Nov 12 2020

Xbox Series X

Published by under Games,Hardware,Software

Yes, I was lucky to place a pre-order on Amazon, and yes, I’ve received my Xbox Series X on Tuesday, Nov 10, 2020.

It’s a very quiet console – unless you play a 4K UHD Bluray disc. Normal Blurays are fine and quiet. “The Predator” was nice to watch. “The Martian Extended Edition 4K UDH” however is quite noisy – you can hear the drive quite clearly. The same happens on an Xbox One X, though.

Okay, watching BluRay discs might not be the reason why you buy a next-gen console.

The only game that I currently own that has a native Xbox Series X/S version is Gears 5, which uses Raytracing in this upgraded version. And even though I first thought that it wouldn’t make a difference: After an hour or two in the game, I must confess that my initial perception was wrong. The game looks a LOT better, even on a Full HD display. And it runs buttersmooth. 

Another difference that I feel is the load time: Everything on the Series X loads much faster.

Especially in AC Odyssey, for example, that really, really makes a difference. Go visit Atlantis in AC Odyssey on an Xbox One X and then on a Series X. The difference is huge. One the One X, there will be an occasional stutter; on the Series X that just doesn’t happen. Ever.

But generally, if all you currently own or play are “legacy” games for Xbox 360 or Xbox One/Xbox One X, the load time is the main difference that you will notice. The Xbox One and One X were already quiet or even noiseless. The visuals will be exactly the same on the Series X.

Does it make sense to buy an Xbox Series X right now when you already own an Xbox One X? They nick-named the One X “the beast” for a reason. Unless you have Series X/S optimized games, the truthful answer is: No, not really, yet. The main difference will be the SSD, the games themselves, however, will feel and play the same. You might want to wait until there are more Series X/S optimized games on the market and maybe in a year or so from now buy the Series X with a nice next-gen game bundle when she goes on sale for the first time.

Does it make a difference when you use the console on a Full HD display/TV? Yes, but the experience varies depending on where you’re coming from or whether you have Series X/S optimized games. When your previous console was an Xbox 360, Xbox One or Xbox One S, it will be a major upgrade. The Xbox One X and Series X internally render the games at 4K resolution and then the game will get downscaled to Full HD. So a game will still look much better when it’s One X enhanced or Series X optimized.

Does it make sense to upgrade to the Series X when you own an Xbox One/One S or an even older Xbox? Hell, yes. See above — everything loads significantly faster and the games are rendered internally on a 4K resolution even if you only connect a Full HD or lower resolution display. Xbox One X enhanced games will look gorgeous. And again, on the Series X, framerate drops will be a thing of the past. Truth be told, though, if you find one on sale for 250 bucks or so, even at this point in time an upgrade to the One X would still be absolutely recommendable and significantly improve your gaming experience. The One X is an amazing piece of hardware and coming from a previous Xbox model, you will fall in love with it. The Series X, however, is like a One X on steroids and the future of console gaming. A game like AC Odyssey might already be pushing a One X to her limits; for a Series X, it’s a warming-up excercise.

The biggest thing you should keep in mind is: This is Microsoft. This is Xbox. We have Smart Delivery. You buy a game now, you’ll get the Series X of the game whenever it is available. You won’t lose any money. You have access to basically all games that were ever published for the original Xbox, the Xbox 360, the Xbox One and the Xbox One X. You can easily hop between generations.

Microsoft does not believe in next-gen-exclusive titles. For them, Xbox is a platform spanning multiple different hardware platforms: From PC over older Xbox consoles to the latest consoles and then, finally, their streaming service. For the foreseeable future, there won’t be any games that only run on the latest and greates Xbox console; by definition, you will be able to play new games on whatever hardware –you– have.

If you’re not sure whether you want to buy the Series X, even though she definitely is an amazing piece of equipment, you can safely wait with the upgrade until there are more Xbox Series X/S titles on the market that really interest you: You will lose nothing while you’re waiting. That’s the beauty of being in the Xbox ecosystem.

And no, I neither work for Microsoft nor does Microsoft pay me to write this. But the Xbox platform is something that Microsoft really, really got right. They’ve nailed it – and in all these years, I’ve never felt let down as an Xbox customer.

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Oct 11 2020

Time To Hunt (Sanyangeui sigan)

Published by under Movies

The more I watch Korean cinema, the more I love it. “Parasite” might have won several Oscars, and it certainly is a movie that represents everything that movies are all about, but there is so much more to discover when you begin watching Korean motion pictures.

“Time To Hunt” – on Netflix! – is such a movie that took me to a place I’ve missed so much for such a long time.

Many of its scenes contain homages to the works of George Romero, John Carpenter and several others of the old movie gods that I grew up with. Just wait for the “hospital” and the “safe house” segments later in the movie. Or the abandoned buildings in the final showdown. You’ll know exactly what I mean when you’ve watched Romero’s and Carpenter’s films.

Here’s the link to the movie’s IMDB page:

Believe me: Its ratings are significantly underrated there.

As always, watch it in the original language. Even though my native language is German, I’ve watched it with English subtitles – most of the time the English localization is better than the German one.

I will most certainly watch out for more movies from director/writer Sung-hyun Yoon, that’s for sure.

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