Roundup: First Hands-On Impressions Of The Xbox Series X

You might recall that a selection of North American content creators got their hands on a near-final version of the Xbox Series X last week, and today they've been publishing their impressions of the new system.

Specifically, they've been talking about backwards compatibility, the new Quick Resume feature and everything to do with the way the system handles storage, including the new 1TB Expansion Card.

We'll be highlighting more information on all of this throughout the day, but for now, here are some overall impressions from some of the critics that have had access to the Xbox Series X so far:


In conclusion, though I’m still waiting to play a proper next-gen game that takes full advantage of the Xbox Series X (stay tuned for coverage on that), it’s clear that your back catalog will get a boost from the new console regardless of whether or not your favorite game has received any specific Series X optimizations. In fact, the SSD spoils you pretty quickly. I already never want to see my Xbox One X ever again.


For this phase of the preview period, I want to stress how refreshing it was to have such fast, snappy loading for console games, and to have Quick Resume changing the way I can jump from one game to another and get more out of my time playing. I've said this before, but I feel like next-gen console gaming will be greatly impacted by those practical improvements in the user experience more so than higher visual fidelity--and that's what I've been most impressed with in the Xbox Series X so far.


This isn’t a review. I can only give you my hands-on experience with a preview version of the Xbox Series X hardware. But I know that I don’t want to go back to Xbox One or PlayStation 4. Those consoles overstayed their welcome after seven years in a way that even the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 hadn’t after eight years.

The Verge

The experience of switching back to an Xbox One was genuinely dispiriting. For running my existing Xbox games, the Series X feels like I’ve just upgraded my iPhone— everything feels smoother and faster. These games aren’t even optimized for the console and they’re already running better, so I’m excited to see what truly optimized games will offer in the coming weeks.


The Xbox Series X is zippy. That’s the word that stands out in my mind as I bounce among several active games via quick resume, die and respawn in under 10 seconds or load up an HDR version of an old favorite. Zip, zip, zip.


I wouldn't dream of recommending a $499 game console solely based on how well it handles a sliver of existing Xbox games. But backward-compatibility sure is an interesting data point. My testing will be good news for anybody who likes the idea of a single, powerful Xbox that can juggle everything from Panzer Dragoon Orta to Playerunknown's Battlegrounds.

Digital Foundry

Today, we can lift the lid on just how powerful Xbox Series X is when it comes to backwards compatibility - and to cut a long story short, it's hugely impressive.

What do you make of these impressions so far? Let us know in the comments below.