Opinion: Why I'm ok with XSX not feeling as Next-gen?

Disclaimer: Please note that what you are about to read are my personal conclusions, they are not meant to be used as arguments outside of the ideas here placed.

Note: I wrote it on mobile so typos and errors might be here and there, be aware.

I’m one of the highest gamers in my country (although not a well-known on social media) I even managed to achieve the Hall of Fame status for Game Pass, so Please note that all what I’m about to say is with absolute respect to the platform and all of us who enjoy spending time with it.

This tale began on the early years of Xbox 360, my first console was the Arcade Edition bundled with Lego Indiana Jones and Kung Fu Panda, afterwards I carved games rented on Blockbuster / GameRush for some time, buying those who I was able to afford to. One of my proudest moments was getting the collector edition of Mass Effect 2.

Moving the time, a bit forward I was lucky enough to be considered as a Beta Tester for what was known as Project Natal sometime later, that is right, the Kinect itself. Being able to play Kinect Adventures using my body was a mind blow on that moment.

Sadly, we know how that story ended anyways.

Going into the Xbox One era I was unable to afford an Xbox One Day One edition but it was okay I still had plenty of games in my 360 (and still have) to let the time pass by. Eventually I managed to grab the FIFA 15 bundle and a bit later a Kinect 2 from a second hand.

Those were the 3 moments I saw a clear jump between Xbox philosophy of what the gaming experience meant for them to us the customers. In all those years I thrived as an avid Achievement Hunter and knowing more games would be at my disposal was a no brainer.

But then Xbox One S comes into the equation. An overhaul of the existing model, with the only purpose to fix the errors of the initial unit, while adding a few goodies on top (HDR / 4K playback) at that moment I almost insta-buy the console and roughly used it for what was marked to do there were no game changing experiences as you would expect but still I was happy to see an improved Xbox One on the wild, still supporting the Old Kinect with the optional adapter, which I bought of course.

Then Xbox One X gets the spotlight a soft-next gen console arrived the market it learn of what was missing from the previous two iterations of the Xbox One Consoles and still being true of all the devices is one big family they also leave a limitation of what the console could achieve otherwise, again I was not able to place a Project Scorpio in my shopping cart, but I managed to get one of the early units anyways.

Watching some of my favorite games loading faster as they did on the original Xbox, or with 4K assets, increased details etc., it made clear that my previous two consoles would go back to their cardboard boxes to never see the light again.

Again, I was impressed on what the console was capable to do, and what did not.

Brining back older games with improved performance via Backwards Compatibility in ways never seen before, also made me turn down my Xbox 360 controller at some point.

But that was it, a console with more raw power to process the games my Xbox One could run too if I were not interested on 4K or waiting 40 seconds more on a loading screen.

So why Xbox Series X feels the same way for me?

Is it Backwards Compatible with Xbox One games or is just an Xbox One X V2.0 per se?

Starting with the idea that all the family was integrated into a common UI/UX that gave me a hint that in some point claiming backwards compatibility with Xbox One is not really the case, is running the same games with more raw power, barely as upgrading a CPU/GPU in your PC would allow you to go from High to Ultra settings without changing your OS. Your mouse and keyboard will work fine as well your old and brand-new Xbox (One) controller.

Being able to code new games in a new universal SDK (Game OS I think is called?) also gave me that impression, we can create an Xbox One game and target to the devices we want it to be able to use it)

Xbox One all devices (via Backwards compatibility) Or just Xbox S|X devices (via SKU restriction) Plus, all the PC, cloud, HoloLens, etc.

So that’s the new feature that the Xbox Series X brings to me, at some point we can left behind Xbox One devices, but the games will still be “understandable” by those machines, a “Your computer is just too old to handle this game as intended please consider upgrading”.

Quick Resume, XVA are next big thing this gen will be about?

No, those are hardware upgrades of course, but they will not hold the weight of the Next gen tag.

Quick resume is a nice feature that can be improved but is kind of similar to something Windows 10 does currently when you log in on your desktop and see how he opens automatically some of the apps or websites you were browsing previously, is helpful but not something I would just pay $500 for.

XVA needs to grow up and show what can deliver beside the promises of being awesome. I hope it wows me in years to come but I will not place a bet on it.

I know that the new console will provide games in 120 FPS and 8K and RT and so much, but that’s because the box was upgraded the same way the XOX was upgraded to run 4K, HDR, 60FPS. So, do not take me wrong downplaying that fact.

So, what is going to be the Xbox Next-gen moment I will be excited to see?

xCloud + Game Pass going omnipresent.

Getting the chance to play my games anywhere anytime is that feeling again that Xbox is changing how we experience our gaming hobby.

I am still waiting my Hall of Fame prize kit, so I have not experienced the Series X by firsthand.

And I also hope to be able to carry my 2,000+ games anywhere I go in my pocket without having a console working as a server 24/7 in my home.

Anyways, With love to my hobby.

-ReForce

3 Likes

Thank you for sharing - I agree, xCloud is a big long term bet on the market, but Game Pass is seemingly unstoppable. It’s fundamentally changed the way I consume and play games, think about them, and has changed my attitude on the dreaded FOMO - I don’t need to be there on Day 1 anymore. Sometimes I can just wait for Game Pass.

Definitely excited for gaming this generation.

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I really am starting to loathe the whole ‘next gen’ argument. As though having a box on 9th November and then a new one on the 10th is ever going to be some paradigm shifting event. What people really mean, deep down really, is they want a game to be ONLY on their box, their next box, not on anyone else’s box or any old boxes. That’s what they mean. Because then they can pretend that this game that is artificially locked to their box is amazing, the next gen experience they always wanted and totally not possible on any other box. So their box feels special to them.

Immortals Fenyx rising shows you can if you choose to release ANY game on ANY platform - if you put the work in, the economics make sense and you are so inclined. There is NOT A SINGLE GAME that can’t be made to work on a base Xbox One - if you really want to. The PC space and the slow evolution and minimum specs show that exactly.

But console gamers ignorantly pretend the laws of physics don’t apply to them and there are these magical ‘only possible on mah box’ things - when in reality this is just a business decision artificially sending them the dopamine feels.

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Series X is actually the first time ever that I’ve bought a new console on day one, and I’ve been playing video games since before the NES.

The positioning of the console as not just “the place where you play Series X games” but “the place where you play four generations of Xbox games in the best possible way” is incredibly appealing to me. It completely nails my outlook on video games at this moment. When I play a game I’m not thinking about whether this is the most technically cutting edge thing that would only be possible on the newest hardware. I’m just having fun with a game. I’m switching between Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Halo 3 and Knights of the Old Republic 2 and Jedi Fallen Order and they’re all just great games! It’s all one experience.

It’s not that I would be opposed to a more compelling launch exclusive lineup-- that would be a nice bonus. :slight_smile: But I don’t need it and I’ve never needed it less.

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Series X has been very smooth, but it def lacks wow due to mig gen upgrades last gen having similar graphics. Anyways, i’m more than satisfied day one, and have tons to play.

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I’m coming from a One S and PS4 slim so XSX definitely feels next gen to me. Would I like a big 1st party game like Halo Infinite, or cool new controller features like the DualSense (though comfort wise, the Series X controller is incredible imo)? Sure, of course! And I think the big games are coming, we just need to wait a bit longer. In the meantime, I have way too much stuff to play anyway.

But to me the star product now is Game Pass. Better than any AAA game. As others said before, it simply changed the way I game. I play a LOT more games in different genres, I play more in general, and I can’t imagine unsubscribing at any point in the future at this point.

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The Xbox One X spoiled us and kinda “ruined” the next-gen feeling of the Series X. I can only imagine that someone still stuck with the original Xbox One or S must feel a lot more of that “next-gen feeling” when they upgrade to a Series X.

I used to be a PC-gamer mostly up until a few years back, so this to me is more like when you buy a new PC. You play pretty much the same games but with better graphics and higher fps… It’s great, but expected.

The PS5 is pretty much the same, just disguising it with a silly controller and artificially locked remakes (Demon’s Souls) coupled with a rabid fanbase who buys into anything.

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My cousin was still playing on the Xbox One OG and old 1080p TV. Last month he bought an LG CX 65’’ and a Series X :stuck_out_tongue: Pretty sure it feels next gen to him haha

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Haha yeah that must have been like stepping in to the future.

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With extreme quality of life improvements lol I tried Ori and the will of the wisps (supersampled 6k 60fps HDR) and forza horizon 4 yesterday, completely different games, it’s crazy.

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I’m loving the Series X experience. The QoL improvements from the hardware boost was worth the cost, for me.

I’m currently playing Control, Just Cause 4, Gears Tactics, and Fight Night Champion. Cyberpunk is next week. I’ll pick up NBA 2K21 on sale in a month or two.

Not having a showpiece first-party game at launch is not ideal, but I’m not really disappointed. I’m enjoying myself immensely and this gen is just getting started. This is going to be a great gen for Xbox.

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i disagree with quick resume not being “next gen feeling” or just similar to what windows features do , having also gotten a new laptop recently , there’s just no good reason to leave a game app in the background running on my laptop without it being a waste of resources. meanwhile it makes perfect sense to do so for a dedicated gaming machine. Personally have gotten a series s, have spent this year trying out xcloud as well , i think it’s promising but actually prefer remote play especially with a series s. I probably also just can’t justify using my data (or spotty public wifi) to play games on xcloud in public when i could just use a switch or play native mobile games. my main place of play is a switch , which the hybrid nature and the pick up and play nature of with games like botw , splatoon 2 etc on it in handheld mode being one of the more “next gen” experiences i had in years . For me Quick resume has been a revolution and has brought that pick up and play nature of something like the Switch that actually makes me capable of finding time to play games without suffering from choice indecision or having to go through the rituals of finding 2 hours of time to sit down and play something to the xbox . Heck i’ve had to travel with my new xbox , completely powered off for two days , plugged it back in , all my games were where i left them. Where i live had a power outage very recently , a thing that happens more frequently here than I would like, last gen this would have been a huge source of stress and i basically never used the suspend or standby features of my home consoles do yo this, but here my xbox again had all my games still suspended where i left them and was perfectly fine .

I don’t say it’s not impressive for what it does, I’m saying moving from Xbox One X, the Quick Resume is not enough to justify 500 out of the pocket,

The console can open the game in 15 seconds or so. a lot of games requires an online presence so the Quick Resume is not going to work anyways (GTA Online, SMITE, etc) so Quick Resume is a nice feature, that like the Windows 10 option, is interesting but makes no real impact if the machine is already fast enough to do it from scratch anyways.

Generations as we knew them are over, imo. People saying that next gen needs stuff like a new user interface and stuff are nuts. I love that the Series X feels like I upgraded from a decent PC to a powerful beast. Also, Quick Resume is the most next gen feature out there. I wish the media were praising as much as it deserves to, but we know why it won’t happen.

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There are a lot of games still where, between quick resume and booting from start, quick resume is far better hands down. heck i would say a lot of games. yes 15 seconds is very quick, but what’s quicker by a factor of like 8 is getting back into a game in 1-2 seconds. Like what i can do in forza horizon 4 now versus the 10-20 second load time it still had on series systems. Same for rdr 2 , tony hawk and jedi fallen order, all of which i have suspends for at the same time and havent had to redo the loads for in a week+. Not to mention it and many games booting from scratch do not start back where you left off forza routinely starts you at your “home” and rdr 2 can often be anyones guess how far back it will set you if you have to quit mid mission/travelling. Even for multiplayer//online connected games it’s still imo a benefit as it is now, as I don’t have to quit out of a single player game if I decide I want to play some destiny 2. I don’t know, different strokes, but having had a one x, and now having a series system the impact of quick resume that’s turned playing xbox from a weekly thing to a daily thing was more than worth the money, especially since all the other new upgrades, was planning to still use my one x on a tv in a different room, but I can comfortably say I just can’t see myself going back or remotely wanting to play either of the last gen home consoles ever again now.

Yes, like upgrading to a new PC there are lots of great benefits, so I largely agree with you. For me personally I seem to get a bit burnt out of gaming at the end of every gen, while quick resume and 60fps is nice and very welcome, I do however get bored of the limitations of games, how games are quite specific in what you can do in there worlds. I hope next gen games are not so predictable, I know in cyberpunk 2077 that npcs will have a fairly basic routine, limited to a few basic actions, or i could kidnap a cop and pose as him when trying to take down a known criminal, or dig my way to location etc etc, I know things like this wont be possible because game technology is simply not as dynamic or encompassing yet… Hopefully in this knew gen, better technology will enable devs not having to worry about mundane and timely processes. For example UE5 and and a SSD will enable more distruction or procedural NPCs which dont follow a routine consisting of few simple actions. The most simple analogy is that at the moment games are like films sets and you are limited to a small selection of actions, of course there are huge design and gameplay implications to this but the less limiting philosophy does not need to invole every action, even if just a few areas were explanded it would greatly improve games.

I am COMPLETELY ok with the Series X being basically the second step towards infusing PC gaming console gaming.

Xbox One didn’t really feel all that next gen when it launched either.