Xbox Series X – One Dislike, Three Likes – featuring Seagate
Just ahead of the holidays, Xbox Canada sent over the Xbox Series X for us to use to review their hottest games in 2021, and there are going to be a few bangers for sure. Over the last few weeks, however, I’ve been playing Xbox Series X enhanced versions of some of my favourite games, and for the most part, I’ve been incredibly impressed. Here are three likes, and one dislike about the Xbox Series X!
Things I Disliked – No New Games
In my opinion, it’s always nice to get negatives out of the way quick. Like it’s next generation competitor, PlayStation 5, the Xbox Series X lacked that must have exclusives title. Sure, games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla have been a treat to play on the Series X, but it’s not a game built from the ground up for the Series X. While Game Pass helps with the lack of titles, by providing you with dozens of quality titles, these are all still mostly just Xbox One games, getting some of the benefits of the Series X. Nothing more. A few titles, such as Forza Horizon, so look incredible though.
Things I Liked – #1: Quick Resume
That being said, the next generation improvements – whether the game was optimized for the system or not – cannot be overlooked. Quick Resume is a game changer. When announced, I knew Microsoft could deliver on the promise, but I wasn’t sure if was a feature I needed. I always say myself as a one game, gamer. Play to completion, pick a new titles, and go again. The I began to explore my library. I download ARK Survival Evolved to play with my brother-in-law, added NHL 21 for when I only had a few minutes to play, loaded Forza to scratch that racing itch, and of course wanted to play Valhalla. I was shocked how often I used that quick resume feature. It was phenomenal. The feature doesn’t always work, but I’ve found thats a developer problem as opposed to an Xbox problem. For example, when playing in a non-dedicated server on ARK, it appears as if the person joining the game (as opposed to the host) needs to have a fresh reboot of the title in order to get in, which negates the benefits of Quick Resume.
Things I Liked – #2: Fast Load Times
While also a benefit on the PlayStation 5 – which I loved by the way – quick load times is a huge advantage of upgrading to next generation, regardless of whether or not you’ll have to play older games until brand new shiny experiences launch. I found that every game I played on the Series X had vastly improved load times. I originally began playing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on Xbox One X when it launched, and load times were faster than all the previous Xbox consoles, but there was still enough time for me to snag a drink from the fridge and a snack from the cupboard. Or to hop on Twitter and catch up on things. Now, it’s just a few seconds before I’m waltzing around England once again.
ARK Survival Evolved also received a significant bump in load times. When my brother-in-law was home for the holidays, we played together at my home – me on the Xbox Series X and him on the Xbox One X. Load times between the two consoles were insanely different. Loading for him took well over 1 minute and 20 seconds. The load time for myself? I measly 24 seconds, and sometimes less if spawning outside of our main base.
Things I Liked – #3: Seagate 1TB Storage Expansion Card
Another big negative of the Xbox Series X – and the PlayStation 5 for that matter – is the overall lack of hard drive space once you’ve factored in the consoles OS. While many have knocked the system for this lack of storage, I’m pretty OK with it. Anything larger than a 1TV hard drive would have increased the price of the console drastically, and for many, it’s better to delete and redownload games as opposed to paying an extra $100+ for more storage right off the hop. Considering what has happened in 2020, and I’m not overlly shocked.
In partnership with Microsoft, Seagate has created a 1TV Storage Expansion Card, and it is phenomenal, but also pricey. Coming in at 299.99 in Canada, the storage device will provide just over 900GB of additional space for your Xbox Series X, all packed into a little card that slides into a designated spot on the back of your Xbox Series X or Series S. And it truly is plug and play. Pop it in, and you are good to go.
Everything that happens on your Xbox Series X or Series S is powered by proprietary technology from Microsoft called Xbox Velocity Architecture. This is why when you attach any old SSD to your Xbox console, you can not get the benefits of the Series X without first copying the files over to the main console. This is likely part of the cost bundled into the Seagate drive. This small expansion card is also infused with the Xbox Velocity Architecture, which means you can play games right of the SSD Card as if they were on the consoles themselves. Pretty amazing, eh?
Not everything about the Xbox Series X is perfect, as highlighted by Mat in our review. However, the console will make a fantastic edition to your home, and if you are playing on anything other than the Xbox One X at the moment, it’s probably a worthwhile upgrade right now!