We’ve had over a month to play with the Xbox Series X, with all of the next-gen features it brings to the table. The Series X is undoubtedly a powerful machine, with Microsoft claiming that it will be the last Xbox console in the traditional sense, as the future of gaming will be on the cloud. However, even though we’re told the Series X will have a lifespan of 7 years, and it is a remarkable piece of gaming machinery, there are still a few features that could be improved or better utilized.
In this article, we’re going to examine 4 features on the Xbox Series X that are either sorely lacking, or just need a bit of general improvement.
Microsoft has made it rather clear they’re not interested in supporting VR on the Xbox Series X. Xbox head Phil Spencer has spoken about it on several occasions, saying that mainstream consumers just aren’t demanding VR as a feature, and the technology still remains relatively niche. Sony has invested heavily into PSVR on the other hand, and has sold over 5 million PSVR headsets between 2016 – 2020. One major problem however may be a lack of heavily marketed VR titles that appeal to the mainstream. The top 5 PSVR games according to playtime are Skyrim VR, PlayStation VR Worlds, Rec Room, Resident Evil 7, and Job Simulator.
Microsoft is right in their assessment that there is a lack of mind-blowing VR games that appeal to mainstream audiences. However, if VR sales on the PS5 tilt the market in Sony’s favor, Microsoft may be forced to introduce a solution sooner than they’d like..
Chromium Edge Browser
Both Nintendo and Sony have dropped support for web browsers in their consoles, which means the XSX is the only console on the market to have a web browser. However, the browser on the console is simply a fairly outdated version of Microsoft Edge, and not the latest version of Chromium Edge. If you’re wondering why anybody would care about web browsers on consoles, there’s groundbreaking progress being made in browser rendering technology. Browser games like Basketball Stars are very popular on the web, and many popular mobile games have their roots in browser games.
While the majority of browser gamers are familiar with io games like Slither.io, web rendering technology will soon be capable of much more. WebAssembly for example has shown to run a ported version of Doom 3, and thus web browsers may soon be capable of rendering next-gen AAA graphics.
3D audio beyond Dolby Atmos
Dolby Atmos is a hot buzzword in the home theatre market, and is used in many position-based speaker setups, such as 5.1 or 7.1 channel speaker arrangements. However, the market has been moving away from traditional 5.1 and 7.1 surround-sound systems, especially as they are difficult to arrange perfectly, and take up space in your home. Soundbars and headphones, like these best gaming headsets for Xbox, have become very popular amongst consumers.
Microsoft almost exclusively focuses on compatibility with Dolby Atmos products, but Sony has something new up their sleeve – a proprietary 3D audio engine called Tempest 3D AudioTech, which has received high praise for its amazing, immersive audio experience. Microsoft may need to brainstorm a way to compete with Sony’s proprietary 3D audio in the future, and how much they’ll depend on Dolby to get the job done.
More backwards compatibility with classic Xbox titles
While the Xbox Series X is compatible with nearly every Xbox One game, and around 568 Xbox 360 games, only a pitiful 39 Xbox original titles are backwards compatible. While those 39 Xbox original titles will play at nearly 1920p resolution, the original Xbox console had nearly 1,000 titles in its time. Back in those days, it was generally agreed that PS2 had all the best exclusives. If Microsoft can continue to give classic Xbox games the 4K treatment and increase the compatibility list, they may be able to spark interest in some old gems that were overshadowed by PS2 at the time.
More partial install support in games
The Xbox Series X launched with a rather generous 800GB SSD, but AAA titles these days are reaching into the triple-digit GB amounts. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War for example weighs in at nearly 190GB install size, but cleverly uses the partial install feature on the XSX. With partial install, users can opt to install certain aspects of games, such as extra HD textures, or even multiplayer and single-player modes can be individually installed. This allows gamers to choose how much space a game takes up on the console, depending on the game content they actually play.
So for example you might only play the Call of Duty single-player campaign once or twice, then stick exclusively to multiplayer mode. In that case you can just uninstall the entire single-player mode, freeing up a large amount of space on your console.
Caroline is doing her graduation in IT from the University of South California but keens to work as a freelance blogger. She loves to write on the latest information about IoT, technology, and business. She has innovative ideas and shares her experience with her readers.