I had planned on investing in a Playstation 5. I’ve been bitter that Microsoft wouldn’t allow users to replace their own hard disks without risking an account ban for modding the Xbox. My PS 4 has been upgraded multiple times with larger SSDs as the cost has gone down over the past decade. If you’ve played Bloodborne you’d be quite familiar with how long load times can take. Maybe it would be more cost effective to build a PC and enhance the gaming experience instead of having to fumble with consoles. As for now the Xbox Series X has earned my attention.
From years of experience with the PS4 and Xbox One, the Series X is a welcome upgrade. Microsoft introduced the updated UI before launch and this update shines on the Series X. The Xbox interface feels similar to Windows 10. You can create custom Groups that you name, then add installed Apps and Games for ease of access on the Home Screen. It would be nice to be able to add custom categories with some AI to automatically add new content to them. I currently have 3 groups named Playing, Games, and Streaming. You can share media directly to your OneDrive for extra Cloud storage.
Everything loads much more quickly, and the image quality is much better even only running at 1080p at 60fps. I’m really impressed with the Quick Resume feature that will suspend games when the system is shut down. Not only does the system power on in a few seconds, but games resume from a suspended state almost as quickly as the system powers on. This feature does not apply to the Power Saving mode, so maybe it’s worth the extra watts.
Seagate has partnered with Xbox to produce a 1 TB Storage Expansion Card for the Xbox Series X. Seagate states that their product extends the capability of the Xbox Series X and Series S seamlessly using Xbox Velocity Architecture with “virtually no lag in power or speed when gaming from the expansion card”. I do plan on expanding my storage as I’ve already consumed about 70% of the SSD’s capacity. I do not need the additional storage but it will save me from possibly having to re-download a title and use my precious data plan.
Speaking of my Data Plan I’ve been playing around with the Xbox app and Remote Play. I’ve been using remote play features on the PS4 for quite a while now. Unfortunately the ISP I use throttles and has extremely low upload speeds so the experience is cloudy at best. I can say the Remote Play service is awesome but there are limitations over a cellular service or a corporate monopolized internet service provider.
Playstation still has my attention with their awesome launch lineup and list of titles in development. Unfortunately Xbox did not have anything noteworthy for their new Series X/S launch. This is probably the biggest disappointment but I hadn’t used my Xbox One in years so the lineup in Game Pass was the saving grace. I am missing out on the Windows 10 games available in Game Pass which is almost enticing enough to throw together some hardware to build a gaming machine. M1thinks these titles should be available on macOS!
My gaming highlight of December in Game Pass was Quantum Break suggested by a friend. This title alone made my holiday break quite enjoyable. The combination of a movie and video game was absolutely brilliant. The best storytelling experience I’ve had in years although I’m still a bit confused by it all. You could even say I’m left in AWE.