Editorials

How Microsoft Convinced Me to Buy an Xbox Series S

If someone told me going into this year that I would pick up an Xbox console, I would give them a questionable look. As a longtime PlayStation gamer, it’s an unexpected move on my part to finally go Xbox, but it’s one I welcome as I approach the forbidden door that I’ve never tried to open.

In Microsoft’s 19-year history in the console space, I have never owned an Xbox console, which I never planned. It just comes from a place of comfortability with the PlayStation brand and, at times, ignorance.

I’ve been a PlayStation gamer ever since the PS1, I have been so inundated with that ecosystem that I’ve never been curious enough to explore the other side until now.

That mindset has slowly changed over the last few years but more so in the past couple of months.

After three generations of Xbox consoles, I’m looking to pick up my very first one in the brand’s fourth-generation with the Xbox Series S. A console I believe to be the best entry for someone in my position.

Now I’m sure anyone reading this is asking ‘Why the ‘S’ though? Why not the Xbox Series X?’

Xbox Game Pass is the Perfect Gateway

To put it simply, it’s a budget issue mainly as I’m still planning to get a PS5 as it will still be my main platform to play multi-platform games and exclusives. The idea of getting two powerful consoles at the same expensive price point is a little financially irresponsible of me. 

To me, the Xbox Series S is the perfect middle-ground for my very first-world problem. The console gives me what I want; the access to play Microsoft’s library of games on next-generation hardware while being a little cheaper than the Series X. 

The caveat of the device is the lack of 4K gaming resolution experiences I will be missing out on, which I don’t mind. Resolution is something I notice that the gaming industry is honing on but is one I don’t particularly focus too much on. 

I believe I will be very satisfied gaming with 1080p gaming to an upward resolution of 1440p and the Xbox Series S itself. Putting money down on the lower budget next-generation Xbox device just makes the most sense for where I am currently.

Especially for a platform, I will spend less time on as I only see myself playing on Xbox for the exclusives and the rare Xbox Game Pass games I want to try out first on the Series S.

Speaking of Game Pass, that service is the main motivation behind why I’m getting an Xbox. I truly believe that Microsoft’s subscription service has become the best deal in gaming. Under Phil Spencer’s leadership, the incredible value of Game Pass has been a slow climb since launching in 2017 but it’s personally hard to ignore at this point.

Day and Date Launches from Xbox Games Studios

I mean when all Xbox Game Studios games launch day and date on Game Pass, how can anyone who calls themselves a fan of games ignore that? I’m a fan of content as I am of getting the best deal possible, so Xbox Game Pass is the perfect marriage of those two things I like.

Subscribing to the service means anyone is pretty set on first-party content plus all the other games that Microsoft adds to the service each month. The idea of never needing to buy a game on Xbox is another enticing aspect of the service and a great way for new users into the ecosystem.

Xbox Game Pass has truly become the measuring stick of how you do gaming subscription services right. When people call it the Netflix of games, I don’t necessarily disagree with that sentiment.

Even though the service has gotten me on the Xbox train, I still don’t see myself changing the way I enjoy games.

I consider Xbox the multiplayer console because from what I hear they do offer the total package in their online services when compared to PlayStation anyway. 

Even if it’s great, I’m still not a multiplayer kind of gamer, as it’s not what I consider a ‘fun’ time.  Playing with others gives me too much stress, feels like I’ll mess up and take all the blame.

I’m more dialled into single-player games and its landscape. I’d rather experience a developer’s story, rather than making my own story with other people. I don’t have that perspective on all multiplayer games but that’s how I feel with AAA multiplayer games.

With that said, I’m not a fan of all the first-party Xbox content that Microsoft puts out. There are some that don’t personally speak to me but for the ones that do I’m totally down to play.

Games like entries in the Gears franchise, Ori, Tell Me Why and so much more come has me super interested. When I think about Xbox exclusives and experiences I’ve missed out on for a long time it obviously has me excited to explore these new worlds that Xbox has put out in the last three generations.

Tell Me Why

 

Finally being able to play an optimized version of those games has me even more anticipated as I’ll get to play the best version of the developer’s vision.

A Whole New World with Xbox

I know I didn’t mention the big marque franchise that is very associated with Xbox, that being Halo. I don’t play a lot of FPS games as it’s not a genre that doesn’t speak to me too much but when I do play one, it’s very selective.

I can only get into an FPS game when it’s a setting that is truly out of this world.  

I’m not into games that could realistically happen or take place in our world like Call Duty, Battlefield, Medal of Honor and more. It feels like a war simulator to me and those types of FPS experiences don’t necessarily speak to me, so I can’t get into that.

The sci-fi/cyberpunk aspect of games is always a great hook for me and a way I can look past my apprehension of the FPS genre. Franchises like Deus Ex, Half-Life and even the anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 makes me want to play just to get lost in these worlds.

With that said Halo meets my exception rule but when I get the Series S, it won’t be the type of games I first try out. I will give it a chance at least, as I’m a fan of Red vs Blue so there’s at least some fandom for the world in me, I’ll wait and see if I get into the Halo series for now.

Even though I’ve been playing games for multiple generations, the idea of finally exploring the Xbox landscape is almost a little intimidating. My ever-growing backlog will be increasing so much more with this piece of tech I’m getting my hands on.

Like one of my favourite Disney movies once sang, it’s a ‘whole new world’ and in my case, that world is Xbox. 

The Xbox Series S is going to be a paradigm shift to how I play games. Again it is one I welcome as I slowly open that the forbidden door as the next generation of consoles finally begins.

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