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Xbox One X vs Xbox Series X: should you upgrade?

Xbox One X vs Xbox Series X: should you upgrade?
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The countdown is on for the launch of the Xbox Series X. Microsoft's next-gen 8K games console is due to go on sale around Holiday 2020 and will arrive around the same time as Sony’s new and much-hyped rival machine, the PS5. When it does arrive, it’s assumed the Xbox Series X will replace the Xbox One X console that launched back in 2017.

With the launch of the shinier, newer and more powerful model getting ever closer, the temptation to pre-order the Series X is going to increase. But the chances are that many of you already own an Xbox One X. That's why we’ve decided to try and attempt to answer the obvious question – should you upgrade from the Xbox One X to the Xbox Series X?

We’ll discuss the key differences between the Xbox One X and Xbox Series X in terms of pricing, specs and games, and try to come to an early conclusion. Notepad at the ready? Let’s begin...

Xbox One X vs Xbox Series X: price

Xbox One X vs Xbox Series X: price

(Image credit: Xbox)

Of course, price is a factor with any new console. There are plenty of excellent Xbox One deals but the chances of there being any Xbox Series X deals at launch are slim to none. However, it’s likely there will be various bundles, including some of the best Xbox Series X games available at launch.

And, like the upcoming PS5, the new Xbox Series X will launch with a premium price tag – it is the most powerful Xbox ever, after all. So, how much will the Xbox Series X cost? That’s still to be decided, although we wouldn't expect much change from £500/$500 for the top model.

Like the PS5 and it’s disc-less PS5 Digital Edition, it looks like there will be a similar line-up for the Xbox launch. Rumoured to be called the Xbox Series S, we think this cheaper console could come in at the £350/$350 mark. Whether it sacrifices any other top-line specs besides a 4K Blu-ray drive remains to be seen, but we could get a better idea at Xbox’s upcoming games showcase scheduled for this month.

Like the PS5, the games will also cost more than the previous console generation's. Publisher 2K has already revealed its upcoming NBA 2K21 basketball sim will cost $70 (£65) on PS5 and Xbox Series X. That's a full $10 more than it will on the PS4 or Xbox One. Ouch. Expect $70 games to be the new normal.

Xbox One X vs Xbox Series X: specs

Xbox One X vs Xbox Series X: specs

(Image credit: Xbox)

Microsoft hasn't been shy in promoting the abilities of the Xbox Series X. It's claimed to be four times more powerful than the One X and "the fastest, most powerful games console ever".

We know it will also boast quicker loading times than the One X and it has the potential for 8K graphics, which the older console just can’t touch. If you are an 8K TV early adopter, the Series X could be just the ticket.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the main Xbox Series X specs:

CPU: Eight-core 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT) custom AMD 7nm
GPU: 12 teraflops 1.825GHz
RAM: 16GB GDDR6
Frame rate: Up to 120 fps
Resolution: Up to 8K
Optical: HD Blu-Ray disk drive
Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD (plus optional fast storage)

And for comparison, the current Xbox One specs:

CPU: Eight-core 2.3GHz custom AMD
GPU: Six teraflops 1.172 GHz
RAM: 12GB GDDR5
Frame rate: Up to 60 fps
Resolution: Up to 4K
Optical: HD Blu-Ray disk drive
Storage: 1TB HDD

Xbox One X vs Xbox Series X: specs

(Image credit: Microsoft)

On paper, the Xbox Series X clearly looks like the more powerful machine. Not only is the sheer processing power of the console much higher, but it also gets the additional benefits of a solid-state hard drive, which has a knock-on effect in terms of speed of operation. Load times will be much quicker, and this will help the console’s new Quick Resume feature, which allows you to jump into and out of games seamlessly.

According to what we’ve seen so far, it doesn't seem like Xbox will be doing much to the console’s dashboard, so the user experience shouldn’t differ too much from the current Xbox One X. Meanwhile, Sony is carrying out a complete overhaul of its dashboard for the PS5.

Xbox One controllers will work with the Xbox Series X and vice versa, so there will be no need to go out and buy an additional controller at launch.

Xbox One X vs Xbox Series X: picture and sound

Just like the One X, part of the Xbox Series X’s appeal will be the inclusion of a 4K Blu-ray drive. The fact the console doubles as a 4K Blu-ray player is a big plus for anyone who wants a do-it-all machine that can play 4K HDR movies and handle games. But will there be a big improvement over the Xbox One X?

In our experience, the older console can’t really match the picture quality, and especially the sound quality, of a dedicated standalone player. So, will the Xbox Series X’s next-gen specs and abilities translate into an improved AV performance? We’ll have to wait and see.

We assume streaming apps will come already installed on the Xbox Series X and hope they are fully 4K and HDR compatible out of the box, unlike with some older generations of Xbox and PlayStation where we had to wait for updates.

Xbox One X vs Xbox Series X: games

Xbox One X vs Xbox Series X: games

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

We have an idea of some of the games that will arrive on the Xbox Series X at launch. The big launch title will undoubtedly be Halo: Infinite and we also know that other games making their way onto the console include; Cyberpunk 2077, Hellblade II, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla and Rainbow Six Quarantine.

There’s an Xbox live stream scheduled for the 23rd July which should give us a closer look at Halo: Infinite and other first-party titles which could include the next instalment of its hugely successful Forza series of racing games.

We also know the Xbox Series X will be backward-compatible with older Xbox games and will even be able to add HDR and higher frame rates to select titles. There’s also Smart Delivery, which will ensure if you buy a game for the older Xbox One X you’ll also be able to play it on the Xbox Series X at no additional cost.

Xbox One X vs Xbox Series X: verdict

Of course, it’s tricky to give you a definitive verdict right now. All we have to go on is the PR blurb, the console and games reveals and the various Xbox One X specs that have made their way out into the public domain.

We won’t be able to give you a firm yes or no (or maybe) until we’ve compared the two consoles side by side. Perhaps the upcoming games reveal will be able to sway any potential owners who might be sitting on the fence. Then again, perhaps people have already made up their minds.

Where do you stand? Are you ready to splash the cash as soon as the Xbox Series X arrives? Is it less about the specs and more about opting for the same console your friends are on? Or will you be jumping ship and buying the PS5 instead? Let us know with a comment below.

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