After the insanity that was the preorder process for both of this year’s new consoles it looks like I might be one of the lucky ones and will see for myself how Microsoft’s black monolith turns out on November the 10th. Hopefully it doesn’t stand out on my entertainment unit as badly as some of those rogue skyscrapers that appeared when Flight Simulator first launched a couple of months ago. 😉
It’ll be interesting to see how people take to the Xbox Series X/S at launch as it feels to me like the first console that won’t treat your old games as second class citizens. At least the way Microsoft have been allowing people to trial the console over the last month gives that impression. For Xbox machines backward compatibility first made an appearance on the Xbox 360 and had one key point to sell: that you can still play Halo. It wasn’t advertised as a massive feature of the console at the time just as a means to ensure franchise fans stuck around… and more games were added to the list over time too. For me much of my early days on Xbox Live was via Halo 2 on the 360 so it did succeed. The team on Xbox One would take time to see the value of this though and they’d eventually add backward compatibility past that console’s launch. It helped having a more capable console too and I often relied on my Xbox One X for that and enjoyed the benefits that it brought to my older games as it did take time for it to be leveraged as best as could be for newer releases.
Still… we haven’t seen a lot of new content as yet and the shiny new games are still what many use to compare products. Having a Game Pass subscription if you go the Xbox route does at least mean you can grab a pile of games and see what works for you but it does also require a willingness to experiment whereas buying games of established franchises may better guarantee a level of satisfaction in your new purchases. I still don’t know yet if I have any particular launch games as my “go to” choices but I have a feeling it’ll be a mix of Game Pass and new buys.
How this year works out for gamers no one is going to know until we see players start making their choices. With hardware platforms, streaming providers and subscription services (some even combined) all vying for dollars it’ll certainly be a different “console generation” this time around!