the Series X, but I also know as a day one player, it’s all about patience and the games will come! One week later, I don’t have any regrets about buying the console, but I’m also holding out for more and realising that the real potential of this beastly new console is in the year or two to come!

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