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  • - It's next gen Xbox time.

  • (gentle music)

  • I've been testing the Xbox Series X for a few weeks now

  • and the smaller Xbox Series S over the past week.

  • I played old games, new games and even optimized ones

  • to get a feel for what the next gen actually means for Xbox.

  • The larger Xbox Series X,

  • comes closer to a PC like experience for consoles

  • than we've ever seen before.

  • Everything looks and feels like an Xbox,

  • but it all feels a lot smoother

  • and a lot faster without being radically new.

  • If you're upgrading from an Xbox One,

  • the dashboard looks the same.

  • All of your controllers and accessories will work just fine

  • and all of your existing games will run just fine,

  • except they'll just run a lot better.

  • It's like upgrading a PC to get faster frame rates,

  • better load times or just prettier graphical settings,

  • except this isn't a PC

  • so you don't get any of those Windows update problems

  • or driver issues or any of that sort of really bad PC stuff.

  • The $499 Xbox Series X looks like a miniature PC,

  • but hardware isn't the whole story here.

  • This next gen Xbox

  • is missing out on the truly next gen games

  • that really show off the performance of the console,

  • and just the thrill that you get from something brand new,

  • at least for now.

  • The Xbox Series X is a big and boxy console.

  • It looks best standing vertically like a smaller PC tower.

  • And if you set it down horizontally,

  • it kind of looks like it fell over

  • because you can't remove the stand.

  • Up top there's a green color underneath the grill,

  • which isn't actually an led.

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

  • Now I've never heard this fan at all, not even once.

  • I felt the air exhausting out of the top,

  • but it's pretty much the same as my Xbox One X,

  • never really been an issue and not too hot to touch.

  • I think most people are going to have to carefully consider

  • how and where they slot this into their existing TV stands,

  • because you won't want to enclose this console in

  • due to air flow,

  • but it's spotty size might make it difficult

  • to fit into most TV stands,

  • especially if it's standing up vertically.

  • It's also a massive fingerprint magnet.

  • My review unit already has plenty of smudges.

  • At the rear there's an ethernet port,

  • two USB ports, a HDMI 2.1 port, the power connector

  • and a expandable storage slot

  • to increase the one terabyte of storage that comes built in.

  • Both of these new Xbox consoles

  • also come with an updated Xbox controller.

  • The key difference is a USB-C,

  • a new share button and an updated D-pad.

  • You'll still need to use the same AA batteries

  • or purchase a rechargeable Play and Charge Kit separately

  • for 24.99.

  • There are also one terabyte expandable storage cards

  • to increase the storage capacity.

  • These are priced at $219

  • and you'll need them for games that are enhanced

  • for the Xbox Series X and Series S.

  • You can of course, just store games on cheaper USB storage

  • and then copy them across to the console

  • when you want to them.

  • You'll even be able to play older Xbox One games from USB

  • as long as developers don't update them with enhancements

  • for the Xbox Series X that require the SSD.

  • (gentle music)

  • If you were hoping for a brand new dashboard

  • on the Xbox Series X,

  • then I'm sorry, it's the same one from the Xbox One,

  • but with some minor tweaks, and new animated backgrounds.

  • Microsoft has mostly cleaned this dashboard up

  • so it's less of a hassle,

  • but I still find the guide a little bit cumbersome

  • to use at times.

  • The real changes I started to notice for the Xbox Series X

  • are with the games that you play on this console,

  • everything just feels faster.

  • Frame rates are higher in certain games,

  • load times are better,

  • and everything just feels

  • just genuinely smoother in gameplay overall.

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

  • while on the older Xbox one X,

  • it takes almost a minute longer.

  • I mean just look at how long this takes

  • to load on a Series X.

  • I usually have time to grab a drink

  • you know, check some emails or run around the block

  • before the Xbox One X had even loaded a game.

  • But now, you know, the Xbox Series X it's just,

  • everything's a little bit faster.

  • (gentle music)

  • I've been to play some of the optimized patches

  • for Xbox Series X games,

  • and I'm blown away by how much existing games can change.

  • Sea of Thieves has jumped

  • from taking more than a minute to load,

  • to loading in less than 30 seconds.

  • It's also moved from a sluggish 30 frames per second

  • to 60 frames per second.

  • And it feels like I'm playing on the PC now.

  • It's that much of a radical jump.

  • I've also been testing out Dirt 5 and Gears 5,

  • which both include a new 120 Hertz mode.

  • In Dirt 5 the resolution drops into 1440p rather than 4k,

  • but you get nearly a constant 120 frames per second

  • and buttery smooth gameplay.

  • It makes a big difference to input latency.

  • So when I'm cornering,

  • the car just feels that much more responsive.

  • It's the same in Gears 5,

  • which also has 120 frames per second mode

  • in the multiplayer version of the game.

  • Running around the arena feels really smooth and responsive.

  • These modes also had similar options

  • in Yakuza: Like a Dragon, a great for player choice.

  • There are even more games,

  • coming with 120 frames per second support.

  • And I'm hoping we see more titles,

  • continue to let players choose between 4k

  • or performance modes,

  • or just lots of flexibility in between.

  • I love this freedom of choice

  • and it reminds me of the graphical options you get on PC.

  • The Xbox Series X also has a new quick resume feature,

  • and this is one of my favorite additions.

  • It actually quickly swap between multiple games

  • and they all individually resume in around 10 seconds or so

  • of swap time.

  • This feature takes advantage of the SSD on the Xbox Series X

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

  • The limit will depend on what type of games you're playing,

  • but it still works

  • after you've powered down the console fully,

  • or even rebooted it for updates.

  • This means you can quickly continue where you left off

  • in a variety of games,

  • which is great if you're busy tackling

  • a single player campaign,

  • and then a buddy invites you to play some Fortnite.

  • You can just tap on the invite

  • and you don't have to worry about save points.

  • When quick resume works,

  • it works really well, but not every game supports it.

  • I haven't been able to use it in Forza Horizon 4.

  • Even new titles like Watch Dogs: Legion

  • and older titles like GTA 5.

  • It's really disappointing that not every game supports it,

  • and Microsoft hasn't really said why.

  • (gentle music)

  • The Xbox Series X isn't the only next gen Xbox though.

  • There's also this tiny $299 Xbox Series S.

  • Unlike the larger Xbox Series X,

  • the Series S is really designed for 1080p and 1440p gaming

  • up to 120 frames per second.

  • Now you can hook it up to a 4k TV

  • and games will be upscaled,

  • but I think most people are going to be buying this

  • for a bedroom TV or for their kids to play Fortnite.

  • You could position the Xbox Series S vertically,

  • or lay it flat down horizontally.

  • And I think the Xbox logo at the front,

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

  • That's a good thing

  • because this should fit in most TV stands,

  • unlike the bigger Xbox Series X.

  • I also just love the size of this thing.

  • It's just so tiny and compact.

  • Microsoft is promising that the biggest changes

  • between these two consoles are down to resolution.

  • If you don't care about 4k or you play on a 1080p TV,

  • this little Xbox feels like the one to get.

  • I've been playing games like Sea of Thieves

  • or Forza Horizon 4, both at 60 frames per second 1080p

  • thanks to new optimized patches

  • that are slowly rolling out.

  • These feel like a big upgrade over what's possible

  • on current Xbox consoles.

  • Most existing backward compatible games will run essentially

  • as if it was an Xbox One S.

  • While that's not ideal,

  • new games and existing ones that are still very popular

  • should get updates for things like 120 Hertz modes

  • or higher resolutions, better frame rates

  • and even faster load times.

  • We're already starting to see that with Dirt 5, Gears 5

  • and games like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

  • that will all have 120 Hertz modes

  • on both the Series S and the Series X.

  • Even Destiny 2 is getting updated next month

  • to deliver 60 frames per second, at 1080p on the Series S.

  • This smaller Xbox,

  • can deliver the PC like smoother gameplay experiences,

  • and all of the load time benefits

  • that you get on the Xbox Series X.

  • And while I've not been able to test enough optimized games

  • or truly next gen games, to really tell you exactly

  • what this Xbox Series S is capable of.

  • The ones I have been testing with the optimized patches

  • they feel like an Xbox Series X, just a lower resolution.

  • Now I've been impressed with the 4k upscaling

  • from this tiny Xbox Series S,

  • but I think most people

  • should be pairing it with a 1080p TV anyway.

  • If you really want 4k,

  • the Xbox Series X is really the console for that right now.

  • The Series S uses the same CPU

  • found in the larger Xbox series X,

  • but it's clocked slightly slower

  • and there's 512 gig of SSD storage.

  • I think both of these are key additions here

  • and make the biggest difference in games right now.

  • It also has the same ports as a Series X, but no disc drive.

  • So you'll need to use the same expandable storage

  • found on the Series X.

  • And this storage situation on the Xbox Series S

  • is the biggest problem I see right now.

  • You only get 364 gig of usable storage here.

  • So if you go and install a game like Call of Duty: Warzone,

  • then you're left with just over 250 gig.

  • Realistically, that means only five or six games

  • before the drivers full, or maybe even less

  • if you're playing games like Call of Duty.

  • The only option for storage,

  • is a one terabyte storage card priced at $220.

  • Now if you go for this, that puts the total price up to $519

  • for the Xbox Series S, which is more than the 499

  • on the Xbox Series X.

  • Now I'm hoping Microsoft brings out

  • more of these storage cards

  • with different sizes in the coming months,

  • but for now,

  • I feel like the storage situation on the Series S

  • could be a problem for a lot of people.

  • (gentle music)

  • Both of this next gen Xbox consoles,

  • deliver some key improvements to existing games

  • and just a general boost to speed.

  • They feel closer to a PC experience

  • than I've ever seen from a console before.

  • That seems like a very deliberate choice by Microsoft,

  • and you could feel it throughout their Xbox Series X and S.

  • If you upgraded from a GTX 1060 gaming PC

  • to the latest RTX 3080,

  • Windows 10 would be the same Windows 10 you know,

  • and all the games would be there that you've had for years,

  • but everything would look and feel a little bit faster

  • and just look better.

  • And that's exactly what the Xbox Series X

  • and the Series S feel to me.