Thoughts on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5

On Tuesday, November 10th the Xbox Series X is released and on Thursday, November 12th PlayStation 5 (PS5) launches.  The console war is on at this moment, I will not be getting either console on launch but at some point, I will get one (or maybe both).  I have only gotten a console right after launch once and that was the Xbox 360, my experience there taught me to wait on consoles.  The Xbox 360 was plagued with the red ring of death issue.  I owned two separate Xbox 360's that had this issue, the second one was replaced with the updated Xbox 360S.  Due to the red ring of death, I will always wait and get a new console maybe a year or more after launch unless I win the lottery or get one as a gift.  I have never owned a PlayStation (PS) and I have barely played on one, my thoughts on them are limited.  I had a Sega, then Nintendo for several consoles than the 360 and now I have an Xbox One.  I would not say that I have loyalty to Xbox, but I do like that I know Xbox and the quality has always been good.  The one thing about PlayStations that I really like is that they have great exclusive game titles, a bunch of them has made me constantly debate getting a PlayStation just to play the games I will never be able to play on the Xbox.


I am not sure right now what console I would get, the PS5 is larger, more expensive and from what I have seen less powerful than the Xbox X.  The Xbox X being more powerful is like comparing a Lamborghini to a Ferrari, both the PS5 and Xbox are powerful machines, but will the average gamer notice any difference I am doubtful.  As with any big launch of a new electronic product, there will be technical issues.  As I mentioned earlier about the Xbox 360's red ring of death issue, I am sure both the PS5 and Xbox X will have issues too.  I heard that as of right now the PS5 will not allow the user to store games on the external drive, this will likely get fixed, but it is problematic.  With the size of games, not being able to store games on the external drive will make it extremely hard to have a lot of games installed.  I am positive Sony will have this issue fixed as soon as possible, as it will likely affect sales if the issue is not fixable.  The Xbox also is having issues with its launch, apparently users in Canada and the UK were told their pre-orders will not arrive on time.  The Xbox has also had issues with bugs, some users who are trying to watch a Blu-ray or DVD on the Xbox are getting a blank screen.  Launch issues are common and because of the issues and the price at launch, I would advise people to wait.  

Both consoles are launching with limited new titles, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on game developers and a lot of the big titles have been pushed to 2021.  The games that are launching will still be playable on the Xbox One and the PS4, they might not look as great, but the gameplay experience will be similar.  My feeling is that in about a year from now we will start seeing games that will need the power of the new consoles to enjoy the experience.  In a year most of the major bugs and issues will be worked out, the game lineups will be fuller and hopefully, the price will come down.  The main issue that I have had with Xbox has been the lack of exclusive game titles (or lack of ones I am interested in).  Microsoft has tried to correct this by buying developers (Bethesda), in the long term the Xbox might start to have better exclusives but in the short-term, the PlayStation is by far on top.  Sony has several exclusive game titles that I have always wanted to play like The Last of Us, Infamous, MLB The Show, Spider-Man, God of War and Uncharted.   Xbox just has Forza Motorsport and Halo, there are others, but I have never played them and don't care to.  The difference between the Xbox and PlayStation in exclusive titles is to me like the Grand Canyon.  In a few years, Microsoft might narrow the gap, but I do not believe they will ever catch up to Sony unless they buy some of those titles.  I love sports games and the fact that Xbox does not have an MLB game that is quality has been very disappointing.  I will eventually buy a PlayStation just to play some of those titles, no matter how good your hardware is it is meaningless if your games aren't good.  The main advantage that Xbox has over PlayStation is Game Pass, it is a streaming service for games.  For Game Pass you pay a monthly fee and you get to download and play any title in the Game Pass store, the titles being offered changes monthly but there are a lot of AAA games found in Game Pass.

Microsoft is not only launching the Xbox Series X, they are also launching the Xbox Series S which is a smaller and less powerful Xbox.  The Series S is digital only (no DVD drive) and only has a 512GB internal hard drive, but the price is lower than the Series X.  It was a smart decision to launch the Series S, a cheaper alternative will get them additional sales and if it is truly as good as I have seen it might be a good purchase if you are a casual gamer.  If you are a hardcore gamer then I think you will likely want to spend to get the Series X ($220 more), but for those who don't need the optical drive and occasionally play games then the Series S looks really good.  Sony followed Microsoft's lead and released a different model of PS5 at a lower price ($130 less than the PS5).  The PS5 Digital Edition is a PS5 but minus the disc drive (no DVD or Blu-ray playback like the Series S), though the digital edition is just as powerful as the PS5.  


My final thoughts will be brief because to me it is simple.  The price of the consoles added to the lack of games at launch and the inevitable bugs make me comfortable to wait.  I will buy one at some point, but I have no idea which one, possibly a PS5 just to be able to play the exclusives game titles I have never been able to play.  I enjoy the Xbox and I enjoy Xbox live, the big thing that Microsoft has to its advantage is Xbox Game Pass.  If Xbox continues to push AAA games to Game Pass (normally six months to a year after the game is released) then that can be a good long-term option to buying games.  Since I am in no rush to buy one of the consoles, I will sit back and read reviews of the games and consoles and see what titles get added to Game Pass.  As of now the retail price in Canada of the Xbox Series X is $599.99, the Series S is $379.99, while the PS5 is $629.99 and the PS5 Digital Edition is $499.99.  Having options like this is a good thing for consumers and hopefully, this trend will continue.  The fact that we have four different consoles being released this week is crazy and with each being different from the other.  I am curious about the reviews the consoles get from ordinary users, seeing what people think of each one will help me decide what I may do.  If the Xbox seems like the better choice, I can always pick up a PS4 to play some of the exclusives or maybe if I'm lucky I get a PS5 and an Xbox Series X or the PS5 with a Series S, or the Series X with a PS5 Digital Edition.  

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