I’m a glutton with a small wallet. I want lots of experiences and my money is worth more here.
Gold → Game Pass Conversion, just GP by itself, MS Rewards, Bing Rebates, third-party retailers and cheaper store credit, it all adds up! That’s what got my interest. I’m on year 2 of my initial 3 years of GPU ($100 in on that $150 investment) and I’ve eaten like a king.
A quick glance of my spreadsheet tells me that since I re-entered the Xbox ecosystem, I’ve earned
- about $700 in Rewards points (sorry non-US friends!)
- 5 free months of GPU (could have been 9 if I had started earlier)
- $70 in rebates.
My partner was even able to fully pay a nice fat warranty on his new Surface device using the points I badgered him into racking up!
I could have just spent $500 dollars in necessary hardware (re-gifted the Xbox One X I got for $250 but looking at eBay tells me I might have been able to just recoup that ) and $150 in subscriptions and still gotten an amazing value. I poured a lot of that saved money back into the ecosystem for a few peripherals and to rebuild my library digitally. Couldn’t find everything of course, but it’s pretty great to have
I also feel like I get treated better as a customer. The BC initiative and good refund policy are big factors in that. It made me feel like it was worth it to rebuild my library, that my purchases would be honored and actually improved. I just about hit the ceiling when I read that BC actually improved the games in some cases. Made me pretty annoyed at my orphaned PS3/P/V games and saves. I was pretty leery of Microsoft in particular because of that whole ebook thing they handled pretty poorly but they seem to have changed in this regard.
This last gen kinda dampened my enthusiasm for games, but it’s stronger than ever now. I looked back at the games I played on my PS4, here are the ones that really hit:
- The Witcher 3
- Yakuza 0
- Dishonored 2
- NieR Automata
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- Dragon Quest XI
- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Not a ton of exclusives there. I just had a look at my TrueAchievements history and I enjoyed almost that many games in the time between getting an Xbox One and getting a Series X (March-November 2020). And I believe all but one were on Game Pass (outlier was Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, got the version with all the content DLC for $25)
I’m playing more games than ever before, that I find more fulfilling, for a fraction of the cost. The extras (free cloud saves, quick resume, robust ecosystem, cloud gaming, backwards compatibility, and so on) are nice but it really just boils down to “I’m feeling that spark again.”
The joy is back and a part of it is that when I look at cool upcoming games, I don’t have to worry about the budget as much. There’s a chance it’ll come to Game Pass, I have credit saved up, I can buy credit for less than MSRP, I get points and money back. The worst thing that happens is that it skips Xbox
I was a Nintendo fanboy for the earlier part of my life. Had their consoles and handhelds exclusively until I went off to college and got myself a PS2. I still get every Nintendo system and adore their first party, but it’s by no means my main hub. My friends all thought I was being a weirdo when I looked into the Xbox side and decided I would switch. Now some of them admit that my hunch has borne out and I gave advice to a few of them for how to get the most bang for their buck
And yeah, going back to the Xbox controller after a generation of pretty much just Dualshock just felt right. I will get a PS5 eventually, maybe when a revision comes out, maybe at the end of the gen so I can catch up on what I missed. It won’t be anything other than an exclusives box, though. It’s not that Sony lost me (though I don’t approve of several of the choices they’ve made), it’s that Microsoft courted me successfully.
Edit: oh my god I didn’t realize I had written so much.