After taking a look at the future line-up for Xbox last week, it’s time to delve into the wonderful world of PlayStation exclusives (you know, for the players).
There’s a stronger showing out the gate for the PlayStation 5 with Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Astro’s Playroom both going down well with gamers, but, similar to Xbox, there’s plenty of studios working away on the next PlayStation blockbuster – at least 14, in fact. Here are our top picks, but what’s top of the excitement-o-meter for you? Let us know in the comments.
Kratos outlines his plans for the sequel.
James | Horizon: Forbidden West
As I’ve not played much on the PS4 (only Spider-Man really), the majority of PlayStation experiences I’m looking forward to are still to come, when I finally break open the juicy fruit that is this generation’s exclusives and feast on the presumably square, circle, triangle and x-shaped goo inside. One series which seems to be right in my wheelhouse though, is Horizon: Zero Dawn and its 2021 sequel, Forbidden West.
Exploring expansive worlds has always been my bag, from Mass Effect and Middle Earth: Shadow of War to lesser-known personal favourites like Red Faction: Guerilla and even Microsoft’s ill-fated exclusive ReCore (there’s a video about it and everything).
The future dystopia which Horizon offers isn’t dark and bitter like that of something like Watch Dogs Legion, instead, nature has had a chance to take back much of the world, while the threat of robotic beasts still looms large, and in the sequel, the sense of scale looks to be being pushed further still.
All the games here will have impressive visuals of course, but the rich colours and vast biodiversity of Aloy’s world beg for all the pixels and particle effects the PS5 can muster. Will we be able to find out the source of the plague which threatens to destroy the uneasy balance the tribes of humanity’s future have found in this world?! I can’t wait to give it a try.
Nothing says bigger and better than new water levels/sections.
Liam | Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is exactly the sort of game you want to see on a next-gen console, one that takes advantage of the shiny new tech inside to push gameplay and spectacle even further.
I’ll admit, I’ve never played a Ratchet & Clank title before, despite owning a PS2, the platform on which the franchise debuted and first found fame, but I might have to remedy that this generation.
The dimension hopping shown off in the gameplay trailers looks brilliant, not to mention totally seamless, which is even more impressive. Even without that killer feature, the game’s combat, setting and general fun factor are all more than enticing enough to warrant the hype.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for deep, meaningful narratives and gritty gameplay, but sometimes you just want a game to be good, harmless, silly fun, and Rift Apart seems to fit that description perfectly.
I’m certainly eager to see more, and while I’ve yet to make a decision on which of the new consoles I’ll be getting first (ideally I’d like to buy both at some point), impressive, proper next-gen titles like this are certainly swinging things in the PS5’s favour.
The PlayStation 5's SSD working its magic.
What's your most anticipated PS5 exclusive? Let us know below.
It’s finally here, the next generation of gaming beckons us all – whether you’ve decided to jump in already or not – with a world of new possibilities. Some of us haven’t been lucky enough to grab a new console (or two) just yet, so we’re looking ahead to the exclusive gaming experiences we can expect from this new hardware, starting with Xbox Series X|S.
While the launch day lineup might not be blockbuster, Microsoft has made no secret of the fact it’s bought up studios left and right; 14 world-class developers, including Bethesda, now comprise Xbox Game Studios.
There’s a few games in the works we already know about, so which are the ones to get most excited about? We’ve picked our favourites, but leave yours in the comments.
A shield is basically a giant space blanket.
Sam | Fable
The lack of a new Fable game during the Xbox One generation is a travesty. Well, in actuality, that isn’t strictly true. Fable Fortune was a respectable CCG from Mediatonic (Fall Guys) that saw the light of day, but it isn’t really what fans wanted.
Neither was Fable: Legends, which I had the opportunity to play before it was axed. It wasn’t great, though series custodians Lionhead didn’t deserve to go down with the ship. With the developers disbanded, for years it looked like we may never get the proper continuation that the franchise deserved.
Step in British developer Playground Games, best known for their work on the Forza Horizon series. Although crafting an RPG is a massive departure from building racing titles, the team’s consistent track record for delivering on quality helps to mitigate any concerns.
As I get older RPGs become less and less appealing. They tend to require a huge time and energy commitment, plus are more often than not overly long and po-faced. It’s one of the reasons I still haven’t played The Witcher 3 and that Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t get me hot under the collar. A new Fable on Xbox Series X|S could (and should) be the antidote to that.
Is that a river, or a racetrack? Who knows!
Liam | Microsoft Flight Simulator
I do enjoy a good flying game, so I’m pretty excited for the console release of what could be considered the flying game: Microsoft Flight Simulator.
As much as love taking down capital ships in Star Wars Squadrons or battling drones in Ace Combat 7, it’s easy to forget that simply cruising around the skies can be just as rewarding as any thrilling dogfight. Flight Simulator looks like it could be the ultimate chill out game, letting you cruise around the world at your leisure in a variety of aircraft.
Even though there’s a plethora of exotic destinations on offer, in a weird way I’m most looking forward to simulating shorter, more familiar commutes, such as London Gatwick to Amsterdam, a journey I undertook many times over the years. It’ll certainly be interesting to see the journey from the pilot’s perspective, for once.
Although there’s no release date, or even a release window, for that matter, Microsoft Flight Simulator is supposedly coming to an Xbox near you at some point in the near future, and I for one am greatly looking forward to it.
Short-haul flights are a lot more fun when you're in the pilot's seat (we hope).
What's your most anticipated Xbox Series X|S exclusive? Let us know below.
We're on the eve of a new generation, with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S due to hit (abandoned) shops in the next two weeks – 19 and 10 November respectively in the UK – which has got us reflecting on what the Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch have given us.
What's been your top release since this round of consoles were released? Let us know in the comments.
The future of gaming is bollocks.
James | Control
There’s something about an immersive single player experience which lets you really lose yourself and feel like you’re stepping into something really exciting. That’s how it was for me with Control.
Though it wasn’t a critical success, I enjoyed Quantum Break’s experimentation with time manipulation and storytelling, and Control showed that developers Remedy had moved their ideas forward and really delivered a gaming experience I hadn’t had before.
It’s not all heady concepts and confusing narratives of course, the core gameplay – third-person shooter with some added telekinetic abilities thrown in – was solid as well, and made you want to continue to explore its world, despite the brutalist, bland architecture.
It wasn’t without its flaws, of course. The experience was captivating but not one I was drawn to replay, though the substantial DLC offerings since the original release no doubt would tempt me if there was a good deal.
The visual presentation was particularly stunning, and, though not aiming for photo-real, really showed off the technical power of the Xbox One X in a way which few games really do.
For offering memorable boss fights, interesting puzzles and getting the balance just right with its careful use of real-world footage, Control gets the crown and is certainly the game I’d use to demonstrate the potential of this generation.
2019's Control was a late contender for game of the generation.
Liam | Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Last year I labelled Ghost Recon Wildlands as one of my game of the generation contenders, and now that the PS5 and XSX are almost upon us, it’s time to make good on that statement.
For me, it had plenty of what a ‘next-gen’ game should offer; a big (but not too big) interesting world to explore, co-op with mates (plus an AI squad when running solo) and plenty of interesting gadgets and weapons with which to dispatch masses of enemies.
I also thoroughly enjoyed digging into the game’s setting and story, which got surprisingly deep in some places, and picking off cartel bosses one by one, region by region. The hierarchy system gave the game a real sense of progression, and, at times, made you feel like you were the invisible threat the Ghosts were meant to be.
I know Wildlands was a bit of a departure for fans of the series’ more linear focused games, such as Future Soldier, but I had a lot of fun with it, to the point where I genuinely missed playing it once I had completed it.
It’s probably not the best this gen has to offer, but it was a personal highlight, so it gets the nod from me.
It might not be the best, but it was very good.
What's your game of the generation? Let us know below.
It’s that creepy time of year once again, which means it’s time to terrify and torture one another with a plethora of spooky game recommendations.
Since we’ve already covered our favourite horror games in the past, this Halloween we’re pondering the select moments that truly haunt us. And we aren’t talking about the terrifying fate of seeing a “save file not found” message displayed on the screen...
What’s your most haunting gaming experience? Let us know in the comments.
Sorry, Ripley - you're on your own for this one.
Sam | Resident Evil 4
This week's Halloween-themed topic filled my head with classic moments from Resident Evil 4. The relentless, wheezing Regenerators and crazed Garraor encounters are two of many contenders, but the game’s trial-by-fire introduction beats them out.
Not far into Resident Evil 4, at a point easily reached during the first play session, players reach the infamous village fight. Leon must hold out for an unspecified amount of time as endless hordes of enemies doggedly pursue him. Before too long, the affectionately (and accurately) named “Chainsaw Guy” also joins the fray.
If this fella with a burlap sack on his head gets too close, Leon can instantly kiss his cranium goodbye and it’s back to the beginning of the encounter. When this holdout already feels as though it lasts for an eternity, the tangible fear of lost progress is just icing on an already terrifying cake.
Little touches really help to sell what a desperate struggle it is. Leon can block off entry points with furniture, have no choice but to retreat upstairs (not generally a good idea) as the horde breaks through, then be forced to dive headfirst out of a second floor window just to buy himself a moment’s breathing room.
Chainsaw Guy's name is probably the only affectionate thing about him.
Liam | Resident Evil
Because I don’t enjoy horror as a genre, picking a most haunting moment was pretty easy. When you’re as big a coward as I am, pretty much everything could be considered terrifying. However, there is one gaming moment that is still very much haunting me to this day, and that’s the first time you come across a zombie in the original Resident Evil.
I was only around eight years old when RE came out, and I wasn’t really aware that games could be so terrifying, having grown up on Super Mario, so I was totally unprepared for the absolute horror that was that scene.
Even watching it back now as an adult is uncomfortable, there’s just something so grotesque about it. I don’t know if it’s the fixed camera angles hiding what’s around the corner, the wet crunch as the zombie munches on its victim, or the horrifying, slow turn as it notices you, but it gave me nightmares for weeks.
It’s ruined most zombie games for me (though I did enjoy the cathartic mowing down of the undead in World at War’s zombies mode) and put me off the franchise; the only one I managed to complete was Resi 4, and that’s only because it ditched zombies for angry villagers.
What's your most haunting gaming moment? Let us know below.
With Watch Dogs: Legion set to throw players into its dystopian version of London in just a few days, we’ve been thinking about other times England’s capital has been depicted in video games.
The city was first immortalised in the text-based adventure Streets of London on the Commodore 64, and has since been brought to life with increasing graphical detail, leading up to the next-gen visuals boasted by Legion.
Do you have a favourite version of London from games past? It might be just a level or an entire game, but remember, sims like Microsoft Flight Simulator or world-beating strategy titles like Civilization don’t really count.
Read on for the team’s favourites.
Feasting on patients goes against the Hippocratic oath, probably.
James | Assassin's Creed Syndicate
It's not often I look forward to stalking and murdering people, but the prospect of doing so amid Victorian London was enough to ignite the fiery passion of the killer within.
The game which succeeded at this feat was none other than Assassin's Creed Syndicate, the first and only entry of the series I've played as I mentioned in our review way back when. The joy of exploring its train stations in particular was a real pleasure, since plenty of historical details survive to this day.
While hardly a like-for-like representation of all of old London town, there's a consistent vibe and a fantastic attention to detail in the architecture that makes each district feel like a distinct part of the city.
The nature of the game, seeking out assassination targets and other open world objectives, lends itself to sightseeing. Plus if you keep to the rooftops you can leap about without being disrupted by baddies.
On top of all that, if you want to take it slow you can always take a ride in a coach or private train to take in the sights. What more could you want?
It's important to take a break from all the assassinating to drink in the view every now and then.
Liam | Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator might have been discounted by James, but he didn’t say anything about Combat Flight Simulator! I have fond memories of endlessly replaying this game, toying with the ultra-realistic settings (enabling finite ammunition made things especially tricky) and simply soaring through the skies in free flight to see how far I could push the various fighter planes.
While it’s not all set in London, a significant portion of the British campaign takes place in and around the skies of our capital, so I’m counting it. Of course, this being a flying game, the city itself was more of an afterthought than the main draw, and because it’s a very old flying game, London was pretty much a big blurry mess, but it was probably the first time I’d come across a game representing a location I was familiar with, which I thought was very cool.
If I’m remembering correctly, there might even have been a few iconic landmarks knocking about. I can’t be sure, but I seem to have a foggy recollection of trying to fly through Tower Bridge. Perhaps I’m getting mixed up, but either way, it was a great game set in a great city (sort of).
Did this really happen?
What's your favourite game set in London? Let us know below.
With grand promises of “affordable VR” as far back as the 80s (40 years ago, let’s not forget), virtual reality has always felt like a great idea which hasn’t ever reached its potential.
Now the latest wave of technology from Oculus, HTC and even PlayStation is reaching its newest iteration, and we’re starting to see that affordability dream become more of a reality.
The latest new release is the Oculus Quest 2, which brings the portability of its predecessor at a more affordable price - £300 in the UK - meaning for some gamers it might open up the platform for the first time.
So, is it finally time to take the plunge into VR? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Affordable, but could account registration issues spoil the experience for newcomers?
Having only tried one of Samsung’s early Gear VR iterations, my experience with VR is fairly limited. In that case, it had the benefit of using technology you already own (with my S7 Edge at the time, to give you an idea of how long ago it was), but the performance wasn’t the sort of quality you can find today.
Oculus has been at this game for a while now, and the lineup of titles available for the Quest platform is up to 200, so I feel like there must be something for most people. Whether it’s enough to get over the physical barrier of settling down to put on a headset, rather than just picking up a controller or switching apps on a phone.
If you’re looking to expand your gaming horizons, you might be tossing up whether to dive into the next generation right now (assuming you can actually get hold of a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X pre-order), but perhaps the Oculus Quest has more potential to deliver gaming experiences you haven’t had before, since VR itself brings more variety of gameplay than the lukewarm PS5/XSX release lineup.
If the Quest could handle something like Star Wars Squadrons, or could be paired with the new Xbox Series X and/or S then perhaps that would be the perfect (if more expensive) outcome. For now, the Quest is more suited for lighter experiences, but perhaps that’s just what you’re looking for.
Star Wars: Squadrons on Quest 2 (without needing a link cable and compatible PC) would've been a big selling point.
I own and adore the original Oculus Quest; the convenience is supreme, and has seen my PS VR headset fall by the wayside. Despite that, I don’t plan on upgrading to an Oculus Quest 2.
The price and boosted spec are booth great, but I’m not up for ditching my Oculus account in favour of forced Facebook integration. I mostly avoid using any social media, other than what’s required for my work, so having the issue pushed just doesn’t sit right - especially when Oculus originally promised it wouldn’t happen.
Having eyeballed the new Oculus user agreement, Facebook will be selling data associated with linked accounts. Stuff like how users move and the size of their hands is fair game, with the next logical step being analysis of the environment(s) that Quest 2 is being used in.
£300 for a quality standalone headset and two motion controllers almost seems too good to be true, and that’s probably because it is, with the value of your data serving to subsidise the cost. It honestly feels seedy, leaving me opposed to the very principle.
Slamming the breaks and switching gears, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners and REZ: Infinite are a pair of great launch games. Thankfully, they’re compatible with the original Quest - which, as a bonus, isn’t garishly white - so I can still play while dodging Facebook’s meddling.
The original Quest lives on with critically acclaimed titles like REZ: Infinite still being released on it.
What are your thoughts on the Quest 2? Let us know below.
While remakes and remasters are far from new in gaming, changing the look of a beloved character is still risky. When Sony debuted Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered – which comes bundled exclusively with Spider-Man: Miles Morales - Ultimate Edition on PS5 – featuring a new look for main character Peter Parker, people noticed.
Reaction to the news was less than positive. So much lament was on show from so-called fans in fact, that members of the development team received death threats and other abuse online for the decision.
According to Insomniac Games' Creative Director Bryan Intihar, the face capture for Peter Parker was changed from actor John Bubniak to model Ben Jordan, to provide a “better facial match” to voice actor Yuri Lowenthal.
Since we also saw strong reactions to the look of characters in Marvel’s Avengers, this week we ponder whether that was the right decision.
Eight years of battling bad guys and web-swinging around New York City is good for you, apparently.
While sending death threats is totally inexcusable, especially over something so trivial, I have to say that I’m not a fan of the new-look Peter Parker. I don’t really care what the guy looks like (although it is a little uncanny that he resembles Tom Holland now), but making the character appear so much younger hurts the game’s narrative.
Insomniac made a point of emphasising that their take on Peter Parker was older and more experienced than usual, albeit still in his mid-twenties. Parker’s age is a cornerstone of the story, influencing his work and personal relationships along with his stance on issues as Spider-Man.
As I understand it, the script hasn’t been reworked to match the more youthful character model, which has definite potential to cause a disconnect. Perhaps most concerningly, Peter Parker is supposed to be a mentor to Miles Morales, but now Parker just looks like one of Morales’ school friends.
Whether the decision to change the character model was purely technical as Insomniac suggests or not - and I do suspect not, as the Tom Holland resemblance is very convenient - I think it was the wrong call. Not because I prefer the old actor or I won’t adjust to a new collection of pixels, but because it doesn’t make narrative sense in Spider-Man: Remastered or moving the series forward.
Juggling superhero duties and personal relationships is probably what gave OG Parker those worry lines.
First, I’ll echo sentiments Sam and James have already put forward: threats over this sort of thing are simply out of order, even if people are upset about the changes.
I’ve still not played the original Spider-Man (it’s very much on my to-do list once I finally get my hands on the right hardware) so I don’t really have much of a stake in this debate, but having watched some comparison videos I can totally see why some fans might find the update a little jarring.
As Sam mentioned above, the new Peter Parker is very much a younger looking iteration, and doesn’t seem at all in keeping with the game’s narrative of a more mature 20-something Spider-Man.
While a visual overhaul of the character isn’t exactly game-breaking, I do have to say I prefer the original look, so I’ll probably pick up the PS4 version whenever I get around to playing the game.
Having said that, I won’t be avoiding any sequels or spin-offs if this is how Peter Parker is going to look from now on, as I’ve no doubt the best bits of the game all take place while Spidey’s wearing his mask.
It doesn't matter what Spidey looks like when his suit is this cool.
What do you think of the new-look Peter Parker? Let us know below.
Bethesda Softworks, and parent company ZeniMax, are in the process of being bought by Microsoft for an eye-watering $7.5billion. The news came within hours of the pre-orders for Xbox’s next generation going on sale, and though it will be a while before we see the fruits of the deal, it got our collective mind racing on the sheer number of possibilities.
So we’ve put our heads together to give our takes on what might happen next, or what we think should. Got an idea of your own? Leave it in the comments. (If it’s good, we’ll be sure to pass it along – claiming it as our own, of course).
Will Bethesda's Starfield be a multi-platform release?
Firstly, $7.5 billion is an insane amount of money. If you combine Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm (Star Wars, Indiana Jones) and Marvel (Spider-Man, The Avengers, etc.) you get a little over $8 billion. As popular as properties like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout are, I’m not sure that they’re even in the same stratosphere.
Who am I to judge the business sense of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, though, right? Nobody, that’s who!
Setting the price aside, Zenimax is definitely a huge get for Xbox. While not all of the output has been stellar lately, studios under the Zenimax umbrella are responsible for some of the most acclaimed and beloved franchises out there. While the aforementioned Elder Scrolls and Fallout series are probably the biggest, there’s immense value in the likes of Dishonored, Doom, Wolfenstein and Prey too.
Whether or not Xbox will now hoard all of these games as exclusives remains to be seen. There’s a compelling argument either way: Microsoft can share them, looking like the good guy while PS5 players pay £70 per game and Xbox Series X/S, PC and Android users play everything at no additional cost via their Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions. Alternatively, they could cut PlayStation out completely to drive more console and subscription sales; it’d also put to bed the (formerly somewhat valid) assertion that Xbox has no exclusive games.
Corporate news like this isn't unusual in the technology world, one which Microsoft has a very large non-gaming presence in, let's not forget, but to hear these two major players in the industry had come together was a surprise.
Bethesda is a significant presence in the industry as far as individuals go as well. Todd Howard, while hardly the fan favourite since Fallout 76 missed expectations, has been at the top of every Xbox hardware announcement sizzle reel for years, so perhaps the deal is not as surprising as first thought.
The IPs folded into Xbox are interesting, but I'm more interested in the sort of cross-pollination we could see. Doom Slayer in a re-worked, hell-themed Firefight map in the next Halo anyone?
Anything which puts different ideas together in a fun, self-aware way is something I'm on board with. Whether the size and complexity of this new business juggernaut allows for that sort of fun and games we will have to see.
For those banking on Game Pass, we're already expecting a boost in potential games, and any push to finish Dishonored 2 is equally welcome.
Halo Reach's Kat and Emile turned up in Gears 5's multiplayer, so Microsoft aren't adverse to mixing things up.
What do you think of the Xbox-Bethesda deal? Let us know below.
It’s finally happened. The PlayStation 5’s standard and digital editions now have not only a release date, but a price point. The disc-friendly version will set you back £450 (the same as an Xbox Series X), while the digital-leaning iteration is £360. You can get your hands on one from 19 November, should you be able to snag a pre-order.
Now that we have all the prices and release dates for the next generation of consoles, are you tempted by the shiny new boxes? Are you going to hold off until the prices drop and more games come out? We asked the team where they stand on the PS5 after Sony’s latest showcase event.
The PS4 still has some impressive looking games coming its way.
The price gap between the two cheaper consoles – £110 between the Xbox Series S and the PS5 Digital Edition – could make all the difference for a lot of people. The added benefit of Game Pass for Xbox, plus the flexible pricing options mean it’s a sensible choice for most people this Christmas.
Like Liam, I’m yet to play many of the PS4’s best exclusives, and with new games still getting PS4 releases you could be better off picking up a cheaper PS4 Pro. You'd get plenty of graphical performance from cross-gen games like Forbidden West and Miles Morales, while also saving money at a time that’s tight for many.
The backpedaling, highlighted by Eurogamer, shouldn’t be missed either. Sony was clear that these new game experiences would be a generational leap, making them out of reach of the previous generation, but now they suddenly seem more achievable on the PS4. Add to that the sketchy presentation of some “exclusives” which will actually be coming to other platforms later and it represents a serious cause for concern.
If you’re dying to play the new God of War though, you can be sure that the PS5 is the fastest and highest-fidelity way to do so, which may just be enough to make it a no-brainer for you. For everyone else, a bit of patience might go a long way.
Was the PC announcement really "human error," or will the Demon's Souls remake eventually make its way to other platforms?
While paling in comparison to Xbox Game Pass, I’d argue that the PlayStation Plus Collection makes a compelling argument for upgrading to PS5 if you still need to catch up on all things PS4. Both James and Liam recommend a PS4 Pro for the time being, but you could put that money towards the PlayStation 5 instead and gain access to a library of the biggest and best PlayStation 4 games almost by default.
Exclusive games have always been what draws me towards one console or another. Opinions on games are subjective, of course, but if you’re in it for the big launch titles then PS5 is worth a pre-order for Demon’s Souls and Spider-Man: Miles Morales alone. Learning that both of those would be available from day one convinced me to pre-order, anyway.
I still plan to buy an Xbox Series X, but I’m not looking forward to playing anything in particular on Microsoft’s next-gen console come launch day. Xbox is a far greater value proposition with Game Pass Ultimate and backwards compatibility for both software and hardware peripherals, but it just doesn’t have those big-budget titles to really draw me in from the get go.
From where I stand, whether you should purchase a PS5 depends on what appeals to you more. Is it the sizzle of exclusive games you can’t play anywhere except PlayStation? Or is it the consumer friendliness that Xbox brings to the table, albeit without much excitement.
A PlayStation Plus subscription could be an alternative way to experience classic PS4 exclusives on the latest tech.
Will you be pre-ordering a PlayStation 5? If so, which one? Let us know below or in the forums.
After much anticipation, Microsoft finally lifted the lid on its Christmas console release plans, announcing a new Xbox, the less powerful Xbox Series S, as well as the prices for both next generation consoles.
Big brother the Xbox Series X will be £449, while the Series S, which lacks a disc drive and some of the more impressive frills, costs £249.
On top of that, the Xbox All Access programme makes the barrier to owning one of these beauties lower than usual, with monthly finance options to spread the cost over two years.
So, the big question this week is: Which is the right console for you? We put our heads together to try to make sense of it all.
Is there a tiny Master Chief lurking somewhere inside the Series X amongst all that impressive tech?
James has already covered the technical specs and objectively weighed the pros and cons of each new Xbox, so I’ll mostly leave that alone.
Personally, I’ll be opting for the Xbox Series X at launch. As one of the diehards that the more powerful console is aimed at, it’s really a no-brainer. I’m someone that wants to get the most out of their game collection, and also a 4K TV owner, which makes Xbox Series X’s targeted 4K resolution a winning feature.
That being said, the Xbox Series S presents outrageously good value for money. A next generation console that costs less than the Nintendo Switch and the same as a PlayStation 4 will be too good a deal to pass up for many. Throw in the optional Xbox All Access financing plan, which includes Game Pass Ultimate and more than enough games to keep you busy, and Microsoft has somehow managed to make next-gen gaming affordable in the midst of a financial crisis.
With Apple stubbornly blocking xCloud streaming on iOS devices, I’ve been looking to buy an Android device that allows me to take Xbox gaming on the go. Since something capable usually costs more than a Series S and is subject to streaming stability, I’m considering also grabbing one of the budget-friendly consoles as a travel companion for extended time spent away from home.
Its suitcase-friendly size and low price point could make the Series S the perfect travel companion.
Considering both of my previous two Xbox consoles - a limited edition Halo 5-themed base model and a Project Scorpio edition Xbox One X - cost me 500 euros (I was living in Europe at the time of purchase), the fact that I can upgrade to a next-gen Xbox for just £249 is utterly bonkers.
Although leaks and rumours had all but confirmed the existence of the Series S before its official reveal earlier this week, I hadn’t given it much thought, and it was pretty much a given that I’d be picking up a Series X at some point.
Now, however, Microsoft have given me a real dilemma. On paper, the Series S seems like a perfect fit; it’s cheap, it’s streamlined, it’ll presumably run next-gen games just as well as the Series X (at least performance-wise) and I don’t own a 4K TV or plan on getting one any time soon. Did I mention it’s cheap?
The only caveat is the missing disc drive. Granted, I’ve not bought an Xbox game for a while thanks to Game Pass, and those I have bought were usually digital purchases picked up during a sale, but it’s a big omission for someone who likes collecting physical copies of games.
The cause of, and solution to, a lot of next-gen dilemmas.
Will you be opting for the Series S or Series X this November? Let us know your thoughts below.