Courtesy of Pixabay
From GameCube to Game Boy to Nintendo to Wii, and now Xbox and PlayStation, the gaming world has seen massive upgrades over the years. It’s time to upgrade again.
The new Xbox Series X dropped on Tuesday, Nov. 10, and the PS5 came out the following Thursday. Given that the previous models, the Xbox One and the PS4, came out seven years ago, many might be thinking about upgrading from their well-worn consoles. Some, however, are questioning whether the upgrades are worth getting rid of their reliable console for a new one. If you’re on the fence, or if you already bought it and want to know just what you are in for, read on.
XBOX SERIES X
For the Xbox players out there, let’s begin with a look at the Xbox Series X. The big upgrades on this system include improved load times, better graphics and more detailed sound. Xbox players already know that some of the biggest issues with previous models are the loading and download speeds. The new console is supposed to provide significantly faster times. Another major improvement is the increased storage. Many Xbox users complain about having to constantly uninstall games in order to play new games. The Series X has a one terabyte expansion card that you can plug into the system, meaning that it can store more games at once.
Another great new feature is the ability to switch between games without having to close them. For previous models, if players wanted to switch from one game to another, they would have to close one game, start the next one, and wait for it to load up. On the new system, there is a menu that allows you to switch between games instantly, even pausing your previous game and allowing you to resume where you left off in each game as you switch around. That makes way less time for waiting and way more time for fun.
Additionally, the sound quality is supposed to be more realistic, making it easier to tell where different sounds are coming from inside the virtual environments.
The Xbox Series X will sport a new look as well as updated controllers. Not only do the new controllers have grips on the bumpers to make them easier to grab, but for the first time in a while Xbox added a new button on the controller. The new Share button allows you to share clips and gameplay footage with friends by just the click of a button. This new controller is the cherry on top to this new and improved console, but the system will work with older controllers as well. The new controller plus all the new features make this seem like a great upgrade.
But no console is perfect, and the Series X has seen some complaints already. Multiple users who have bought the console have raised the issue of the lack of game titles currently available for the system. Although Xbox has promised new games exclusive to the system, none have been released, with the earliest scheduled to drop in 2021. The system also lacks classic games available on older systems, such as the Halo series. It’s recommended to purchase the Xbox game pass, which grants access to hundreds of games, but you may want to wait a little before signing up. You will also need a compatible TV. If your TV does not support 4K resolution, you will miss out on the full visual experience that the Series X offers.
Now for my Playstation people, let’s dive into the long-awaited PS5. The PS5 boasts upgrades in many of the same categories, claiming to be faster with better graphics and new games exclusive to the PS5. Visuals are supposed to be more realistic as well, with small things like sunlight being made more noticeable and life-like in each game.
One of the most anticipated upgrades is the PS5 Virtual Reality system. If you have the PS5 VR equipment, you can plug it into your console and enter a whole new virtual world of gaming.
The PS5 also promises improvements with the sound, making specific sounds louder and more defined. The PS5 will also ship with a streaming app so you can live-stream your favorite games, a feature that the new Xbox does not have. Additionally, if you previously owned a PS4, you can download your old games from your PS4 onto the PS5. Sony is also giving everyone who purchases the PS5 a free PlayStation Plus membership, allowing you to play a plethora of games to enjoy on your new console.
One thing that both systems have in common is their controller upgrades. The PS5 not only has new grips to make it easier to hold, but the whole controller has a new texture. The triggers also vary in pull strength, and the controller vibrates and emits noise based on what is going on in the game to create a more realistic experience. The new controller includes a built-in mic and mute button so that people can talk to other players.
Early complaints about the PS5 are mostly about its storage. It can fill up quickly, especially if you had games on a previous console that you want to transfer. The PS5 only allows games from the PS4 to be transferred, so if you have any other version or other type of PlayStation device, you can not transfer those files to the PS5. Additionally, the PS4 controllers will not work on the PS5, so new controllers are necessary. The PS5 is also bigger and heavier than it has ever been, so people who keep their console in a tight space may have to find a new spot for their console to live.
The promised upgrades and improvements are great, but what are people really saying about the systems?
High schoolers Sean Dickens and Robin Howley felt that the new consoles are worth buying for the speed alone.
“The new Xbox is noticeably faster and once you play on the new console there’s no going back,” Dickens said, while Howley added that the PS5 was a “huge upgrade,” fit with speed, style and a new controller for ease of gameplay.
Brendan Frye, a writer for CG Magazine, said there was no point in waiting these upgrades out.
“With any console generation, it is hard to say if gamers should wait or dive in, but from what I have seen in the process of this review, and with the availability of Game Pass, the value improvement is notable,” Frye said.
Matt Paget, a writer for GameSpot, felt that the PS5’s upgrade had much more in store than just incremental improvements.
“With the PS5, instead of simply releasing a new console with more horsepower, Sony has taken a bolder step to clearly establish that this is a brand-new generation,” Paget.
Whether you are a long-time console gamer, or you want to become one, there’s no better time than now to buy. These new consoles represent a significant step up from the earlier generations.