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Unveiling the Xbox Series X: Design, Performance, and Gaming Excellence

by AM Tradez 22 Mar 2024
Unveiling the Xbox Series X: Design, Performance, and Gaming Excellence

Microsoft Xbox Series X is a video game console. It was released in November 2020 alongside the Xbox Series S, the less powerful counterpart of the Series X. The Xbox Series X is considered the more powerful of the two consoles, and is targeted towards gamers who want the best possible performance.

Design Perspectives and Functionality

The Xbox Series X, frequently likened to a compact PC when upright, receives mixed opinions on its design. While some perceive it as uninspired, others appreciate its clean aesthetic. Despite its size at 15.1 x 15.1 x 30.1 centimeters and 9.8 pounds, it is more compact than the PS5. Placement in an entertainment unit is challenging when upright, but soft pads prevent slipping when lying flat. Horizontally, the Series X may appear clunky, resembling an amalgamation of an audio amplifier and a brick. Yet, some users find it visually appealing when positioned discreetly behind a TV, offering a glimpse into the top vent with green accents.

The cooling system efficiently draws cool air from the bottom and releases it from the top, operating quietly with a slight warmth felt on the vent. Despite potential awkwardness behind a TV, the Series X looks appealing on a desk, particularly when connected to a high-quality monitor. Its design mirrors the clean aesthetic of the Xbox One X, featuring a white-glowing jewel Xbox power button instead of light bars or LED rings. Although not hailed as a pinnacle in tech design, the Series X's simple look is anticipated to age gracefully and seamlessly integrate into entertainment setups. 

Ports and Connectivity

The Xbox Series X features a minimalist front design housing a USB port and a Blu-ray disc drive, along with a controller connection button and external hard drive transfer capability. On the back, essential ports include HDMI for high-quality gaming, two USB ports for external storage, Ethernet, and a Kensington lock. Notably, it lacks older ports like optical audio and HDMI-in, potentially impacting users with robust audio systems. However, the HDMI connection supports Dolby Atmos and surround sound, eliminating confusion about cable placement. A notable aspect is the expansion slot for a special external SSD, enabling users to add 1 TB of fast storage to the Series X.

User Interface

The Xbox Series X's user interface closely resembles that of the Xbox One, disappointing some expecting significant changes. However, many find this continuity favorable as the existing UI is deemed effective for tasks like game management, data transfer, and display/audio adjustments. Retaining features from the Xbox One, users can remotely access their console and stream games via Wi-Fi, with future plans for cellular streaming through Project xCloud. Xbox Game Pass integration is prominent, showcasing new content for subscribers, though the UI may appear complex compared to the more straightforward PS4 interface.

Despite potential navigational challenges, those familiar with the Xbox One UI will find a sense of continuity. The Series X represents a progression within the Xbox ecosystem rather than a revolutionary shift. Notably, the UI introduces Quick Resume, enabling users to have multiple games open simultaneously and switch between them seamlessly, enhancing gaming flexibility. This feature is absent in the PS5, making it a notable advantage, particularly for short gaming sessions or transitioning between single-player and multiplayer experiences.

Graphics and Performance

Games on the Xbox Series X showcase its powerful graphics capabilities, with notable improvements seen in titles like Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Initially facing issues like frame rate drops and screen tearing, a substantial update addressed these concerns, aiming for a smooth 60 frames per second and dynamic resolution ranging from 4K to 1440p during intense in-game scenarios. Gears 5 received a substantial upgrade, running at a clear 4K resolution and 60 frames per second, with the option for 120 fps if the TV supports it. Despite occasional resolution adjustments during intense gameplay, the Series X maintains impressive visuals and performance enhancements, including better textures, improved lighting, advanced shadow details, and "screen space global illumination."

While Gears 5 doesn't fully leverage the Series X's super-fast loading feature, it still demonstrates swift loading times, taking under 10 seconds compared to the Xbox One X's 40 seconds or more. Red Dead Redemption 2, although not optimized for the Series X, exhibits significantly faster loading, reducing from over a minute on the One X to just 38 seconds on the Series X. However, the game's frame rate stays at 30 fps with a steady performance, leading to anticipation for a potential Rockstar update to enhance Red Dead Redemption 2 further on the Series X, potentially achieving 60 fps and 4K for an even more visually appealing experience.


The Xbox Series X, initially lacking a robust game library, now boasts compelling titles that epitomize next-gen gaming. Notable games like Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, Elden Ring, The Ascent, and Chorus are tailored to harness the console's advanced capabilities. Even cross-platform games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla perform notably better on the Xbox Series X. While these games are compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 11 PCs, many prefer the main Xbox experience, unless equipped with top-tier gaming PCs or laptops. The highly anticipated Starfield is set to be a significant test of the Series X's power, offering a vast sci-fi adventure and role-playing experience.

Backwards Compatibility

The Xbox Series X has lived up to expectations regarding backward compatibility, excelling in making old games accessible and enhancing their performance. Users can play Xbox games from any era by inserting the disc, while Xbox Game Pass subscribers enjoy downloading and playing titles spanning the original Xbox to the present. Despite initial appearances, old games load swiftly on the Series X due to the console's efficient hard drive installation. While there are some limits, such as games designed for 30 fps requiring updates for 60 fps, overall performance improvements are evident.

Xbox One games with specialized settings often optimize on the Series X's robust graphics power. Backward compatibility, operated in a specific mode, brings enhancements, though full graphical improvements may require future updates. Microsoft continually expands backward compatibility, adding 76 original Xbox and Xbox 360 games, with 37 supporting FPS Boost for smoother performance. The inclusion of Auto HDR further elevates visuals, making older games like Red Dead Redemption and Gears of War Ultimate Edition visually appealing. With ongoing improvements expected, the Series X stands out as the optimal platform for playing Xbox games, catering to both recent releases and timeless classics.


The new Xbox Wireless Controller builds on the beloved design of its predecessors, featuring subtle enhancements. While maintaining the familiar comfort of previous models, improvements include textured triggers, an updated D-pad for better accuracy, and the addition of a share button for easy screenshot and recording sharing. The controller has a matte finish, with a smokier black color, and the Xbox button is now all black. The feel is akin to the older version, with slightly smaller, more responsive triggers and improved clicking joysticks. Noteworthy is the continued use of AA batteries, although a rechargeable battery pack option is available. Microsoft also introduced the Xbox Wireless headset boasting a sleek design, Bluetooth connectivity, and support for advanced audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS Headphone:X, enhancing the gaming audio experience.
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