For as much as we all talk about the console wars, it’s not really a war. It’s no more a battle than streaming services vying for your subscription membership. It’s no different than a few clothing shops in your city that sell the same brands offering variations on the consumer experience. With console exclusives vastly outnumbered by the AAA and indie games released on these consoles, the PS5 and Xbox Series X aren’t all that different. Still, there’s no denying that the PS4 blew the Xbox One out of the water. Look at it anyway you want; sales, popularity, fan sentiment. The latest Xbox news surrounding pricing, All Access, and the inclusion of EA Play into Game Pass feels like a great run of press. Is it enough to really give Xbox a fighting chance in this next generation?
A Good String of Xbox News that Could Carry Into November
Image Credit: Microsoft
The age-old internet saying goes, “never, ever read the comments.” As a gaming journalist, I have to break that rule. It’d be narrow-minded of me to not find out what readers on our site and others like ours have to say and think. If I simply hopped on my computer and typed up my thoughts, then how would I know they’re actually worth reading? I can value my own opinion, but it’s sort of up to the audience’s interests and opinions on what things get talked about. I don’t change my views based on what the gaming community thinks. Rather, I feel more in-tune with the community et large when I know their takes on things.
Recent Xbox news is objectively making positive waves across all areas of the internet. It started this week with word that the Xbox Series S would only cost $299. It’s safe to say that the $300 mark will undercut Sony’s base PS5 cost. The diskless PS5, however, might be in this boat too. We still have no clue, and there is something to be said about releasing pricing first. Xbox then followed it up with the confirmation of the Xbox Series X price. At $500, the new console will cost what the Xbox One cost at launch.
Despite the major technical advances made with these new consoles, it won’t cost users any more than it has in the past. Plus, you can sign up for All Access, which nets you an Xbox Series S for $25 a month for two years or $35 a month for the Series X. Both plans include Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which now includes EA Play for free.
Services and Tech Look Great, but Games Still Matter
It’s incredible how much value you can get from these new All Access plans. Even buying the console outright and subscribing to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate nets you hundreds of games at launch. Plus, Assassin’s Creed, Dirt 5, and Watch Dogs: Legion are all set to release on launch day for the Xbox Series X and S. Overall, this week in Xbox news is the most positive reception the company earned in years. People feel optimistic about the future of these consoles. I return, however, to the main argument Sony fans will offer: games matter.
Xbox doesn’t have a Spider-Man or Horizon: Zero Dawn. They let an entire console cycle come and go without a new Fable game. Xbox’s flagship series, Halo, even released their worst game to date. Not to mention, Halo 5: Guardians, the aforementioned worst Halo game, came out 5 years ago. The damage Xbox took these past 6 years came via self-inflicted poor planning. I don’t want to dissect their mistakes like countless others have in both the journalism and fan communities. Honestly, the Xbox team knows it better than anyone.
Good Xbox News Means Great Things for Everyone
Image Credit: Microsoft
Great press this week can hopefully mean brighter days for Microsoft. It’s not a positive thing for anyone when one game company blows the other out of the water. Sure, it might feel like you’re “winning” the console wars by picking the right side. Unfortunately, an outright winner means lackluster improvements to the user experience. We can see that in sub-1080p games on PS Now and a still outdated OS for Sony consoles. What the gaming community learned this past console generation is threefold. One, people are flocking to gaming in numbers never seen before. Two, the future of gaming is bright thanks to things like Unreal Engine 5 and its insanely expanded offerings. Three, when all is said and done, everyone just wants to blow off some steam.
Not many play or enjoy video games for a living. The majority of gamers play their favorite titles to relax, unwind, destress, and give themselves a bit of reprieve from all the garbage happening around them. If games make you feel good in one way or another, then it’s no fun to see it turn toxic. When a company like Xbox flubs its entire console cycle, then it’s fun to talk trash a bit. Still, what good is it to add negativity into something we’re using to negate that sort of cloud over our lives?
We’re likely seeing more great things from both Xbox and Sony before the launch of their new consoles later this year. I’d hope we can all just root for great reveals, mind-blowing games, and improvements to the hobby we all know and love. How are you feeling about the new Xbox lineup? Does it stand a chance to dethrone Sony?
Featured Image Credit: Microsoft
Taylor loves to play video games in his spare time. He has two degrees in Political Communication and wrote his thesis on Marxism and the exploitation of college athletes. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his wife and two Toy Australian Shepherds. He’s always got headphones in, and he’s a diehard Cubs fan.