Every once in a while the gaming world is abuzz with news of the next generation of consoles launching.
Both Sony’s Playstation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox X/S have been released in recent months.
It’s still early days to evaluate this hardware’s true potential.
That doesn’t stop people hungering for their next gen gaming fix.
Microsoft have made the innovative choice this time.
Round of offering not one but two new Xboxes on launch day.
One is the Xbox Series X, costing $499 on launch.
The smaller, lighter spec version is known as the Xbox Series S.
Went on sale at the significantly lower price point of $299.
The Series X features a Custom AMD Zen 2, 8-core 3.8 GHz processor to the S’s 3.6 GHz version.
Additionally, the X’s RAM is 16GB DDR6 to 10GB in the S,
Its solid state hard drive comes in at 1TB over the S’s 512GB.
Perhaps the most pronounced difference between the models is in output resolution.
The Xbox Series X is capable of playing in glorious 4k 60fps.
While the S manages the still respectable resolution of 1440p.
Both launched worldwide back in November of 2020.
Despite the hype surrounding the hardware, there’s been little to write home.
In terms of unique gameplay experiences and for good reason.
It has been 6 years since Halo 5: Guardians debuted on the Xbox One.
While that game is remembered fondly for its multiplayer mode.
The main campaign story arc left many disappointed.
Due to its disjointed and poorly realized cliffhanger ending.
Since then all eyes have been on 343 Studios and Halo 6 Infinite to wrap up the series in better fashion.
In July 2020 Microsoft games studios streamed a first look 9-minute video preview of Halo 6’s campaign gameplay.
Unfortunately, despite initial excitement, the footage came to be heavily criticized.
With people complaining that it showcased graphic fidelity far below people’s expectations for this next generation launch title.
People cited issues with the textures and shadows.
As well as the conspicuous lack of ray tracing lighting technology among their concerns.
The blowback was so significant.
That 343 Studios, Halo’s developers and Microsoft made the decision to push back the release of Halo 6 until late 2021.
This was an unprecedented move.
Halo 6 was virtually the only original exclusive title slated to launch with the Xbox Series X & S.
Without it, the Xbox Series X/S has had to rely on its roster of Xbox One ports.
While some of these titles are impressive.
Bound to shift units on launch.
Especially CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077, the case for picking up an Xbox X/S at present is shaky.
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The way we play has been changing over recent years.
However, and now a weak launch isn’t the death knell for a console that it may once have been.
Console generations last longer than they ever have before.
Averaging 7 or 8 years compared to 4-5 in the late 90s.
In addition to this, people no longer expect the first version of the console to be the last.
The Xbox One underwent 4 different hardware iterations over the course of its life, each offering greater performance at lower cost as the technology matured.
Hold your Horses
Microsoft knows it’s playing a long game.
Accordingly, it was prepared to sacrifice a note-worthy launch.
In order to eventually bring a Halo game to market worthy of being the Series X’s must-have title.
However, not everything is riding on the star power of the Halo franchise.
Which is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary next year.
Fan favorites Obsidian Entertainment have been teasing their take on the Elder Scrolls.
Open world RPG formula with upcoming game Avowed, and Playground Games have announced Fable 4 is in the early stages of production.
There’s also good news for racing fanatics in the news that Forza Motorsport 8 is in development.
Taken all together this makes the Xbox Series X/S of the near future a distinctly more exciting prospect that it is now.