The Xbox Series X, the latest Xbox from Microsoft and also the first console to arrive from the latest generation, is set to arrive in stores November 10. The Xbox Series X starts in price at $499, and has been described by Microsoft as “an all-digital, next-gen console designed to deliver everything that is core to next-generation gaming—faster load times, higher frame rates, and richer, more dynamic worlds—in our smallest, sleekest Xbox ever.”
The first reviews of the Xbox Series X arrived Friday, ahead of the release next week, and it appears the new Xbox has received mostly positive notices.
The Verge compared the new Xbox Series X to “a next-gen PC,” giving it a score of 8 out of 10.
Microsoft has built what feels like an exciting PC upgrade experience in a console form,” the review said.
“The Xbox Series X comes the closest I’ve ever witnessed to re-creating the superior PC experience of playing games, thanks to SSD storage, a far more powerful CPU, 120Hz support, and impressive backward compatibility features that improve existing games. This is all inside a $499 box that’s quieter and far easier to use and maintain than the $3,000 gaming PC I built a few weeks ago.”
Engadget’s review called the new Xbox “a 4K beast in need of games,” as well as “an apology for the Xbox One in almost every way,” as that machine was outsold by the rival PlayStation 4. It received a score of 87, out of 100.
Engadget praised the “powerful hardware,” near-silent fan, and extensive backwards compatibility, while listing such cons as the lack of compelling new games at launch, and few titles that use “ray tracing.”
“It's being positioned as the ultimate gaming console, with far more performance than its previous powerhouse, the Xbox One X,” Engadget wrote. “This new machine can deliver 4K gaming more reliably, push up to 120 frames per second, and load games far faster than ever before. It'll even play all of your old games with better performance and HDR! It's as if Microsoft is just begging gamers to love it.”
CNN, however, suggested potential buyers wait to make the purchase, also noting the lack of major new games.
“That's not uncommon for consoles at launch, but in time, we'll see if gamers feel compelled to try the newest and flashiest console in the Xbox ecosystem over the $299 Xbox Series S, which offers slower load speeds and caps out at a lower 1440P resolution,” the review said. “In its current condition, it may need to do more to win over fans and convince them to upgrade. Our suggestion: wait for "Halo Infinite" to arrive, which will give us a true sense of whether Microsoft's next-generation console is really worth it.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.