Xbox Thoughts

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I recently had an IM with my nephew, an Xbox One S owner, and FIFA player about the next generation of consoles. He told me he was set on moving to a Sony PS5 console. I didn’t get too deeply with his choice but I found it interesting that I had assumed my own move would be from my Xbox One X to a Series X at some point. Mostly I play Call of Duty. I just like shooting stuff although it is really fun and I am not good at it.

I thought about this a lot. Too much. However, the last time I really bought into a console was the Xbox 360. Just for a bit of gaming after work. I ended up with two. One went under the TV to show movies, TV and play DVDs. The other was a “full time” gaming machine. I bought the Xbox One day one console as a natural upgrade. I spent more than I wanted because you had to have a Kinect sensor that I never used for anything except logging in.

That first Xbox 360 was all about the ecosystem. I had a music pass, a PC, rented movies from Microsoft, I had email from Microsoft, then Skydrive (Onedrive), and then a WindowsPhone. It made sense. It drove me to just get an Xbox One when it came out.

In 2020 I now have an iphone, my movies and TV are rented from Amazon or Google and play via a low cost dongle. My music is from Spotify. I still have an Office 365 personal account but Microsoft is just another supplier. As Microsoft moves towards an Xbox Cloud future my console and just having fun with a small number of games is looking out of time.

I haven’t decided not to buy a Series X. I haven’t decided to buy a PS5. I have started thinking about my needs as a games player. I recognise the Microsoft value proposition of a subscription games service in the cloud is a potential future. What I also realise is the ecosystem that drew me to Xbox no longer exists. As a consumer I have a choice on which console I will buy for my gaming needs. Xbox is the last Microsoft consumer brand. There is no consumer ecosystem that ties it all together anymore. This year will be interesting to meet my needs. Other than my Office 365 subscription and my PC I may be out of what’s left of Microsoft’s consumer offering by 2021.

Comments (9)

9 responses to “Xbox Thoughts”

  1. Usman

    I would say the move to PS5, is just because of the media blitz Sony has had over the past few weeks. Firstly showcasing Unreal Engine 5 running on PS5, then the console reveal, followed by small bits, like pre-order speculation and then the controller demonstration.


    PS5 has had the mind share, where as for Xbox, first you have to explain the next console is called Series X, and its a black box, tbf it's as boring as it can get. There's nothing striking about it, same thing about the Velocity architecture, it's just not a thing discussed in the YouTube tech community with regards to the Tim Sweeny and Linus Tech Tips SSD controversy.


    From my experience of watching content on YouTube and anecdotally, it's just harder to convey Series X is the next Xbox, where as PS5 from PS4 is just an easier continuation to follow.


    I personally own launch day PS4 and Xbox One consoles as well as launch edition PS4 Pro and Xbox One X Scorpio. With games becoming cross play and that I also have a PC, I just don't see the need to purchase these consoles. I play Warzone on PC with a controller with friends and played other cross play titles like Rocket League, Sea Of Thieves, Fortnite on PC nowadays.


    And they announced xCloud with gamepass ultimate, I don't think I'll need to buy a new physical console anytime soon.

  2. alsorun

    To simplify life, renting and streaming games are the way forward. I recently have cleared out 30 years of electronic junk from basement.

    • ponsaelius

      In reply to alsorun: Maybe. If you are buying games for yourself. Poorer families have always relied on the trade-in market in the UK. They buy consoles late in the cycle, have slower internet and share with friends. Don't get me wrong, subscriptions will work. However, there are bunch of people who still rely on discs. Even people committed to digital may only play a couple of blockbuster games per year where subscription models are not going to help too much unless they are incredibly cheap.


  3. bill_strong

    I think MS made a misstep this time around. Why would you want an Xbox Series X? To get new games, and to play 4k at 60FPS? To have an SSD in the HD?


    So, on your current Xbox One S, MS announced all games going forward will play on the older hardware. And you can buy a 1 TB SSD to put in your current Xbox One for $100. So the only reason left is to play at 4K.


    Now, will Xcloud play on the Xbox One S? Will it stream 4k? On the One S? If so, you have no reason whatsoever to upgrade your Xbox, can buy the PS5 to get their exclusives, and maybe even play Xcloud on it.


    Don't you also think MS made a misstep this time around?

    • ponsaelius

      In reply to Bill_Strong:

      I don't know. What I can say is that it provokes questions of price, value and other things. People with an Xbox One S, like my nephew, will need a 4K monitor or TV to make the most of an upgrade. That makes price even more significant. I am not sure how many normal people will buy SSD for their older console. However, I do think this time round, with the changes to Microsoft's offer proposition it will cause people to pause and think.

  4. johnh3

    I am not realy a gamer. But it is interesting to follow this ”console war” on a technical standpoint. I think Google Stadia might take off in a serious way after a rocky start. And they got new titles recently. Rumours are that maybe Apple will get in to this area to. Maybe a new combined TV/gaming box?


    So im not sure how the new Xbox or Sony PS5 will sell.


  5. sammyd710730

    So, I've owned each Xbox console at some point, and have sold each and every one of them at some point, including the Xbox One X. When I got my Xbox One X, it was with the Xbox All Access deal that MS came out with, that included 2 years of Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. Since then, they changed things up a bit and now have Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. In a nice move by Microsoft, I was able to combine my Live Gold time with my Game Pass time to extend my Game Pass Ultimate subscription. I believe it's active until December of 2021 now.


    I will say this, Game Pass, whether you have Ultimate, or the PC version only, is quite possibly the best deal in all of entertainment. It's insane value for the quality of games that are made available to you. Anyway, I built a new gaming PC in April of this year when the Coronavirus first shut everything down. Since then, I've been using Game Pass to play games on my PC. I've been playing everything at 1440p resolution, uncapped frame rate, max settings. Games such as Ori and the Will of the Wisps and Forza Horizon 4 are just breathtaking. That being said, I'm on the fence about picking up a Series X when it becomes available. Since all the first party games from Microsoft Game Studios are coming to PC, I might just stick to this platform.


    The nice thing about MS with this upcoming generation is that it's not necessarily about the hardware. They'll offer you up a nice box you can play games on, but it's not necessarily required. They won't force you to move off your Xbox One either, for now. They are all about their games, and making sure that they are accessible to the masses. Hell, they are even throwing XCloud game streaming into Game Pass Ultimate as well this fall. Again, insane value.


    If you like the games MS has to offer, then I whole heartedly recommend Game Pass, and then decide on the hardware you want to play on later. There's no rush, and that's the beauty to this whole thing.

  6. jamie_webster

    @ponsaelius never buy any expensive electronic device without knowing all the facts.


    We have only seen 2 streams from Microsoft

    And 1 from Sony.

    Fact: we know Microsoft kinda suck at marketing and communication watch Paul's podcasts he reminds us at least once that Microsoft can't communicate.

    Another Fact Microsoft is not going to steal any of sonys loyal fanbase/ customers

    I suspect they are planning on winning all the new console buyers This is where the Xbox one series S comes in. Its going to be cheap and still play all the games and it'll be included in a subscription with gamepass that is gonna be affordable to a bigger audience than the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Also means this xmas alot more young children will have new consoles because there parents who couldn't afford a Ps5 or XbX can afford the monthly subscription of a console and gamepass.

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