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  • - The next generation of game consoles are so close.

  • I can almost taste it.

  • (upbeat music)

  • Okay, maybe not that close,

  • but the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S

  • are both arriving on November 10th.

  • This tiny, dinky little Xbox Series S

  • is priced at $299

  • and the larger, more powerful Xbox Series X

  • comes in at $499.

  • This is our first look at both of these next-gen consoles.

  • Okay, so quick caveat.

  • Microsoft has supplied a preview version

  • of the Xbox Series X hardware.

  • So that means I can't show you everything.

  • There's a few things I can show you

  • like you know the load times

  • and just some of the new features as well.

  • Now before we get into the software side,

  • let's check out the hardware real quick.

  • I'm just gonna say this straight up.

  • I love the look of the little Xbox Series S.

  • Unlike the larger Xbox Series X,

  • the Series S is designed for 10 ATP and 1440p gaming

  • up to 120 frames per second.

  • It can be hooked up to 4K TV and games will be upscaled,

  • but I think of the smaller Xbox as the Fortnite console

  • you might have in a bedroom.

  • Now, I know what you're thinking.

  • What is this giant black circular thing?

  • Well, the Xbox Series S can also be used as a walkie talkie.

  • (screech) Oscar tango, Charlie, (screech)

  • over and out. (screech)

  • Now, this is obviously an Xbox Series S dummy unit.

  • So I'm gonna have to test the walkie talkie feature properly

  • and fully during the review.

  • Psst, it isn't actually a walkie talkie feature.

  • It's just British sense of humor.

  • Now, laying walkie talkie jokes aside,

  • the speaker-like grill on the top of the Series S

  • is actually used for ventilation.

  • It helps this tiny console stay cool.

  • You'll also find ventilation at the sides

  • and at the rear, there's an ethernet port, two USB ports,

  • a HD UMI 2.1 port, the power connector

  • and an expandable storage slot to increase the 512 storage

  • that comes built in.

  • You can position the Xbox Series S vertically

  • or lay it flat horizontally.

  • And I think the Xbox logo at the front

  • shows you that this is clearly designed to lay flat.

  • And that's probably a good thing because this should fit

  • in most TV stands.

  • As we don't have a fully working Xbox Series S unit,

  • I'll leave impressions to a full review,

  • but Microsoft has promised that Xbox Series X games

  • will run well on this smaller, less powerful console.

  • It uses the same CPU found on the larger Xbox Series X

  • clocked slightly slower and with 512 gig of SSD storage.

  • Faster storage and way better CPUs are gonna be the key

  • for this next generation of gaming.

  • So I think the Xbox Series S

  • could be a really interesting option.

  • If you don't own a 4K TV,

  • you don't really care about 4K gaming

  • and you just want a cheap entry point

  • into next gen console gaming.

  • Now, the Xbox Series X is the complete opposite

  • of the tiny console.

  • It stands proud vertically like some kind of monolith.

  • If you can hear me in there,

  • please, please give me 120 frames a second.

  • There's a funky green effect on top,

  • and no, it's not actually an LED.

  • It's where the fan sits to push out the warm air.

  • Microsoft promises up to 120 frames per second for 4K gaming

  • with ray tracing

  • and a lot of architectural changes under the hood.

  • It's clearly designed to sit vertically

  • even from the basics of the logo at the front,

  • to the fact that it looks a little awkward and large

  • on its side.

  • The base also doesn't attach.

  • So there's that.

  • Unlike the smaller Series S,

  • I think most people are gonna have a hard time

  • slotting this into their existing TV stands.

  • It's definitely something you have to consider

  • before you get one these in your living room.

  • It's also a massive fingerprint magnet

  • and my unit already has plenty of smudges.

  • The port selection on the Xbox Series X

  • is identical to the S

  • but a big difference is the Series X

  • has a 4K Blue-ray drive.

  • Microsoft is going all digital on the Xbox Series S.

  • So that means if you'd like to buy your games on disc,

  • or you'd like to share them with your friends,

  • then the Xbox Series X is the obvious choice here.

  • Now, all of this hardware

  • is designed to obviously improve your existing games

  • but it's also gonna be ushering in a new

  • sort of next generation of games

  • that can really take advantage of this new console hardware.

  • So there's obviously the faster storage, the better CPUs

  • and the graphical power that should introduce stuff

  • like ray tracing into the mainstream.

  • Both consoles will also come

  • with an updated Xbox controller.

  • The key differences are USB-C, a new share button

  • and an updated D-pad.

  • You'll still need to use AA batteries

  • or purchase a rechargeable play-and-charge kit separately

  • for 24 99.

  • There's also one terabyte expandable storage cards

  • to increase storage capacity.

  • These are priced at $219

  • which is kind of pricey for storage

  • but you will need them

  • if you wanna play games that are enhanced

  • for the Xbox Series X or S consoles.

  • Now, you can of course grab some cheaper USB storage

  • and store your games on there,

  • but you will need to copy across these enhanced ones

  • to the console, when you want to actually play them.

  • But you should be able to play

  • a bunch of older Xbox One games from the USB storage.

  • It just really depends where the developers go

  • and enhance these games

  • to really take advantage of the SSD.

  • (upbeat music)

  • Now, speaking of older games,

  • I've been testing a bunch of backward compatible games

  • over the past week

  • and it's fair to say the Xbox Series X improves all of them,

  • even though game developers haven't enhanced them

  • for this new console just yet.

  • Load times are incredibly good in most games now.

  • Let's check out Warframe to show you what I mean.

  • Warframe loads in around 30 seconds on the Xbox Series X

  • while on the older One X, it takes about a minute longer.

  • Now I'm not going to force you

  • to watch too many tedious load screens with me

  • but doing these comparisons really highlighted

  • just how long it takes for the current Xbox One X

  • to load games.

  • I could press A, go grab a coffee,

  • come back and still have time to read an email

  • before some games load.

  • It's encouraging that we're seeing big improvements

  • without developers even touching games

  • and really taking advantage of the SSD in the Xbox Series X.

  • These speed improvements are obvious in most games

  • and I've noticed them in pretty much every single game

  • I've been testing over the past week,

  • whether that's Assassin's Creed Odyssey, No Man's Sky

  • or Red Dead Redemption Two.

  • Now, let's check out our two worlds

  • which you'll see also benefits from the speed increases.

  • Now on the Xbox Series X,

  • you'll notice the outer worlds

  • loads in around about 10 seconds

  • but on the older Xbox One X,

  • I have enough time to tell you

  • that this new Xbox has an SSD that transfers data

  • at 2.4 gigabits per second uncompressed,

  • compared to just 140 megabits per second on the Xbox One X.

  • That's why we're seeing these massive improvements.

  • And while you had to wait minutes

  • for some games to load on the current gen consoles.

  • and now the Xbox One's ancient hard drive

  • has stopped spinning and finally loaded.

  • Congratulations on your second place there buddy.

  • Now, I could show you a bunch more comparisons

  • but I think you get the point.

  • I'm now really looking forward

  • to seeing what game developers can do

  • to really take advantage of the SSD.

  • (dramatic music)

  • Another advantage of the power inside the Xbox Series X

  • is a new feature called Quick Resume.

  • The Xbox One had a similar feature

  • but it kinda didn't really work very well

  • and it just felt like most games didn't really support it.

  • It was hit-and-miss shall we say.

  • Now that is definitely not the case in the Xbox Series X.

  • As you can see, I'm able to quickly swap

  • between multiple games here

  • and they all individually resume

  • after around about five seconds of swap time.

  • This feature takes advantage of the SSD

  • on the X box Series X

  • and I was able to quickly swap between five games freely.

  • The limit will really depend

  • on what type of games you're playing.

  • It surprisingly still works

  • even when you power the console down

  • or you reboot it for updates

  • which means you can quickly continue where you left off

  • in a variety of games.

  • And that's pretty great.

  • If you're busy tackling a single player campaign game

  • and then your buddy invites you to play a multiplayer game,

  • you can just tap the Invite and not worry about save points.

  • When Quick Resume works, it works really well.

  • I have run into times where games are frozen up

  • or Quick Resume hasn't worked properly.

  • This is a preview on Xbox so,

  • I'm not going to judge it too harshly just yet

  • but not every game does support Quick Resume though.

  • So games like Sea of Thieves,

  • those big, massive online multiplayer games,

  • they didn't work with Quick Resume

  • and it kind of makes sense.

  • They're not the sort of single player campaign mode

  • where you quickly switch out and you just resume it later.

  • They'll carry on in the background

  • regardless of whether you're playing them or not.

  • Now games that do support it

  • will throw up a little Quick Resume at the top right,

  • So you know exactly when your game is coming back to life.

  • Since this is a preview Xbox Series X,

  • I'm not gonna delve too deep into performance just yet

  • especially as games haven't been fully optimized

  • for this new console.

  • We'll leave the side-by-side frame rate comparisons

  • to the excellent folks at Digital Foundry.

  • But what I will say is I'm really impressed

  • with just how speedy and smooth games feel.

  • It feels like I'm playing a typical Xbox

  • but one that's actually keeping up with how I want to play

  • with higher frame rates and smoother gameplay

  • and with way lower load times.

  • I wasn't able to test all the games I wanted to

  • on the Xbox Series X just yet,

  • simply because Microsoft is still testing

  • a bunch of these games to make sure they run well.

  • I was however able to play Destiny Two.

  • Here is bungee shooter running on the Xbox Series X

  • and overall, it feels just that bit much smoother.

  • The only obvious load time improvements for the game.

  • even things like jumping into menus

  • and changing your character load out

  • feel a lot on the Series X.

  • Just look at how long it takes the older Xbox One

  • to even load my character in a menu for comparison.

  • That's a few seconds just to get to the character screen.

  • The Xbox Series X improves these little experiences

  • you have in games