Microsoft Xbox Series X console experience: Playing 3A masterpieces is just a piece of cake, XGP membership service is the highlight

Video games are called the ninth art. This carrier contains the joys, sorrows and sorrows of all players, and can easily arouse people's emotions. Because of this, players and developers are immersed in it, the former is immersed in the story of the virtual world, and the latter is happy to create intoxicating artworks.

Even though games can now be played on mobile phones, for most players, it is natural to yearn for a full-hearted gaming experience on a more powerful PC or console. In today's era when a card is hard to find, buying a powerful game console seems to be a simpler and easier choice.

It just so happened that we got a National Bank version of the Microsoft Xbox Series X game console some time ago. After enjoying the joy it brings to me for a whole weekend and several nights after get off work, it's time to share my experience with you.

Industrial aesthetics with Microsoft characteristics

The National Bank version I have is not much different from the international version in appearance, except that the packaging and the back of the fuselage have more BesTV logos, which is not very conspicuous.

The fuselage basically continues the Xbox’s consistent "square integrity" design language, and this generation perfectly interprets the concept of "industrial aesthetics". I personally like this design. It has a feeling of being hidden in the market, and it is also in line with the current simplicity. Condensed minimalist aesthetic.

There are three buttons on the front, from the top to the bottom are the power button, the disc eject button and the matching button. A full 144 cooling holes are displayed on the top. A cooling fan is built in. The inner wall of the hole is decorated with green. The green seen in it is not created by lights, but a special "painting". The green part cannot be seen from the top of the fuselage.

This looming green embellishment breaks the dullness of the pure black body without overwhelming the host. It is the biggest design highlight of this XSX.

The back is also very simple, the ports are all set near the bottom, surrounded by air inlet holes. The ports are two USB-A ports, RJ45 network port, power port, HDMI 2.1 port and hard disk expansion port. There is also a keyhole at the waist, which is similar to the keyhole on some laptops.

XSX’s HDMI 2.1 supports up to 40Gb bandwidth. The original cable that comes with the package is also HDMI 2.1. The machine is ready for 4K 120FPS. Whether you can finally get such a game experience depends on whether your TV at home supports HDMI 2.1. .

Because of the HDMI 2.1 interface, this generation of Xboxes began to support ALLM (Automatic Low Latency Mode) and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate). The former makes the game screen delay lower and reduces the occurrence of screen tearing. The latter keeps the refresh rate of the host and the display synchronized, which can also reduce the effect of screen tearing.

XSX has two ways of placing it: erected like a refrigerator, and placed horizontally more like the old DVD player. Each of the two ways of placement has its own advantages. The vertical area is small, and when it is placed horizontally, it has a larger air intake. Conducive to heat dissipation.

At the beginning of the design, the Xbox hardware team took a variety of black foam models to visit Xbox players’ homes and asked them about their reactions and attitudes to this model. The final appearance of XSX and XSS was determined by research and after the product was released. Seeing that the public's response is mostly positive, it also shows that the design of this generation of Xbox is successful.

▲ Model

Players who have already started a family often laugh at themselves, not buying a game console but a router, and hope that they will not let their wives say that they are wasting money.

Nicolas Denhez, Senior Design Director of Xbox , said in the article " The Story Behind the Design of Xbox Series X|S ":

As designers, we know that our products will stay in people's homes for several years.

It is precisely by keeping this sentence in mind that Xbox Series X|S will be what it is now: it looks good and not outdated, and no one knows it is a game console .

In addition, just looking at its size, it is difficult for people to guess that this is a machine that can play 3A game masterpieces at 4K 120FPS.

▲Look at the comparison between it and this 75-inch TV, it is very small, and the weight of the whole machine is 4.3KG.

After talking about the XSX body, let's talk about the handle.

Players who have tried PS5 will be full of praise for the Dual Sense controller, which is rich in shock levels, and some games use the characteristics of the new controller to develop innovative gameplay. I seem to see the satisfied smile of the Sony camp partners.

In contrast, the Xbox Series X|S comes with a handle. Compared with the previous generation, the former has only a handful of visual changes. The cross key is replaced with a slightly recessed dish-shaped D-Pad button, and a screenshot is added to the handle. The recording button, the top button and the trigger button were added with non-slip texture, and finally the Micro USB charging port was replaced with a Type-C port.

The improvements in these details reflect Xbox's immense confidence in its own controller.

The fact is also true. In terms of comfort, the XSX handle is still much better than the Dual Sense handle next door. It has a full grip. Regardless of whether the user’s hand is large or small, the handle and the palm fit extremely well, and the buttons are displayed in position. Properly, the thumb does not move much but everything is under control.

The design logic of the Xbox controller is to emphasize universality. Users who use the controller not only appear on the Xbox platform, but many are PC players, and cross-platform also brings compatibility issues.

In view of this, Microsoft had to strike a balance between functionality and practicality. Designers did not make drastic functional innovations, but made minor repairs on the basis of the original handles, and adopted a steady and steady approach to maintain reputation, which is not a bad thing. .

But I really can't get used to the operation of the controller in shooting games. Neither speed nor accuracy can be compared with the keyboard and mouse. Perhaps I will be thrown into the "Call of Duty Theater" for a period of time to make a qualitative breakthrough.

Powerful game performance, gratifying experience

This is the part that I spend the most time experiencing, but it is also a part that does not need to be emphasized too much, because the absolute performance of XSX is beyond our imagination: it supports up to 4K 120FPS, which is written in bold font on Microsoft's official website The text reveals the confidence of Microsoft.

In addition, it also supports DirectX ray tracing, Dolby Vision, 1TB NVMe custom SSD, supports fast wake-up, and can seamlessly switch back and forth in several games, minimizing the waiting time of players and improving the user experience.

If you want to get the above game experience, you can buy an XSX (National Bank priced at 3899 yuan) plus a TV with HDMI 2.1 interface and a 65-inch 4K high refresh rate screen. If you want to assemble a PC at the same price The console, the gaming experience will be greatly reduced, not to mention that 30 series graphics cards are so scarce today.

Standing in the host camp, this is the best time, while being in another side is the worst time.

It is true that there are not many National Bank games at present, but you can let your international friends accompany you to play Xbox games with just a few simple steps.

I also opened the Xbox Game Pass game subscription service (hereinafter referred to as XGP) for the first time, downloaded more than ten 3A games, and quickly immersed in the game world.

Open "Extreme Racing: Horizon 4", first Xbox will synchronize my play records on the PC side. As far as I know, Microsoft's first-party games have broken through the limitations between platforms, and saves and achievements can be synchronized, provided that You use Microsoft accounts on all platforms.

Entering the game, even though Horizon 4 has been released for more than 3 years, its image quality is still not outdated, with rich close-range details, fine distant-view textures, and realistic object destruction effects. It runs in the top 60 frame mode without a trace of lag. Or hysteresis.

After playing for a while, I found that something seemed to be missing, frowned and thought hard, and finally remembered, missing the sound of the cooling fan.

If I switch to a PC or a gaming laptop, the heat and wind noise will start to fill my ears from the moment I open such a large game. Even if I concentrate on the game, it is impossible to completely ignore it.

During the time I was experiencing the XSX, I had never heard of its wind noise. When I placed my hand at a distance of 2 cm from the air outlet, I felt only a slight warm wind.

This means that under the design of XSX, the long and square shape is not only for good-looking, but also to construct a long and wide air duct, leaving enough space for heat dissipation for the host, which makes us to this generation of host Have more confidence in the heat dissipation skills.

After visiting the game mall, I found that in fact, so far, there has not been a next-generation masterpiece that allows XSX to fully utilize its hardware capabilities.

Moreover, there are not many games that can truly reach the 4K 120FPS specification. Most of them are presented in a dynamic refresh rate mode. However, as far as I am concerned, it is more than enough to cope with the 3A games of the past two years. Faced with the upcoming "Forza: Forza: It’s not hard to find next-generation games such as Horizon 5, Far Cry 6, and Halo Infinite.

Two days in the weekend, I played several games such as "Battlefield 1", "Need for Speed: Heat", "Gears of War 5", "Horizon 4" and so on. I have a preliminary understanding of the absolute performance of XSX. In 3A games, XSX can show superior image quality and fluency.

In the publicity stage, Microsoft once highlighted the Quick Resume function separately. In short, with this technology, players can quickly switch between multiple games without affecting the archive progress. Two games The loading time of the switching between the two is within 10 seconds. I thought this feature is very tasteless. Why do players need to switch back and forth in multiple games? Isn't it fragrant to play a game seriously?

It wasn't until I started playing "Need for Speed: Heat" that I understood the usefulness of this feature.

As the latest work of the classic IP of Need for Speed, the picture quality and gameplay of "Need for Speed: Heat" seem to have returned to the 9th and 14th generation levels. The gameplay mechanism of making money during the day and earning prestige at night makes the game rhythm slack. There is a degree, instead of dumping adrenaline and dopamine blindly to the player.

This generation is still based on the background of the police and the drivers. However, the police cars of this generation, especially the early ones in the game, are too powerful. During the game, the prestige accumulated during several nights games often appears, and they are cleared after being blocked and arrested by the police cars. , All previous efforts have been abandoned, which gives players too much frustration.

Seeing that my reputation was cleared to zero, I immediately lost the interest in continuing to play, and the quick switching function came in handy at this time. In less than ten seconds, I was able to withdraw from the shocked state and continue to invest in the next game.

In addition, in most scenarios, fast switching is more like a vase function used by Microsoft to show off its skills.

Compared with the significantly improved gaming experience, the XSX system interface is slightly outdated.

It is still the familiar tile-style UI interface. It seems that Microsoft has put all its energy on achieving stronger game expression, while ignoring the need to improve the UI interface.

XGP, the killer of Microsoft's gaming industry

Under Microsoft’s next-generation game layout, the Xbox Series X|S game console is only one part of it. The two brothers are important and powerful, but the factor that really drives players to choose the Xbox camp may be that Microsoft is vigorously promoting Xbox. Game Pass game subscription system.

Open XSX, Game Pass elements are everywhere, the system interface has a Game Pass area, and in the game store, many games have Game Pass corners, reminding users that there are already many games in the XGP game library.

Not only has Xbox’s traditional advantage "Gun Car Ball" games, but also a lot of independent games and Japanese games, such as "Dragon Quest", "Octopus Traveler", "Dragon Series", "Neal Machine Era", as long as Players have activated XGP service and can play them all.

According to incomplete statistics, there are currently nearly two hundred games in the XGP game library. Almost all of the games I am currently playing come from XGP.

▲ After I downloaded 12 games, this XSX host only has 150G storage space left.

And at this year’s E3 game show, Microsoft & Bethesda announced dozens of new games. Nearly 3/4 of the games will be added to XGP for the first time, including "Halo Infinity", "Horizon 5", "Microsoft Flight Simulator", etc. XGP's game lineup continues to expand, and players enjoy more benefits, which also highlights the value of XGP.

XGP is as important to the Microsoft gaming industry as Prime membership is to Amazon.

In April of this year, third-party statistics showed that the number of XGP users has reached 23 million. When the membership system has a large enough number of users, it will attract more game studios to join the XGP system, and promote the continuous expansion of XGP's game library. The number of users has further increased. As far as the current system is concerned, the player-Microsoft-developer trilateral win-win situation, and Microsoft has found its positive flywheel.

Of course, the advantage of the XGP system is not only that it has rich game content resources, it also has the advantages of cross-platform integration of Xbox, PC, and mobile devices. For example, as I wrote in the previous article, it synchronizes the game records and achievement trophies of the PC and Xbox. . There is also the layout of cloud games. With the help of xCloud cloud technology, Android devices can play 3A large-scale games on the Xbox platform. The final form of multi-platform unification may be cloud games.

Microsoft has made a technical layout for this in advance, and there are a lot of game works and studios as its backing. When the cloud game battle really starts, people will find that Microsoft has already taken one of the hills.

Before the complete popularity of xCloud, the Xbox Series X|S brothers are still the best partners of Xbox players. With the blessing of XGP's increasingly rich game library, this generation of Xbox consoles will be able to achieve results in the future, which is very exciting.

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