The new controller, meanwhile, is a slight improvement over the stock Xbox One controller – I like the new D-pad and the grip texture on the back handles and triggers – but it still pales in comparison to the Elite version 2 controller. Which, of course, it should for how much the Elite costs. Thankfully, the Elite v2, just like every other Xbox One accessory that doesn’t have the word Kinect in it, works just fine on Series X.Let’s talk about storage next. It’s no secret that game installation sizes are only getting larger, and monthly ISP bandwidth caps are a concern for many gamers (in fact, I blew up mine for the first time ever while downloading a ton of games to test out on the Series X), so you’ll need to use your 1 terabyte wisely. To be clear, it’s 802 gigabytes of usable space, after OS and system files. When you plug in the very pricey Seagate 1 terabyte storage expansion slot that gives you all of the benefits of the internal drive, it adds 920 gigabytes of usable capacity. A more affordable alternative is to use a cheaper USB 3.1 external hard drive to store the next-gen games you’re not playing and just shuttle them back and forth as you want them, sparing yourself the need to download them every single time. Besides, transferring between the Xbox Series X’s NVME SSD and a USB 3.1 drive is pretty quick.
Yes, you can play backwards compatible games off of an external drive, but you’re going to want to run them from the internal SSD, because the loading time advantages are significant. I ran tests with Red Dead Redemption 2, Halo 5, Control, State of Decay 2, as well as Xbox 360 games Grand Theft Auto 4 and Fallout 4. The results varied from better to a lot better. Newer, more performance intensive games like Red Dead 2 and Control saw the most benefit, but every test I ran yielded a noticeable advantage. Furthermore, I tried out Quick Resume, and Microsoft wasn’t kidding around. It works! I like that they even put a little “Quick Resume” icon in the upper right corner of the screen to let you know that you won’t have to wait for the entire game to load from scratch.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.