Part of the reason why the Xbox Series X is so chunky is because it has an optical drive. If you've still got a love for Blu-rays, DVDs, or games on a physical disc, this is the Xbox to get. However, if you've already migrated your games and movies to digital, the Xbox Series S may be better, though it's only capable of performance at 1440p and not 4K at up to 120 fps.
The Xbox Series X has three USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (one on the front and two on the back), an HDMI 2.1 out port, an Ethernet port and a Storage Expansion slot. I'm all for more USB ports, but I really wish at least some of them were USB-C ports instead of them all being USB-A. Even the PS5 has one USB-C port.
Compared to the last-gen Xbox One consoles, you'll notice the Series X doesn't have a Kinect, HDMI In, or Optical Audio ports. Nixing the first two ports makes sense considering Kinect is no more and connecting a cable TV box into the Xbox wasn't popular. But removing the Optical Audio port has upset some people. Xbox boss Phil Spencer explained why.
“We also, frankly, know how many people use it today on the console. So I know you do, but we see it. So we also kind of do the math of we have to put a part in every console that X percent of people use, is there a better place for us to spend that money if we can support it in different ways.”
All of this power translates to bigger and prettier games that run at 4K resolution with up to 120 fps in HDR. Most games will run at 60 fps, but game developers can unlock higher frame rates should they choose to. The Series X also supports HDR at up to 8K resolution, but let's be real: 8K TVs are still way too expensive for everyone.
We're nowhere near close to unlocking the full capabilities of the Xbox Series X. We've got tons of games to test in the coming months, backward compatibility performance to critique, and so much more. And does Xbox's launch really count until Halo Infinite comes out in 2021?
We'll have more thoughts and deeper dives on the Xbox Series X and its launch games in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, unless you have to have ray-tracing and the faster game loading times, there aren't many exclusive launch titles that aren't also coming out on Xbox One to justify the Series X yet. And that's OK! Microsoft doesn't really care whether you play games on Xbox Series X, S, Xbox One consoles, on PC, or via Android. That's the beauty of Xbox's cross-platform strategy: games work on whatever device you want to play on.
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