Is Xbox Leaving PlayStation in the Dust?

Well, that didn’t take long for Microsoft to burst out of the gate running. Details leak for the Xbox Series S earlier this week, and within hours, Microsoft responds back. Not only does Microsoft officially announce and showoff the Xbox Series S, they announce the official prices and release date for both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S (including some tempting payment plan options). November 10th with the Series X at $499 and the Series S at $299. Then you get Ubisoft announcing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will launch with the new Xbox and Watch Dogs Legions will also be ready on day one. But wait, it doesn’t stop there, Microsoft releases an official announcement that EA Play (formerly Origin Access and EA Access) will be included with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at no extra cost.

For something that wasn’t entirely planned, Microsoft is knocking it out of the park at the moment; and to be completely honest, I’d seriously consider getting one of the new systems on launch if I could. Not just for what was announced that I mentioned, but also for the backwards compatibility so I can finally pack up my Original Xbox and Xbox 360. I’m honestly questioning what the hell Sony is doing at this point. All they have done is shown off the PlayStation 5 models and first party titles. Still no release date and still no prices. Honestly making me feel that that Microsoft is already starting to leave Sony in the dust. Yes, they have some strong first party titles, but what else? Will the cost of the PlayStation 5 models be comparable to the Xbox Series X and S respectively, will they try to go cheaper, or will they have to go for more expensive price points?

Now, it is easy to say Microsoft is killing it at the moment with their announcements in my opinion; but it isn’t outside the realm of possible for Sony to counterattack even stronger. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony still has some tricks up it’s sleeves, and I honestly hope so. I went with a PlayStation 4 over the Xbox One; but I also went with an Xbox 360 over the PlayStation 3. I’m a fan of both systems and hold no loyalty to either. I’m just feeling a little worried that Sony is going to have to play catch up, and maybe that is why they haven’t announced anything yet. Not even an announcement date to look forward to an official announcement. Either way, I’m patiently waiting for Sony to figure their shite our and get back into the game. Until then, I will keep thinking about if/when I can/will upgrade to an Xbox Series X or Series S.

UPDATE : So I schedule this to go out today, and sure enough, Sony makes an announcement for their PlayStation 5 announcement. Okay Sony, your move. Let’s see what you got.

Xbox Games Showcase Impression

Decided to give it a few days post showcase to settle my thoughts on Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase. Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, here is their recording shared on YouTube (skipping the first 30 minute countdown):

Overall, I think it was a decent list of games to showoff. Sure, none of them were Xbox Series X exclusives with Xbox One and PC listed for most (if not all); but I think this just ties into what Microsoft is trying to go for. Eventually Xbox One will stop seeing new games, but I’m thinking PC will be a constant considering Windows is the biggest PC platform out there. Just makes sense that Microsoft wants to keep both PC players and Xbox players together, blur the lines so there is less of a concern which you own. I’d honestly love for there to be more cross platform play so I don’t have to keep asking what platform someone got a multiplayer game on.

Granted, I was really hoping they would have announces the release date and price as that is what I cared about the most. I am excited for Halo Infinite, Fable, S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2, Everwild, and Avowed; but I’ll likely just get them on PC, least I have a more compelling reason to finally upgrade my Xbox 360 (skipped the Xbox One). As long as they don’t pull the backwards compatibility and if the price is right, I’d honestly consider getting it. Guess I’ll have to wait just a bit longer.

Now, to address the elephant in the room, Halo Infinite. I feel like I have to add a little blurb about it. Yes, I feel there were some graphic details that felt off. Looking at the entire environment as a whole and everything happening, the game looks good to me. I just can’t get over how smooth the character faces were, just doesn’t match everything else. Regardless, I’m excited. I’m okay with them making it more open world, regardless if it’s similar to Destiny (which I really haven’t played much, so I can’t compare). If that worked well for Destiny, why not. Games have to evolve some; but in that same vein, watching the combat, it felt/looked like Halo. On top of that, reading that the developers clarified the game is still in development and the graphics will get better, that makes me suspect that will address those graphic details most everyone is complaining about. As I mentioned, they seemed oddly off compared to everything else and that would explain it if they aren’t done yet polishing everything up. Definitely not enough to make me not want to play it that’s for sure.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X

Sony vs Microsoft, PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X, hyperbolic fandom vs reality, and how PC’s are far superior. Honestly, who cares? Those who are avid PlayStation fans, are going to buy the PlayStation 5. Those who are avid Xbox fans, are going to buy the Xbox Series X. All while there will be the constant back and forth as to which is better. Hmm, now where have I heard this all before, hmmm (PlayStation 2 vs Xbox, PlayStation 3 vs Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One). War, war never changes.

Okay, so I might be a little tired of the constant back and forth. Can’t say my Twitter feed is helping either. Sarcasm aside, this at least helps speak to the constant competition between Microsoft and Sony (purposefully leaving Nintendo out of this as I feel they have moved into their own niche), which is a good thing. Competition helps drive a company to bring their ‘A’ game. In the case of Microsoft and Sony, I think they have. Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X look like solid systems, each with their own advantages.

While the tech geeks are geeking out about teraflops, I really don’t think that is going to a factor in what your average console game cares about regarding which system they buy. Ultimately, I really think it will just come down to what games the gamer cares about, which system it is releasing on, and systems they have previously owned.

In the case of the Xbox Series X, the biggest buy factor that I feel it is has is the fact it can play Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games out of the box. I decided too skip the Xbox One this last go around; but this backwards compatibility alone has me really considering getting an Xbox Series X. I still have plenty of Xbox and Xbox 360 games that I find myself pulling out my older systems from time to time to play; but being able to just play them all on one system, I’m sold. Outside of that, I don’t have any other reason to get one considering that Microsoft has been releasing a fair number of their big releases on PC recently and I have a gaming rig.

In the case of PlayStation 5, lets face it, they have the exclusives when comparing it’s library against Xbox; and those exclusives are very much AAA titles that very much deserve that classification. God of War, Spider-Man, The Last of Us, Uncharted, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Ghost of Tsushima to name a few. They are just amazing games that I honestly feel a little bad for those that haven’t had a chance to play them. Especially if any of those games fall into a given gamer’s wheelhouse. For me, it is the games alone that will likely drive me to eventually getting a PlayStation 5. Granted, I’ll likely wait for PlayStation 5 Slim as the current design is a bit of a beast. That, and I’ll give the system some time to go through it’s growing pains and ideally get a more stable system.

Here is my prediction, both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are going to sell well. One will likely edge out over the other; but I predict both will do just fine. As the prices haven’t been released yet, I’m not sure which one might do better. Suspect which ever is the cheapest, will likely edge out the other. Considering there is a pure digital PlayStation 5, I’m thinking that will be the least expensive next gen system, so I’m leaning PlayStation; but time will tell once the prices are officially released. Either way, I’m looking forward to what this next generation has to offer.

Xbox Live on Switch?

Okay, I have to admit, the first time I saw someone comment on it, I figured it was just a rumor. Finally got around to looking up what had been mentioned online and looks to be real. Granted, not just Switch, but also iOS and Android. With how much Microsoft has been trying to push cross platform, I can say I’m not entirely surprised about this.

While details of how Xbox Live will work on these platforms compared to PC and Xbox haven’t been released yet from what I can find. No surprise since I’ve gathered Microsoft plans on discussing this further at this years GDC (Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across Platforms (Presented by Microsoft)).

Very much looking forward to what exactly Microsoft is planning, let alone how Nintendo plans on incorporating it. Kind of curious if Nintendo might be planning on incorporating Xbox Live with their own online service as a way to enhance it. Case in point, multiplayer chat. Yes, I know, Nintendo has their Nintendo Switch Online app for voice chat. Would be nice to have voice chat with just the Switch though without needing my phone. Plenty to speculate on at this point, so I’ll just have to hold tight until Microsoft releases more information.