Reaction: Looking Back At An Excellent First Year For The Xbox Series X|S

Can you believe that the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S were first released a year ago today?! It seems like only yesterday we were guessing the prices, release date and launch titles. But here we are, twelve months later, marking the first birthday of the now current-gen consoles. It's been a rollercoaster of a ride with some hurdles, however it has arguably marked one of the best Xbox launch years to date.

Thinking back to the Xbox One launch, we shiver at some of the memories. From the initial reveal where it was suggested to 'always be online', to the forced inclusion of the Kinect, it raises the hairs on the back of our necks. Approaching the Xbox Series X|S launch, there were some uncertainties as well. Halo Infinite was delayed, there were no first-party launch titles and the pandemic was having a heavy effect on the industry as a whole. Anticipating a somewhat uneventful launch, we've been pleasantly surprised.

Sure, it took a while to get some heavy-hitting first-party titles, but the likes of Xbox Game Pass and backwards compatibility enhancements such as FPS Boost have been a silver lining during the quiet moments, giving the Xbox Series X|S extra momentum. Before the console launch, buzzwords such as Smart Delivery were getting thrown around providing very little meaning. Personally, I'll admit that I scoffed at the term and thought it was little more than a marketing spiel, but little did I know, it was a very important feature.

Smart Delivery has been fantastic. The way it has easily upgraded our Xbox One games to the new generation has been seamless and nothing short of a game-changer. Compared to the PlayStation 5, which has suffered a more convoluted process, it's clear that Smart Delivery is something the Xbox team worked hard on to ensure the transition was as simple as possible. There have been some grumbles about the need to download the entire game again when purchasing physical copies of games, but it's a small price to pay.

Then there are the games themselves. The launch saw some huge third-party titles such as Watch Dogs: Legion and Assassin's Creed Valhalla arrive on day one, but the real star has been Xbox Game Pass. With games such as Forza Horizon 5, Outriders, Psychonauts 2 and Back 4 Blood joining the service the same day as their launch, it's been incredible to see the ridiculous growth of the service in such a small space of time. Xbox Game Pass has always been a wonderful feature, but the last year has been exceptional.

In regards to FPS Boost, some titles have seen their frame rates bumped up to 60 or even 120 frames per second. Fallout 4, Dark Souls, and many more have been bolstered to see a huge increase - something not available on other platforms. The amount of work the backwards compatibility team has put into enhancing older titles has been nothing short of superb, and we're hopeful this is only the beginning of the program.

Even with everything we have now, there's still so much to look forward to. Xbox's E3 conference paved a future that has us extremely excited. Xbox Game Pass is the clear winner with so many titles arriving over the coming months. Halo Infinite, Starfield, Redfall, Stalker 2 - it seems like every other month has a huge game arriving in the service, and we don't know about you, but we're very, very excited for 2022. Who knows what else next year could bring, but the scheduled line-up so far should be enough to keep fans hungry.

Xbox has made the most of the pandemic and delivered some wonderful results over the past year. Game Pass, FPS Boost and the continued rollout of Xbox Cloud Gaming have been fantastic to see. We're only one year into the lifespan of the Xbox Series X and Series S, and they've already proved to be big successes - all we need now is some more stock of them! Hopefully, 2022 will prove to be another exciting year for the Xbox community.

How are you feeling about the Xbox Series X|S one year later? Let us know in the comments below.

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