XBOX Series X Preview
I had made the decision a very long time ago about making this purchase. In fact, it was before Microsoft announced the XBOX Series X and S.
I know what you will be thinking, this will be another review from an XBOX fanboy and the review will be biased. If you give me a chance I think that you will understand why I stuck with XBOX and did not venture to the PS5.
This will not be a review of the unit. However, this will be the reasons why I bought this system. These are my opinions and my opinions only.
Making a Decision
I will say this up front, as I have mentioned this on my streams and I have expressed this to friends and followers, no matter what system you get, Playstation 5 or the XBOX Series X/S, you will be getting a hell of a machine.
I have been looking on Facebook and Twitter and I see people being all for one or all for the other and trashing talking. That is not constructive and helps no one. Each one of us have their reasons why we picked one system over the other.
There are a few reasons why I stuck with the Microsoft XBOX.
This is probably the main reason why someone would choose one system over the other. For me, I have been in the XBOX echo system for over 19 years now.
Since the beginning of the XBOX 360, I have had XBOX Live with Gold. The service has been tweaked over the years but the main idea is the same. You get 4 free games per month (2 XBOX Backwards Compatible games and 2 current generation games). Out of the 4 games, the ones that are backwards compatible, are yours to keep forever. The others you can play as long as you can download them. I have downloaded many games that I ended up playing on stream. These include but not limited to Dead Space 1, 2 and 3, The Turing Test, Batman: TellTale Game, Assassin's Creed I, II, III...etc. Are the games offered always AAA games? No, they are not, but it is a great way to discover old games that you could have missed.
In addition to the above, this opens the door to play multiplayer or online games for free. I do admit i am not much of a multiplayer guy, but I do play things with online modes all of the time. So, this always made sense to me to get XBOX Gold. When this started it was 59.99$ CAD per year. However, if you went to Costco here in Canada, you could have gotten the service for 39.99$ CAD.
Then, MS decided this thing called XBOX Game pass. This would essentially be compared to the Netflix of gaming. To be fair, they were not the first to come out with this but they are the ones that marketed this type of service. I have been using this since its inception and I have not looked back. To those that think this model would not work or bring in a lot of money. I view it this way.
Remember, back in the day, when we would go to the video store and rent videogames? We would rent them and see if we liked the game. If there was a game we really liked we would ask our parents to purchase it at some point. This is no different. It is the adult equivalent. The example that comes to mind was The Outer Worlds. I played it as it came out on Game Pass and I was not sure if I would like it or not. I ended up loving it, so I bought the game. I did this as well with Observer. It lets me try games that I would normally not think of trying or forgot that ever got released. So for me, the value of Game Pass alone is great.
Now they have even enhanced the service by adding EA Play to the mix. I have access to the FIFA, NHL, Madden and the Mass Effect games. Not too shabby for 15.99$ CAD a month. The cost also includes EA Play, Game Pass and XBOX Games with Gold.
I am sure that I will get a lot of hate for this. But, again, this is my opinion. I always preferred the UI on the XBOX to the one on the Playstation. I will also admit that this latest version of the XBOX interface is not my favourite but it was still better than the one on the Playstation 4. I know that the PS5 has made some changes, but the bar was set pretty low. It was never their strong suit. It feels like an interface that was built 15 years ago and they never changed. To their credit they have made strides this generation. However, I still prefer the XBOX interface. May be it is due to familiarity but I find it more intuitive to find things. There are still aspects that are not great, but there are more pros than cons in my book.
Similar to the interface, I was never a big fan of PS controllers. I know that for some the opposite is also true. I remember loving the PS1 and I had gotten used to the controller. However, when the XBOX 360 came out, that changed it for me. The form factor was perfect and I always felt more comfortable with the staggered thumb sticks than the parallel placement.
I will admit that the PS5, has made some great strides to improve their controller which has remained pretty much the same for the last 4 generations.
The XBOX has the mantra, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I know that everyone is in awe of the new PS5 controller, but for them it was a departure from what gamers were accustomed to. For XBOX, I think they just needed to tweak it to make it work. Even the things they added, I do not really care for. The share button, to me, is a gimmick that most people will never use. If they do, they will use when they first start but after that the popularity will fade. Again, only my opinion.
This did not really factor in my decision but it is worth mentioning. I love the XBOX Series design. It is sleek, quiet and looks great anywhere.
As great as the PS5 components are, the machine itself looks..... awful. There I said it. Sorry if I offended anyone but it is an eye sore. From what I can tell from an engineering perspective it does what it is supposed to do. However, to me, the PS5 looks horrible.
I still say that whichever machine that you purchase, you will be in great hands. Yes, there are pros and cons to both systems, but in the end, they are both spectacular systems.
There have been some bumps in the road for both. Units are scarce and there have been reported crashes on the PS5, but I am sure that this will be resolved with a patch soon enough. Some XBOX Units have been known to have some issues with fan noise and disk drives not working properly.
However, people have to realize that these were the first batch of machines to be released. That means everyone that bought a machine day 1, are considered early adopters. You have to expect some issues, as it is technology after all.
I have had my XBOX for about 2 weeks now and I am loving it so far. I will have a more in depth review in the coming weeks, once I have more time with it.
Let me know what you think at the coordinates below.