Is it coming under unfair criticism? (Picture: Microsoft)
A reader is worried the Xbox is becoming a punching bag in online discourse and explains why he’s been so happy with his new Xbox Series X.
I’ve noticed in the last few months, and especially on GC’s pages, there seems to have been a lot of negative articles aimed towards Xbox. It almost seems like people want to paint the Xbox Series X as a disaster and see Microsoft fail, which I personally think would be pretty terrible for the games industry.
I understand the negativity about Starfield and the whole review copies debacle but recently there was an article about Xbox sales in Europe, that almost seemed to suggest that Microsoft was on its last legs (as far as I know it’s actually doing pretty well in the UK and US?) and another that suggested a number of Xbox games had been disappointing, including Forza Motorsport?
That comment actually encouraged me to write in with this Reader’s Feature in defence of Xbox, as I’m absolutely loving Forza Motorsport. Plus, it currently has an 84 rating on Metacritic and has been hailed as the best Forza yet, so ‘disappointing’ seemed a very strange way to describe it. This added to my feeling that it seems popular to bash the Xbox Series X at every opportunity, at the moment.
Before I start though, I would like to say that I’m far from a Microsoft fanboy. I’ve owned a PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and now an Xbox Series X – and out of all those consoles the Switch is easily my favourite. I also get that Microsoft is a huge multi-billion corporation and I really don’t like them buying out all these games companies to try and dominate Sony.
Having said all that, I’ve now had my Xbox Series X for roughly three months and my initial verdict is I’m really impressed by it! I wrote in earlier this year about my conundrum over whether to go PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X this generation and, although it’s still early days, I’m really pleased I finally chose the Xbox Series X.
The main reason is Game Pass. Me and my wife have a 10-month-old daughter, so gaming time is at a minimum at the moment, but having Game Pass means I can just quickly jump into short games like Jusant or Cocoon if I’ve got a spare 15 minutess or go for something like Halo Infinite or Dead Space if I’ve got a little longer. It also helps that I used the Xbox Live Gold to Game Pass conversion loophole, so I’ve got 18 months of Game Pass for under £4 per month, which is frankly unbelievable value!
Also, while I agree that Xbox’s exclusives aren’t quite as impressive as PlayStation’s, I do think that Forza Horizon, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Forza Motorsport, Halo Infinite, Hi-fi Rush, and Starfield is a pretty good list of first party games (although the more I play Starfield the more I agree with the 7/10 scores).
In fact, the only real negative I can think of with Games Pass is that there’s actually too much choice! I find that I flick between games quite a bit, as there’s just so many available and I don’t focus on one and really get into it. That might be due to me having only had Game Pass for three months though and hopefully I’ll learn to settle on just a handful of games going forward. As previously mentioned, I also don’t have much time for gaming at the moment, but I can imagine Game Pass would be unbelievable for someone at uni or something, with plenty of time on their hands. There’s just so much choice!
Game Pass has also saved me quite a bit of money, as the only two games I’ve actually bought for my Xbox Series X so far are Hogwarts Legacy (which came with the console) and Cyberpunk 2077 (which was on sale). I’m really enjoying both so far and there’s still loads of games on Game Pass (like Dishonored, Dishonored 2, Far Cry 6, etc.) that I’ve never played before and haven’t got round to trying yet.
Some other small things that have impressed me with the Xbox Series X are the controller (I know the PlayStation 5 has the adaptive triggers but there’s just something about the weight and feel of the Xbox controller that feels ‘just right’ to me) and the Quick Resume feature, that let’s you jump straight back into a game with almost no waiting.
So, to conclude, I’m not trying to say that the Xbox Series X is perfect and I still think Microsoft need to improve their overall game and bring out that killer first party title (their Zelda, if you will) to really pull people over to the console but, with Sony seemingly currently in hibernation, I’d encourage absolutely anyone on the fence to give the Xbox Series X a try.
By reader WigglyBlade
The reader’s features do not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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