Sorry PS5, Xbox Series X Has Unexpectedly Become My Preferred Console

Illustration for article titled Sorry PS5, Xbox Series X Has Unexpectedly Become My Preferred Console
Graphic: Kotaku (Photos: Shutterstock, Microsoft, Sony)

I started this new generation of game consoles with the expectation that I would be playing most games on the PS5, like how I played most stuff on PS4 last gen. But nearly five months later, I’m spending most of my time on the Xbox Series X and now I feel bad, like I’m ignoring my PS5.

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I was lucky enough to snag both new machines at launch. I didn’t use any special connections or industry contacts to get them. I just had a lot of tabs opened and began the hunt for consoles the moment preorders went live. At the time, I mainly got the Xbox Series X because I knew I would want to play Halo and a few other Microsoft exclusives. Besides, for the first time in my life, I had saved up money to buy both new consoles at launch. So why not buy both if I had the chance?

After both machines arrived in November, I mostly played the PS5. I got Godfall and Miles Morales. I beat Astro’s Playroom. I downloaded and played PS4 games like GTA Online and Red Dead Online. I had a good time. But over the last few months, things have changed.

In December, I got an Xbox Series X storage expansion card, giving me an extra 1TB of next-gen space. This is very useful as it lets me download and install more next-gen titles. On PS5, there is still no way to expand SSD storage, limiting how many big games like Call of Duty you can install at once. I also began to download more Xbox 360 and Xbox One games that I owned and found they played great on the new machine. Game Pass began to add more games to my growing list of stuff to play. I also started taking advantage of the ability to bounce between my Xbox One, PC, and Xbox Series X, with some games letting me play anywhere, no save transferring needed.

For example, Gears 5. I started replaying the game on Xbox One, then moved to PC, then moved to my Xbox Series X while my GF played something on the PC, and then moved to xCloud on my phone when I wanted to play in my living room near our fireplace during a cold night. And it just worked. I didn’t have to manage saves, installs, or anything. It was seamless. This also happened with Watch Dogs Legion. I started playing on Xbox One. Then I got my new console and booted the game up on Series X. All my progress, achievements, and saves were waiting for me. No fuss, no extra steps. Meanwhile, on PS5, I was able to move my saves over from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla but I didn’t get all my trophies. I also accidentally downloaded the PS4 version the first time I went to install it, which was annoying and a waste of time.

Another big reason I’ve spent more time on my Xbox is backward compatibility. Sure, almost every PS4 game works on PS5, but no PS3 or PS2 games work on the new machine. Over on the Xbox, I’ve been playing Xbox 360 games, Xbox One games, and even an original Xbox game. They look great too, thanks to the Auto HDR feature built into the new Xbox. And recently, older games got even better on Xbox Series X with the FPS Boost feature. It’s still limited, but being able to play through New Super Lucky’s Tale at 120 fps was fantastic. The Master Chief Collection also runs at 4K/120 fps and has become one of my most-played games of 2021. It’s also nifty that I can bounce over to the PC to keep making progress on my account.

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Illustration for article titled Sorry PS5, Xbox Series X Has Unexpectedly Become My Preferred Console
Screenshot: Codemasters

Game Pass is another big reason my PS5 is starting to collect some dust. I just downloaded Dirt 5 to my Xbox, which was recently added to Game Pass. I didn’t even turn on the console. I did it all via the easy-to-use Xbox app on my phone. In fact, I could just play it on my phone via xCloud, but I’m going to wait to play it on my big dumb 4K TV with 120 fps mode enabled.

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I assume that as more big Sony games come out, like Horizon Forbidden West or Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, I’ll find myself spending more time on the PS5. But if you’re currently trying to buy a next-gen console, first off, good luck! Second, if you aren’t super picky, I think right now an Xbox Series X might be the best bet. Especially if you care about playing older games or are willing to pay up for Game Pass.

As I said earlier, I feel bad. My poor PS5 is over there, only being used for a few hours of RDO or GTA Online. I want to love it. I adored my PS4 and even the PSVR headset. It’s one of my favorite consoles of all time. But I can’t stop playing my Xbox Series X and I don’t want to. Sorry PS5. I’ll be back when Deathloop comes out. Promise!

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Kotaku Weekend Editor | Zack Zwiezen is a writer living in Kansas. He has written for GameCritics, USgamer, Kill Screen & Entertainment Fuse.

DISCUSSION

beefsquatch
beefsquatch

As long as Microsoft handles the Xbox more like a PC extension and less like an actual console I don’t see the point in getting one. Why spend money on the console when 70-80% of the games are going to come out on PC as well?