If I judged Microsoft’s new video game console, the Xbox Series X, purely as a piece of hardware, I’d only need one word: boring.
The Xbox Series X is the antithesis of its predecessor, a console that proved to be many things, none of which were boring, though many of which were infuriating. Microsoft infamously spent its public reveal of the Xbox One in 2013 talking about everything but video games. The console reflected those priorities.
The Xbox One featured a grab bag of technological gimmickry. Through the initially mandatory Kinect peripheral, you could control menus and apps with hand gestures and voice. The instruction manual encouraged new owners to run their cable box through the game console, and voilà: The Xbox became a centralized media hub. A “snappable” user interface could display MLB box scores from one app while you surfed Netflix in another window….