Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Microsoft sent us an Xbox Series X, but we're only allowed to talk about the box it comes in

Illustration for article titled Microsoft sent us an Xbox Series X, but were only allowed to talk about the box it comes in
Photo: The A.V. Club

For video game people, there’s nothing quite like cracking open the box of a brand new console. It’s like Christmas morning, partially because they tend to come out around the end of the year and it’s an expensive thing to buy outside of the consumerist bonds of the holiday season. We all had a good laugh at that kid opening up an Nintendo 64 in that ancient viral video, but it was funny because it was real. Here at The A.V. Club, we would never want to deprive anyone of the thrill of being that kid and starring in your own viral video, because part of the fun of an expensive new thing is getting to open that thing and marveling at the wonders contained in its box. That being said, Microsoft sent us an Xbox Series X so we can review it and some new games ahead of its launch, but at this point we’re only allowed to talk about unboxing it... so we’re going to do that. (Note: We did not get an Xbox Series S, which is the smaller one without a disc drive, but we imagine the unboxing process to be largely similar.)

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And here it is! The Xbox Series X’s box. Ooh! Aah! Honestly, there’s not much to say here. It’s a box. It seems to be made of some kind of cardboard-like material, and the printing on it suggests that it contains an Xbox. You’ll have to read on to see whether or not it does. From the side, you can see technical information about what the Xbox Series X can do, but we can only go off of what the box tells us, which is that it can handle “4K Gaming at Up to 120FPS” and “Up to 8K High Dynamic Range” thanks to the “Xbox Velocity Architecture.” Do we know what all of that means? No, but it sounds exciting on the box.

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On the back you can see Mr. Master Chief, the Xbox’s de facto mascot (sorry, Blinx The Time Sweeper), despite the fact that Halo Infinite was delayed into 2021. Of course, as the back mentions, this thing can run Microsoft’s Netflix-like Game Pass service, which includes plenty of Halo games, so it’s totally fair to print Master Chief’s metal mug on this thing.

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The box opens up at a fun angle that says “this is an Xbox box, not some kind of regular box,” with a mysterious and pretty damn heavy gift-wrapped bundle sitting in the center. What could it be? We have no idea, we’re just unboxing here. Based on the box and only the box, we can safely say that it can “power your dreams.” Or maybe it does already power your dreams? Is this what the Eurythmics were talking about in that song?

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Behind the mysterious heavy thing is a little compartment containing the controller, an HDMI cable, and a power cable. The controller feels slightly smaller than the Xbox One one and has some new grippy textures for serious hardcore gaming, plus a new button in the middle. The cables are cables, but one thing you won’t see is a Ghostbusters-style power brick dangling off the back. Like most modern electronics, the Series X plugs straight into a wall. Or at least we assume it does. The box doesn’t specifically mention plugging in the Xbox.

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All in all, pretty solid box. We’re not sure what else we could do with it other than carrying an Xbox Series X around, but it seems like it could also fit a small pineapple or 10 Beanie Babies. The box doesn’t explicitly say how many Beanie Babies it could carry, but it could definitely carry some.

Oh, also, here’s this thing. We’re not allowed to talk about it (the back has two USB ports, a plug for the power cable, one HDMI port, an ethernet port, and a slot for proprietary memory cards to expand the storage), but we’ll be able to say more later. It comes out on November 10.

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Illustration for article titled Microsoft sent us an Xbox Series X, but were only allowed to talk about the box it comes in
Photo: The A.V. Club

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