Everyone is excited for this week. Big changes are coming. The next gen will assimilate and replace what is the current one. And Nintendo gamers are watching from a distance and the battle for home console ground wages war again. (As usual, Nintendo fans don't need to do anything but enjoy what's available at the moment.)
The load times are zippy and snappy.
The architecture within gives the feeling of next gen since its a 7 year upgrade.
Backwards compatibility is still there, with extra boosts included and even optimised.
Expandable SSD that looks like the size of a 1.5 SD card is also brilliant.
Quick Resume is fantastic if you switch games, a lot. Making saving games feel unnecessary to a point.
But looked as a whole, there's nothing actually new and exclusive here.
The controller is the same thing but enhanced with tiny improvements. Not entirely necessary to have since every Xbox One controller is compatible on both fronts. Share button is nice though.
Launch titles... Are things that are also available for the Xbox One. No actual exclusive games there since Halo Infinite is kicked to 2021 (hopefully). Even that can be played on Xbox One.
So, is it really a leap then?
Well, perhaps yes and no.
To he honest, Microsoft is setting the bar for what i consider to be, a platform for all generations. Xbox is turning 20 next year, and the Series X/S is by far the best possible place to experience every generation of a rich near 20 year gaming history. Heck, even old Nintendo games are there (Read: courtesy of the Rare studios acquisition).
Probably the only downside is that the load times doesn't seem to do better with the Series X if it were disc based. You only get the benefits if you have it digitally, or if its a Game Pass title. So, unless you're a hardcore physical collector, you're ok really.
Could Nintendo and Sony do something similar? They could. But Nintendo is taking its time and Sony is just balking a PS4 backwards compatibility. There's so much more that both fronts can do with the amazing consoles released and releasing soon. But that's another story.
But right off the bat of a machine that you can buy next week? Nothing comes to close to Series S/X. (You may still encounter some bugs though as of writing)
What about graphics then? Well, if i had a 4K tv with an HDMI 2.1 port then I wouldn't write about this gripe. Because that easily becomes a selling point for the Series X. I believe those tvs, are not cheap at the moment in Malaysia.
So a Series S would then work better at the Malaysian landscape of available cheap 4K tvs. But then there's a new problem : it is all and only digital.
The Series S only boasts 300 something GB of SSD space. Ok, thats a lot of backward compatible games, but download and install Modern Warfare 2019 and you're screwed. Sure, I did say expandable storage, and suddenly that becomes a necessity if you're thinking of a Series S.
Then there's Xbox Game Pass, which is not available in Malaysia, officially. You have to figure a workaround, because I know some have. But its just a nuisance when you realise that you have to do that since the console is boasting of speed and ease of use.
So, is Xbox Series X/S the best choice for Malaysians?
Looking at this as whole, if ever Microsoft Malaysia wanted to introduce the Xbox, officially, this is seriously the best time. And the console of choice, is easily the Xbox Series S.
But of course, it needs to come, with Xbox Game Pass.
Truth be told the Series X would be the best to showcase how powerful next gen can be, but I don't think we're ready just to spend a large sum of money to get new TVs. You obviously can get it played on 1080p tvs, but why?
The Series S also becomes a hard sell, if you have a decent enough PC or laptop that can run on High settings. Everything on Game Pass is on PC. And there's no clear indication how well are they implementing games and releasing it on Series X or S. Heck, Microsoft might pull a Nintendo like how they did games exclusive to "New" 3DSs (although little).
Then there's the argument that they might even need to forsake capabilities possible for the Series X, but not Series S. Again, not certain.
So, what now?
As I consider arguments from gaming news outlets and my experience seeing it used by others, I really want to see Xbox come up official in our country. I loved the feeling of the Xbox One controller when I first held it. I love Gears. Halo to a certain point. And i hate the fact I can't easily get it here.
Perhaps that is the actual point here. It is not choosing whether I could do great or better with a Series S or Series X. But to see either of them officially and easily available in the country. And again to repeat, what better way to start than the Xbox Series S like how they dropped the mic on the price?
Sony is here and established. Nintendo as well (to a certain point since its a weird history with them). What's stopping you Microsoft Malaysia?