I pre-ordered an Xbox Series X but this is the least excited I've been about a console launch in a long time

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bigsocrates

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Edited By bigsocrates

I consider video games to by my major hobby. It's definitely where I spend the majority of my entertainment money, especially when you consider AV equipment (like a nice TV and speakers) that I use for other stuff too but wouldn't own if I weren't into gaming. I set aside money from my tax refund for the new consoles and I intended to buy both but I only got an Xbox Series X pre-order in. That would normally be fine, because I consider myself an Xbox first gamer, but I'm looking at the launch lineup and...there basically isn't one. It's not just that with Microsoft's philosophy on games the titles available will also be on Xbox One and PC. That's never bothered me, and I'd be happy to upgrade to a Series X just to have a great console version of games available on other platforms. Titanfall was arguably the first game I really loved on Xbox One, and that was available on PC and 360 too, which didn't mean anything to me because I had a fantastic new game to play on my new console.

But Microsoft is launching the Xbox Series X and S with...nothing. There are going to be a lot of games that play on the system through backwards compatibility, of course, and there will be 3rd party releases on day one, but none of those look particularly interesting to me personally. I might enjoy Watch Dogs: Legion, I guess, but I played the original Watch_Dogs last year and it's one of my least favorite games that I've ever finished, so I definitely would not call myself a fan of the series. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla looks mildly interesting, but I am trying to go through that series in order and I haven't even gotten up to 4 year, so it will be years until I play that. Similar to Yakuza: Like a Dragon. I'm not starting that series with that game, and like a bunch of other launch titles it's already been out for awhile (though only in Japan.)

That leaves a couple smaller titles, The Falconeer and Bright Memory. They look potentially interesting but not specifically designed as showcases for the system.

The only game Microsoft itself is bringing to the party is Gears Tactics, which is a port of a PC game in a genre that is not at its best on console and doesn't act as a showcase for a powerful new system.

It's shocking to me that Microsoft utterly failed to produce even a couple smaller games for this launch. Obviously Halo Infinite was going to be the showpiece title and that fell through, so it's not like they planned it this way, but where's the complimentary stuff? They bought all these studios, you'd think they could have at least the equivalent of a Resogun (the best PS4 launch title) or from the Xbox One launch library something like Killer Instinct (an interesting idea that turned out really well) or Crimson Dragon (not good, but something I was looking forward to.) Instead they've got literally nothing. PS5 doesn't have the strongest launch library either but Sony is bringing a few exciting games to the table. OG Xbox and Xbox 360 had very strong launch libraries, and Xbox One had the aforementioned small titles along with Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome, both of which were fine as launch titles go. Plus Zoo Tycoon!

I've really enjoyed the Phil Spencer era of Xbox but despite all the work he's done in rebuilding Microsoft's game development studios they really dropped the ball here.

So why am I buying one anyway?

Basically because I have the money set aside and I believe that there will be stuff I really want to play on it before it drops in price. I am confident that there will be exciting next gen experiences within 6 months or so of launch that I want to play. I didn't love my Xbox One at launch but I had fun with Killer Instinct and Peggle 2, and by the time Titanfall came out I was super glad I had one. Then Sunset Overdrive dropped the next year and is still one of my favorite games of the 8th generation. I had a ton of fun with my Xbox One the first year, even if the launch didn't thrill me. I believe the Series X will be the same.

I also regret not buying a Wii U at launch, which led to my never buying a Wii U. I was under cash crunch at the time and had a ton of student debt and it just didn't make sense. 8 years later and most of the best Wii U games have come to Switch, and I've played some of them, but I would have enjoyed experiencing that system and wish I'd pulled the trigger on it despite the cost. I could have found the money somewhere.

I'm also highly invested in the Xbox ecosystem, with a ton of digital games for all three generations of Xbox, some of which will be enhanced on the Series X. And I have an active prepaid Gamepass subscription. I just don't feel the need to wait when I set the cash aside, and when I'm going to enjoy my time with the system even before it gets any killer apps. But if I hadn't put the money aside or it wasn't still the pandemic where I'm playing a ton of games I probably would wait. And that's not good, since I'm an early adopter.

I still trust in Microsoft's vision for the console. They've invested heavily in studios (including recently.) The Xbox One has turned out to be a really good system. Gamepass is great, and has saved me a ton of money on games I would have otherwise bought. The Forza Horizon series is my favorite racing series ever, and has had 3 fantastic entries on Xbox One, with the original game still playable via backwards compatibility. Backwards compatibility in general has been fantastic, and I've actually played through a lot of Xbox 360 games I never got around to on my Xbox One. I finally beat Alan Wake! And Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. And the original Assassin's Creed. I'm looking forward to playing The Darkness II this October. I've had a blast with Xbox One and I'm sure Series X will be the same, and pretty quickly.

But the launch is leaving me a little disappointed. And I'm bummed. Console launches are supposed to be exciting. You spend a bunch of money and in exchange you get to Ooo and Aaaa at the shiny graphics and play a bunch of mostly not great games. If you're very lucky you get an all time classic like Halo: Combat Evolved or Breath of the Wild but mostly you don't. And then over the next couple years the console becomes worth it. I'm betting the Xbox Series X will become worth it for me by the end of 2021, but I'm disappointed that I'm not going to get the anticipation and excitement of a traditional launch day.

Soul Calibur. It's not really relevant here but THAT was a launch game.

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bigsocrates

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@inresurrection: This is a blog about my thoughts on the Xbox Series X launch and console launches in general. It's pretty clear from the title what it's about. People can read it or not read it. They can respond with their thoughts about the Xbox Series X, about console pre-orders, about console launches, about Soul Calibur, which still rocks.

I don't see a mod flair by your name.

If there's a forum post you don't want to read or that you don't find interesting it's considered polite to just ignore it, rather than post a jerky comment. There's no limit to the digital real estate on a forum and you're not paying the server costs.

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navster15

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#3  Edited By navster15

Eh, I pre-ordered a Series X and I’m happy with the launch lineup. Plus, checking out the updates to Forza Horizon 4 and Gears 5 ought to be good. I guess I’m not as excited as when I got my N64, but I was 10 then and easy to impress. I’m in my mid-30s now and things in general aren’t as exciting. That’s ok, I can still get pleasure out of things. Plus, the ability to play Flight Simulator eventually on a machine that won’t chug out more than makes the purchase for me.

Also, COVID is a thing and wrecked all dev schedules. Be kinder to yourself for feeling less excited, and definitely be kinder to the devs who are working their butts off in an incredibly shitty time.

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Justin258

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#4  Edited By Justin258

I do agree with the notion that you're trying to convince yourself it was a good purchase.

However, I primarily want to note that Microsoft's strategy doesn't seem to be lining up with the traditional way we think of console launches. Instead, they want Xbox to be an entire service platform and not just a piece of hardware - meaning a console launch here is little different than a new phone. It's better than your phone from two years ago, but largely does the same things.

Perhaps it's more comparable to a Roku of the video game world - you can do all that stuff elsewhere, but here's a device that does it reasonably well and does it in an easier to understand way.

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Judoboy

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I'm not gonna lie, I'm buying an xbox series x so I have a video console I can open on xmas morning, something I havent done since the Dreamcast. I just happen to have the money this year and I figure what the hell, lets recreate a childhood memory knowing I was going to buy one eventually anyways.

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Brian_

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Since I have no interest in paying $70 for a video game, the way I've managed to justify my own purchase of a pre-order is by telling myself that my PS4 is probably set to crap out on itself pretty soon. It'll do the thing where it beeps when it gets too hot, so I should probably retire it before it explodes or something, and just keep playing my extensive backlog of PS4 games through backwards compatibility. My Xbox One still seems to be running smooth, so I can hold out on upgrading that until the system has a more expansive catalogue.

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tds418

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I pre-ordered a Series X, and I understand where you're coming from. Personally, I'm not expecting to play much beside the new Destiny expansion in November, which launches the same day as the new consoles, so I have something new and exciting to look forward to. But if wasn't for that, the launch lineup would definitely feel barren now that Halo is not in the picture.

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navster15

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@brian_: Real talk, that sounds like an easy-ish fix for your PS4. I’m assuming you blew it out with compressed air but reapplying thermal paste is relatively simple and can keep your system ticking along!

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bigsocrates

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@navster15: I'm not expecting to be as excited as when I got a Super Nintendo in 1993, but I was hoping to be as excited as I was to get an Xbox One in 2013, when I was in my 30s. Honestly considering how bad this year has been all around I was hoping the new consoles would be something exciting, and not being able to get a PS5 was a little disappointing but I look at the Xbox Series X launch lineup and it does nothing for me. I'm sure Forza Horizon 4, which is maybe the greatest arcade racing game ever made, will look fantastic on it. And yeah, Flight Simulator and a bunch of other stuff will be out soon and it'll be great. I'm not worried about the long term value. Microsoft just bought Bethesda, so it's not like there won't be games for this thing.

I don't blame the devs for not being able to push games out during the pandemic and I'm not upset that Halo was delayed. It's better they get it right than do it fast. I'm disappointed that Microsoft was betting everything on Halo, which then fell through. If there's other stuff they had planned then it would have been nice for them to explain the delays a little better. It's not some huge deal, and I'm not angry or anything, just a little disappointed.

@justin258: I'm not trying to convince myself of anything. Whenever anyone expresses ambivalence people say they're trying to convince themselves of something. Sometimes it's just ambivalence.

Microsoft is definitely blurring the lines between generations and I think that's a fine strategy. I think it's great that people who are financially struggling right now will still be able to use Gamepass and play all the new Microsoft games. But I also think that this was planned as more of a traditional console launch then you're crediting it for. They planned to launch Halo alongside it, which is their heaviest hitter. Halo just isn't ready.

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navster15

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@bigsocrates: I mean, Microsoft could have easily held back Gears Tactics, Ori, and Flight Simulator to be Series launch titles, but they recognized that it was better for everyone just to release those games on the platform they were intended for when they were ready. Is it new experiences you’re looking for? Because Yakuza Like a Dragon and DiRT 5 look dope as hell to me. And don’t get me started on finally playing a new Destiny expansion off of an SSD at 60 FPS.

I am curious about your excitement around the X1 launch though. What made it so great? Ryse, a pretty generic third action game? Or Forza 5, in many ways a step back from Forza 4? Or Dead Rising 4, which hey if you’re excited for the third Dead Rising more power to you?

I dunno, I’m pretty excited for new games on a new system, and I’m not particularly bothered that I can play them elsewhere.

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bigsocrates

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@navster15: I don't think that they should have held back Ori or Gears Tactics. 2020 was pretty barren for them and it's obviously worse to have a barren year on your console than a slightly disappointing launch. It would be great if Flight Simulator were going to be available at launch, but hey, those things take time so whatever. It'll be great whenever they get it out.

I think what I'm looking for is something that's designed to really show off what the new system can do and make it an exciting experience, instead of "here are the same games you've had on other systems with slightly better resolution or frame rate." Ryse was not a great game but as a showpiece of the Xbox One it was pretty good (though I did not buy it at launch.) Dead Rising 3 was a much better game and a solid launch title, but the game I'm really thinking of when I think of the Xbox One launch in particular is Killer Instinct. It was only a $20 downloadable game, but it looked fantastic, played great, and was just a really focused experience showing what the system could do. I was excited for Crimson Dragon for similar reasons, though that turned out to be kind of a dud in most ways. At the time I was excited for Forza, but that also was not great.

It's not so much that I can play the games elsewhere (Halo Infinite was always planned for the Xbox One, too, and as I said Titanfall was on PC and Xbox 360 and was the game that made me really happy with my Xbox One purchase) as that all of these are games that just happen to be on Xbox Series X but weren't really made with it in mind. I would just like a couple showpiece games focused on its features and making it shine.

When I think back to the 2013 console launches I remember Killer Instinct, Resogun, and Contrast. Those are all small games, but were designed to be showpieces for their consoles (well Contrast wasn't, but it looked great on PS4 and I really enjoyed it.) I also played some Battlefield 4 and some Killzone: Shadow Fall and those were...fine...but didn't make a big impression.

Microsoft clearly planned for Halo to be that game and that fell through and they didn't have any smaller games ready for whatever reason. It seems like they sold through their allotment of systems so it's not like it's hurt them. If I were into Destiny 2 or the Dirt series, both of which are a bit niche in their own way, I might feel differently. As it is I'll probably check out Watch Dogs and then just play some Xbox One and 360 games on it until stuff I'm more interested in releases. And I'll have fun. But I really wish they had that KI or Ryse style game that was built to show the system off.

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navster15

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@bigsocrates: I think The Medium might be up your alley then. Granted, it’s not a day and date launch title, but it’s slated for December and looks really good on Series X hardware.

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bigsocrates

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@navster15: Yeah, I know that there will be games for this thing that I'll love. I would cancel my preorder if I didn't think that was the case. I'm sure that within 6 months I'll have a handful of titles I'm super into.

I just want that console launch experience of unboxing a new system, hooking it up, and putting in "the" game for it. Whatever that game is. It almost doesn't matter. I'm not excited about the launch but I am excited about the long term potential.

Plus this system is launching with Soul Calibur. And Soul Calibur II. And Soul Calibur VI. And Psychonauts. And Titanfall. And Titanfall II. And, of course, Lococycle.

And Too Human!

Fun fact. Too Human can't be sold anymore because of the lawsuit but it's now just perpetually free on the Xbox 360 marketplace.

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Brian_

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@navster15: Yeah. I could do that. I've changed out the thermal paste on my PS3 multiple times over the years. I just hate doing it. I don't like messing with electronics, and tiny cables, making sure I don't break any pins or connectors, and tiny screws, and putting everything back together only to find out later I forgot to plug the fan back in or something, then having to take it all a part again to plug it back in.

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AshuSP

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I think its a fair thought and reflection. I put in an order on an X and I’m also conflicted over the why. Similarly, gaming is a hobby I’ve invested a lot into. I think its the urge to goof with new tech in my case. So I’ve told myself I’ll only keep my pre-order if I sell my current Xbox One S, my Oculus Rift setup and any other unneeded stuff I have. I’m well invested in Game Pass and look forward to ehats coming but I honestly have no clue what is coming on launch day. That’s just straight up dumb.

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Birtrum_Yonce

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Colonel_Pockets

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Yeah, I got a preorder in for a PS5, but I've been contemplating if I really need it. Technically I don't. I've somehow convinced myself to keep the preorder because my PS4 pro sounds like a jet engine and I'm tired of it. That's the best I've got really. Miles Morales is cool, but I'm sure it will look great on PS4. Demon's Souls looks amazing, but it's not something I'm running out to get. So we'll see I guess. But at the very least I will hopefully be able to play my PS4 games in peace without any noise.

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Birtrum_Yonce

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The PS5 launch lineup does seem a bit anemic but when you compare it to the PS4's, it's comparatively so much better. Not only am I looking forward to playing Demon's Souls and Spider-Man, I've also got a bunch of ps4 games that I've kept on the back burner that will also be playable on the new console. Hopefully, those older games that I've neglected to play will be able to take advantage of the PS5's incredibly fast SSD. IO publicly stated that the quick load times on PS5 will be a game changer for Hitman 3, which comes out in January, not long after the launch. And who knows, maybe Astro's Playroom will also be worthwhile. There's a lot to look forward to.

People tend to forget that the only thing the PS4 had going for it at launch was Resogun. Bloodborne didn't come out until 5 months later.

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nicksmi56

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#20  Edited By nicksmi56

I honestly don't understand the rush to pre-order what is essentially a fancy brick promising a lot of hot air right now. Just about every PS5 game shown is coming out on PS4 and Xbox is similarly empty at this point. I can only assume people really are that attracted to any new and shiny thing? And one that's gonna add up to be way more expensive to buy games on to boot.

I'm fine skipping this generation until it actually has something worth getting excited about.

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liquiddragon

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@birtrum_yonce: Bloodborne came out actually almost a year and half later.

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glots

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I’m most bothered by the Vinny syndrome of having to play through five previous mainline Assassin’s Creed games (and five spin-offs?), before playing Valhalla.

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Humanity

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#23  Edited By Humanity

@glots: Does it even matter in the new ones? I only played Origins and strongly disliked the new direction but from what I remember the overarching out-of-the-animus plot was nearly non-existent. I don't know if they really leaned stronger into it in Odyssey but I don't really hear anyone talking about it. I'm fairly sure if you got Valhalla you would not miss a beat.

As for pre-ordering: I thought about it but last time I pre-ordered something now only did I not get anything out of it but the store had some issues and I ended up having to wait 3 extra days after release to actually get it. I might go around in November and see if stores around me have it as I'm fairly certain they will, and even then I'm also not all that excited by what is on that launch line-up. I'm mostly curious to turn a Series X on, put on Monster Hunter and see how fast the load times are.

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Arjailer

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#24 Arjailer  Online

Pre-ordered yesterday and personally I'm not bothered by the lack of launch games. In previous console generations launch games mattered because you had to start from scratch, but that's simply not the case this time. To me these consoles feel like the next round of One X / PS4 Pro type upgrades with some extra bells on top - all my existing games (or near as dammit) will work on the new machines. Why do I need a reason to buy a new console other than "my games will run better"? Seems to work for NVidia and Intel every year - a lack of new games never stopped anyone from upgrading their PC, and that's kinda how I'm thinking of these consoles.

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ehson

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@judoboy said:

I'm not gonna lie, I'm buying an xbox series x so I have a video console I can open on xmas morning, something I havent done since the Dreamcast. I just happen to have the money this year and I figure what the hell, lets recreate a childhood memory knowing I was going to buy one eventually anyways.

good for you dude, i remember the dreamcast launch also, blown away from the start with sonic adventure.

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colourful_hippie

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This was funny to read. As someone who bailed off the PS4 boat after God of War I have some excitement in wanting to play the Spider-Man stuff at launch but due to not being able to travel to the US this year because COVID, there’s not much point in ordering one for launch day to just have it sit there for months untouched.

Probably for the best because of how shitty the roll out has been. The new Xbox hardware is definitely not exciting and has more of a feel of what it’s like to get a new graphics card. There aren’t new games that grace the video card launch but you will at least derive some enjoyment in replaying old games at higher frame rates and graphical settings.

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Humanity

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@colourful_hippie: I think you are forgetting that the Series X/S now have a dedicated SHARE button, kind sir.

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Gunhand

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@bigsocrates: I too preordered a series X along with a series S for my kids Christmas gift. I’m not too worried about the launch lineup as you stated there are plenty of 3rd party titles coming and I’m also in the camp that converted 3 years of Xbox live to gamepass so I look forward to first party releases in the next two years. My understanding is gears tactics already played well with a controller on PC so if you ever enjoyed X com you might get a pleasant surprise there. I’m in a unique situation that my One X died this year so I’ve been holding out on replacing it with the series X.Hope you end up enjoying your purchase.

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Birtrum_Yonce

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Humanity

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@humanity: don't forget Dolby Vision HDR!

How could I?!

Not to mention the 3D Spatial Sound and textured triggers!

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bigsocrates

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@glots: First of all, Vinny is my spirit animal. There is no shame in emulating Vinny in any way!

But it's not even necessarily about catching up on the plot per se. I've bought all these Assassin's Creed games and I've started to play through them. I'm kind of enjoying seeing how the series develops. I don't want to binge that hard. Also they tend to launch a little broken. I'm not desperately eager to play it so it can wait. Or maybe I won't. Maybe that will be the one!

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morningcoffee

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Yeah, I'm kind of curious what people are planning to play come Nov 10/12. I think even Jeff mentioned he's not sure what he's going to play on these new consoles. Anybody planning to play Cyberpunk on release or are you going to wait for the next-gen upgrade in 2021? I'm itching to play it but I kind of want to play the best version on my first play-through.

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Arjailer

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#33  Edited By Arjailer  Online

Planning to continue playing whatever GamePass game I happen to be in the middle of playing when it arrives. After that I'll see if there's any Series X upgraded games worth playing.

As I said above, why do I need a reason to buy a new console other than "my games will run better"?

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navster15

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@morningcoffee: For me, it’s going to be Destiny Beyond Light, DiRT 5, and just messing around with older games to see how they run. Specifically, Destiny feels like a massive upgrade compared to the current gen. Load times on the current consoles are excruciating, so just being able to play that game off an SSD is going to be huge in terms of how I engage with the game. Knocking out a strike whenever I have 15 minutes to spare is finally going to be possible.

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Judoboy

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Ya,

@ehson said:
@judoboy said:

I'm not gonna lie, I'm buying an xbox series x so I have a video console I can open on xmas morning, something I havent done since the Dreamcast. I just happen to have the money this year and I figure what the hell, lets recreate a childhood memory knowing I was going to buy one eventually anyways.

good for you dude, i remember the dreamcast launch also, blown away from the start with sonic adventure.

Ya, it makes me wonder how many more opportunities there will be to get a physical console for the holidays. I'd expect this new generation will have another 'half' step release aka Pro consoles or whatever at some point. But will PS6 just be a receiver/stream box ~7 years from now? How many more chances do I have to relive the ritual of opening a new system on xmas morning and plug it in right away. Though as I say that I're sure I'll have to put a disc in, connect to an account, download some bogus update, and hours later have that 'magic next generation moment'. *something about missing the good ole days*

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aiomon

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It's weird bc I feel like there is a lot to be excited about in terms of the hardware here - these machines are really powerful. But man, the games just aren't there.

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doerr007

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Yeah I dunno I'm kinda excited but I had ps5 in my shopping cart on Amazon and another site and decided to wait to buy from costco whenever that is available.

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bigsocrates

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@aiomon: The hardware does have some exciting things, but it's not the huge leap forward of prior generations. Xbox Series X is a little more than twice as powerful as Xbox One X (plus SSD and ray tracing abilities and some other nice additions.) Xbox One X was pitched as like four times as powerful as base Xbox One. And Xbox One had 8 gbs of RAM vs Xbox 360's 512 MBs. So while these new consoles should be cool and do a lot of really neat things, they're not going to be the generational leap we're used to, at least if you have the halfstep PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

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Nasar7

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So why not just buy it when the games you have so much faith in coming out actually do come out? I guess empty consumerism is just the norm these days. No offense to you personally, whatever makes this shitty year more bearable is fine by me. It's just interesting to me that despite zero hype or real games you, and presumably millions of other people, seeing as they are all sold out, are buying one anyway. Not even my favorite game of the past two decades, Demon's Souls, is enough for me to preorder a PS5 and I don't really see why anyone else would either.

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bigsocrates

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@nasar7: As I explained I know I'm going to really want one before it drops in price so what's the point in waiting? I have never regretted buying a console and this one will play all my old games better while I wait for something amazing to drop.

So I could pay $500 in November and get to use it for 6 more months or $500 in April and save 0 money but use older hardware for that 6 months for no gain.

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Birtrum_Yonce

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@judoboy: I think we've got a few decades to go before streaming becomes refined enough to competently rival hardware

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Nasar7

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@bigsocrates: Presumably you could spend that $500 elsewhere for non-zero gain and no loss of gaming quality.

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bigsocrates

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@nasar7: No? I set it aside to buy a game console with. It would just sit in my bank account accruing a few bucks in interest at most, and waiting 6 months is not worth like $5 or whatever to me. If I spent it on something else I'd have to come up with another $500 to buy the console when I wanted it, and in the meantime I'd miss out on the SSD and whatever graphic enhancements are applied to older games.

So...no.

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Onemanarmyy

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Can we just ... let BigSocrates use their money in the way they want to? geez louise.

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liquiddragon

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#46  Edited By liquiddragon

I’ll be interested to see how non-enhanced/boosted BC games run on the new systems. The way console games are coded, it’s not cut and dry automatic performance increases. I do hope loading times across the board is better when install on the ssds

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bigsocrates

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@onemanarmyy: This is the Internet. Everyone's a critic and literally any time you say "I'm doing this thing I'm not sure about" people will tell you not to do it even if you explain why you are.

Frankly I'm okay with the people saying I should spend my money differently.

The first comment to this post was telling me that I shouldn't have posted this because it was boring and nobody cares. It got removed. At least the people telling me not to buy the console are trying to save me money instead of call me a bad writer and a boring person. That's much nicer of them!

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cornfed40

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I had a 360 but have been all PlayStation other than that. So with both launches looking weak, I think my decision to go with the Series S made perfect sense. A library of a lot of games I've never played before available right off the bat with Game Pass until some new shiny exclusive comes out, at the same price as going and buying an Xbox One for games that will be better on an S anyways. Seems like a no brainer in my situation.

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MKennedy

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Given all that has happen this year and the fact that any game I'm remotely interested in is coming to the previous consoles, I'll be waiting for a price drop before I get a next gen machine.

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Birtrum_Yonce

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I'm gonna hold off and see if they catch fire, and then I'll wait to buy the explosion proof models