When new consoles came out in November, the PlayStation 5 seemed like that clear favorite. But the more time goes by, the more the long-term value of the Xbox Series X comes into focus, making it the true must-have system of this generation.
That could be a shock. Even in our own reviews of the new consoles, we initially felt that the Xbox Series X. was a “sports car without petrol”. The system was clearly a technical powerhouse, but there just wasn’t much to play when it came to games. The console had virtually no exclusive games at launch, which means it can’t do much more than a good gaming PC.
In comparison, the PlayStation 5 started out with a lot of bells and whistles, making it a more attractive toy for day one. The DualSense Thanks to haptic feedback, the system’s unique map functionality and a real contender for Game of the Year, a new way of playing has been made available Demon souls. When writing about his first week with both consolesTom Caswell, author of Digital Trends, said, “I’m shocked at how little I think about the Series X compared to my PS5, which I look forward to every day.”
I fully agreed with this assessment in my first few weeks, but the tides have slowly changed and the Series X is becoming my primary slot machine even through my PC. The change of heart is due to the further path Microsoft ecosystem unites my gaming experiences.
As part of the move to a Series X, I updated mine Game pass PC-only subscription for Ultimate. While I was fully on board the service previously, access to it on both the console and PC has unlocked its true potential. The added flexibility quickly became an important part of my gaming routine as I switched between console and PC more than I realized. I could enjoy Call of the sea Switch to Series X with beautiful details and then switch to my PC to play Halo: The Master Chief Collection with friends without having to move my audio setup to my couch.
When I unlock an achievement on my Series X, the same notification appears on my PC immediately. If I take a screenshot in-game, I can open the Xbox app on my phone and quickly share it to Twitter without pausing a cutscene. I also need to use Microsoft’s cloud gaming service that comes with Game Pass Ultimate. As soon as it coming to iOS next yearI can seriously see a world where I would play a game on my Series X and take my backup file on vacation.
That may sound extremely insignificant, and maybe it is true, but small details like these make Series X feel more connected to different aspects of my gaming life. In comparison, the PS5 is quite a lonely experience. Maybe that’s just because few of my friends have found one, but the system has an odd loneliness about it. It feels special for the customized experience and Sony’s emphasis on big single player games is sure to propel this house forward. Series X is a far more social experience.
Of course, this largely depends on how much a gamer is buying into Microsoft’s entire ecosystem. The long-term value of the X Series grows exponentially with each device added to the mix. With that in mind, PS5 can still have the edge for gamers who just want one box to rule them all.
The truth is that both systems serve a unique purpose and can easily coexist with each other. As time goes on, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Sony, Microsoft, and even Nintendo have completely different ideas about how consoles flow into our larger gaming routines. I start my PS5 less and less as my Series X takes precedence, but the experiences I have there feel completely separate, like my Nintendo Wii did back then. The so-called console wars are really dead and bury this generation.
An entertainment center
Even so, at the moment, Serie X feels like the central hub of my entertainment hub. When I had to choose a console for my streaming box, I naturally decided to add my logins to my Xbox. My PS5 is completely powered off while my Series X is sleeping, so I can make better use of the lightning-fast quick start option. I play less of my Game Pass games on PC and opt for the more reliable experience of playing on a powerful console.
The Xbox Series X might not be the hottest asset as the ever-sold-out PS5 is up and running right now, but those looking to purchase Sony’s new console should consider switching to Xbox. It doesn’t have the immediate toy factor of the DualSense, but it quickly makes up for that with a long-term strategy that pays off more over time. If these consoles are to be the focus of our lives for the next decade, the X Series seems like the one best prepared to keep up with the times.