After spending several months telling myself that I should not buy an Xbox Series X, and watching other people climb to get the next generation consoles, I added and bought an Xbox Series X. That was a few weeks ago and recently I’m starting to wonder if it was that good.
I’m not going to lie: the decision to buy an Xbox Series X was 100 percent an impulse purchase, and not the result of spending weeks trying to track down a console that did not come from a scalp. The British dealer Argos got some stock, and in the typical next generation way, it sold almost immediately. Except for a shop, about 30 minutes away by car, which miraculously still had some available.
A few days and 40 miles later, I rearranged the top of my TV to accommodate the overgrown brick that is the Xbox Series X. Hooray! Right? Maybe not, because in the weeks since, I have done almost nothing about it.
It has been almost anything but a game console
In the weeks since I connected my new Xbox, I have made very little actual play on it. Which is strange considering how many games can be played on a next generation Xbox. There are 20 years of things to enjoy, and all I seem to use it for is playing 4K Blu-rays. When I’m not trying to sync my old storage files with the cloud, that is.
The wrong thing is that I already had an Xbox One S, and it was perfectly capable of playing 4K discs. Maybe it was not quite the same quality as a dedicated 4K machine, but it played them and took up only about half the space of the Series X in the process.
What comes to me most is that I rarely have time to play anymore. Certainly not on TV, which is why I like the Nintendo Switch so much. It lets me pick up a game whenever I want, no matter where I am.
I can stream Xbox Series X to my phone, and very easily, but it’s not quite the same. I still feel like I should be sitting on the couch in front of the TV with a controller in my hands. Especially since many of the games I have are large, expansive games that benefit from having a much larger view of the world.
These games also seem to require huge amounts of time and effort to stay on top, I discovered this first hand when I uploaded my Fallout 4 storage, and realized that I had not played the game in four years and had no idea about what went on. I was also shocked to find Elder Maxson still alive, although I’m pretty sure I killed him to get the cute cloak he wears. In addition, I clearly remember that I completed the game and destroyed the institute. But it’s kind of still there.
It was nice to run around and check out the Commonwealth at 60 frames / sec. But the fact that I’m an adult with a busy adult schedule that doesn ‘t include a lot of time for games is still one of the things that makes me wonder why I bothered to pick up Series X
The lack of exclusions does not help
Console exclusions are usually quite rare so early in a new generation, and it does not matter if you are the proud owner of a PS5 or an Xbox Series X. We are less than a year into the new cycle, and all that platform exclusive is randomly available on the older consoles.
The fact that I have an Xbox Series X now does not actually open up any new gaming possibilities for me. Because every game I could go out and buy would have worked on my older console. It’s a pretty amazing thing when you think about it, because the same disc can work across two different generations of hardware
That kind of forward compatibility has not been done before, and even in the heyday of the PS2, it was impossible to pop a PS3 game into a PS2 and expect it to work. Even the PS5 sells separate discs for exclusivity, like Spider-Man: Miles Morales. It’s an impressive display of technology and a consumer – friendly practice that you would never have expected from a company like Microsoft itself ten years ago.
Of course. The downside is that I could easily get a copy of something like Crash Bandicoot 4, and continue playing it on my Xbox One. The only major difference is that the Xbox Series X is capable of running it at 4K 60 fps. It’s a big step up from the original Xbox One and Xbox One S that I still have lying around, but it’s not that I miss much.
The same goes for Game Pass, since all of these titles are multigenerational. Series X may look and play these games better, but it’s not like I could not have played them without it.
It definitely does not help that Microsoft seems far more committed to supporting the Xbox One in the future. It’s great that players don’t feel pressured to upgrade if they really don’t want to. But at the same time, it also reduces the value of the new console. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have been a little easier to find than the PS5.
Despite that, I do not regret it
But when I start guessing my decision too much, I am reminded of one thing: Just because I have not played the console yet, does not mean I will never do it. There comes a time when I desperately want a next generation console, and now I’m ready. As the old saying goes, it is better to have something and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
Then again, the person who made this saying probably meant emergency supplies or something like that. Not $ 499 game consoles. But hey, I do not want to play Halo Infinite in anything less than 4K, which is something to look forward to. Just as long as Microsoft does not make me regret having jumped in early by releasing a limited edition console design that looks much better than the current matte-black refrigerator.
In addition, Series X has already taught me things I never knew about my TV. Like the fact that Samsung TVs from that time (the distant days in 2016) did not have HDR turned on by default. I found it only because Xbox continued to claim that I did not use an HDR10 compatible monitor.
It turns out that you have to dive into the settings and turn on HDR for each HDMI port. And even then, it’s actually not branded as something tangible related to HDR. Samsung expected you to just know that, or at least that someone on a forum somewhere would point you in the right direction. So it’s definitely a win for Microsoft, and another thing I can hold against Samsung. That prize may not be worth $ 500 alone, but it is still a prize.
I may be wondering why I spent so much money on a shiny new console that I have barely touched a few times, but I will not go so far as to say that I have any serious buyer remorse. I just need to manage my time better, and find some games that make me a little more eager to get that controller.