Finally, a clear picture
This next-gen console reveal cycle has been excruciatingly patchwork. Both Microsoft and Sony have slowly unveiled bits and pieces about their new machines, never collecting all the information we want in one place. We’re left to go back to old information, apply it to the new details, hope we’re interpreting it correctly, and assume that some unspoken-of details aren’t mucking it all up. I guess that’s how marketing beats go but it can be so frustrating from a consumer’s perspective.
Finally, about two weeks away from next-gen’s launch, Microsoft has completely shown its hand. This Xbox Series X video gives a full overview of all the things it does well, and it’s all in one place just as you’d use the console. Xbox’s principal program manager Linus Tech Tips Harrison Hoffman walks you through the entire demo.
Let’s bullet-point the takeaways:
- Get a look at the new UI (which has also been pushed to every Xbox One in the October update).
- Xbox Series X optimization allows Gears 5 to run the same textures as ultra settings on PC.
- The Quick Resume feature made for a speedy transition from Gears 5 to Dirt 5. More importantly, it picked up right in the middle of the race where he left off. No need to go through splash screens and menus.
- Auto-HDR adds HDR to games that never had it before, making backward compatible games look a whole lot better.
- Sharing gameplay clips is best done through the new Xbox mobile app.
- The app can be used for setting up Xbox Series X while the console is downloading its day one update. It’s where you can do stuff like add accounts, put in wifi password, etc.
- The Xbox app also has remote play capabilities, so you can play games on your phone as they’re running on your Xbox.
- There are parts of the dashboard that are designed to help you find new Xbox Game Pass games. Absolutely everyone already knows this, but Game Pass is going to be a huge part of Xbox’s future.
- Both Xbox Series S and X should see improved download speeds over last-gen.
- The Seagate 1TB expansion card is absolutely tiny. It’s just as capable as the Xbox Series S/X’s internal NVMe SSD.
- However, backward compatible games don’t take advantage of the Velocity Architecture, so they don’t benefit from either the internal storage or the proprietary expansion card. They’re just as efficient on USB storage.
More or less all of this stuff was already messaged by Microsoft in some way. But, the platform demo puts it in one tidy spot so that we can see exactly how Xbox Series X runs. At long last, there are no more real question marks surrounding Xbox Series X and what buyers can expect.