A Few Thoughts on the Xbox Series X

With the next gen looming, and while Sony has kept things close to the chest with the PS5, earlier this week Microsoft released some new bits of information about its latest flagship console, the Xbox Series X. In an Xbox Wire post titled What You Can Expect From the Next Generation of Gaming, Phil Spencer laid out the power and promise of this beast of a black box that can play games and more. If there’s one sentence from the post that sums up Microsoft’s mission with the Xbox Series X, it could be: 

Compared to the previous generation, Xbox Series X represents a superior balance of power and speed in console design, advancing on all technological fronts to delivering amazing, dynamic, living worlds and minimize any aspects that can take you out of the experience.

Because this is pretty much what we’ve been hearing about the console since it was first announced. But that’s good, because missions, once planned, should be followed, and so should mission statements like this one. And after the Xbox One was touted as a provider of overall entertainment, it’s also good to read, as Spencer ended his post, that the XSX will be a gaming console at its core. One that will bring games to players more efficiently through some rather powerful hardware (ALL the teraflops!), the inclusion of an SDD (more storage is good storage!), a feature call “Quick Resume” (pick up your game where you left off with no load screens!), and the thing will be backwards compatible across four generations of Xbox games. For someone with a beloved but aging Xbox 360 that huffs and wheezes thorough most games, I, for one, must admit that sounds pretty darn tempting.

This isn’t to say that my household is all settled in on the XSX bandwagon. Because…and this might sound a little out of left field…I don’t know that it makes sense to hook it up to our current TV. It’s an older 4K, non-HDR model that we already know doesn’t support HDMI 2.1, which is part of the Xbox Series X specs. Now, I know that we don’t need HDMI 2.1 ports to use devices that support it, it just means that we can’t take advantage of any said device’s — such as the XSX —  4K settings. Which leads right to the fact that the thing also supports 120 FPS, which also wouldn’t matter with our TV. So it would seem that all the variable shading and raytracing in the world wouldn’t make the games look any better in our eyes. In a way, it’d be like if you were to hook up a world-class computer to an old monitor. What good is that? While this is far from the worst problem one can have, the thought of buying an XSX without first addressing, and paying for, a few technological upgrades doesn’t sound at all tempting.

As with every changeover between console generations, it’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out in the end. As for the situation in my house, I have a feeling that no matter which one we get first, the XSX or the PS5, we’ll have to figure out how to work them in with what we have, if we can at all.  No matter if you’re Team Sony or Team Microsoft, each console will have its own upsides and downsides per player.

So what do you think of the Xbox Series X? Will you be first in line to get it, or will you stay on the sidelines? Because that’s probably where I’ll be, clutching my darling Xbox 360 until it has nothing left to give.

[Article source: Xbox Wire]

Lede image © Microsoft Corporation.


  1. I agree with your reasoning for not feeling sold on getting the new Xbox when you don’t have a display capable of taking full advantage of the capabilities of the system, but I will say that raytracing can definitely make a HUGE difference in games, if they’re fully realized. Part of the problem with the way raytracing has been marketed on the PC at least, is that few games actually use the feature to its fullest. Metro: Exodus does, and if you want to see a truly mindblowing example, there’s the Quake raytracing tech demo.

    I’m still waiting to see what the benefits are going to be, but I have a feeling we’ll be waiting for a while longer to get more details.


    1. cary says:

      (Ooof – your comment ended up marked as spam, sorry!) I am way out of the loop concerning raytracing, but I’d love to learn more. (Will have to check out that Quake demo – thanks!) Without knowing much about Sony’s plans for the PS5, this aspect certainly makes the Xbox Series X sound more appealing than less. But in the end, I’m riding the “wait and see” train, too.


      1. “Wait and see” is probably the best approach to new release electronics anyway. Keeps you from jumping in and dealing with issues like RROD and BLOD, or dealing with poor driver support.


  2. cary says:

    Reblogged this on Recollections of Play and commented:

    New tech is always fun, and it’s even more fun when it involves games! Though it seems we might have to wait a while longer than first thought for the newest of the new game consoles, it’s still fun to look at what “might be,” like I did here on Virtual Bastion with the Xbox Series X.


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