Games Inbox: Is the Xbox Series X worth getting this year?

The Friday Inbox is looking forward to Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity, as one reader decides not to replay Days Gone on PS5.

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Emperor’s new clothes
Despite the lack of technical information I found your review of the Xbox Series X more useful than any of the others I’ve read today, simply because it gets to the heart of the matter: is the console worth getting this year? And I think you showed that answer was a pretty clear no.

All that nonsense about 30 games for launch and really there’s nothing there, it’s the most classic example of Emperor’s new clothes I’ve seen in forever. I just don’t know what Microsoft are thinking. The only possible reason I can imagine for anyone getting one at launch is if they want the best possible console to play Cyberpunk 2077 on (and, I guess, Call Of Duty?). But there’s going to be proper next gen versions of Cyberpunk next year, so even that isn’t a real reason.

I was planning to get one you see, but I missed out on the pre-order. I’ve felt pretty sore about that ever since but now it’s beginning to seem like a lucky escape.

Xbox Two
Wow, your Xbox Series X review left me feeling somewhat deflated.

In essence, what you’ve been presented with by Microsoft is a boosted Xbox One X with Game Pass. And that is it, apart from starting to go on a spending spree of developers.

If that is what the next generation boils down to, then I’m worried about the lack of innovation and creativity. Whilst Nintendo are always trying to push the envelope, both Microsoft and Sony have tried to copy that creative font, not always successfully, but it demonstrates different thinking. In the console space, that’s what differentiates them from just another PC build.

At a guess, it’s just a waiting game to watch as developers become more comfortable with the capabilities of the new machines, but we’re always looking for new experiences. Even the people who play sports games want an evolution of the interpretation of their favoured game in order for them to keep forking out for the annual update. So, I hope we haven’t reached the limit of ways to play and we can still say there is more than just 4K/120fps/ray-tracing, because we have just about touched those ceilings now.

I may have sounded disappointed, but I still think that Microsoft have done well with GamePass and backwards compatibility, giving you an enormous library of games to play immediately but, like yourselves, I want more, and if this is all that’s on offer, then I’ll be waiting some time before a purchase.

Apathetic hardware
With five days to go until I (possibly) take receipt of a brand new Xbox Series X, I read your review with great interest to see if you could come up with a reason to buy it that I hadn’t thought of.

Sadly you didn’t. As a long time Xbox owner I have a huge back catalogue of digital games to fall back on, and a lot of positive feeling for the brand in general.

This time around however, I feel nothing, no excitement, no anticipation, just apathy.

Faster load times, backwards compatibility and ray-tracing are all nice things but they’re just features. They’re certainly not reasons to justify spending £450 on a new console.

It’s been said many times, but it remains true that it’s games that sell consoles and in that regard, as you say, Microsoft have forgotten to do their homework (I’ll see you after school as well Nintendo!).

It’s certainly left me with a big decision to make before Amazon ship the thing.

This all feels very negative, but I think eventually it would be worth getting one. I’m just not sure I can justify doing it now.
Currently playing: The Oliver Twins Collection on Evercade (until I can order a PlayStation 5)

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Bokoblin therapy
So I’ve been looking forward to the upcoming Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity and have been playing the demo that’s available for it… bloody brilliant, the Dynasty Warriors template fits the narrative of the game perfectly with the armies of Ganon marching on Hyrule and Link, Zelda, and their allies joining forces to push back the darkness.

It’s been real good to see that world again and to get some insight into what came before, really looking forward to the full game now. Sometimes you just want to smash a couple hundred bokoblins in the mush!
big boy bent

GC: We’ve got a preview event for it this afternoon actually.

No lie
Regarding the article about the hard drive capacity on the Xbox Series S, will that be something you mention when it comes to the console reviews for PlayStation 5 and Series X? As in how much actual space you have for games and apps. Hopefully the rumours of the Playstation 5 SSD only having 650GB free are just that, rumours.

Also weighing up whether to get Assassin’s Creed Valhalla or Godfall as a good way to start off the next generation, so looking forward to your reviews.

As always keep up the good work GC
Hollinho (PSN ID)

GC: We didn’t mention it, no, but those aren’t rumours, they’re leaks.

Licence revoked
Marvel’s Avengers really is looking like a dead game walking. Shocking really when you consider how big the movies are. I wonder where this leaves the Marvel Game Universe, if such a thing really exists. Spider-Man has done amazing, and I imagine Miles Morales will as well, but then they were really good games. Iron Man VR was apparently quite good, but not amazing, but because it’s VR nobody played it.

I’m not really sure where they go from there though? They’ve already done their two biggest heroes and the big team-up, so what’s next? Hard to imagine anyone lining up for a Black Widow or Hawkeye game now. As I understand Square Enix also has the Guardians Of The Galaxy licence, which certainly has potential, but how much is Avengers going to have put them off? Will they even bother to try and keep the licences now?

Just like the films I really think they should have built up to the Avengers more slowly, now they’ve kind of got nowhere else to go. Probably should have just given the whole licence to Sony too.

New to me
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m looking forward to the Xbox Series X/S and maybe a PlayStation 5, because I skipped the Xbone and PlayStation 4 and just had a Nintendo Switch. So as far as I’m concerned, I’ll have plenty of new games to play from day one.
Defiant 1

GC: That’s not really the point that was being made. By that standard we’re sure there’s plenty of new Mega Drive games you haven’t played.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Next gen reality
Well, it’s lovely to see that with just a couple of weeks to go before the PlayStation 5 hits that Sony have pretty much killed off PlayStation VR. I saw an interview with Jim Ryan with the Washington Post where he basically stated there’s not going to be one for the PlayStation 5 and that the current one is not going to be compatible either without a cable you have to order from Sony.

From what I gathered, if you wanted to play the likes of Hitman you would need the PlayStation 5 version for graphical fidelity AND the PlayStation 4 version if you wanted to play in VR. This is just one example but with the PlayStation 5 having approximately 650GB of usable space you could take up almost a third of it with the same game installed twice.

The transition from PlayStation 4 to 5 has been anything but smooth with Sony’s backtracking and outright lies leaving a bit of a sour taste. No doubt I’ll be enjoying Demon’s Souls in a couple of weeks but pretty much being forced to hold onto my PlayStation 4 is just the icing on the cake and is certainly not ‘for the players’

GC: That seems a bit melodramatic given how much more Sony has done for VR than any other console company. It’s not their fault VR isn’t very profitable. And why do you need to hang onto the PlayStation 4? Just order the cable from here.

Inbox also-rans
Great news about the faster loading times for PlayStation 5 Days Gone. That means people can better enjoy the horrendous characters, cringey dialogue, terrible story, numerous bugs, and all-round level of hackery that bit quicker. Or do yourselves a favour and stay away.

GC: No lies detected here.

You asked for a specific tabletop gaming request, so I was hoping you’d be able to review Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion at some point? The tricky bit will be getting 2+ people in the same place during lockdown…

Other then Halo Infinite, what are the next few AAA exclusive games Microsoft have lined up please?

GC: We listed them all in our feature yesterday.

As a long-term Nintendo fan, and with my hindsight glasses on, I really wish I’d looked into buying shares during the Wii U era.

GC: Don’t worry. We’re sure they’ll mess up and then bounce back again, it’s their way.

This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Simon, who asks what is your favourite ever console?

Regardless of when it was originally released what is your favourite console (not home computer) and why? How much of its appeal is due to the hardware and its peripherals as opposed to just the software? What did the console do better than others, that makes it so memorable, and how much influence does it have on the modern day?

How much is nostalgia influencing your choice and do you think the console and its games still have broad appeal today? What makes a good console and how well do you think the current and upcoming formats have learnt the lessons of the past?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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