The Xbox Series X and Series S are here, and they’ve actually gotten better by removing some of the gimmicks and focusing on what really works.
Now, I’ve been playing with both the Microsoft Xbox Series X and the Series S and these are better consoles than the generation before because they’ve actually removed features and simplified things.
I call it reductive evolution, really getting rid of the stuff that you don’t need and focusing on the stuff that really works without trying to fix something that isn’t broken.
Now, if you go back to the Xbox One, when that first launched way back in 2013, they made a big deal about packaging it with the Kinect camera, it had a special port for it.
And eventually, they dropped the Kinect and that’s one of the parts of the Xbox ecosystem including the games that are not compatible with the new consoles.
Really, one of the only ones.
They also got rid of the HDMI in port.
Remember, the Xbox One had HDMI in an HDMI out because it wanted to be basically your cable box as well.
Now we have all these services, whether it’s a Sling TV or YouTube with Live TV that do a lot of that for you, they basically act like digital cable services.
So you don’t really need to go through that hassle of doing the HDMI in and out with the throughput so they got rid of that.
One thing they got rid of that I’m actually kind of sad about is the optical audio out, it’s not something everybody used.
I think I used it when I need to split the video signal and the audio signal for something.
But you know, AV people want what they want and that’s a very sort of c/netty feature to want to have in a console.
Now in the previous video, Jeff has already talked about the Xbox UI and how familiar it looks compared to the older Xbox menu system.
And about loading up games very quickly because this has got SSD storage versus an old spinning platter drive.
And how you can jump between games quickly using the quick resume feature.
What we haven’t talked a lot about is the actual Xbox Series X or Series S native games, and guess what?
We’re still not gonna talk a lot about that because at the time that we’re doing this, it’s about a week before the consoles actually go on sale in stores.
And there are still very few games available that are optimized for the Series X or Series S. I played a lot of Gears of War 5, I played a lot of Forza 4, these are both very nicely optimized.
You get some of the ray tracing effects here on the Series X, they output in 4K, really look great.
But it’s not a revolutionary experience over what you’ve had before, especially if you were playing on an Xbox One X, which is also a very advanced console that does 4K output.
There are a lot of holiday 2020 games, Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed, that will have Xbox series as optimizations at some point, either the week the console comes out or very shortly thereafter.
And you’ll automatically get those updates to the games if you’ve already downloaded the older kind of backwards compatible with Xbox One versions.
Now, we talked a lot about the Series X, there’s also the Series S it is less expensive, $300 versus 500, it’s smaller.
I think it has a cooler design frankly, it’s got a bit of a 70s space age stereo look to it.
The big things you’re giving up with the Series S over the Series X is it doesn’t have an optical drive, but I’m not an optical drive skeptic and I’m okay with that.
It’s got about half the storage, 512 gigabyte SSD versus that TB in the Series X. And even though the platforms are very similar, they’re all AMD based.
The GPU is not nearly as powerful because it’s built to output not at 4K, but add up to 1440, which is a little better than full HD and probably in a lot of cases, less than that.
But that means it can still do the ray tracing and the cool effects because it’s optimized to do it at lower resolutions.
I mean frankly, unless you have a gigantic TV and you’re sitting up close to it, I don’t think at least, at this stage, you’re gonna notice the difference.
I switched back and forth between the Series S and the Series X playing Gears of War, playing Forza.
And a little softer when you’re not doing it in 4K, but when you’re sitting couch distance away, I think you can definitely get away with it.
And if you think that spending 500$ on a new console is no big deal, maybe you haven’t met my friend 2020.
So if you want to get the 300$ Series S version, I think it’s a fantastic value and you’ll really get a lot out of it.
I think it’s probably the one a lot of people who should consider getting.
Whether you’re spending $300 on the Series, or $500 on an Xbox Series X, or even a PlayStation 5, it’s still a hefty investment.
But I think about the longevity of these devices, the previous generation came out in 2013.
So if Sony or Microsoft, they’re asking you to throw down 500 bucks every seven years or so.
To me, that’s a better long term value than some of these phone companies that want you to spend $1000 every 12 to 24 months for a fairly different new phone.
So that’s my way of saying even if you’re buying this new console in anticipation of the real native next gen games that are probably gonna come next year or the year after, I say go for it.