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Xbox Series X Review | Worth buying at launch?

Xbox Series X Review – written by Adam Vjestica, Vic Hood and Nick Pino

Microsoft’s console is undeniably fast – but it lacks the wow factor without big exclusive games

The Xbox Series X is a powerhouse console that delivers seriously fast performance and stunning visuals. However, a lack of interesting exclusives and UI upgrades means it lacks the wow factor.

Read the full written review here –
The Xbox Series X isn’t an essential purchase – at least, not right now. But that isn’t to say it’s not a fantastic piece of hardware, with a lot of potential.
The next-gen Xbox is super-fast, surprisingly quiet, and delivers the kind of performance that we’ve previously only seen from high-end gaming PCs, ensuring that games – both old and new – look and perform better than ever before.

Microsoft’s flagship console is as powerful as you’d expect, then, but we’d hold off on buying one at launch unless you’re already heavily invested in the Xbox ecosystem, or simply want the best Xbox console experience possible right now. For everyone else, it may be worth waiting until the next-gen games library becomes more substantial.

The Xbox Series X launches globally on November 10, 2020, giving Microsoft a two-day head start against Sony’s PS5, which releases on November 12 (in select countries – it’s a week later in others).

The Xbox Series X is priced at $499 / £449 / AU$749. A lower-specced, digital-only version of the console, the Xbox Series S, is also available from November 10, priced at $299.99 / £249.99 / AU$499.

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While this isn’t exactly pocket money, it’s a pretty decent price for the new Xbox – it’s the same price as the Xbox One was at launch, and matches the MSRP of the (now discontinued) Xbox One X, both of which are nowhere near as powerful as the Xbox Series X. And, considering that the Series X has specs similar to a gaming PC, the $500 mark is pretty good going – you’ll be hard pressed to find a gaming PC at this price tag.

However, as mentioned, if you want get the most out of your Xbox Series X at launch we recommend picking up an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, which costs $15 / £10.99 / AU$15.95 a month (annual subscriptions are also available, which shaves a little off the cost for a year). While this is an additional outlay, it does grant you extra access to hundreds of Xbox Game Pass games (which will soon include Bethesda and EA titles), Xbox Live Gold, cloud gaming and monthly free games, which should save you money in the long term compared with buying games separately.

If you’re not fussed about the bells and whistles of Game Pass Ultimate then it may be worth picking up a regular Game Pass subscription instead, which costs ($9.99 / £7.99 / AU$10.95) but only grants access to the service on console (rather than both PC and console) and does away with cloud gaming on mobile devices.

It’s worth pointing out that the Xbox Series X is also available on Microsoft’s Xbox All Access subscription service in select regions, including the US, UK and Australia. Xbox All Access bundles together the console with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on a 24-month plan (giving you access to the latter for the duration) at a price of $34.99 /£28.99/AU$46 a month, with no upfront costs – which feels like a very good deal.

But the Xbox Series X isn’t the only console releasing at this time, and it’s also worth checking out the PS5 and PS5 Digital, which come in at similar price points – though the PS5 Digital is $100 less. We won’t delve too much into them here, though.

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