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Xbox Series X Minecraft Bundle

Xbox Series X Review: Verdict

Unboxing The Xbox One S Minecraft Limited Edition Bundle

The Xbox Series X is a powerhouse with hardware that will go the distance.

Truth be told, this is one of the hardest console reviews I’ve ever done. That’s because I feel the Xbox Series X raises raises the question of what we should expect from a video game console in 2020 and, what’s more, I think the answer probably runs contrary to what a lot of gamers have grown up being used to.

I think it’s fair to say that, historically, traditional gen-switching video game console launches have come with order of magnitude leaps in graphical fidelity, gameplay, and features. When, for example, the Nintendo 64 launched, it was sold alongside Super Mario 64, which comprehensibly raised the bar in terms of what was possible on a video game console.

That leap from the 2D side-scrolling Super Mario World on Super Famicom, to the fully 3D Super Mario 64 on N64 communicated the generational leap incredibly vividly. Equally, the jump say, from Sega Saturn to Sega Dreamcast, was marked thanks to Sonic Adventure.

And who can forget the original Xbox launch title, Halo: Combat Evolved, the game that would go on to spawn one of the most beloved and played series of all time. That game looked amazing for a console game at the time, and changed the landscape at the console’s launch.

With this generation, and specifically with the Xbox Series X, those games don’t exist.

The Xbox Series X launch line-up of new, exclusive games is underwhelming the reason to upgrade not so obvious.

Can The Xbox One S Do 4k

Kind of, yes. For those not in the know, 4K is a resolution for your TV. It packs in four times as many pixels as a 1080p HDTV, which makes the picture sharper and a lot more detailed. To be able to watch 4K and the video technology HDR, you need a 4K TV and an Xbox One X or Xbox One S.

If you set your console resolution to 4K UHD, some things on the console, like Home and apps will display at 4K. But games are a bit different. Games on the Xbox One S get upscaled to 4K. What that means is that although the picture tends to be smoother and more detailed than native 720p or 1080p, upscaled 4K isnt as rich or detailed as native 4K.

Will I Keep My Data And Purchases With Cross

Since the version of Minecraft you’ll play on the Xbox Series X and Series S will be the exact same as the version you’ll play on other platforms, and will be synced through your Microsoft account, Minecraft Marketplace purchases and other save data should still carry over. Your maps should also carry over from Xbox One, as long as you have cloud saves turned on, so you can download your maps and enjoy all the greatness that the Xbox Series X|S has to offer.

This is the benefit of taking advantage of features like Smart Delivery, because instead of having to figure out how to connect two entirely separate games , Mojang Studios can use all the existing features in Minecraft that protect your progression. That means it should be easier than ever to keep all of your information moving forward and ensure any money you spent purchasing new maps, worlds, or packs in Minecraft doesn’t go to waste on Xbox Series X|S.

Protecting cross-save also matters if you’re coming from Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on another platform to Xbox Series X|S, as your Marketplace purchases like maps, skins, and texture packs should sync through your Microsoft Account.

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Xbox Series X Review: 6

So, here we are roughly half a year in to the Xbox Series X’s first year and, well, the console has been mechanically a big success. To date the console hasn’t locked up on me once and I’m still amazed at how quiet it is. The Xbox Series X’s design may not look very inspiring but it definitely does the job in terms of keeping things cool and quiet.

Where things have not been as great is on the gaming side of things, with me spending most of my time playing the third party Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on the system, as well as enhanced games that already exist such as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which is just fantastic running at 4K 60fps.

The truth is that the system is still suffering from the Halo Infinite no-show at launch, which if it had happened, would of given the Xbox Series X the launch battle victory. It didn’t, though, and that left the Xbox Series X to launch without any new AAA exclusive. As a result Sony PS5 walked away with the win and, while things haven’t been great on PlayStation 5 either over the first 6 months, it is now starting to see exclusives like Returnal and Ratchet and Klank: Rift Apart launch.

Xbox Series X, though, is still waiting on the promise of next-gen exclusive games. Halo Infinite is coming but is still half a year from releasing, while Microsoft’s nuclear option purchase of Bethesda means Series X and Series S are going to get plenty of exclusive new games, but when they will appear currently remains largely unknown.

Xbox Series X Review: Unboxing And Design

Microsoft Xbox One S 1TB Minecraft Bundle, White, 234

The Xbox Series X design is a matte black rectangular prism.

As can be seen in the below Xbox Series X unboxing video, the console comes very securely packaged. The contents of the box include the console itself, as well as the new model Wireless Xbox Controller, batteries for the controller, a power lead, HDMI cable, and product and quick start guides.

The console itself is a black rectangular prism that’s more than twice as fat as the Xbox One X console that proceeded it. In terms of design, there is no doubting that the Series X is clean and minimalist, and I can see it blending into a lot of setups quite easily. In that sense, I think Microsoft has succeeded. This is a console that will not offend the eye.

The Xbox Series X alongside its predecessor flagship, the Xbox One X.

Equally, though, from my personal perspective, I feel the design is really uninspired. This is basically the safest play I can think of, and can’t help feeling just a little underwhelmed when looking at it. This is the most powerful games console on Earth but it looks even more dull than a NAS drive.

Naturally, for you it could look amazing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all.

Getting the system set up physically is a piece of cake. You simply choose an orientation for the Xbox Series X . then plug in the power cord and connect the system to one of the TV’s HDMI ports with the included cable.

The Xbox Series X on top of the Xbox One X, showing the difference in design and size.

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Xbox Series X Review: Hardware And Setup

The Xbox Series X along with its Wireless Controller.

As can be gleaned from the tech spec listed above, the Xbox Series X is a video game console powerhouse. Indeed, it’s the most powerful console on Earth on paper, bested only by very powerful gaming PCs.

When you turn the Xbox Series X on, this is the screen you are greeted with.

Packing 12 teraflops of processing power, which is delivered thanks to a combination of AMD’s latest Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures, and paired with a custom 1TB NVME SSD storage drive, the Series X absolutely smokes Xbox’s last flagship, the Xbox One X.

This is a console that can go the distance

Microsoft has absolutely nailed it with the Xbox Series X’s hardware in my opinion. This is a console that has enough power to really go the distance and power, in my mind, an entire generation of great gaming experiences.

Setup of the Xbox Series X takes place in the companion Xbox app on mobile or tablet.

To start tapping into the console’s power, though, it first needs setting up. Now, interestingly this is almost entirely handled not on the console itself, but through the companion Xbox app, which must be downloaded on a mobile device or tablet.

Through this app you can setup an Xbox account , link the device to the console for setup, and then be guided through a setup wizard.

You setup a variety of things including updates and privacy settings.

If you have multiple Xbox consoles in the house then you can designate which room they are in.

Xbox Series X Review: Games And Performance

First game I played on the Xbox Series X? Halo 5 of course. If only Halo Infinite had been a launch title…

Let’s deal with performance on the Xbox Series X first. The Xbox Series X target for gameplay is 60fps at 4K resolution, while also offering a 120Hz refresh rate and theoretical maximum framerate of 120fps, and as you can see from the image below, this is delivered out of the box.

I enabled a 4K UHD resolution, HDR and 120Hz refresh rate on my LG CX55 TV straight away and, let me tell you, there’s no going back after you’ve sampled this smoothness and fidelity.

120 Hz refresh rate? Yes please!

I test a lot of T3’s high powered gaming PCs and laptops, as well as mobile phones, so high refresh rates, framerates, and resolutions aren’t new to me by any means, but there was still no escaping the immediate sense of upgrade I had when transitioning from Xbox One X to Xbox Series X.

And, aside from visual fidelity and smoothness , the biggest upgrade is the speed at which everything loads especially games.

There was no escaping the immediate sense of upgrade

I’m a huge fan of Forza Horizon 4 on Xbox One, but even on the last-gen flagship, the loading times on that title were absolutely appalling. For the uninitiated, I’m not exaggerating gamers around the world often reported waiting up to 5 minutes for the game to load initially and that, quite frankly, was not acceptable.

The Xbox Series X is like the Xbox One gone Super Saiyan

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When Is The Release Date For Minecraft On Xbox Series X

The question to end all questions is when Minecraft will be upgraded for the Xbox Series X and Series S. At this point, though, we simply don’t know when, or even if, Minecraft will be upgraded to run better on Xbox Series X|S.

Between an early technical demonstration of Minecraft with ray tracing running on Xbox Series X, Minecraft RTX working wonderfully on Windows 10, and the gaming technologies inside Xbox Series X|S progressively becoming more accessible, it’s easy to assume and believe that Minecraft is definitely being upgraded for Xbox Series X|S at some point. Unfortunately, there has been absolutely zero confirmation from Mojang Studios that it’s actually happening, so we’re not able to take guesses at a potential release date.

Notably, Mojang Studios recently accidentally released prototype code of ray tracing on Xbox Series X|S through the Minecraft Preview program, briefly giving a handful of players access for a few days. This, understandably, elicited an overwhelmingly excited response from the Minecraft community, as many felt the release meant Mojang Studios was preparing to make an announcement and officially begin testing the feature.

Unfortunately, Mojang Studios removed the prototype code, and released the following dismissive statement:

Check Out This New Minecraft ‘deep Dark’ Themed Xbox Series S

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Image: Xbox

We’ve already seen lots of impressive-looking themed Xbox hardware this generation, but Microsoft just keeps on releasing more. The latest one is inspired by Minecraft‘s ‘Deep Dark’ update and appears to be based on The Warden enemy. It comes with a matching controller, too.

Of course, like a lot of themed / custom Xbox stuff, this one is unfortunately also an exclusive release. You’ll be in with a chance to win it if you join Microsoft Rewards. They’ll also throw in a themed Minecraft Chair from Secret Labs. Unfortunately, this offer appears to be exclusive to North America.

“Experience Minecraft in a whole new light… or dark. Join Microsoft Rewards and get a chance to win this exclusive Deep Dark Minecraft Xbox Series S bundle including a @secretlabchairs Minecraft Edition chair.”

“A teal and dark blue-green Xbox Series S modeled after Minecraft’s Deep Dark biome with matching controller.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time Microsoft has offered a Minecraft-themed console or accessory. Perhaps one of the more memorable ones was the grass block Xbox One S and creeper controller. The company has also released a Minecraft Pig controller.

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Xbox Series X Review: Features And Controller

Xbox gamers will find the Series X controller very familiar.

The Xbox Series X comes with the new design wireless Xbox Controller, which anyone who has spent any time with an Xbox One console will be very familiar with. The new controller essentially shares the same design as the previous model, but has a few more design elements from the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller 2, which grants it a slightly more premium and mature aesthetic.

In the hand, this controller is as comfortable as ever, and comes with nice details like textured triggers and bumpers , and an updated hybrid D-pad that has been optimised for faster and smoother inputs.

The D-pad had been redesigned on the Series X controller.

As before, too, you get share, menu, and options buttons on this new wireless controller, which quickly allow you to record your gaming sessions, and access options. Naturally, the Xbox power button on the controller remains, as too do the XYBA button config, and dual thumbstick design.

The controller’s finish is the same, slightly coarse, matte black that past Xbox controllers have used, which looks clean and mature and isn’t too slippery. It does tend to attract finger smudge marks though, so for those gamers who like to keep their kit looking box fresh, regular cleaning will be in order.

Direct wired connections are handled by a USB Type-C port.

I personally have never had a single controller with fixed batteries die on me

The Xbox Series X controller is powered by two AA batteries.

Whats Included In These Xbox Series X Bundles

Each one of these bundles from Game comes with the Xbox Series X console, a highly-rated game and controller case.

The Xbox Series X will enable you to play the latest games available on Xbox, as well as direct access to Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service that opens up a wide library of games available on-demand, to download and play as many as you like as long as youre a member.

As for the included games, whilst they arent the latest titles, they are worth playing and good to get you started on the Series X itself. Its also worth noting that all three of these games are available on Game Pass, but if you’re someone who prefers to own physical copies of games, or you don’t want to start up a Game Pass subscription just yet, then these bundles are ideal. Another reason to pick up the Ori bundle is that it is a collectors edition, meaning it will include extra items that you can’t access through Game Pass. With the price of these bundles in mind, youre essentially getting a game for free.

In terms of the controller case, it is what it says on the tin this will allow you to keep your controller safe and secure handy to have for any spare controllers you have lying about, or if you intend to carry it to and from different places.

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Minecraft Fans Really Want To See An Xbox Series X Version

The Xbox Series X has been treated to quite a lot of Xbox One upgrades since its release this past November, but one of the major Xbox owned titles that hasn’t been upgraded yet is Minecraft.

There’s been no word from Mojang Studios on an upgrade for the game so far, and fans are now pointing out that the last-gen version doesn’t actually run that well on Xbox Series X.

Why hasnt Minecraft been enhanced for Series X? fromXboxSeriesX

It has previously been teased that a ray-tracing upgrade for Minecraft might be on the cards in the future, but this was presented as a tech demo almost an entire year ago, and nothing definitive was confirmed at the time.

We’re sure Mojang has plans for Minecraft on Xbox Series X though, and hopefully they come to fruition in 2021.

Do you want to see an upgrade for Minecraft on next-gen consoles? Tell us in the comments below.

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What Is Ray Tracing For Minecraft On Xbox Series X

Microsoft Xbox One X Refurbished 1TB Black 4K Ultra HD Console + Xbox ...

Ray tracing is one of those vague gaming terms that doesn’t concern the vast majority of gamers. However, when properly used, ray tracing can have real effects on how a game looks, particularly in the atmosphere department. On games that are already meant to be photo-realistic, ray tracing allows them to take it to the next level by accurately portraying lighting instead of simply “guessing” as was commonplace before. It’s very complicated, but fortunately, we’re here to break it all down.

Ray tracing, down at its core, requires three things to work: capable hardware, supported drivers and software, and a game built with ray tracing in mind. With Xbox Series X|S, all three of these things are present, with ray tracing being touted as an essential current-gen feature for both the Xbox Series X|S and the PS5. Minecraft could eventually be one of the games to support real-time ray tracing on these consoles.

Now, it should be noted that Minecraft with ray tracing already exists, and it looks incredible, completely altering the look and feel of this over-10-year-old game. We even paired Minecraft with ray tracing and an NVIDIA RTX 3060 for even more beautiful results. However, Minecraft with ray tracing is currently available only for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on Windows 10 when paired with high-end NVIDIA RTX GPUs, and is either restricted to specific maps or requires a lot of manual work to use.

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