Xbox Series X true beast console hardware, but that completely changes the gaming experience and takes it to a new level: Whenever I start to play the console, I prepare a hot coffee to enjoy as it deserves a good session.
Every time I find myself a charging time, whether it's because of some death, a door that takes me to another level, a quick trip to save me a ride for a while or any other situation that forces me to leave the controller and wait through various tips to charge the game, I take a look at the mobile while I sip the coffee.
Now, sadly, coffee does nothing but stay cold, as those moments of pause until you get back in control have completely disappeared and the culprit of having to lift me to the microwave every two by three has its own name: Xbox Series X.
With this name Microsoft presented its new generation console already quite a few months ago and finally went on sale last November 10 for 499 euros.
From the Redmond company, the intention is clear: a console with an inordinate power that wants to conquer technology lovers and does it in the best possible way.
An overwhelming hardware, an elegant and compact design and a user experience that changes completely with respect to any existing console to date and that undoubtedly stands as a competitor to Sony with its PlayStation 5.
First of all, a little context: in 2001, Microsoft launched itself into the video game market with Xbox, a console with fantastic hardware and that managed to consolidate itself as an option very to consider.
Xbox Series X true beast console hardware
In 2005, it appeared its second console, Xbox 360, which after several launch problems with the controversial Kinect, managed to keep the type with a good string of titles that managed to convince its users.
Finally, in 2013 came out the last machine of the company so far, Xbox One that started off badly after forcing its users to have a permanent connection to the Internet to play.
However, thanks to Phil Spencer, current CEO of Xbox, they managed to correct the course by taking a total turn to the company's strategy betting on creating an ecosystem that has landed on mobiles and PCs through the successful Game Pass and its project xCloud.
Now, after carving a name in the industry after much effort, landed with a new console that has the lesson learned, know what you have to do to conquer both the new audience and fans of the brand and comes with a hardware that promises to change the way to play video games.
Does he get it? Read on if you want to know in detail what I thought Xbox Series X.
A spectacular design, compact and frankly well built.
When you open the box as if it were a chest you already realize that you are facing something big. The console comes wrapped in a very elegant black material and you receive a sign that turns the machine with the motto Power your Dreams, the current slogan of the company.
Once you remove the seal, the console is presented in all its glory.
This may be a matter of taste, but what is clear is that Xbox Series X has an imposing design, really well built and very compact.
Of course,it has a considerable size of 30,1 x 15,1x15, 1cm that makes you have to stop to think very well where to put it, since it is quite large, despite the impression of being much more in images.
The best thing is that you can put it both horizontally and vertically, this being the most optimal and most beautiful way, since when lying down highlights the base that rests on the base and shave a little the whole.
Of course, once you have it in place, better leave it still, but not because it is not easy to transport, but because of its high weight: 4.5 kilograms.
Going into matter, the console is built in a striking matte black color that leaves no trace, although it gives the feeling that it can be easily grated.
The front is very clean, with only the power button that is constantly lit with the Xbox logo in white —something that I liked very much aesthetically, but has looked away on more than one occasion while I was playing— the slot for the BlueRay, as well as a button to extract the disc, another to synchronize the controller and a USB port.
On the back, the classic current connections that finally the power supply comes inside the console and you just have to connect the cable, HDMI port, connection for network cable and two other extra USB ports.
So far the normal, since where Xbox Series X really shines is in the finish of its top with those holes where it dissipates heat and that green painted touch that gives the console a frankly original look.
Do you hear anything? Goodbye to problems with the fan.
One of the big problems of the consoles of the previous generation was the noise they produced when running any title inside. The worst thing is that, the more demanding, the more hassle making it almost indispensable to play with headphones or have the TV high to be able to get around the problem, so I had high expectations put on Xbox Series X, since it promised to be tremendously silent.
And we have to be clear: not only has he fulfilled what he expected, but he has far exceeded it. The console is downright silent, so much so that you can sometimes even wonder if it is turned on.
I tried to turn off the TV and leave the machine on to see if I could hear any sound and unless I got close enough, the answer was always the same: silence.
To achieve this, Xbox Series X has a powerful fan that expels hot air from the console at the top, while through the slits on the back it releases cold air to help the console not get too hot. A real work of engineering.
Yes, anyway, for the moment I remain somewhat cautious and we will see what happens with the games within a few years that require more power and performance to the console or if the design has holes in the top could become a nest of dust that worsen their overall performance and ends up sounding more account.
A continuous user interface that is not surprising and with which I have to confess that during my first steps I felt lost.
In this regard, Microsoft has been quite conservative and maintains the same operating system that can be seen in the previous generation. Admittedly, I was expecting something a little more novel and unique for the console, but I can understand the Redmond company's decision, as it fits perfectly with their idea of having a total ecosystem.
As for navigating through the menus and options of the console, everything moves at a breakneck speed and the behavior is exquisite, but I felt a little lost at first.
I have to say that I come from PlayStation 4 and am quite used to its interface, so this may have played me a bad pass. So when I started fiddling around a bit to see the options I didn't quite fit in with what the Xbox Series X offered me.
It has a functional operating system, but with very few customization options, something I love. In addition, as it is structured the information displayed on the screen has been somewhat confusing.
The last thing you have opened always takes first place, moving the other apps or games one step further to the right and when you scroll up or down, other categories that you have included from the menu appear.
You can also access a kind of quick menu by tapping the Xbox button on the controller, where your trophies, latest open apps, the chat or even the groups you've created appear, but I found it a bit wasted.
Of course, everything moves wonderfully and looks frankly good.
The Quick Resume: the jewel in the crown, albeit with nuances.
The Xbox Series X is a real monster at the hardware level, capable of moving games at 4K and 120fps per second —all depending on the TV or monitor you use to play and the truth is that in games optimized for this console or those novelties that take advantage of internal features such as Watch Dogs Legion, Assassin's Creed Valhalla or Yakuza: like a Dragon, the result is amazing and wins many integers if compared to the previous generation—.
However, I will not dwell too much on everything related to the visual—for that you can go through the analysis of our colleagues Hobby consoles or computer today that put it to the test in a deeper way— and I will emphasize the functionality that has seemed to me the icing on the cake and without a doubt what I liked the most about the machine: the Quick Resume.
It is a feature that completely changes the way you face any video game. Imagine that you are killing a few demons in DOOM Eternal, but suddenly you want to continue your adventure in Halo.
The process is as simple as tapping the center button of the controller to bring up the menu, tapping the other game, waiting 8 seconds and the game is right where you left it.
Now think about how you currently do it: you have to close one game, open the other, pass all the opening credits, go through the menu, choose your game and wait for a loading time that can vary between a minute or three depending on the title in question.
The numbers speak for themselves and gives the player time that they did not have before and puts you to enjoy the game in a totally immediate way.
In my case, I've always been about passing myself an entire game and then going to the next, simply by sparing myself all that long process of starting a game.
Now, I do not stop pecking between one and the other since the change is practically immediate and I think it is an absolute category jump.
To achieve this, the machine makes use of its 1TB SSD disk —which seems very small given the size of some games, such as the Call Of Duty Black Ops: Cold War that eats 135GB of the system— which achieves that the load times are a thing of the past and give the user the key piece by which I consider this console a new generation machine: more time to play.
In addition, the console has an energy saving function that consumes very few watts when it is at rest that makes the ignition thing to hit the button of the controller and move almost automatically to the main menu.
However, despite all the goodness that quick summarizes has, there are things that I have not liked at all.
The first thing is that not all games have this functionality, even in their own titles like Gears 5 - although Microsoft says it is working on it— so in many cases you have to go through all those initial titles again before it starts.
The second thing is that I miss the console to point me with any type of indicative which titles have this functionality, since nothing is clear.
When I wanted to try the first time I even wondered if the console did not work properly, since I never loaded the point where I was, but started loading the game from scratch and it is something that happened to me on more than one occasion.
For the rest, it is a feature that seems like a thing of magic, especially considering that starting some game that another could be at least 5 minutes before I start playing.
The ecosystem, another of the key pieces of the experience.
One of Microsoft's clearest intentions with the Xbox Series X is to create an ecosystem that fits not only with the next generation machine, but with the mobile, PC or even Xbox One.
This is already seen when starting the console for the first time, since all the initial configuration is done from the mobile app, available for both iOS and Android, from where you can download the games directly or even enjoy the games on the mobile.
Not to be confused with Project xCloud, which uses the game in the cloud, since this system what it does is take the title that we have on the console and transfer it directly to the smartphone screen.
Plus, thanks to cloud saving, you can continue your game at the exact moment you left it from wherever you want. If you are on the console but now want to play it on PC, simply launch the title on the computer and you can continue playing from the last saved.
I'm clear: the controller is simply P-E-R-F-E-C-T-O.
I remember it again, I have always had Sony and Nintendo consoles so except for a couple of times when I had the Xbox controller in my hands, I had never enjoyed the Xbox Controller.
Now, after a while of use, I am clear that it is the most comfortable controller that I have had in my hands and without having tried the DualSense, of which they speak absolute wonders, I can only say that the experience is fantastic.
The first thing to highlight is the ergonomics of its design that fits like a glove. The triggers are perfectly placed and the asymmetrical joysticks make the experience even better.
As for the vibration transmitted by the controller I can not be more delighted. Two examples: in Forza Horizon 4 it conveys the perfect feeling of being driving in the mud or on the road, in Gears 5 it makes each weapon feel different and even the button exerts a certain pressure when pressed. One pass.
Finally, highlight the new additions to the controller: a share button that saves captures is a fantastic addition for lovers of saving clips and although I'm not a big fan of these things, it is a perfect addition.
The big problem? It does not have exclusive weight releases...
There is no doubt that the console is a real beast, but where the game is really won is with the games and here, sadly, I can not position myself in favor of the Xbox Series X because there is no launch title developed specifically for the machine.
It is something that always happens when a new generation is launched: the catalog is always concise, but there are a couple of titles developed from scratch to show their goodness.
On this occasion, there are no games that take advantage of the hardware and are exclusive of Xbox Series X, and the catalog is full of games (intergenerational) that also come out on other systems like Xbox One or PlayStation 4 as is the case of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs Legion, Yakuza Like a Dragon or Cyberpunk 2077, which will land in December and promises to be one of the best games of the year.
We have to be fair: all these games drink from the new hardware and the on-screen experience is reflected with better load times, better resolution or frame rate per second, but we have to make it clear that it stays halfway and does not give the feeling of being in front of a new generation console because there are no titles that squeeze
... but it has GamePass, an absolute gift for those who bet for the first time on a Microsoft machine, since there are all its exclusive games of past generations.
Of course, games to enjoy on the console there are many thanks to the backward compatibility, which will let you enjoy classics from previous generations and go up a step thanks to Xbox Game Pass, the video game service by subscription that offers a catalog of more than 100 video games of all kinds.
Not only are all the big exclusive from Microsoft as the saga of Gears of War, all Halo titles, the fantastic Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, or classics such as the collection of Fable or the gift for the nostalgic Rare Replay, but the library is full of great games of the generation like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Final Fantasy XV, Hollow Knight, or Alien Isolation, to name a few examples.
Obviously, if you have been a lifelong user of Xbox and you have a library of games bought over the years may not attract much attention and do not suppose a great incentive, but if you come from new to the ecosystem you have before you a simply spectacular collection where you can spend hundreds of hours enjoying everything it can offer you.
Xbox Series X has a simply incredible hardware that makes it clear that you are facing something big, but is left halfway by not being able to exploit its power due to the absence of games designed specifically for the machine
Without a doubt, this is the most complicated point of the whole analysis: do I recommend buying Xbox Series X? After a good time going around the answer, I can not decline the balance anywhere, since it all depends on the type of user you are.
The console is a real beast that makes games look better than ever. It is also frankly fast and manages to leave the loading times behind, something that for me has meant an absolutely radical change, but that absence of some title that another that squeezes the benefits of the machine makes me ponder a lot the answer about whether it is the right time to take the leap.
If as in my case you have never had a Microsoft console and you want to give it a try, I think you will not regret it. Not only for all that the console offers in terms of features, but the catalog that opens before you is of exceptional quality and the best thing is that the most grandiose Xbox you have just a button with the excellent Game Pass.
If on the contrary you have always been an Xbox user and you have in your possession an Xbox One X, I invite you to ponder the decision: you have before you a simply incredible console, but if you are looking for titles that squeeze the machine, you will not find them.
Anyway, if you are a technology lover, looking for your games to look better than ever and want to leave loading times behind, there is no doubt.
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