The Xbox Series X represents a huge leap forward for gaming as a whole. It’s the top-performing version of Microsoft’s already powerful Xbox platform.
But at the same time, there’s a reason why there are always multiple consoles on the market.
No single console is a perfect fit for everyone, and knowing whether the Xbox Series X is right for you means considering the following advantages and disadvantages.
Main Pros of Xbox Series X
The Xbox Series X is one of the most powerful consoles ever made. As you’d expect, that position comes with a lot of perks.
The following in particular are among the most important advantages to consider when deciding whether the Xbox Series X is a good match for your needs.
1) Excellent Game Pass Value
What if you could get access to a continually growing library of games and never have to buy a single one of them to play? That’s the concept behind Microsoft’s Game Pass.
For the cost of a small monthly subscription fee, you’ll gain access to a vast library of games. And as long as you stay subscribed, you’ll be able to play them for free.
This is especially impressive because the cost to buy even one of the games on Game Pass is typically more than you’ll pay for the monthly subscription.
You’ll typically find a lot of lower-priced and indie games on Game Pass we well. But it also has a steady stream of renowned games from major studios.
It’s not just a great way to play individual games either. Longer-running series often have early entries on Game Pass.
So if you’ve heard about a franchise getting a new release and want to get up to speed then there’s a chance that Game Pass will have you covered.
2) Quick Resume Feature
Generations have grown up lamenting the loss of their progress in a game due to the unavoidable complications of life.
No matter how important a game is there’s always going to be limitations on how much time you can devote to a single session.
Autosaves, and even manual saves, can help. But everyone’s had those moments where they need to get up at that exact moment when saving is disabled. But that’s also where the Xbox Series X Quick Resume comes into the picture.
Quick Resume lives up to its name too. You can easily and rapidly jump out of a game and then right back into it.
And that holds true even if you turn the console’s power off. It lets you essentially game on your own schedule without having to worry about it getting in the way of your life.
3) Great backwards compatibility for games
The Xbox Series X is backwards compatible with the Xbox back catalog. You might be waiting for clarification on which Xbox console that compatibility is referring to. But that’s the magical thing about the Xbox Series X.
The console is backward compatible with everything from the Xbox 360 to the original Xbox. That means you have access to games dating all the way back to 2001. That’s multiple decades of revolutionary titles to experience.
It’s true that there are exceptions to the rule. For example, the Kinect isn’t compatible with the Xbox Series X. That means games that require the Kinect won’t work on the Xbox Series X.
And compatibility with games for the original Xbox console isn’t as extensive as what you’ll find when playing more recent games with backward compatibility.
But despite those occasional hiccups, the Xbox Series X has some of the strongest backward compatibility ever seen on a home console.
4) Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos support
The Xbox Series X and S were the first game consoles to support Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
These powerful technologies help to create more immersive multimedia experiences with enhanced audio and full-spectrum visuals.
However, keep in mind that this cutting-edge experience also requires your non-console equipment to meet certain requirements.
For example, you’ll need a Dolby Vision-enabled TV, and the top-tier audio is best experienced with equally robust headphones.
5) FPS boost and HDR for older games
You’ve already seen just how impressive the Xbox Series X backward compatibility is. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The console doesn’t just offer support for those older games – it can enhance them as well!
It’s true that the results aren’t going to quite live up to what you’d find in an official enhanced port. But the Xbox Series X can still do some pretty amazing things to an older game’s performance.
The system will often be able to break through older games’ locked framerates. For example, a game that was locked to 30 fps on the Xbox 360 might be able to run at 60, or even 120, fps on the Xbox Series X when using its backward compatibility.
And you’ll often be able to get added HDR support as well. All of this makes the Xbox Series X one of the best ways to play older Xbox games.
It’s a testament to the system that the best way to play many older Xbox games isn’t to pair them with the original hardware. It’s to try out old games in a new way with an Xbox Series X.
6) You can find very cheap used games
The topic of inexpensive games has already popped up in a few different contexts.
For example, the Xbox Series X has great gaming value thanks to the money you can save with Game Pass and backward compatibility.
But just as a general rule, you can expect to find some great deals on older games for your Xbox Series X.
Some of this does come from the fact that you can run games from older Xbox consoles on this newer iteration.
But the console as a whole also tends to have a lot of great deals on newer titles as well.
The market for Xbox Series X is dynamic and there’s a constant influx of new releases. This means that there’s also a constant stream of people selling their older games to concentrate on the newest releases. This translates into a great market for cheap used games.
7) 4K Gaming at 120 Hz
The Xbox Series X packs some seriously impressive hardware. But you might not even realize just what it’s capable of when you’re playing a random game on the average TV.
One of the key differences between the Xbox Series X and S is their respective resolution.
The Xbox Series X can support resolutions up to 4k at 120 Hz. However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind.
The first is that you’ll need to make sure you’re using an HDMI 2.1 cable. A standard HDMI cable doesn’t support the high data speeds needed for the Xbox’s 4k output.
You’ll also need to make sure that the TV you’re using supports 4k. And, finally, keep in mind that games need to specifically support 4k.
Main Cons of Xbox Series X
The Xbox Series X is notable for the number of advantages it brings to the table. But no console is perfect and the Xbox Series X does have some downsides to consider.
Whether this console is the best option for your gaming needs depends on how well the prior pros weigh up against the following cons.
1) Xbox series X controller comes with standard batteries
People often assume that they’ll be able to plug any mobile, powered device into a standard USB charger.
But that’s not the case for the Xbox Series X controller. In a move that might seem a little anachronistic, Microsoft decided to use physical batteries with the gamepad.
However, this actually makes sense for a controller since you don’t have to wait for it to charge back up again.
When your batteries get low you can just swap them out. Instead of waiting for your controller to charge you can be back into the game within seconds.
At the same time though, there are some obvious downsides to using AA batteries. Probably the most significant is that you’re going to run through the two AA included with your Xbox Series X pretty quickly and need some kind of replacement.
Thankfully there are methods to mitigate the need to constantly buy new batteries for your controller.
While the gamepad isn’t rechargeable, you can use standard rechargeable AA batteries with it.
Though of course, that also means you’ll need to get a battery charger to charge those batteries up between use.
You can also use specially designed battery packs that will fit right into the Xbox Series X controller.
This effectively converts the gamepad into a rechargeable device. However, buying a battery pack does add some additional costs.
Especially if you want to make sure that you have multiple gamepads ready for play at all times.
This all comes down to keeping your gamepad charged up being a little more complicated than doing the same for your phone.
But it’s less of a detriment than it might seem to be at first glance. Instead, you simply need to decide which charging option you want to go with rather than having a single default option from Microsoft.
2) Not very good exclusive games compared to Playstation
System launches tend to go along with an exciting list of exclusives to expect for that platform.
The Xbox Series X had a somewhat lackluster list of launch exclusives compared to Sony’s PlayStation.
Even Halo appeared on multiple platforms, with Halo Infinite having a simultaneous launch for the Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Windows.
This lack of exclusivity hasn’t changed much over time. The fact that Microsoft has stakes in the success of both Xbox and Windows means that some level of cross-platform support with its own IPs is generally going to be the norm rather than the exception.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t some fantastic Xbox exclusives out there. But in general the Xbox Series X has been one of the best, rather than the only, way to play specific titles.
3) Lacking User Interface
One should always strive to make a good first impression. But the Xbox Series X really doesn’t live up to that old adage.
When people boot into the console for the first time they’re presented with a new user interface. And it’s a UI best described as a jumble of options without much coherency.
On top of that, a user doesn’t really have much control over that presentation. You can clean it up to some extent, but in general, the Xbox interface can feel strangely out of place with typical console menu navigational concepts.
That said, the user interface and general UI system is a secondary concern at best when compared to the actual game that you’re playing on the system.
The UI isn’t particularly elegant. But it doesn’t really get in the way of playing your games. And that’s where the bulk of your time with an Xbox Series X will go.