Do We Really Need The Xbox Series X?
The Xbox Series X blessed the gaming world with it's reveal during the Video Game Awards. Shown to have a mammoth amount of computational power, it attempts to assert itself as an unmitigated king of power. However, there is one question that begs to be asked. Do we need it?
The Benefits of Xbox Series X
The Xbox Series X has specs to showcase it as a behemoth of power. Powered by AMD's Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures, along with 12 teraflops of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), it boasts twice the power of an Xbox One X than enables higher frame-rates and seamless gameplay. For those who have minimal knowledge about computer specs, teraflops (tera meaning trillion) means that the machine is able to perform trillions of operations in a single second.
This is further supported by it's version of VRS (variable rate shading) that allows developers to focus on specific aspects like environmental objects or game characters, rather than every pixel visible. Variable rate shielding is a technique geared towards optimizing the amount of work that your graphics silicon has to do at any one time. The result of good VRS being far more stable frame rates and superior resolution. This showcases the sheer power of the Xbox Series X.
Coupled with it's GPU, the Xbox Series X emphasizes highly immersive gameplay. It does this through improved SSD (Solid State Drive) storage. This means not in terms of just sheer storage size, but it means faster load times and actually fast "fast travel" (through reducing how long the game takes to load and render the area). It has also enhanced immersion through it's HDMI 2.1 enhancements that introduces features like Low Latency Mode ( latency is the delay before a transfer of data begins, meaning the game operates better) and Variable Refresh Rate (enables the display's refresh rate to remain in sync with the game's frame rate, thus reducing lag). Finally, it culminates with a tremendous 120 FPS (Frames Per Second) that enables game developers to push for a higher sense of realism or sustained ultra fast paced gaming (think Doom 2016).
Of course the primary focus being what games are available. Microsoft pointed out that all previously existing games from all their consoles will be available to play on the Xbox Series X. Not only are they able to play on the Xbox Series X, but they will be enhanced through a similar method that was done with the Xbox One X. It also works works with a brand new system called Smart Delivery where if you buy an Xbox game, you only have to buy it once. If you buy an Xbox game on the Xbox One, you won't have to buy it for the Xbox Series X.
Overall, the benefits of the Xbox Series X is the focus on the ease of use and hard power. As there are benefits, there are also cons. Let's go over them.
Cons Of The Xbox Series X
The Xbox Series X has a few very major cons that will have to be addressed by Microsoft in order to truly justify the purchase. Some gamers don't mind the cons and may still purchase the system, which is perfectly fine as the enhanced power is what they are looking for
#1 The Price vs The Price Of Xbox One X
The actual price of the Xbox Series X hasn't been disclosed yet, but most estimates dictate that the price is between $499 USD and $599 USD. That creates a commercial problem as the Xbox One X is currently priced at $499 with some retailers having it at $399. It will be a challenge trying to convince consumers to buy the Xbox Series X when the Xbox One X is at a similar price. This creates a situation where they would have to decrease the cost of the Xbox One X to $299. This creates further problems as Microsoft would have to decrease the cost of the original Xbox One to almost $99, the Xbox One S to $199, and the digital One S to $145.
#2 The Lack Of Series X Specific Exclusives
This is by far the biggest issue with the Xbox Series X. There is little to no concrete reason for the consumer to purchase the Series X over the One X for this specific reason. The same reason why Xbox One lost to PS4 is the same reason why the PS5 has a massive advantage and why we suggest the consumer to stick to the One X, the lack of console exclusivity.
Microsoft's lack of console exclusivity has been the bane of their chief primary weakness and still remains to be their biggest weakness coming into the next generation
#3 First Edition Bugs
Microsoft's Xbox is one of the original cases establishing the importance of holding off on purchasing a new console to ensure that potential bugs are ironed out. Every console goes through these initial bugs upon launch, not just Xbox.
The famous "Red Ring of Death" became the poster child for why it is recommended that one should wait awhile before buying a console. What was the Red Ring of Death? The Red Ring of Death was an infamous hardware bug that caused the system to overheat ths damaging the CPU and GPU, thus resulting in the infamous flashing of three red lights. To Microsoft's credit they did resolve the bug, but it proved to be a cautionary tale of waiting before buying a newly launched console.
Sony and Nintendo had similar initial problems when their console first came out. The Playstation 4 upon it's initial launch ran into a similar overheating problem that the Xbox 360 ran into, albeit with fewer complete system failures that resulted from said overheating. Nintendo's Virtual Boy had so many bugs and systematic issues that it was essentially dead upon launch.
If you are in it for the power and ease of use, then sure there is a very high chance that you will enjoy your purchase. But if you already have the Xbox One X, then I would recommend that you stick with it for the next few years until Microsoft has Series X exclusives and patched potential bugs .
ESA announced on a blog post that "After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry – our fans, our employees, our exhibitors and our longtime E3 partners – we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020." ESA has additonally promised the public "with information about providing full refunds."
This cancellation has brought additonal problems to the embattled convention that has seen a decrease in major exhibitors, most notably both Sony and Nintendo. Bringing about an existential crisis over the future of the convention.
Issues have come up not just with exhibitors dropping out, but media personell becoming increasingly infuriated over the convention's decision to allow high paying attendees to occupy the same time frames that media shares, thus creating scheduling and interview issues between gaming companies and media outlets