Xbox Series X provided courtesy of the Xbox Review Program.
2020 has been an incredible year for us at Can I Play That and Xbox came along making sure we finish out our amazing year on a high note by providing us with our very first console review unit!
We hope you enjoy this not-so-traditional unboxing of the Xbox Series X, with a very special guest, Kishonna Gray, author of Intersectional Tech: Black Users in Digital Gaming and friend of CIPT.
Courtney Craven: Hello! We are here from Can I Play That with special guest, Kishonna Gray. I don’t have her book in front of me because I moved it for my big Xbox and, yeah, she’s here to help with the unboxing of the Xbox Series X, because I’m not the media personality of Can I Play That so I can needed a little bit of help. So she is here to do that.
Kishonna Gray: And I’m glad to be here. Thank you for having me Court.
Courtney Craven: Alright. So we’re just going to get right into it. We’re going to talk about the packaging, how accessible it is to open. Any stuff that’s the outside that’s an accessibility feature and yeah,
Kishonna Gray: Absolutely. And one of the things that I think, you know, Xbox, you know, they stay pretty close to like that, that green and black branding, that’s like such an iconic color. But I will say like, I’m one of those people, like I get– like holes make me like kind of freak out and I’m seeing on this box, Court, that there are a lot of small holes. And like, if– I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what that’s called. That’s called something, you know, people that freak out with holes. So I’m glad to know that. So I could prepare myself for that
Courtney Craven: It needs to come with, what is it, a trigger warning.
Kishonna Gray: It really does!
Courtney Craven: Don’t look at it. Yeah. Yeah. It’s those plants that are just–
Kishonna Gray: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Like I just, I just get the willies. Absolutely. And so I always have like a tough time with the box. So tell me like about the box, how is it boxed? Is it easy to like flip something? Isn’t taped up? Whatcha got? Ooh. It’s how heavy is it?
Courtney Craven: Ten pounds.
Kishonna Gray: Ten pounds?
Courtney Craven: Yeah. This is a big, big thing. So yeah, 10 pounds.
Kishonna Gray: Ten pounds!
Courtney Craven: I Googled it and I think it was like 9.8.
Kishonna Gray: The last– the old, the original Xbox one was seven pounds. So I thought that was heavy. And so this is heavier than that. Oh my goodness.
Courtney Craven: Yeah. So yeah. Got the giant box to contain the giant– we’ve been referring to it as the mini fridge. Yeah. So yeah, there’s the box. It’s got all the details there. Let me not drop it. I’ll tell you the weight is not accessible, but you know–
Kishonna Gray: Sheesh! Where would you start to even like open it up? How does the outside, is it smooth? How does it, how does it feel? Give me some description. Like what the texture, it looks like it’s a smooth box.
Courtney Craven: It’s a smooth box and I will probably get some cardboard paper cuts because you know, it’s cardboard and I’m not that talented. Yeah. So it has– I have to admit that, I couldn’t contain myself. So I peaked and then I didn’t notice this until Steve Saylor pointed it out when we were chatting in our staff Discord, that it comes with these– I don’t know if you can see them on camera– see these–
Kishonna Gray: Yeah. Yeah. What is that?
Courtney Craven: It’s an easy pull tab.
Kishonna Gray: Ooh!
Courtney Craven: Yeah. So you’re not supposed to have to cut it. I didn’t notice that. So I just got out my pocket knife and started slicing away. Yeah. There is the tape that is
Kishonna Gray: So easy pull tabs at the bottom. That’s fantastic to make it easy to open. That’s awesome. Do you get to play it? Like, can you like plug it in and like play it now or no?
Courtney Craven: Yeah.
Kishonna Gray: You can? They can play it. Yes. Yes. Oh my gosh. So jealous.
Courtney Craven: Okay. And then there’s two more. Cause there’s it, it opens up like a hatch, I guess you would call it.
Kishonna Gray: Does it? Okay.
Courtney Craven: Yeah. There’s there’s two more tape tabs here.
Kishonna Gray: Okay. So like a hat box or a cake box?
Courtney Craven: Yeah.
Kishonna Gray: Okay. Okay. Fantastic. Good to see this pretty mini fridge cakes slash hat.
Courtney Craven: Yeah, let’s get it open. Tali is afraid of the box.
Kishonna Gray: Oh, Tali. Oh, poor Tali. Oh, okay. What does it smell like Court?
Courtney Craven: Smells a little like glue?
All right. Yeah. You have this lovely packaging here. But yeah, the box was just that easy to open. You just pop it up.
Kishonna Gray: That’s awesome. How secure is it in this space? Because I’m thinking, you know, you know, people have like open, like packaging fails where, you know, they open something and I’m like, it falls out. Let’s say if somebody who didn’t know that those seals were there, like if they just kind of hacked it open, like could it fall out or is it pretty secure in this space?
Courtney Craven: Well the cool thing about this. And you know, I never gave a whole lot of thought to box designers before, but I guess takes some skill because the only way to open it is to do this, so you really can’t–
Kishonna Gray: there’s no other way.
Courtney Craven: Yeah.
Kishonna Gray: Not unless you’re hacking the box up, but there’s no other way to open it. Okay. All right. Cool.
Courtney Craven: Unless you shake it out. Which you know, why would you do that with your Xbox?
Kishonna Gray: Right? Of course not. Of course, of course you wouldn’t. Yeah, of course not.
Courtney Craven: It’s got this nice thick styrofoam around it and the top, protective…this.
Kishonna Gray: Oh, good. Okay. So like some styrofoam kind of. So what does it say on there? What are the words there?
Courtney Craven: “Power Your Dreams.” Which I believe is their Xbox Series X launch campaign.
Kishonna Gray: Power Your Dreams. Okay.
Courtney Craven: I know they aired the first commercial that had– I’m sure people know who he is, but I don’t keep up with streamers and stuff– But he was in, he was in the first, release video for it and the theme of Power Your Dreams and he was flying through like Halo and stuff.
Kishonna Gray: Oh!
Courtney Craven: So I think that that is their launch campaign .Power Your Dreams use the mini fridge to power your dreams.
Kishonna Gray: Awesome. It’s huge! It’s huge. Look at how thick that is! Like it, it looks, it looks huge. Like the face of it looks a lot more than that looks like more than five or six inches on the face of it.
Courtney Craven: Good lord.
Kishonna Gray: My goodness. And then Court gently places their hands underneath the exterior of the box. Oh, okay. Oh, okay. So that was like kind of an illusion. So it did something different. Okay. I thought, okay. So it’s more, more narrow than I thought, but it’s heavier. So it feels it’s much heavier.
Courtney Craven: Yeah.
Kishonna Gray: Okay.
Courtney Craven: It’s not super awkward to hold because the Xbox Series X is square and you can kind of cradle it like this.
Kishonna Gray: The packaging was made it way more yeah– cumbersome than what it actually is. Okay. And so that’s a lot of packaging, but okay, good, safe packaging to get the box to us safely. Awesome.
Courtney Craven: Oh, wait, not done with the packaging.
Kishonna Gray: Oh, okay. Okay. Okay. Are there accessories? Did it come? Does it come with anything?
Courtney Craven: There are parts in the back here.
Kishonna Gray: The secret compartment. Court has now accessed the secret panel. Dun dun dun!
Courtney Craven: Okay. Now I think we’re done with the box. So let’s see what is in here.
Kishonna Gray: Way to go Court. Let’s just shake it out.
Courtney Craven: In the box, underneath the Xbox was this– it looks like a do not disturb sign. I don’t know what you do with it.
Kishonna Gray: Okay. So is that we can hang it up somewhere? Like, is it reference material? Okay.
Courtney Craven: It’s the– oh, it’s the quick start guide.
Kishonna Gray: Okay. Okay. Okay.
Courtney Craven: So yeah, this little insert/door hanger here shows you all the ports. All the ports and stuff. And then just, you know, the quickstart that comes with everything because who can read all of this?
Kishonna Gray: Got it. Oh, yeah. I mean, nobody reads that anymore. But you know, I get mad whenever they don’t include like the manual. Like I was mad, I got something one time and then there was no manual, but I wanted a manual, but I wouldn’t read it anyway. Like we’re never satisfied.
Courtney Craven: It feels official if you have the manual. Cause you know, what, if something catastrophic goes wrong and you need to comb through 50 pages of Portuguese and French and–
Kishonna Gray: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Courtney Craven: Yeah. So we have cables here that have little QR codes on them, which is special.
Kishonna Gray: Is that HDMI or is it a different kind of cord?
Courtney Craven: Is the HDMI.
Kishonna Gray: Okay, perfect.
Courtney Craven: Nice and smooth. Like I imagine the Xbox is.
Kishonna Gray: Absolutely. Fantastic.
Courtney Craven: Oh, this is the power cord that also has QR codes on it.
Kishonna Gray: Awesome. Awesome. So does it just go, is there, because I know they’ve done, they’ve done a good job with it.
Courtney Craven: The original Xbox one that had that gigantic–
Kishonna Gray: Brick.
Courtney Craven: Yeah.
Kishonna Gray: Yes. The brick was huge.
Courtney Craven: Here we have the controller.
Kishonna Gray: Ooh, fancy.
Courtney Craven: Oh, there’s batteries in there.
Kishonna Gray: I like that it comes with batteries. Yep.
Courtney Craven: The controller here.
Kishonna Gray: Does it feel any different from the previous ones?
Courtney Craven: It feels a lot nicer. It’s got, it’s hard to– it feels not like sandpaper, but like. It’s a grippier than–
Kishonna Gray: Oh, it’s got like more of a grip?
Courtney Craven: Yeah. you know, last one was like, it had like a kind of a tactile stick. This one feels more so, it’s not like rubbery, but it’s kind of like, feels like, you know, those rubber grippy things that you use to open jars?
Kishonna Gray: Yes! Yes.
Courtney Craven: It’s like that texture.
Kishonna Gray: Oh, okay. I like that. That’s nice.
Courtney Craven: And then I think, I think if I remember reading correctly, this here button–
Kishonna Gray: Yeah?
Courtney Craven: Is the share button, which is super handy.
Kishonna Gray: Oh!
Courtney Craven: I hated having to tap the Xbox button and then hit–
Kishonna Gray: And then hit Y or X like to capture, you can just press the button and it’ll do a screen capture or record. That’s awesome.
Courtney Craven: Yeah. I think, I think in that way, it’s similar to the Dualshock on PS4.
Kishonna Gray: Yeah, absolutely. That’s good. That’s good. Does it feel sturdy and everything? Cause you know, I think one of my, one of my issues with the Xbox One was that the controllers, like if I dropped it then like the RB would be done, like it would just be– How does it feel?
Courtney Craven: It, it feels honestly about the same as the other one, but the buttons are more– the triggers aren’t smooth like on the last Xbox. They’re also kind of grippy.
Kishonna Gray: Yeah.
Courtney Craven: The only thing that’s kind of annoying that I wish they would stop doing is sending batteries instead of rechargeable thing. Who uses batteries in their controller?
Kishonna Gray: Like, send us plug and plays, please just send us a plug and play, please. And I guess that’s probably the only thing where I like this, as compared to their competitors controller, you know? Cause there’s, there’s just like the charge. So like the, you know, if the battery goes out, I don’t have access to do anything with the battery. I just have to get a whole new controller. So I guess I do like, I do like that, but send plug and plays next time.
Courtney Craven: Options.
Kishonna Gray: Yes.
Courtney Craven: And the other cool thing that I like about the controller–I’ll show you on camera here. Have you seen the Elite controller?
Kishonna Gray: Yes!
Courtney Craven: It’s got the more radial D-pad.
Kishonna Gray: I love that.
Courtney Craven: Yeah. Which from an accessibility standpoint, you know, it makes it easier too– if you have to press two directions at once, you can just tap the corner.
Kishonna Gray: That space right there. That’s right. Absolutely. No, I love that better. I’m so glad that they’re doing that because I’ve had just, I had the toughest time, like with analog sticks. So I love that. And I feel like the only way to get that different pad was to pay so much more money. I think the controller was like maybe like $120 or something to get that controller. So I’m glad this comes to fault. That’s awesome.
Courtney Craven: And another thing I noticed is, the start button or options, button, whatever, and then the other. This one here with the little windows on it?
Kishonna Gray: Yeah. Like the main menu button?
Courtney Craven: They’re a little more elevated than on the original Xbox controller. Good. That’s awesome. So it’ll be easier to, you know, if you’re playing without looking or if you’re a blind or low vision player you can just feel them more easily. So that’s handy.
Kishonna Gray: Awesome.
Courtney Craven: Yeah. So that’s that.
Kishonna Gray: Awesome. Love that.
Courtney Craven: What else is in the box here?
Kishonna Gray: What’s in the box? What’s in the box?
Courtney Craven: I think that’s everything from the box.
Kishonna Gray: Okay. The secret compartment.
Courtney Craven: On to–God, this is heavy!
Kishonna Gray: Sheesh.
Courtney Craven: Onto this. And I don’t, I don’t know how to.–So it’s wrapped in like–
Kishonna Gray: It’s like a black wrapping paper?
Courtney Craven: It’s like styrofoam paper, really.
Kishonna Gray: So some kind of protection paper.
Courtney Craven: Yeah. Like how they wrap TVs and computer monitors and stuff.
Kishonna Gray: Oh yeah. I know what you mean.
Courtney Craven: How the hell do I take this ring off?
Kishonna Gray: I was a big thud.
Courtney Craven: Yeah. It’s a beast and I’ll hide these circles.
Kishonna Gray: Thank you. You’re so kind.
Courtney Craven: Okay. So yeah, that unwraps. So you just have to rip the tape. Easy enough. Oh my God, this is big.
Kishonna Gray: Oh my gosh. But there are holes on the Xbox Series X! Oh no, I can’t buy that. I’m switching to the competitor. Whoa! Describe it for me.
Courtney Craven: So the holes–
Kishonna Gray: Yep. The ventilation little area.
Courtney Craven: Little ventilation area. You can see the fan in there, which is kind of cool.
Kishonna Gray: That’s awesome. Let me see that. Put it towards the screen. I won’t wig out. That’s cool. And it seems– it had green? Was it green at one angle? It looked green.
Courtney Craven: There’s a green accent.
Kishonna Gray: Yeah. I’m itching. I’m itching, but it’s cute.
Courtney Craven: And then on the bottom here, you can tell that they wanted you to have it upright. Because it’s got this little rubber grippy thing, but also on the side here, you can lay it down and there’s side grippies.
Kishonna Gray: Okay. So we could lay it either way. They’re telling us that we could do either way. Okay. But those are the two ways that they want it. Okay. Got it. Got it.
Courtney Craven: There’s the logo if you have on the side, you got that logo for everyone to see upright. You have– I would guess that’s the power button?
Kishonna Gray: I was gonna say, where are the buttons at?
Courtney Craven: I don’t know what this is this–
Kishonna Gray: I feel like in their, in their desire to make it so sleek, they made it to sleek because really it doesn’t look like anything. Like how would it– maybe, I don’t know. Maybe if you plug it in, then the light will come on. I mean, I don’t know.
Courtney Craven: Yeah. I mean, with this, I would not have guessed that it was the power button. Cause it’s totally flush with the surface of the thing. So maybe I bet it lights up when you plug it in and that kind of makes it obvious, but aside from the–
Kishonna Gray: Does it feel different?
Courtney Craven: Yeah, it’s kind of shiny where the rest is super matte and smooth. So if you run your hand over your thumb gonna sticks.
Kishonna Gray: But that’s a lot of area for that small space.
Courtney Craven: Right, right.
Kishonna Gray: Interesting. Okay. Okay. Okay.
Courtney Craven: All these holes up here. So yeah, it feels a little weird. And then this, I would imagine is the button to pop out the–
Kishonna Gray: Yeah, where’s the disc go? I can’t, that’s still not even like apparent. Oh, give me a different angle. I see now. Okay. Okay. Okay. I’m seeing, and I see there’s some other things at the top. Was that like the sensor, maybe in the, a USB thing? Is that what that is?
Courtney Craven: It looks like the button to connect– to pair your controller with it.
Kishonna Gray: Oh yeah. Okay. Okay.
Courtney Craven: Here is the USB to plug it in.
Kishonna Gray: Okay. Got it. And is that it? So that’s the front.
Courtney Craven: That’s the front. On the back we have more holes and– Oh, okay here’s the little hole here for storage expansion.
Kishonna Gray: I see it. Yep. Okay.
Courtney Craven: For those special memory cards.
Kishonna Gray: Perfect. How many USB ports? Cause that’s something I’ve always complained about.
Courtney Craven: Two on the back and the one on the front. So three.
Kishonna Gray: Still the same number. I feel like three is what is like their, their number. Yeah. No, I think it’s their competitor that has the fewer one. Yes. Okay. Perfect. Perfect. All right.
Courtney Craven: I remember– who was it that had the– I think it was IGN. There’s a video about the dots on the back. Yeah. Okay. So here, you have the, power port to plug in, there’s one dot next to it. The ethernet port, two dots, and then both of the USB cables have three dots next to them and storage expansion. Oh, storage expansion is four dots. And HDMI is just a little dash that’s tactile.
Kishonna Gray: Okay.
Courtney Craven: And that is it. That is the new Xbox! That is the heaviest thing in the world.
Kishonna Gray: It looks heavy. It looks big. It looks clunky. I’m trying to think about like, you know, where would you put it? Like, you know, does it cause it’s different than its predecessor. You know? So you have to really re-imagine even where you would put it in the space, especially if you keep it upright.
Courtney Craven: Well, and that’s what I was thinking. Cause I’ve got- I have one of those small TV stands because I live in a studio apartment, I don’t have a big area for anything. So I’ve just, I’ve got the two spaces for the PlayStation and Xbox, and then I have like my Switch because I never use it hiding on the corner, but I’m like, where am I going to put this? I don’t have room. There’s not space for it.
Kishonna Gray: There is no room for it.
Courtney Craven: I mean, I think my only option is going to be to unplug the Xbox One X and put the Xbox Series X in its place.
Kishonna Gray: Yeah, absolutely.
Courtney Craven: Then hope and pray that I can still play Dragon Age on this.
Kishonna Gray: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I know like previous models, I felt like they didn’t recommend sitting them on the floor. Did they have any recommendations for know, like sitting them on the floor or anything? I know there’s that little space at the bottom was like the little plate that it’s sitting on. Like did they give it floor protection maybe?
Courtney Craven: I would imagine that they probably don’t want you to put on carpet.
Kishonna Gray: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Courtney Craven: And with the fan on the top instead of at the back or anything, I would bet that that. Although that– there go my plans to keep it, I have like that much room left in my, in my little TV stand. Cause the Xbox Series X was going to be on the shelf and then another shelf on top of it. So I can’t do that.
Kishonna Gray: Absolutely.
Courtney Craven: Let’s see. It tells you how to pair the control or how to put batteries. That’s helpful.
Kishonna Gray: Yeah. Good. Yeah, but I think we’d probably have to lay it. We wouldn’t be able to stand it up, like when we get ours. Yeah.
Courtney Craven: Yeah, no, there’s no instructions for where to put it. Okay. All right. Just put it wherever you can fit it I guess is the plan. They didn’t want to limit you too much because I mean, it’s the size of a PC tower.
Kishonna Gray: Yeah. That’s exactly what it looks like. It looks like a PC tower. Yes. Yeah.
Courtney Craven: It’s a pretty one, but yeah.
Kishonna Gray: It’s gorgeous. Absolutely. Fantastic. Fantastic. So what’s going to be the first thing that you do when you plug it up, plug it in. What are you going to do?
Courtney Craven: I’ll probably go back to Assassin’s Creed and try and power through that before the new one comes out because I have like half of the map left unexplored. Now I really need to finish this.
Kishonna Gray: Oh, gosh, so huge.
Courtney Craven: Then I’ve got the launch titles that I have to review. So I have like 15 pieces that I have to write within the next three weeks.
Kishonna Gray: Oh, okay. All right. You got this!
Courtney Craven: It helps that some of the, some of the staff members also got console’s. I got the review unit. That’s the one benefit of being editor in chief is getting the review unit, right?
Kishonna Gray: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Courtney Craven: It was so cool cause this is like, this was the moment that felt like, Hey, we have made it. Can I Play That is a bonafide news outlet because we were actually offered a review unit.
Kishonna Gray: Absolutely.
Courtney Craven: So it was like shit, six years of hard work. Finally
Kishonna Gray: That’s right.
Courtney Craven: Yeah. And then they were like, you need to do the unboxing video.
Kishonna Gray: Just give it to me. I just want to play! Awesome.
Courtney Craven: That is it!
Kishonna Gray: I love it. I love it. And I’m so glad that you allowed me to be a part of this unboxing experience.
Courtney Craven: I’m grateful because– I don’t– and see, this is an accessibility point, right? Because I’m on the spectrum. I didn’t know until I was 36, but it was one of those, oh, that makes so much sense, right? Yeah, because I don’t react to things. Like if I’m sitting here by myself, the video would just be me taking it out of the box and looking at it.
That would be the extent of the– Because, you know, you look at videos from Steve Saylor, or even staff from other websites and they have these huge personalities and they react to things. I don’t react to things.
Kishonna Gray: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So just even the concept of react videos is very ableist, you know, because it’s expecting a certain kind of performance that not all of us do. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s important to interrogate too. Yeah.
Courtney Craven: So I’m glad I didn’t fail, so to speak, at my first unboxing video.
Kishonna Gray: Well, you did a fantastic job and I’m so glad to be a part and I’m so happy and so proud of the success of Can I Play That. And I’m so glad to, you know, witness like early stages and to see your growth and see amazing things that you’ve done Court really. It’s amazing.
Courtney Craven: Thank you.