Xbox Series X vs. PC: Which is best to buy?

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There may not be many benefits to the Xbox Series X over a competent gaming PC.

image credits: pocket-lint

There isn’t a simple solution to the Xbox Series X vs. PC comparison topic. For starters, a computer from our list of the top gaming PCs will provide plenty of gaming power and access to a sizable collection of both new and old games for $1,000 or more. The Xbox Series X provides plenty of actual gaming capability for at least half the price, but it also has a smaller, though still sizable, selection of titles.

There is also a significant amount of cross-pollination between the platforms, with Xbox Game Pass being available on PC but the Xbox Series X having PC-like components and graphics capabilities; in fact, the Series X even has a small-form factor PC appearance.

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In conclusion, every user has a somewhat different scenario, and both the Xbox Series X and PC have advantages and disadvantages. The math is a little bit different with the Xbox Series X than it was before. The Xbox Series X is merely one way to access a vast gaming world; it does not market itself on exclusive games or custom hardware. You will also have access to the same ecosystem on a PC, possibly for the first time in console history.

Because there are so many different gaming PCs, this story isn’t truly about head-to-head comparisons between an Xbox Series X and a gaming computer. Instead, have a look at which gaming platform would be perfect for you.

In a recent article I wrote comparing the PS5 to gaming PCs, I made the case that PlayStation’s large selection of exclusive games was sufficient justification for purchasing a PS4 and will continue to be so for the PS5.

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However, there aren’t really any “exclusive” games on Xbox Series X. Both the Xbox Series X and the PC will be able to play every first-party Microsoft game. (Many will also be accessible on the Xbox One, at least for the foreseeable future.) However, I don’t believe a current-gen console is now a wise buy. As a result, unless you want a separate living room system, there isn’t much reason to get an Xbox Series X if you already have a pretty capable gaming PC. One argument in favor of purchasing a new console is the fact that save data will sync between a game’s PC and Xbox versions thanks to Smart Delivery.

Backwards compatibility is still a significant area where the PC will fall short of the Xbox Series X. Every Xbox One game, as well as many Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, are backwards compatible with the Xbox Series X. The majority of Xbox One titles are now available on PC, although Xbox 360 and the first Xbox had their fair share of cherished exclusives. It’s a weird pitch, but one that can work if the games are amazing and you’ve never played them before: “Buy a brand-new console expressly to play old games.”

Additionally, PC owners will be able to use their Xbox Game Pass subscriptions completely and even download some PC-only games, such as Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. Not all Xbox One games available through Game Pass are compatible with PC, but many of them are, as are all Xbox Series X games. Like the Xbox One controller, the Xbox Series X controller will be completely compatible with computers, streaming devices, and smartphones.

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Instead of just creating a machine, Microsoft appears to be creating an entire gaming environment around the Xbox Series X. The Xbox Series X is more of a central center for gaming than a single, all-inclusive device thanks to features like Smart Delivery, Game Pass, and Project xCloud (which can stream Xbox games to mobile platforms), according to a piece my colleague Roland Moore-Colyer authored on the subject. In essence, you may enjoy the Xbox Series X to the fullest extent possible without ever picking one up.

Xbox Series X vs. PC: Price 

Of course, there is still one area where an Xbox Series X significantly outperforms a PC, and that is in terms of cost. While an Xbox Series X costs$499, custom-built gaming PCs will always be more expensive than mass-produced consoles. For that amount of money, you could probably assemble a very basic gaming PC, but it would almost certainly fall short of the Xbox Series X’s CPU, GPU, or SSD in terms of power.

I went to Newegg out of curiosity and tried to build a PC with Xbox Series X specifications. I spent about $1,500 even with the cheapest components I could find, and that doesn’t include a casing or a copy of Windows 10. It’s simple to assert that a gaming PC is more capable than an Xbox Series X in every way. But it’s difficult to rationalize spending twice as much, or even three times as much, as you would on an Xbox Series X merely to play the same games with (maybe) marginally improved graphics and frame rates.

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Given that PC components get cheaper over time, this configuration might cost hundreds less by November. However, consoles will always cost less to purchase and require less effort to set up. Although it might be entertaining, building a PC is a difficult and time-consuming procedure. Being your own tech support when anything goes wrong (not if) is also a dreadful experience. Even more money must be spent on pre-built systems.

As a result, the comparison between the Xbox Series X and PC is less about technical specifications. Better hardware can always be built into a computer. Is the aforementioned PC truly worth the price? A gaming PC is a wise purchase if you want to conduct graphic design or video editing because it can serve multiple purposes. But an Xbox Series X will do the trick for less money if all you really want to do is play games, watch movies, and listen to music.

Xbox Series X vs. PC: Which one should you get? 

There is no universal Xbox Series X vs. PC endorsement.

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You probably don’t need an Xbox Series X if you already have a competent gaming PC. See how your system handles games like Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5. Great if one or both functions properly! If not, decide if you would rather spend a few hundred dollars on a new console or a significant PC improvement.

The Xbox Series X would be a decent option if you don’t have a powerful PC, but so would a gaming rig. Think about your budget and whether a PC could serve as a tool for increased productivity. The Xbox Series X will likely satisfy your needs if all you desire is a gaming and multimedia device. A PS5 would also work, but that is an other matter.

Xbox Series X vs. PC: What if you have a PS5? 

So, in our opinion, comparing the Xbox Series X vs. PC dilemma becomes a little bit simpler if you currently own a PS5 but desire another gaming console.

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Given that the PS5 and Xbox Series X essentially share the same underlying hardware, you might find it preferable to purchase a PC for greater variety, greater customization, and a device that has access to Xbox Game Pass and a library of games spanning a decade. Tony Polanco, one of our computing writers, essentially did this.

Even though purchasing a gaming PC is obviously more expensive, it provides significantly more freedom and a unique gaming experience compared to a games console, which the PS5 already provides.

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