Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Are you getting an Xbox Series X or S?

GameCentral readers discusses the launch of the Xbox Series X/S and whether they’ve already bought one or plan to in the future.

With the Xbox Series X and S having launched this week there was only one obvious subject for the weekend Inbox, as we asked if you’ve already got one and what you think of it. And if you haven’t why not and do you intend to get one eventually?

We had a pretty even mix of people that have bought one already, intend to get one in the near future, and currently don’t see a point – with almost everyone citing the lack of exclusives as the console’s main sticking point.

Everything but the games
I am a thus far satisfied owner of an Xbox Series X, ordered through Microsoft directly with no delivery issues to report. I think the theme of this Hot Topic will reflect my experience so far: it’s exactly the same, but faster. I’d also argue perhaps more stable than the Xbox One X it replaced, on which I seemed to get a fair few crashes to the home screen and the boot up animation could on occasion get quite juddery (although general in-game performance was very good).

I haven’t used the new control pad as I use an Elite pad, which works exactly as it should and did before, which actually I think is a nice touch by Microsoft – it really feels like their ethos is shifting/has shifted to one of buying into their overall experience, and everything you’ve ever owned will come with you. I fully expect them to upgrade the hardware every couple of years at a minimum but with the mantra of leaving no user behind.

Oh yeah, some new games built for the new hardware would be nice…!
StellarFlux (gamertag)

Maybe later
I pretty much came to the same conclusion as GameCentral regarding the Xbox Series X; that it is an impressive looking system but there is currently no reason to buy one.

As someone who does not own an Xbox One, can see the benefit of Game Pass and intends to buy a 4K TV soon I am hopeful that the rumoured Xbox Series V (Series X without a disc drive) is a real thing, as that could be a good fit for me in a year or two’s time. Assuming the Xbox Series of consoles actually have some good exclusive games by then.

I have said before that I think the Xbox Series S is a great idea. It is not for me, but I think it is a great looking budget system for people who are unlikely to have access to a 4K TV within the next few years.

I will be buying a PlayStation 5 first as Spider-Man: Miles Morales is already a good enough reason for me to buy that console and there are a number of promising games due within the next 12 months. Also, as I have a PlayStation 4 with a few unplayed games it makes sense for this to be the next generation console that I buy with a disc drive.

Different perspective
I have an Xbox Series X, I believe, but it’s currently hidden away somewhere in the house as a present for Christmas (the compromise for the wife letting me have it). I do understand people being upset at the lack of games and I must say I don’t understand how Microsoft got themselves into this position, considering it’s the one thing they should’ve been preparing for the most (really, it’s just mindboggling the more you think about it – especially the shocking state Halo Infinite was in).

But to be honest I’m not really interested in any Microsoft exclusives, I’ve never been impressed by Halo, Gears Of War, or Fable and I’m not a racing fan so Forza hold no interest. And that’s pretty much it, except for that zombie series that keeps getting terrible reviews but they carry on making anyway. [State Of Decay? – GC]

None of that really matters though as what I’m interested in is the best version of multiformat games and that will be on Xbox Series X. So from that perspective it’s a no-brainer for me to get an Xbox Series X over a PlayStation 5. I may get Sony’s console later, perhaps the Digital Edition, but I’ll only use it for exclusives.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Uncle Phil
Count me as one who doesn’t understand how you can launch a new console without any new games. For some reason Phil Spencer is a bit of a fan favourite but I don’t really understand why. He’s been in charge for seven years now and seems to have done just about nothing to improve the Xbox’s fortunes.

He’s spent a lot of money but I can’t think of a single exclusive on Xbox One that was even slightly tempting. The closest is Ori And The Will Of The Wisps and that’s not even really a Microsoft game as it was made by an independent developer (who have now gone off to work on something else).

Considering he was head of first party games before he became boss of the whole thing I can only assume that Uncle Phil just isn’t very good at his job. That or he has very different priorities to me when it comes to gaming. Looking at the Xbox Series X line-up that definitely seem to be true.

Future investment
I am in the fortunate position of having my new Xbox Series X and a PlayStation 5 arriving next week. I am buying each as an ‘investment’ into the next six or seven years of console gaming as much as for day one. This makes sense to me with the Xbox Series X, which is fine piece of hardware but, three days in, it feels like I’ve just like for like replaced my sold-recently Xbox One X.

Game Pass and the promise of future titles make it feel OK, it’ll justify itself over its lifetime, but sadly there was little wow factor this week. PlayStation 5, on the other hand, is what I’m really waiting for. Can’t wait to play (superior version of) Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls.

Most of all, I’m really excited about the DualSense controller, which is getting rave reviews, and 3D audio. At least there’s something new and different to get excited about NOW. (Plus, super excited for Gran Turismo 7 and Ratchet & Clank in early 2021). Yes, both are worth buying and, yes, they are more iterative than they used to be, but PlayStation 5 is coming out of the blocks quicker and with more to be excited about.
Antony Adler, London

Backwards approach
I’ve got to say I have zero interest in an Xbox Series X right now. It’s pretty obvious why too: no games. The idea of spending £450 on a new console just to play the games I’ve already got is madness to me. I’ve play them before! I want to play new games, that are only possible on the new console… that’s why I buy new consoles.

As far as I’m concerned Microsoft are doing everything backwards but that’s their business and everyone who buys an Xbox Series X. I won’t be until there’s something worth playing on it but good look to anyone that feels differently.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Hard sell
For me, and I imagine for a big chunk of the market, it was always going to be a hard fight for Xbox to get me back on board but I’m not sure if they’ve really responded directly to that challenge. They haven’t been able to rely on Sony messing up the PlayStation 5 launch, since I agree it looks like they have the best launch window (and possibly launch year) they’ve ever had.

With that in mind, I mentioned last weekend that I count the Xbox 360 as one of my favourite ever consoles but if the PlayStation 3 had had any killer apps in the first half of its life that may have been a very different story. The competitive pricing (I got the Xbox 360 with three top games for about £300 in summer 2007) and inferior PlayStation 3 versions of some games is what won Microsoft its bigger market share but most of the games that made me love my Xbox 360 were multiformat. When I look back I can only think of maybe one or two Xbox 360 exclusives that stood out for me, so I’m not sure if what we’re seeing now represents a big departure.

I’ve very little doubt the Series X/S are far better positioned to eventually host some killer apps but the problem Microsoft face is core gamers will be weighing up the choice between a line of platforms that has the potential for a great future and one that also has that on top of a great looking present and an excellent (very recent) past.

The big question now is what those Xbox killer apps will be. Game Pass and value for money don’t fall into that definition for me. For starters, the latter is generally ensured by the market anyway, as long as you’re not buying every game on day one, and Xbox delivering good value isn’t solving a problem I’ve encountered recently anyway. It’s also not an element that particularly fuels the excitement of a new generation.

On Game Pass, it only really strikes me as worthwhile if I dip in briefly every now and again when it makes sense for one or two months. Otherwise, £100+ each year for access to more games than I’ll ever have time to play only appeals if I’m not having to pay more on top for the other games I know I want. There are so many of those that aren’t on the service that a Game Pass sub would often be a waste of money, if I don’t even have time to get through the ones I’ve handpicked.

Ultimately, once actual killer app games show up I’ll see if the Xbox Series S really can run all next gen games without any big issues and consider one of those. Although by then the Xbox Series X might also have come down in price. As it stands, I intend to get a PlayStation 5 around spring 2021, as long as I find I don’t have to pay the full £70 RRP for next gen games.
PS: I also find it odd that, anecdotally, the vast majority of interest for the next gen Xboxes seems to be from those who have an Xbox One, who currently stand to benefit least from the new ones, but I suppose we’ll see how the wider picture develops.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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