It’s here! XBOX SERIES X REVIEW – Testing 4 generations of Xbox games!
Review of the Microsoft Xbox Series X game console & 4 generations of Xbox games!
– Hey guys, Metal Jesus here. And today is a great day because it is the start of a next console generation. And Microsoft has sent me the Xbox series X for review. So in this video, we’re gonna talk about the hardware and we’re gonna play four generations of Xbox games on it. This is gonna be awesome, let’s take a look.
Now, I’m gonna go ahead and start with the hardware, but I assume at this point, most of you have probably watched unboxing videos and things like that so you’re probably somewhat familiar with the design of this. This sort of black monolith here. Although I have to be honest that when I did unbox it and look at it, it actually was a little bit smaller than I expected it to be based on photos I saw. You can see it here sitting with other consoles in my game room for a size comparison. And then really here it is compared to two Game Cubes. So it’s a little bit taller than two Game Cubes, but not by much. A big selling point for the Xbox Series X model is of course the ability to play physical media. So it’s got that DVD Blu-ray slot there on the front. Now, I get the feeling this is primarily designed to be stood upright on its end like you see here. But I do wanna point out that there are some rubber nubs here on the side where you could also put it on it side like that if it’s a little bit more convenient for you, but I like the look of it actually standing up. And then on the top, you’ll notice there are some vents and if you look down there closely, actually there is a massive fan that spins while it’s running. I guess the way it works is that it sucks air from the bottom and pulls it out through the top. I will say, though, that it is very quiet. In the week or so that I’ve had this thing, running tons of games on it, it wasn’t very loud at all, so that’s really nice. On the back, you have two USB ports. You have an ethernet port, there’s where your power goes, your HDMI out. And then notice that there is a storage expansion port and that is something that I think a lot of us are gonna be taking advantage of this generation. We’re gonna get into more detail of that in a bit.
When it comes to the new controller, I think Microsoft was probably thinking, well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it because in many ways, the new Xbox Series controller feels very similar to the Xbox One controller, which is not a bad thing because that’s a controller I really liked, although there are some subtle differences here. The obvious one being the D pad. Instead of having the typical cross like you had in the Xbox One controller, it is now a concave D pad, which is actually similar to the elite controllers that you had last generation. And I have to say I like this a lot; it’s very comfortable. Here you see me playing SSX 3. This is an original Xbox game that uses both the thumb pads as well as the D pad a lot. This is obviously a game that I know really well and you do use the D pad a lot when you’re doing tricks. And for me, it was very easy to play this game. I was able to play for hours with that D pad and I just like it a lot. Another change that they made is that it’s slightly more textured underneath the controller on the handles. And you’ll notice it immediately when you pick it up. It actually feels really good. I wouldn’t say it’s rubberized, and I wouldn’t say that it’s hard either. It’s really interesting to hold. It definitely feels like it’s gonna stay in your hands longer if you get sweaty, so I think it’s a very good thing. Another change is the share button there so you press it once to do a snapshot, you hold it down to capture a video, and then you double tap it if you just wanna bring up your gallery of media. But there was one thing about the new controller that I wasn’t crazy about and I was kinda baffled with. And that is the new triggers. So, for the most part, the triggers work just fine in 99% of the games that you might play. However, you guys know me, I love my arcade racing games and so one of the first backwards compatible games that I put in was Split Second on the Xbox 360. Now you see me playing the game just fine here, but I immediately noticed that, when using the right trigger, and I would let go, it would almost kinda feel sticky. It’s really hard for me to kinda describe, but basically it’s almost like the controller was sort of holding onto the trigger for just, you know, half a second, it was really weird. I noticed it immediately, it was almost like, again, it was just sticky, but it’s not because if you’re outside of the game, the trigger works fine. But inside the game, it would hold onto it for just a little bit. So I was really curious, like okay, is this just the controller? Is mine maybe a little bit defective or acting kinda weird? So I switched over to this purple Xbox One controller and played the game just fine. So it’s definitely something with the new controllers. It’s not every game; I don’t want you to think that. It’s just that some of these arcade games when you’re holding down the right trigger, it just holds onto it for a second. I thought that was really weird. And I do wanna mention that I did update the firmware for the controller. I was actually prompted to, when I first set up the Xbox Series X, so it’s a little odd. Maybe it’s something that can be fixed in the future, and I wanna be clear. I’m not necessarily saying that the controller’s defective. I honestly don’t know. I’m gonna very curious to see if other reviewers noticed it. It’s weird because it doesn’t happen in all games; it just seems to be some of these Xbox 360 arcade games that have you just holding down that trigger the whole time. And like I said, it doesn’t do it with previous generation controllers. Very weird.
As for the hardware in the console itself, well, you know, this is the latest and greatest coming from Microsoft and it’s the next generation of consoles, so of course it’s gonna be extremely beefy out of the gate. And the specs for the Xbox Series x are really impressive. Now, I’m not gonna get into the terra flops and the RAM and all that sorta stuff because I think most gamers just wanna know, okay, what do I actually get from all this? And basically this generation of consoles is really preparing you pretty much for the best 4K experience that you can get out there. But also for the future when you might get, say, an 8K television at, like say, 120 hertz. And the other big benefit is just extremely fast load times. When it comes to the visuals, well, you can see my TV here. It’s relatively new and supports up to 4K. And I’ll admit, games look gorgeous on this. You see me playing the new Yakuza game here like a dragon. I noticed immediately how detailed Japan streets look in this game. Now, I know the Yakuza games have been doing this for a while, but you know, coming back from Japan last year, and seeing this right here, what I noticed was just the little details in the signs. Again, I’m not necessarily saying this is next generation graphics or anything. I think you could probably do something similar, you know, previous generation. But it doesn’t look bad. It’s funny ’cause I was actually stopping and just looking around the city; it was very cool. And by the way, at this point, I should probably mention that you are watching this game play footage in 1080P and not 4K. And the reason for that is because the way I’m capturing the footage here is using a hog pog video capture device right there, connected to my laptop. It’s the best that I can do currently. So I can’t actually capture raw 4K footage yet, but I’m working on it.
Here is Gears five, a game that already looked really great on the Xbox One X, but now it has been patched and updated to take advantage of some of the new hardware on the Xbox Series X. Playing through this, it’s, again, these Gears games are so well made and look great anyways. I can’t necessarily say it’s that noticeably better, but it definitely runs great, plays great, I was having a ton of fun. And then here’s Forza seven, and a couple things I noticed on here that I thought were pretty cool little touches were, for instance, the multiple mirrors that let you see behind you when you’re driving in the trucks. I don’t remember if previous versions did that, but it was something again that I noticed that it’s rendering as you’re playing. Also, the white leather gloves when you’re driving in the Volkswagen Golf, looks really real. Plus, notice actually that there is a reflection of the steering wheel on the underside of the windshield. I thought that was a really nice touch. Now, I know that Forza Seven’s been out for a couple years, so probably people who are familiar with the series already know about those little details, but it was really cool for me to see that running in 4K on my television at a high frame rate. It was very impressive.
And then there’s the talk about the new generation and all of the improved load times. And I’m here to tell you that that is absolutely true. I think that’s one of the features that’s gonna really get people excited and interesting in upgrading to the next generation because it’s definitely a leap forward. So for instance, here’s me just waking up the Xbox Series X from sleep mode. It’s instantaneous as you can see. I mean, literally it’s just a couple seconds at the most. But let’s go ahead and take a look at a better example. This is Red Dead Redemption two, a game that is notorious for its long load times. So on the left you have the Xbox One X version, and then on the right you have the Xbox Series X. Now, these games are the same game disk, they are using the same patch, so they’re the same version. And they are also using my same save file. And what you’ll see here is that Xbox Series X boots up in about 30 seconds, while the Xbox One X continues to chug along adding about an extra minute. So it’s very impressive what the new console does.
Here’s another test I did with Call of Duty Modern Warfare two. So from the time that I click to start the game, it starts booting into it. It’s actually going to sync with my save game over the network real quick there, and then basically I’m in playing the game in about 26 seconds. I thought that was pretty impressive. I don’t remember what it was on the Xbox One X, but that’s pretty fast.
The other feature that Microsoft has been touting for the Xbox series of consoles is quick resume. Now, the idea here being that any game that’s optimized for the Xbox series will have quick resume built in, which allows the system to basically take a snapshot of where you’re at. And then you can go back to it pretty much at any time. For instance, I’m playing Hot Shot Racing right now, and then if I bring up the menu by pressing the button on the controller, and then scroll down and choose Forza Seven, then as you see here, it flips over to a quick save I’ve already created, or I guess the system already created the last time I played it. It takes about a second or two, and then you’re back in the game exactly where you left off. And it’s kinda funny doing this in driving games, especially when they’re so different as an arcade racing game and then going to Forza Seven. But then let’s go ahead and bring up the menu again, go ahead and swing back to Hotshot Racing, and here we are. And so this is definitely a cool feature if the games support it and I think most of them probably will because this is incredibly handy going forward. I can see this being very useful ’cause a lot of gamers like us are bouncing around from one game to the next.
And while we’re on the subject of hard drive space and stuff like that, let’s go ahead and talk about file sizes because this is gonna be an issue I think in the next generation with games getting just so massive. So this console here, the Xbox Series X comes with one terabyte of storage, which may sound like a lot, and I think for, you know, starting off, I think it’s a pretty decent size. However, I quickly filled it up. Now, I might be a special case because I was doing a lot of testing. I immediately put about 30 games on the hard drive ’cause I’m reviewing it and I’m putting four generations of Xbox games on it, but let me tell you, as you see here, file sizes are all over the place. Now, older games are gonna be smaller, newer games are gonna be many many gigabytes. And so I think this is gonna be an issue for this generation because again, just games are so massive and there are so many options out there. And again, especially on the Xbox Series because it has all that backwards compatibility and so you are tempted to just load in every Xbox game you own, but again, be aware you’re gonna fill that hard drive. And this isn’t necessarily an Xbox issue either. It’s gonna just be every console going forward. When you have all these games downloading and installing on the hard drive, especially if you consider Game Pass and all the games that you get access to, man, it’s so tempting to just fill that hard drive up.
And speaking of backwards compatible, while you guys know that I love collecting for Xbox and again, I have so many great games I was so interested in checking out on here, starting all the way back with the original Xbox. You know, one mistake I do need to correct though. And that is a couple months ago when I was first talking about the Xbox Series, I made the assumption and I thought was true is that the new console was gonna work with just pretty much every game ever released on an Xbox console. And man, I really wish that was the case, but sadly that is not true. It basically requires additional licensing as well as work from Microsoft to bring those older titles up to the current generation. So I thought all my previous Xbox games were gonna work on this, sadly not all of them do. Although I do have to say, it is hundreds of titles. You see here going through the menu, this is the Microsoft store that you get access to on the Xbox, you can see all of the previous generation right here, and this is everything from the Xbox to the Xbox 360. It’s pretty impressive how many games are here, but you know, it’s not all of them.
And so I’m gonna throw in a couple games here including Morrowind. I don’t know if anyone who actually played Morrowind on the original Xbox when there were so many great mods for it on the PC, but it does look and run really well here, probably as good as it ever did. Probably a better example is Panzer Dragon Orta, which is a game that was exclusive to the original Xbox and basically has better graphics here. Now, to be fair, these were basically re-released or updated for the Xbox One and that’s the version that you’re playing here. So it’s not necessarily new, but again, it’s running in 4K, it looks great.
Now let’s go ahead and throw in some Xbox 360 games, and I do find that there is more support for Xbox 360 games. I picked a handful of them here that I wanna check out, including Splinter Cell Blacklist. This is a game that I really enjoyed when it came out just because it was a little bit different. And jumping back into it here, I was kinda surprised and blown away by just how good this game still looks and plays today. It’s funny because I’m capturing all the gameplay footage in this video and every once in a while, I get sucked back into one of these old games again, and this is definitely one of them. I’m capturing the gameplay footage here and then hours go by and I’m like, oh crap, I gotta try other stuff too. Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a game that, when it came out, I was very excited for because I felt like it finally got back to its roots of what made Deus Ex so great to begin with. Such a great game, and again, it’s really fun to play even today. And then of course Mass Effect Two, one of my all-time favorite RPG’s. This was a game that I think just got everything right; the characters, the story, the graphics, the combat, you know, the morality system in here. Such a great game, so much fun to replay.
And of course I have a bunch of Xbox One games I’ve been playing over the last couple years that work on the Xbox Series. And you’ll notice that, in the packaging of some of the more recent ones, at the top there, it will actually say Xbox One/Xbox Series X. Now, the caveat is that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a difference in the game itself. It just means that it will work. I think in some cases, some of the developers are releasing patches that maybe unlock the frame rate or something like that, but just be aware. And as you would expect, those Xbox One games running on the Series X look great. Here is Star Wars: Squadrons, a game I just recently picked up so I’m not super far into this game, but as you guys know, I’m a huge Star Wars fan, I’m a huge fan of Thai Fighter and X Wing back on the PC so this is one I’m really looking forward to playing, as well as Crash Bandicoot four, it’s about time, and if I didn’t mention it before, again, one of the nice things that Microsoft does with all this backwards compatibility is that your save game transfers from, say, your Xbox One over to your Xbox Series X. So again you don’t have to restart all these games, which is super nice, so again, with Crash four, I put in the game and install to the hard drive of the new console, and then I just synced my saved game and I just picked it up and started right where I left off. As well as some other games here, including Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Also gonna play some Tony Hawk Pro Skater one and two. And again, you know, I don’t necessarily think you’re getting a lot of benefit on the Xbox Series X other than perhaps you could connect it to an 8K television, and of course you will benefit from the quicker load times. I guess I should say unless the game is optimized to take advantage of the new hardware, or they release a patch to do that.
Now, I know people were curious, myself included, to see if Microsoft was gonna change the Xbox interface for the next generation. And as you can see here, it’s pretty much a carbon copy of the Xbox One interface, which I think is both good and bad. When I first got an Xbox One, I found this interface to be, well, frankly pretty confusing because I wasn’t exactly sure where everything was. I mean, it’s cool because there’s a lot of stuff going on and it’s pretty easy to get lost in it and find games and stuff like that. But it’s also a little bit difficult to kinda figure out where is your screenshots and your media at? Where do you find settings and things like that? So I guess Microsoft probably took an approach of if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. But me personally, I think it would’ve been pretty cool for Microsoft to kind of redesign the interface a little bit, make it a little bit special, a little bit different to kind of, I don’t know, put a stake in the ground that this is the new interface for a new generation of Xbox consoles, but they decided to not do that.
So what are my final thoughts on the Xbox Series X? Well, despite some of the issues that I ran into, which I think will probably be fixed by firmware updates and software updates, I really do like the hardware. Microsoft is taking what they did so well with the Xbox One X, a console I really really love playing, and just poured it all into this Series X and made it even better. So I think the future of the console is very good, but let’s be honest, the launch titles for this system are pretty mediocre. I mean, there’s no one title, at least in my opinion, that just screams must play on this console. And so the fact that they have such excellent backwards compatibility with four generations of Xbox games, plus when you factor in game pass, there’s a lot to love with this. So even though there’s not a lot of launch games out of the gate, well, there are still hundreds of games that you can play.
Now, I’ve been trying to decide if I think people should get it if they have the Xbox One X. And I have a hard time recommending it because the game play experience from the Xbox One X to the Xbox Series X, I don’t know if you’re gonna notice a whole lot of difference other than just the shorter load times when you’re playing your games. I think we need to get a little bit further along, maybe into next year where there’s gonna be some amazing Xbox exclusives. Me personally, if there was fable on this, if there was a brand new fable on this, I would say heck yeah or Halo or something like that. I guess my point is I think if you are on the fence, you can probably wait a little bit. The other thing too is if, you know, if you never did get an Xbox One or and Xbox One X, then maybe you skip that generation of Xbox, then this might be a really good time to jump in on it.
So you know, that’s kinda my thoughts on that. Love to know what you guys think down in the comments below. Did you pre-order the Xbox Series S or X? And what are your thoughts so far? Love to know. All right guys, thank you very much for watching. Thank you for subscribing and take care.