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De.Central Review | Xbox Series X

Microsoft’s top-tier next-gen super console has been out since November but like many of you, we are experiencing it after Christmas since we either gave it or received it as a gift. If you were quick enough on launch day to pre-order it and receive it before Christmas then congratulations. For everyone else that is still waiting on theirs, bookmark this review and save it for when you do get yours.

Boot up animation

Our initial experience with Xbox Series X was like many of you unwrapping it, breaking the BTS seal and opening the lid of the box, unwrapping the Xbox from the foam wrap, pulling the controller and cables out, plugging it into our TV and booting it up. We were presented with an entirely new bootup experience. It was fresh, yet familiar and exactly what the doctor ordered. After the bootup animation one thing becomes very clear, this thing is FAST!

Xbox Series X|S Controller

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The new Xbox Series X|S controller is more refined; it feels very premium from the grip texture on the back of the handles to the precise clicks from the D-Pad. The heavier texture on the entire surface of the controller was also a welcome refinement. The addition of a ‘Share’ button in the middle of the controller enables quicker screenshots and video captures.

How to setup your new Xbox Series X|S using your old Xbox One

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The next thing to do was sign in and setup your console. Note: pay attention to the privacy related settings and don’t share anything you don’t need to. Because we had an Xbox One S already, we chose to spare our ISP data cap and copy our games over from our old console onto an external SSD and then moved them to the new console, instead of downloading them outright. This process is very simple and we have a how-to below.

How to Move or Copy your Games & Apps

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Plug your external HDD or SSD into your old Xbox console. Navigate to Settings > System > Storage > External Drive > Move or Copy – then select the games and apps you want to move or copy to your external drive. Now plug your external drive into your new Xbox Series X|S and navigate to Settings > System > Storage > External Drive > Move or Copy – then select all the items on your drive that you want to move to your new Xbox Series X|S. After moving your games and apps to your Xbox Series X|S, you will find that that some of your games need to be upgraded using Smart Delivery to an Xbox Series X enhanced version of the game.

Smart Delivery

There were quite a few games that needed to be “upgraded” or make use of “Smart Delivery” like Destiny 2, Halo Master Chief Collection, Sea of Theives and others. The “Smart Delivery” update was “smaller” than each full game, but still quite large.

Upgraded Sea of Thieves for Xbox Series X

The process went smoothly and I was able to start playing Sea of Thieves right away. Why Sea of Thieves? If you log into Sea of Theives between now and the spring you can acquire the Duke Ship Set which is styled after the original Xbox logo. The ship is literally littered in Green X’s.

I decided to sail the seas a bit and my jaw dropped. The waters looked more beautiful and vibrant than ever before, mind you Sea of Thieves is already a beautiful game on older Xbox consoles. The details on the ships were vibrant and sharp and the lighting was improved.

Xbox Series X Specifications

Xbox Series X
CPU8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
GPU12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
Die Size360.45 mm2
Process7nm Enhanced
Memory16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320b bus
Memory Bandwidth10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
Internal Storage1 TB Custom NVME SSD
I/O Throughput2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)
Expandable Storage1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
External StorageUSB 3.2 External HDD Support
Optical Drive4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
Performance Target4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS

Conclusion

Microsoft’s next-generation super console is truly that in every way. It is fast, from boot up to load times it is a huge quality of life improvement. The Smart Delivery upgrade to your existing games provides an upgraded gaming experience at no extra cost, big plus. The Xbox Series X is much quieter than previous Xbox One consoles even when in idle. Perhaps the only negative aspect of this console is its sheer size, but it is an acceptable trade-off for the advancements it delivers.

Xbox Series X

Xbox Series S

A former industry insider and tech industry enthusiast.

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