Gift guide: the Xbox Series X is THE Christmas gift to thrill gamers in 2020

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are two of the hottest Christmas presents this year

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S
(Image credit: Microsoft)

‘Tis the season for big games consoles releases. And if you plan on decking the halls with Microsoft’s new offering, there are two new Xbox consoles to choose from.

The Series X is the fastest and most powerful Xbox ever, offering true 4k gaming, up to 120 frames per second (fps), 8K high dynamic range and Xbox high-velocity architecture, which as it promises, if super speedy. As you might expect, this is the premium offering, but the Series S is pretty impressive too.

The smallest Xbox yet – the Series S - is the best value option and brings dynamic worlds, faster load times and the Xbox Games Pass (sold separately) to players at a more affordable price point.

Both boast Xbox velocity architecture and ‘quick resume’ for fast and reliable gameplay, plus gaming at up to 120 fps for incredibly smooth graphics that wow. Spatial sound will really put players at the heart of the digital worlds they are controlling, while they can choose from more than 100 games with the Game Pass for variety and convenience.

The only reason a gamer you love might not want one of these consoles, is if they have already requested the new PS5 under the tree…or pre-ordered an Xbox already!

Who’s it for?

Serious gamers: With fast, 4K gaming at up to 120 fps, the Xbox Series X is made for gamers who take their hobby seriously. This is one hell of a box of tricks offering immersive gameplay.

Teenagers and students: The Series S is a brilliant value option for players who want fast and smooth graphics and access to the latest titles, but don’t want a massive console in their pad. The smaller console is also slightly cheaper, and offers great bang for your buck.

Xbox devotees: Both the new consoles build upon the Xbox’s reputation as being a serious and seriously good console. They also both offer access to Game Pass, which allows gamers to enjoy more than 100 games, including older titles that they may want to re-live.

Age range:

The consoles are intuitive and could be used by children, but the big games are targeted at adults, making something like Nintendo’s Switch more suited to kids, but either Xbox the perfect gift for gaming-mad teens and adults.

Xbox Series X review

(Image credit: Future)

What makes it the perfect gift?

Speed: Gone are the annoying days of waiting on loading screens for ages and ages. Both the consoles include Xbox Velocity Architecture for speed, and games load significantly faster with the custom SSD in the Xbox Series X. The quick resume feature on the Series X and S lets players seamlessly switch between different titles and resume instantly from where they left off.

Incredible visuals and sound: The original PlayStation wowed us with its graphics in 1994/5 when it was first released, but the PS5 has come a very long way. The Xbox Series X delivers sensationally smooth frame rates of up to 120fps with the visual pop of HDR. Gamers with a Series X can immerse themselves with sharper characters, brighter worlds and awesome details with true-to-life 4K, while both boast spatial sound.

Loads of games: ‘Game on’ offers heaps of games including old favourites, but gamers will need a subscription to access it, which is sold separately. However, the ‘smart delivery’ feature lets gamers buy a supported game once and always have the best available version whatever console they play on, which is a nice way of future-proofing favourite games so they can play on.

Buy the Xbox Series X here:

Buy the Xbox Series S here:

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Sarah Griffiths

A journalist with 10 years experience, Sarah specialises in Science and Technology, writing for the BBC, national papers and consumer magazines, including T3, of course. Sarah has reviewed a range of products for T3, from children’s electric toothbrushes to water bottles and photo printing services. There's nothing she can't become an expert in!