With the popularity of Game Pass leading the way, the Xbox console has sold more than 18.5 million consoles since November 2020. Even with strong sales numbers on its own, Microsoft has struggled to launch a similar level of exclusives compared to the big names Sony has exclusively released for the PlayStation 5.
On top of its lack of exclusives and the ability to use Game Pass on pretty much any device with a screen without needing a dedicated console, is the Xbox Series X really a must-buy anymore?
Let’s take a look at the 7 reasons to avoid the Xbox Series X.
Some Background on the Xbox Series X
The less expensive and less powerful Xbox Series S is also available, offering more of an entry-level experience within the Xbox ecosystem. Excellent performance notwithstanding, one of the biggest highlights of both the Xbox Series X is the inclusion of backward compatibility, which is something Microsoft has really done a great job with.
Enabling a huge swath of its big catalog to play on its newest consoles has helped Microsoft win some mind share among consumers. Still, given that Game Pass is the biggest it factor Xbox has going for it and that you can play Game Pass on Android and iOS, there is a big question about whether a console is necessary at all.
- The fastest, most powerful Xbox ever
- Explore rich new worlds with 12 teraflops of raw graphic processing power, DirectX ray tracing, a custom SSD, and 4K gaming
- Make the most of every gaming minute with Quick Resume, lightning-fast load times, and gameplay of up to 120 FPS
- Powered by Xbox Velocity Architecture
- Enjoy thousands of games from four generations of Xbox, with hundreds of optimized titles that look and play better than ever
- Full-spectrum visuals and immersive audio with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos
Keep reading for some concrete reasons to avoid the Xbox Series X.
The 7 Reasons to Avoid a New Xbox Series X
Lack of Exclusives
One of the Xbox’s biggest pitfalls against its direct competition with Sony and its PlayStation 5 console has always been its lack of a deep catalog of exclusives. Sure, you have the Halo, Forza, Gears of War, Flight Simulator, and Sea of Thieves, and as good as some of these games are, there simply isn’t enough of them to weigh against Sony’s dozens of big-name exclusive titles. Unfortunately, the reasons to avoid the Xbox Series X are clear.
It’s hard to compete when game of the year titles like Horizon Forbidden West, Spider-Man, The Last of Us, Ghost of Tsushima, Uncharted, and God of War titles are all huge buzzworthy names.
As Microsoft continues to buy up third-party game manufacturers, the hope is that it can bulk up its exclusive library in the near future. The reality is that if you want the latest and best exclusive titles, you have to say no to the Xbox Series X and yes to the PlayStation 5. This may very well be one of the biggest reasons to avoid a new Xbox Series X.
Game Pass Availability
It’s hard to deny just how great Game Pass really is with a hundred-plus titles that can provide thousands of hours of fun. It may very well be the most important video game introduction in the history of Xbox right after the launch of its first console.
The thing is, you don’t need an Xbox console to get into the Game Pass world. Samsung has a Game Pass hub built right into a dozen plus television models.
For both Android and iOS smartphone and tablet users as well as PC owners, Xbox has ensured that you can access Game Pass from just about anywhere. You don’t even need a gaming PC as Game Pass just needs a reliable internet connection and the ability to download the Game Pass app.
As good of a value as Game Pass is for both individuals and families as a standalone product, it’s hard to convince anyone that you need to spend $500 for a console when you can play it just as well as a big-screen television you already own.
Expandable Storage Costs
For better or worse, as video games get better graphics, they are also getting larger in terms of memory size. Given that, the more downloads you attempt for offline gaming on the Xbox Series X, the faster you will run out of the available memory that comes built-in directly with the console. Because of this, you are forced to buy a proprietary expandable storage option whereas Sony allows you to add any number of available hard drive options to the PlayStation 5.
Microsoft’s non-customer-friendly approach requires a Seagate Storage Expansion card that starts at 1TB of storage and costs around $149 when on sale. The good news is that it works seamlessly with the Xbox Series X console and requires little action on the user’s part outside of plugging it in. The difficult sell is that you have to pay a premium to get expandable storage when you pay half as much for more storage with a third-party solution to add more storage on the PlayStation 5.
- Designed in partnership with Xbox
- 1TB of storage increases the overall capacity of the Xbox Series X/S
- Replicates the Xbox Velocity Architecture
- Faster load times, richer environments, and more immersive gameplay
Xbox One S Value
If you are set on picking up an Xbox console as part of the ninth generation of gaming, the Xbox One S is a far better value. At the $299 price point, or a full $200 less expensive than the Xbox Series X, you get so much value without the higher cost. Yes, you lose 4K gaming in favor of 1080p (and sometimes 1440p), but you still get 4K streaming and HDR visuals, so the value is absolutely there. More importantly, you get access to the exact same game catalog, including backward compatibility and Game Pass.
While the Series S does only come with 512GB of memory as opposed to the 1TB of available storage with the X, the S is still very much a cloud gaming machine for many people so storage isn’t a huge factor.
Ideally, the Xbox Series S may be an easy sell for anyone who also owns a gaming PC or a PlayStation 5 an extra console whereas they might have passed on the more expensive Xbox Series X.
Lack of Virtual Reality
This may not be a major factor for many people, but with the release of the PlayStation VR2 headset, Sony offers a completely different way to utilize the PS5 console the Xbox Series X cannot compete with. With big-name games like Horizon Call of the Mountain, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge, No Man’s Sky, and many more, PS5 owners have a definite advantage over Xbox Series X console owners.
There is no question the purchase of a PlayStation VR2 headset adds up to the overall cost of ownership within Sony’s camp, but that it offers a whole new library of titles to explore makes it one more reason to avoid the Xbox Series X.
Not a Game Changer
While the Xbox Series X is more powerful than its predecessor the Xbox One, it’s not game-changing enough to force you to upgrade. Yes, it can load games faster and offers better graphics overall, but if you’re a casual gamer and don’t really care about the latest and greatest, there really isn’t one major factor that will have you running out to upgrade to the Series X right away.
If you just want a console for Xbox Game Pass, the Xbox One is ready to go with full Game Pass access so you don’t lose anything as far as gameplay or game selection between eighth and ninth-generation consoles.
There is no question that some people will look at this reason and think, “why this would possibly stop someone from buying the Xbox Series X?”
Well, Sony did a fantastic job of giving the PlayStation controller a makeover and it’s all sunshine and rainbows on the Sony side. Microsoft, on the other hand, didn’t want to fix what wasn’t really broken but this really isn’t the point. The Xbox controller hasn’t changed in years. It’s time for an upgrade with more advanced functionality and yet Microsoft is plenty happy just sitting back and letting its current design stagnate.
Alternatives to Xbox Series X
Xbox Series S
The less expensive Xbox option offers the same selection of games, the same entertainment options with a large number of accessible streaming services, and, of course, access to Game Pass. As it costs $200 less, it’s a far better value for casual gamers over the Xbox Series X.
Unless you absolutely need the very best graphics on the few Xbox console exclusives available, it’s hard to argue that you must run out and buy the Xbox Series X. Available for $299, the Xbox Series X is generally found on sale for at least $50 off regularly and has dropped as low as $199 during the holidays. Chalk up one more easy reason to avoid a new Xbox Series X.
Having sold more than 30 million consoles since 2020, the PlayStation 5 is already the clear leader in the ninth-generation console wars.
While it has been harder to purchase over the Xbox Series X, as inventory becomes more plentiful, there’s a definite argument to be made in favor of the PlayStation 5. Between its larger library of exclusive games, more exciting controllers, and access to PlayStation VR2 and PlayStation Plus, Sony is once again showing why it’s the most dominant force in console gaming right now.
You can buy both a disc version for $499 or save $100 by purchasing a digital-only console that runs the exact same hardware.
- Neon red and neon blue Joy-Con controllers
- 7-inch OLED screen
- 64GB internal storage
- Wired LAN port
- Enhanced audio
- Wide adjustable stand
Already the third best-selling console of all time, the Nintendo Switch lives a little bit in its own little world. While its console is absolutely less powerful than either the Xbox Series X or the PlayStation 5, Nintendo makes up for that with a huge library of first-party titles plus unique ways to play.
Playable in both handheld and docked mode, the Nintendo Switch offers more Mario games than you know what to do with, like Super Smash Bros. or one of the best pandemic-era titles, like Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
While gamers are clamoring for a more powerful Switch to better play more AAA games, even in its current form, it’s one of the best consoles ever.
The Steam Deck has sold more than one million units during the year and a half it has been available and has a rapidly growing audience. The ability to play many AAA PC games on the go or connected to doc has quickly carved out a whole new market as competitors begin to catch up.
As its introductory price of $399 is very competitive with both the PS5 and Xbox Series X price-wise, there is no shortage of opportunities for the Steam Deck to capture even more market share. As Steam is pretty consistent in offering great bargains on games, there’s even more of a likelihood that they will start grabbing some customers who might otherwise have bought a home console.
The Xbox Series X is by no means an awful, horrible console you should avoid at all costs. There are positives in its favor including the idea that it’s more powerful than the PlayStation 5.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take enough advantage of that power and instead gives way to the PlayStation 5 appearing to be the better console, thanks to better exclusive titles and more friendly upgrade options for storage.
As you can buy the Xbox Series X for hundreds less and maintain 90% of the Xbox functionality, the Xbox Series X has become a hard sell for all but the most die-hard Xbox fans.
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