So there’s been lots of game news being thrown around. From teraflops to Ray-tracing to pre-order disasters. Oh, plus a little studio acquisition with Microsoft buying Zenimax. All this has re-ignited the internet’s favorite argument subject, the console wars! This generation is cooking up to an interesting one and, being the Xbox fanboy I am, I have noticed Microsoft gaining some momentum. There’s a lot of things they’ve done that have set them up to be a strong competitor this time around. I wanna break those things down and why, ultimately, they may not even matter.
I’ll admit I’m not a tech savvy guy and this point is almost moot they are so close in power but technically, from my understanding, Xbox does have a slight edge with the series X. If you’re a console person who absolutely needs every single once of power and wants the top of the line when it comes to that than series X seems to have the edge. Of course the real power maniacs go for PC but there are console people who want the beefiest machine and the X will be that machine.
Ok, the main consoles are the same price and the all digital PS5 is one hundred dollars cheaper, which would win the price war since series X has no all digital. Instead though, it has the series S, a legit next gen console, also all digital, at an even cheaper price point that the PS5 all digital.
You can get into next gen gaming for $299 with this thing. That’s insane. I also have a theory. The cheapest console always wins the war. PS4 wasn’t known for its amazing exclusives at launch, that took time, it was just the cheaper option, Xbox 360 was also way cheaper than PS3 at launch. Both those are considered the winners of their generations and most scenarios play out that way. I blame parents and grandparents. They just buy the cheapest thing on the shelf. If so the series S will sell like hot cakes and easily push Xbox over the top.
Even though I am an Xbox fan I cannot deny, PlayStation destroyed them on exclusives last generation. Although I like many of the Xbox exclusives (I’m a Sea of Thieves apologist, I swear it got really good!) PlayStation just released some monsters, game of the year quality games. So Xbox can’t possibly compete right? Well, not with what they had at the start of the generation but holy hell did they go on a buying spree. Obsidian, Inexile and Double Fine alone being some nice grabs but then they went full on nuclear and bought Zenimax, the owners of Bethesda and some other amazing studios.
Not to mention the new AAAA game developer (their term, not mine. I think it’s stupid) The Initiative, which grabbed all kinds of great talent from all over the industry. They may not have had exclusives last generation that people clamored for but this go round I think they are more than capable of delivering, as long as those studios come through that is.
People like deals. Everyone loves saving money. Gamepass may be the best deal in gaming. For a monthly fee you get hundreds of games to play and they aren’t just shovel ware stuff either. Every Xbox first party studio game and tons of other really high quality third party games are added constantly. I have barely had to buy a game this year and I play tons of video games. PlayStation has their own subscription service but I can’t say I’ve heard much about it. It’s almost like they don’t want people using it. Microsoft wants you on theirs so bad it even works with PC.
Imagine buying your super expensive new console and instantly having tons of games available for just a sub fee. Not the $70 for one game that next gen is surely gonna cost. It’s a slam dunk for getting early adopters who want to try out as many games as possible on their new super sleek hardware. Sony does have a deal where you get some of their best PS4 games on PS plus with the new system but it’s about 10 games and most are at least two years old. Gamepass has games launching day and date all the time. There’s no comparison on value.
Also they have a way to stream your Gamepass games to phones and tablets included with Gamepass ultimate. Microsoft is looking to the future while Sony is happy where they are. It’ll be an interesting thing to look at as streaming gains more users.
Why it may not matter
Well, I put forth a valiant effort to make the case for Xbox but the whole time I knew that all those points probably don’t matter. I bet you think I’m gonna say exclusives is why and yes, that should make a difference even though I think in the long run they’ll both have quality exclusives. The real reason I think none of will matter is install base and brand loyalty. People love their PlayStation and more people own PlayStations than Xboxes. Why switch horses midstream? They’re happy with what they have and in the ecosystem so there’s no need to change. I think Sony wins this generation again, although maybe not as handily.
The good thing is, Microsoft is making smart, consumer friendly moves that Sony will surely follow and we will reap the benefits. Also, who am I kidding, I’m gonna end up getting both!
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