Console wars: A new generation of speed – Xbox Series X review

by Adnan Basic / Head Copy Editor

It may not be pretty, but the Xbox Series X is certainly efficient. Photo courtesy of Polygon.com.

After seven long years of waiting, gamers were finally able to get their hands on the latest generation of gaming consoles this November, as the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 were both released within days of each other.

Like many others, I was forced to choose between the two systems. Coming in at an approximate price of $550 each, getting both was simply an unrealistic dream. Thankfully I never really worried about my decision. All my friends were on Xbox, so I would be staying on Xbox as well. My (now old) Xbox One had never done me wrong either, which made staying loyal incredibly easy.

It’s no surprise that both consoles were in high demand, making it nearly impossible to get your hands on one. The hype was through the roof, and with the coronavirus pandemic meant there would be limited quantities as well. Luckily for me, I somehow managed to preorder my Series X through Amazon on the first day they were available, even if it did take nearly an hour of refreshing various websites.

On Nov. 10, it arrived. One of its biggest benefits was clear to see almost immediately, as setting up the Series X took no time at all. The cables and ports were clearly labeled, and getting it turned on was remarkably simple. Once that was done, the beauty of modern day technology shone through, as I was able to set up almost everything on my phone through the Xbox app.

Then came the disappointment. For some reason, there were absolutely no changes made to the main menu screen. Sure, it was still sleek and easy to navigate, but it didn’t feel new. It was like I was back on my older system, which wasn’t the best feeling to have right away.

Getting to the gameplay improved my spirits. There aren’t many games to play yet since the console came out so recently, but the ones I was able to load up were good enough for the time being.

Everyone knows the viral video where the guy is sat in a car screaming “WHY WE GOING SO ******* FAST” even though it’s not actually moving? Well, that is the best way to explain how fast the loading times are on the Series X.

I’m used to starting up a game and tapping away on my phone as I wait a few moments for it to load. Now, with the Series X, I don’t even have the time to take my eyes off the screen before my game is done booting up.

The graphics aren’t too special just yet, but that’s because developers haven’t been able to make the most of the upgraded systems. Things do look a little better, of course, and it’s insane to think about what the future has in store.

One concern is that my Series X has crashed on me more than my old Xbox ever did. It’s the same thing happening every time, as the screen freezes and a loud buzzing noise is emitted for a few seconds before the system restarts itself. It’s only a little annoying for now, but I am worried it’s causing long-term damage to the system. 

Last but not least, the controller has been modified ever so slightly. There are now tiny little bumps on the back that should help in terms of grip. It feels awkward at times, especially when it’s warm and your hands sweat a little, but I might just need to get used to it. The D-pad (directional pad) has also been changed, but that update will be a meaningless one for most casual gamers.

All things considered, the Series X is still a clear improvement over gaming systems of old, and the best thing is that it will only get better and better as the years go on.

8 out of 10 Torches



Categories: Opinion, Technology

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