I have to be honest when Microsoft first announced its next-gen consoles, I was very confused. Why do they keep pulling a Nintendo with naming convention and making it so ridiculous to keep all the devices straight in our heads? At least Playstation keeps things numerical.
Well, after getting rid of my Xbox One back in college so I could afford that semester’s books, I swore that I would be sticking to PC and Nintendo products from then on. However, it turns out that Microsoft had a few surprises in their next-gen lineup that would ultimately help me out in this post-COVID world.
The Cost Can’t Be Beat
We all know that the Series S is the cheapest next-gen console, but we can’t mention that without also talking about how much weaker it is compared to the Series X and the PS5. It won’t be achieving those 4K resolutions and it will struggle to meet the same frame rates, load speeds, and texture detail. However, I don’t have a lot of money, and I probably won’t have a lot of money for quite some time as I plan for the future and pay off my student loans.
The easy course of action for me would be to play fewer games in the coming years until I was more established in my career, but as someone who wants to break into the gaming industry, I can’t just stop playing games. If you have been following my blog, you’ll have seen that my backlog reviews have increased dramatically as I slowly catch up to all the releases that I have missed out on the past few years.
I didn’t even notice the time that has been passing me by and all the releases that I have let go because I was too cheap to buy more than one game every six months. Now with Game Pass, I can keep playing games back to back or get them at a slightly cheaper price. And if you are willing to try everything that is being offered, you’ll never run out of new games to try.
“But the Series X and PC both have Game Pass.” You’re right but upgrading a PC is obnoxious right now with supply chain issues (and very expensive). While getting a Series X or even a Playstation comes down to both pricing and availability. Playstation would still be pretty expensive for me in the long run (though I really hope to play its catalog one day).
The savings look minuscule on paper with just a few hundred, but if that few hundred is being invested in Game Pass subscriptions, I’ll have the service for a little over a year. That’s a lot of games that I can try in that time, especially since all of Microsoft’s games are being offered day one on the service.
What Are You Really Missing Out on?
Obviously, the biggest thing that the PS5 and Series X have is raw power. Whether it’s 4K or frames per second, the Series S can’t hold a candle to those systems. It’s a budget system, after all. However, is that really that important? In my personal view, I see generations as locked doors to new destinations.
Consoles are supposed to be a more affordable way to play games effectively. I don’t need my console that will be outdated in a handful of years to rival a PC for only a couple years. The important thing is that I am able to get a key to the next door. I don’t need first-class; I just want to travel.
The Series S is going to last the entire console generation and I’m sure it’ll be struggling at the end of the generation but that’s okay. Consoles always do.
There is also the lack of a disc drive which I have to admit is a little disappointing. Not being able to collect the physical media whether it’s for resale value down the line or ownership rights, is a letdown.
However, considering that I have treated it as a Game Pass machine so far, I am still saving a considerable amount of money. Plus, I have my entire 360 and Xbox One library that I had completely forgotten I owned.
I just want to continue to participate in one of the most expensive hobbies that you can do. There are so many other things I would rather spend my money on than a temporary boost to the visual capabilities of my technology. More money for more games being first and foremost.
The important thing to me is having the ability to play games. The Series S is accessible, and it’s great if you can’t justify the cost of the more expensive consoles, but I have always seen consoles as the affordable option. I will upgrade my PC when I want to experience the latest and greatest in graphics, but I don’t need that in my Xbox.
I think that that Series S is being slept on as a viable option, and I’m here to say that if you are looking for a way to play new games, it’s a great option. If you have a lot of expendable income that you are okay spending, then do what you want, but if you just want to play games, the Series S is fantastic, and it’ll get more than get the job done.