New Xbox offers improvements, if you can get one

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So, the Xbox Series X and S were “released” last month.

On Nov. 10, the ninth generation of consoles was ushered into an eager market that quickly swallowed up all available stock. Maybe it was due to boiling-over excitement that had been cultivated since 2019’s announcement at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) conference, then only known as Codename Scarlett, or maybe the shortage of inventory is due to increased demand for at-home entertainment following the rumor of another lockdown coming this spring.

Either way, it’s incredibly predictable, by all except the higher-ups at Microsoft, apparently. This development, mirroring that of the Nintendo Switch this year—which also suffered from a lack of supply—is most puzzling considering the relative lack of next-gen (or is it now current-gen?) titles and Xbox exclusives to justify the retail price of $500, or, God forbid, the secondhand market prices that soar well over a grand.

New “Assassin’s Creed” and “Call of Duty” releases are to be expected, though they’re still available on yesteryear’s hardware, albeit with lesser performance. But what draws people to Xbox in what’s undoubtedly a rough financial time for most, given the lack of exclusives?

I would posit that it’s the promise of future titles that serve to satisfy the tastes of all types of gamers, with the new “Halo Infinite” and “Fable 4” games on the horizon, as well as what’s got me personally stoked, “Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II.” The recently-released “Cyberpunk 2077,” as well as forthcoming titles “Deathloop” and “Hitman 3” also excite me for the future of this generation.

It’s also worth mentioning, though less so than if this were five years ago, that Bethesda Game Studios is working on “Starfield” and “Elder Scrolls VI,” both likely to be coming out sometime this generation… likely.

The Xbox Series X system itself is large, a bulky monolith of jet-black that requires some space yet commands little attention. Incidentally, this is also true of its name, Xbox Series X/S.
My heart truly breaks for the kid whose parents or grandparents misheard, misunderstood or otherwise mistook the eighth generation Xbox One X / S for the former. Even the letters differentiating the separate versions of the console are easily jumbled, a shame considering that the Series X has three times the processing power, twice the storage, 4k resolution as opposed to 1440p and a Blu-Ray disc tray for any physical games little Timmy might get for the holidays this year. That’s all in a single letter.

Otherwise, the Xbox Series X / S is largely comparable to the Playstation 5, which shares some similar issues to the Microsoft offering, though that will be covered in greater depth in this article’s sister piece. It’s a powerful system that will surely continue to cultivate a fan following.

At the time of writing, all I can say is that the Xbox Series X is an attractive, if not flawed, console that promises some fun times ahead if you can get your hands on one.