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Xbox Series X review: A next-gen powerhouse

(Pocket-lint) – Unlike most other technologies that opt for iterant upgrades yearly, gaming is usually a relatively static genre. Console generations linger for six to seven years before being fully replaced, with maybe one or two minor hardware updates and software refinements in the meantime.

That’s why there’s generally a massive fuss whenever a new generation arrives. Not only does it invariably bring greater graphical fidelity and hardware advancements, it traditionally rips up the copy book and presses the reset button.

Not so this generation though. While the Xbox Series offers a true technological leap with the sort of specifications you’d normally find in a top-line gaming PC, it also has its feet firmly planted in the existing Xbox ecosystem and therefore starts with access to thousands of compatible games from the get-go – many of them optimised and improved simply thanks to the console’s inner wizardry.

But does that mean if you’re already an Xbox One owner that there’s a distinct lack of initial wow factor from the Xbox Series X? Maybe, but as a future-looking console we suspect it’ll be wowing players for a while to come.

Our quick take

The Xbox Series X is undoubtedly an impressive games console. In fact, we’d go as far to say it’s barely a games console in the traditional sense at all. It’s a gaming PC, with the exterior to match, but at a fraction of the price.

That future-proof power is why it’s well worth the investment. As more games start to realise some of its potential, you can be safe in the knowledge that you have invested in a machine that’ll have the grunt to cope – and then some.

It is also silent – hence the big fan grille on the top – and while it may lack that initial wow factor, we believe its moment in the sun is further down the road, when that big engine under the hood gets the run out it deserves. Then it’ll be one thrill ride after another.

A good while has now passed since the Series X launched, and time has been kind to the console – in particular, the launch of gorgeous games like Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5 has helped to expand its library of next-gen titles.

Updates from Microsoft have also helped the console to guzzle less power and run less hot on standby, something that’s very much appreciated, while its dashboard has been upgraded to true 4K resolution, too. These small changes help, but the bedrock of the Series X is its superb power and the ability to run basically any Xbox game from the last decade.

That makes it a really great part of any home console setup, representing the past and present of console gaming in one box, and it’s still the most sensible long-term investment you can make if you’re a fan of Xbox consoles, in our opinion. The PS5 still probably has the edge in terms of major exclusives since launch, but which of the two you should opt for is a different kettle of fish.

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Ajmal Solangi is a Tech writer specializing in the intersection of tech and reviews. He likes tech news, mobile unboxing, reviews, gadgets, and more.

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