Review Xbox Series X: Microsoft’s colossal titan [análise/vídeo]

O Tecnoblog began its analysis of new generation consoles with the Xbox Series S, the smallest white console from Microsoft. Now is the time for you to check out what we think of Xbox Series X, its bigger brother, more powerful and with a totally different proposal: to be the option for those who want cutting-edge performance, no matter the price of the device.

Launching on November 10 worldwide, including Brazil, the Series X costs US $ 499 in the international market and R $ 4,599 here. It is not cheap or out there, so it is really a console that values ​​the latest technology. Whether it is worth catching now? Follow our review and find out.

Xbox Series X video review

Ethics notice

O Tecnoblog is a technology-independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our product reviews are opinionated and have no advertising intent. For this reason, we always transparently highlight the positive and negative points of each product.

No company, manufacturer or store has paid the Tecnoblog to produce this content. Our reviews are not reviewed or approved by external agents. The Xbox Series X was provided by Microsoft on an indefinite loan. The product will be used in future content.

The most powerful console

Let’s go to the basics, the initial presentations. The Xbox Series X is the new generation console from Microsoft that pairs with the Xbox Series S. It was announced at E3 2019, codenamed Project Scarlett, to later be made official with his definitive name at the Game Awards of the same year, in December.

Initially we all thought that Microsoft would enter the new generation with this model alone. After numerous leaks, the company confirmed, only in September 2020, that the Xbox Series S was also in production, with a release scheduled for the same date, November 10.

Series X came to be known as Project Scarlett (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

But the Xbox Series X is based on three very important pillars for the company today: power, service and backward compatibility. The company decided to embrace once and for all the concept of the “Xbox family” and establish a new generation that is not so different from the previous one, even though we have a much more powerful console.

This was a point that we debated in the review of the Xbox Series S. Incidentally, several of the criticisms we made there, such as the menu in the same format as the Xbox One or the absence of great exclusives to inaugurate the generation, also apply to this content about the Series X. Still, the black console has the enormous advantage of being also more powerful, distancing itself with this differential.

The price of R $ 4,599 in Brazil is not the most attractive. Originally it would have cost even more, R $ 4,999, but it had a cut in this amount, after the Brazilian government announced the reduction of the IPI, Tax on Industrialized Products. Still, whoever wants to invest may have good news to follow this path.

Unboxing

Here in the Tecnoblog, we’ve already made an unboxing with the Xbox Series X. For those who lost, here it is:

Like the Series S, the Series X comes in its box:

  • The video game itself
  • Control
  • Two batteries for control
  • HDMI cable
  • Energy cable
  • Quick installation guide
  • Warranty and safety paperwork

Be sure to check out the unboxing video to learn more about our first impression when both consoles arrived from Microsoft.

Almost a computer

The design of the Xbox Series X is quite curious. It was made to work in two positions: lying or standing. However, it is ideal for him to stand, either on a table, on a shelf or on a TV rack in his living room.

It was made to stand upright that comes with a base, which cannot be removed, to better align and provide security when positioning the console. When lying down, the base is exposed, which can be a little ugly or, at least, strange.

The Xbox Series X lying down, detail at the base (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

The Xbox Series X lying down, detail at the base (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Strange is also the look of the console, but not in a bad sense. When it was announced, the Xbox Series X generated jokes involving the black monolith from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. And it is not for less, remember.

In fact, it also resembles something else: a computer tower, albeit more compact. Its body is rectangular, with the following dimensions: 15.1 cm x 15.1 cm x 30.1 cm. The Series X weighs 4.4 kg, which is a very light weight, considering its larger size and the example of other newer consoles from Microsoft, such as the Xbox One X.

In its core, the Series X carries a host of new technologies. Its motherboard is positioned in a divided way, even due to the peculiar space that the format provides, but the ventilation seems to work and does not allow for overheating or any other related problem.

Series X plate is shown in the box (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Series X plate is shown in the box (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

At the top of the console, as we have already pointed out in the unboxing, the Xbox Series X has a huge opening with grills decorated with green paint internally. The visual effect is nice, but the grille is functional: it is there that all the air emitted by the gigantic cooler inside the console, the main responsible for keeping the device well cooled.

At the rear of the console we have a very compact and almost minimalist design for the entrances and exits. The Series X basically has the same connections as the Series S: two USB 3.0 ports, network cable input, power cable input, HDMI 2.1 output and a space for the Microsoft proprietary and official expandable storage card.

Back detail of the Xbox Series X (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Back detail of the Xbox Series X (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Along with the connections we have other small air vents, smaller than the ones above, but that complete the cooling scheme of the Series X – which seems to work very well, by the way.

What do you share with S?

The Xbox Series X has a lot of elements in common with the Series S, so I want to avoid becoming repetitive in this analysis. The control, for example, does not change anything, except for the color – it is black in this version.

Besides, it has the same improvements and additions of the model that we have already covered in the full review of the Xbox Series S. If you haven’t seen it, run to see it, but I give a brief recap here.

The Xbox Series X controller (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

The Xbox Series X controller (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

What’s new in control is:

  • The Share button, which shares content, video or photo, in the center
  • Smaller, more wrinkled and textured triggers to improve grip
  • Smaller and lighter body
  • Round D-Pad with raised directions

The same complaint I made in the other content is also valid here: the new control is noisy on the D-Pad. Quite. Sometimes even more than the noise of the Xbox menu. Remember that the controller still uses batteries, by default, with chargers and internal batteries sold separately.

Detail of wrinkled triggers (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Detail of wrinkled triggers (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

In addition, this controller works in the old generation and the Xbox One joystick also works here. That’s why he changed little. And those who are migrating from one device to another have the option to continue using the same accessory.

Speed ​​still counts

As with the Series S, speed is also an important point in the Series X. Here it is not just the result of solid memory storage, the SSD, but also due to the immense processing power that the console carries.

There are 12 teraflops just for graphics processing, a number higher than any other console, including the PS5. The Series X also has an eight-core processor and 16GB high-speed GDDR6 memory.

All of this is added to the architecture Xbox Velocity, which is the set of technologies behind the new devices from Microsoft, focused on giving a great experience to the consumer, based on speed, as the name suggests.

And speed isn’t just about faster game loading, between menus. It is seen when browsing the menu of the device itself, when turning on the console, when accessing a game from scratch, opening the closed game, entering the home menu and starting your session. Everything is very fast and little will last more than a minute, if at all.

The Xbox Series X is fast (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecoblog)

The Xbox Series X is fast (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecoblog)

The new generation high speed SSD is one of the main points. It also influences the download of the games. Although it depends on the user’s connection, it is possible to download games slightly faster, thanks to the transfer rate of 2.4GB per second.

The same happens when transferring content from one console to another, over the wired network or via Wi-Fi. That’s what I did when I started testing on the Xbox Series X without losing my Xbox One S content, which I already owned , and also from Series S. Games over 80GB, for example, were transferred from one device to another in less than 20 minutes.

Were it a download directly from Microsoft’s online store, it would take more time, but not that long either. The SSD is responsible for optimizing much of what the Xbox Series X represents speed, making the experience of playing the video game, and playing your games, much more enjoyable.

Speaking of which, by the way, the Series X has 1TB of storage on its SSD, with only 802GB being available for games. The size is much larger than the Series S, which offers just over 300GB, but can still be small. A game like Call of Duty Warzone weighs over 100GB, just like Halo The Masterchief Collection.

Halo The Masterchief Collection alone occupies some 100GB (Image: Microsoft / Disclosure)

Halo The Masterchief Collection alone occupies some 100GB (Image: Microsoft / Disclosure)

Still, it was possible to test the Series X with a large number of games, including some that I already played on Xbox One S and others that I downloaded exclusively to check the graphic power and speed of the device.

An important point that many remembered at the time of the Xbox Series S review is that its memory can be expanded with accessories and Microsoft’s own expansion card. But I remember back that the ideal is that users can make the most of the device without having to buy more accessories. So the analysis is about the console itself, disregarding the existence of facilities sold separately.

Some of the games tested

As is well known, the Xbox Series X bets heavily on backwards compatibility. Any game that runs on Xbox One, including backwards compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles, also runs on the new device. The exception, of course, is in titles that use Kinect in a mandatory way.

This was a great advantage when testing the most diverse games, available among those that were already in my Xbox Live account, through the subscription of Game Pass or EA Play.

EA Play is one of the Game Pass news in the Series X (Image: Microsoft / Disclosure)

EA Play is one of the Game Pass news in the Series X (Image: Microsoft / Disclosure)

I didn’t have access to any games on disc, but I made sure to check how the Blu-ray drive of the Series X behaved, using it to test some of my DVDs and BDs of films and series. They all ran smoothly, just like a regular Blu-ray Player. It was possible to choose scenes, switch languages, fast forward or stop and then remove the disc. Therefore, the Series X is also an option for those who still collect physical media from audiovisual productions.

Regarding games, among the titles we tested are:

  • Sea of ​​Thieves
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Halo The Masterchief Collection
  • Fortnite
  • Brutal Legend
  • Gears 5
  • Gears of War Ultimate Edition
  • Rocket League
  • Marvel’s Avengers
  • the Sims 4
  • Ori and the Blind Forest
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Star Wars Squadrons
  • Yakuza Like a Dragon
  • Watch Dogs Legion

Most of them were well behaved. Older games, which received no optimization other than the best load time, ran as well as possible. Some did not have access to a higher frame rate (the promised 60 or 120FPS), among them Brutal Legend and Alice Madness Returns, both from Xbox 360, but are more beautiful, thanks to the HDR effect, which improves the colors.

More modern and current games, like Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, Fortnite and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, these do take advantage of the power of the Xbox Series X.

Fortnite, on Series X, gained cloud effect (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Fortnite, on Series X, gained cloud effect (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

The Xbox Series X was made to be powerful, and showing it through resolutions and frame rates is critical. The device supports up to 120FPS and 8K resolution in some more extreme cases, if the user has the game and the TV suitable for these configurations. But these are the most extreme parameters! The normal of the Series X is to reach 4K and 60FPS, which is already something huge and much bigger than any other console today.

Ray-tracing is a separate show. It is really impressive that we have reached a point where it is possible to have this type of effect on a console, without loss of performance in the game. For those who don’t know, these are more realistic light effects, with reflections in a puddle of water, for example, or in mirrored glass.

Ray-tracing is clear in games like Watch Dogs and Forza Horizon 4 (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Ray-tracing is clear in games like Watch Dogs and Forza Horizon 4 (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

What matters in the Xbox Series X is that it is a console capable of doing all of this without dropping the shuttlecock. You don’t hear a huge noise from the cooler having to cool the video game while it struggles to generate these effects and you don’t even experience loss of performance at any time. The Series X is powerful. Very powerful.

The huge problem is that there is still no game made exclusively for this architecture, which makes the experience with the Series X great, but with that “incomplete” taste. The console, for sure, has a long way to go, but at the moment we are left with that feeling of untapped potential.

Conclusion

Even for R $ 4,599, a price that is still considered high, the Xbox Series X is worth the investment – but only if you make a point of entering the new generation of consoles now, as soon as it is released.

There are a number of pitfalls: there is no really new game that is strictly exclusive, the console menu does not show that it is a new generation and the big impression is that the Series X is just a new version, much more powerful , from the Xbox One line.

On the other hand we have a device with disk drive, access to the Game Pass, by subscription, good and reliable structure, in addition to other qualities.

Those looking for power will find it. The device is literally the most powerful on the market, if we follow its configurations to the letter, and has the potential to expand its horizons even further, as the generation develops and receives new games.

Xbox Series X: quality, despite the price (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Xbox Series X: quality, despite the price (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Of course, the price is not exactly cheap and for this reason many people may wait a little. Also take into account that Microsoft itself has committed to launch games for the Series X and S line and also for the Xbox One for at least two years. Thus, no one is forced to update their video game at home immediately.

If you don’t want to spend a lot, and don’t insist on huge power and still bring some benefits home, the Xbox Series S can be a much cheaper and more affordable option. Even so, whoever prefers the most expensive device and is a fan of the Microsoft line, will not regret it and will be able to check all the improvements up close.

Technical specifications

  • CPU: 8-core AMD Zen 2 – 3.8GHz
  • GPU: AMD RDNA 2 – 1.825 GHz – 12 TFLOPS
  • RAM: 16GB GDDR6
  • Performance: 4K @ 60FPS / 120 FPS
  • Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD NVME
  • Output: HDMI 2.1

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