UPspec Gaming xScreen for Xbox Series S

The Upspec Gaming xScreen is a portable display designed specifically for the Xbox Series S. It attaches to the Xbox’s HDMI port and draws its power from the adjacent USB port on the back of the Xbox. This makes it possible to have the Xbox work completely “off the grid” if connected to a large power bank with an AC inverter. You can see it in action in my latest review including having the entire system running off a battery!

Once installed you lose access to the ethernet port and one of the USB ports. But Wi-Fi continues to function and the Xbox has another USB port on the front. The display also allows for external storage to be connected to the Xbox’s proprietary storage port.

The display quality is impressive. It runs at 1080p at 60Hz, and while it doesn’t support HDR or variable refresh rates, the image quality on the 11.6-inch display is decent and bright especially given the pixel density of this small display vs. a larger one. Colors are well balanced and the IPS display allows for decent viewing angles if you have some friends gathering around. The stereo speakers, although not extraordinary, are sufficiently loud for a portable setting.

The brightness was very good for a USB powered display. While they did not list the specifications it appears to be in the 250 nits range. The input lag was acceptable, making it suitable for gaming. While it’s not as responsive as a gaming monitor or high-end OLED television, it was much better than some of the projectors I’ve tested recently.

In terms of build quality it’s not a perfect. The white plastic does match the color of the Series S, but mine had a slight gap in the plastic on one side where the bezel attaches to the rear display lid. Additionally my display was lacking one of the rubber feet that protects the Xbox when the lid is closed.

One feature I appreciate is the ability to configure the display to turn off the Xbox when closed. However, lifting the display doesn’t automatically turn the Xbox back on; you’ll need to do that manually.

And because the display is powered by the Xbox you only need the single power cord to boot up and play. I was able to run the Xbox / xScreen combination off of my 100Wh Anker Powerhouse power bank. How long your Xbox will run for will vary greatly based on how demanding the game is and how large of a powerbank is used.

While there’s room for improvement in build quality, the display itself is a nice accessory for Xbox Series S gamers looking to take gaming out of the living room. It feels like having a mini Xbox laptop that you can carry around. Just note it is only designed to work with the Series S, not any of the other Xbox consoles.

Retroarch & Emulators on Retail Xbox Consoles Including Series S & Series X

Xbox consoles, even some of the older ones, make great emulation devices. In the past getting emulators onto a game console would require circumventing DRM controls but lately things have become a bit easier.

My project this weekend was getting Retroarch installed on my Xbox Series X. The good news is that the process was so easy I spent more time playing than configuring!

This process initially required setting the console into developer mode but this new method allows any retail console to work without modification or mode switching. I found this guide at to be pretty helpful. If you’re somebody who needs a little more of a visual step-by-step ETA Prime has a great tutorial that you can find here.

The Xbox Series consoles have pretty powerful CPUs that can handle emulation of nearly every supported core that Retroarch offers. That includes even more complex consoles like the Playstation 2 and Gamecube/Wii. You can even load the games up on a USB flash drive which is detailed in the tutorials linked above.

The MiSTer is still my go-to retro device but for certain things like more recent game consoles and Sega Super Scaler arcade titles Retroarch on the Xbox is a great combination. It was awesome playing Afterburner 2 on my 65″ OLED with its awesome soundtrack pumping through my home theater audio. And although I will probably re-map some of the controls the general experience I found to be excellent insofar as compatibility, gameplay and performance are concerned.

If you’re curious about Retroarch and why it’s so popular, check out this interview I did with a member of the Retroarch team a few years back. They do some amazing work making emulation less complex for the masses!

Xbox Series S Unboxing and Media Player Review

I got a great deal on an Xbox Series S the other day at Target. They were selling them for $249 and the deal came with a $50 gift card! When I picked it up at the store the gift card didn’t process for some reason they took $50 off the purchase price. So I ended up at $200+ tax.

Check here to see if the deal is still on (affiliate link). It does look like they have plenty of stock. I’m also experimenting with a new affiliate platform that dynamically looks for the best in stock price which you can follow at this link.

I made two videos with my shiny new Series S. The first on my Extra’s channel is an unboxing and comparison vs. the much more powerful Series X. The TLDR is that beyond the added horsepower the Series X has an optical drive which is lacking on the Series S. So those who have a large library of older disc based Xbox games will not get much use out of the S as it can’t currently access the discs!

The second video looks at the Xbox as a streaming media device. As we have previously noted the Xbox does do a pretty decent job with Plex so I was curious how it fared with streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, etc.

Unfortunately it falls short in a key area – none of the apps I tested successfully switched the television into 24p mode. Who’s fault is that? Likely the app makers as we know the Xbox is capable of doing this and even has a setting to enable 24p switching!

The Apple TV still reigns supreme when it comes to 24p playback but it’s not so great at Plex. Unfortunately we don’t have a box out on the market at the moment that does everything right !