It’s a bit hard to believe that the launch of the Series S and X was more than two weeks ago and during that time, I have done a significant amount of research into the performance of the console. And by performance, I mean playing games on the matte new hardware.
If you are looking for a more technical review of the console and its features, you can find Paul’s post here or the first impressions post here that has a few more bits of info. At this point, we all know the specs, the size of the hardware, and the primary other details – there’s no reason to dive into those.
So, if all the above is true, then why am I here writing this post? The reason is that this is the best console that you should not buy…right now.
There is no doubt that the console is incredibly fast and it is also really dang quiet. Seriously, you cannot hear the console running, even during intense workloads – Microsoft did an incredible job of maximizing performance and cooling.
The dashboard loads instantly, games that support quick resume work incredibly well, and the visuals and performance when supported also look fantastic. The new controller is comfortable, and the sharing button is fast too.
Following the First Ring Daily podcast yesterday, I did plug my One X back in to compare the two devices and the changes are painfully obvious once you realize how much faster the new console is than the older device. But in-game, because all games on the Xbox are cross-platform right now, while there are visual differences and performance enhancements, it’s not a $500 difference.
The point here is that if you are fence about buying a Series X, you should absolutely wait a little bit. And fortunately, you don’t have much of a choice. At this point, if you want a Series X or S, you will need to have lady luck on your side as the new consoles are selling out as soon as they hit digital storefronts.
If you are looking for entertainment, take $50 and toss it at a Game Pass subscription and you will have more fun playing those 100+ games (including EA titles too) than you would with a next-gen console.
As I hinted above, it’s the support that’s lacking – or truly ‘next-gen’ titles. And by next-gen, I mean titles that support 120FPS, HDR, and crucially Quick Resume functionality because as of right now, that’s a very limited selection of titles all of which can also be played on the One X right now – albeit at a slightly lower visual experience.
Based on the launch of the Xbox One, the first price cut should come in about a year after launch, and during that time, a couple of games should be released that are truly ‘next-gen’ titles. When those games hit the shelves (including Halo Infinite) and the dashboard has more than 1 dynamic background, and there are many more optimized titles for Series S and X, you will get a much better ‘next-gen’ experience out of the box.
Right now, the launch is an early adopters playground which means you get about half the expected features that are listed on the side of the box when playing games. At best, gaming on the Series X/S is inconsistent with some of your favorite titles taking advantage of enhancements while others are stuck in the realm of yesterday.
For many, that’s perfectly acceptable; after all, being able to play games from any generation on Xbox is a fantastic benefit but if you are going to be playing those older titles, why not stick with your existing console and save a few bucks this holiday season? Because as of right now, there isn’t a single game on the Series S or X that isn’t available on the Xbox One.
There may come a time when titles will not work on the Xbox One but that day is not going to be anytime soon.
The Series X is a fantastic console, and the S is likely an even better console than the X for the vast majority of consumers. Of course, if you want the best, you will get the X but for the price of an S, you can buy roughly two years of Game Pass and an S and not be forced to buy another game during the first two years of ownership. Another option this holiday season, buy an Elite Series 2, the peripheral will enhance your gaming experience instantly and they are much easier to find than the new consoles.
The long-term outlook for the Series X is optimistic but time will be the true test to see if the promise of high-performant games lives up to the hype. But today, the promises of the Series S and X are still mostly that, promises. Yes, you can find a sampling of the experience in a couple of games but do you really want to pay $500 for that experience or would you rather pay $450 in about twelve months and know that you didn’t miss out on much during the first year?
Tagged with Xbox Series X