Gaming

A long-time PlayStation fanboy switches to the Xbox Series X

Everything is much greener on the other side

Illustration by Migs Buera

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Since the start of 2021, I’ve been eyeing a PlayStation 5 because I had hoped that more units would be available this time. Honestly, it made the most sense to get one considering I currently own a PlayStation 4 with a huge game library to boot. Along the way, though, I realized that maybe it was time for a shift.

One afternoon in May, I decided to order an Xbox Series X from an official online retailer. At the time, it was the most I had spent getting everything together. For a good two weeks, I kept mulling it over, especially since I’ve never owned an Xbox in my entire life. Why make the switch now, when I could just wait for a PS5 like everyone else?

The important factors to consider

In those two weeks, I did some of my own research and reflection on why I would choose an Xbox Series X over a PlayStation 5. At first glance, you wouldn’t really think about it too much considering they offer the same thing: next-gen console gaming. Although, if you have a PS4 or an Xbox One and you’re contemplating a switch, here’s how I thought about it.

Xbox Series X

How much you’re actually spending

I know what you’re thinking, “don’t they cost the same at US$ 499.99? Why is it a factor in the process?” If you live in any of the major markets, this isn’t an entirely big issue; here in the Philippines, however, pricing is a bit different.

See, official retailers initially sold the PlayStation 5 at PhP 27,995, and the Xbox Series X at PhP 35,995. If you did the math, that’s a difference of a whopping PhP 8,000, literally the price of two controllers for either console. From the price alone, you will go for the more “budget-friendly” option, especially if you factor in everything else you’re spending for.

However, at the time I placed the order for my Xbox Series X, it was on sale for PhP 31,995. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a bit pricier than the disc version of the PlayStation 5, but it was enticing enough to consider. Also, this is particularly important considering:

What you’re actually getting from the console

Before you decide on which console to get, you have to consider what you’re getting out of each. This entails looking at the specifications for each console, game libraries, accessories, and even the online subscription services. Obviously, it’s a lot to take in so let me break down the key components: 

Storage: The Xbox Series X comes with a 1TB SSD, with 802GB usable storage for games, applications, and media. If you want more space, Xbox has a pricey 1TB storage expansion card available. In comparison, the PlayStation 5 comes with a 825GB SSD, but only 667GB is usable and has no support for storage expansion (not yet, anyway). Given the size of the games you’ll be playing, the Series X looks like a no-brainer.

Fortnite Battle Royale, optimized for the Xbox Series X; 120 FPS mode turned on

Next-gen Game Library: At launch, the PlayStation 5 already had several console exclusives that fully take advantage of the next-gen features. Meanwhile, the Xbox Series X didn’t have a console exclusive at all; instead, they opted to optimize titles to run on their console. However, this year’s E3 showcase changes all of that.

Online Subscriptions: The Xbox Game Pass provides you with a massive game library spanning generations of Xbox consoles and even recent releases. I wish I could say the same for my current PlayStation Plus subscription, because it’s not the same at all. Although, both subscriptions aren’t available if you set your account region to the Philippines.

How easy you could “legitimately” get one

This was, in my opinion, the ultimate reason why I eventually decided to go for an Xbox Series X. I emphasized the word “legitimately” because I only wanted to buy from an official retailer after an incident with a scalper earlier this year. The thing is, scalpers will supply you a PlayStation 5 but for a head-scratching price that even building a gaming PC is a better deal.

SEE: I’ve lost hope in getting a next-gen console for the foreseeable future

At the time of writing, the PlayStation 5 is currently on a pre-order selling model due to limited supply. Don’t get me wrong, it makes sense for Sony to do this considering the circumstances. However, it doesn’t change the fact that it isn’t that easy to get one. On the other hand, the Xbox Series X was as simple as placing an order, and it will arrive a few days later.

See, the same official retailers handling pre-orders for the PlayStation 5 are also selling the Xbox Series X. You can practically get one from their official e-commerce websites, or either from their Lazada or Shopee pages if they have one. For this console, there are no pre-orders so there’s a good chance you’ll snag one when it’s available.

Xbox Series X

Was it all worth it in the end?

My short answer to this is a 100 percent yes. The long answer: switching to the Xbox Series X as a PlayStation player for years was money well spent. I’ve been using it for a month, and I could honestly recommend others doing this if you’ve saved up enough. Although, I felt that you would need a bit more to fully maximize its power.

For starters, for full immersion, a 4K TV or gaming monitor with a 120Hz refresh rate feels like a must. I mean, you can plug any monitor or TV to your next-gen console and it won’t necessarily dampen graphical performance. However, I noticed that on a 4K TV, in-game details are more complete compared to a FHD TV. Of course, it’s going to cost you more money to get one.

Also, if you’re a first time Xbox owner like I am, Xbox Game Pass is a must-have. Honestly, it saved me a ton of money I would have spent getting some of the games I have on the PS4, but for the Xbox. Plus, if you go for Game Pass Ultimate, you also get an EA Play subscription that offers you games like FIFA 21 or Madden NFL 21 for free. Just note, however, that it isn’t available here in the Philippines but there are ways to get it.

Madden NFL 21, optimized for the Xbox Series X; available on Game Pass Ultimate through EA Play

Are you contemplating a switch, too?

One month in, and I could definitely say that it’s a good choice to make a switch from the PlayStation to the Xbox. Don’t get me wrong, both consoles provide the next-level console gaming experience as advertised. In choosing one over the other, you won’t really miss out on much.

Xbox Series X

Everything I pointed out also makes sense if you’re contemplating on buying your first PlayStation console after owning an Xbox. From the spec sheet to the hardware and game library, both Sony and Microsoft gave us major improvements over the current generation.

Should the circumstances of getting the next-gen console you wanted persuade you to switch up when it’s possible? Honestly, it depends on which factors I mentioned matter to you the most. I mean if you want both consoles, why not, right?

Gaming

Crime Boss: Rockay City now available across Southeast Asia

Conquer the Rockay neighborhood

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Crime Boss: Rockay City

505 Games has announced the availability of one of its biggest titles this year, Crime Boss: Rockay City on Epic Games, with console releases to follow.

With a star-studded roster of voice actors in Hollywood greats Michael Madsen, Chuck Norris, Danny Trejo, Kim Basinger, Danny Glover, Michael Rooker, Damion Poiter, and Vanilla Ice, the organized crime shooter features a turf war for its main storyline, taking players back to 90s crime movies.

The game is available throughout Southeast Asia for the following rates:

  • Indonesia – IDR 323,999
  • Philippines – PhP 1,077.99
  • Malaysia – MYR 93.99
  • Singapore – SG$ 49.99
  • Thailand – THB 819
  • Vietnam – đ 513,000

Purchases until April 4 also get a corresponding 15% discount.

Rule the criminal underworld

Madsen plays the protagonist Travis Baker, who will have to overcome ridiculous odds amidst an explosive turf war to become the king of the criminal underworld.

Using different play-throughs, gamers will have to evade Sheriff Norris, team up with in-game characters, and conquer challenges and missions such as heists to take over Rockay.

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Gaming

E3 2023 is cancelled

Both in-person and digital

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Throughout the past few months, E3 has suffered through devastating losses. Though the conference was still scheduled to push through later this year, the event’s biggest names — Nintendo, Sony, and Xbox — have pulled out of the event for their own exclusive launches. Now, the death knell is clear: E3 2023 is reportedly cancelled.

First dropped by IGN, the bombshell announcement supposedly comes from a leaked email sent by Entertainment Software Association. The email, which was verified by IGN, states that the event “simply did not garner the sustained interest necessary to execute it in a way that would showcase the size, strength, and impact of our industry.”

Back in February, Nintendo, Sony, and Xbox reportedly pulled out of the event. All three companies were still slated to hold separate events in some form during the conference. However, more recently, Ubisoft also pulled out, holding an in-person event in the Los Angeles area.

Now, it’s clear. A few minutes after IGN dropped the news, E3’s official Twitter account confirmed the news and announced the cancellation of the 2023 conference. Both in-person and digital conferences will no longer push through.

For the past few years, the annual E3 conference seesawed between outright cancellation and exclusively digital programs because of the pandemic. This year was supposed to be the glorious return of the conference to an in-person event. However, with the new digital zeitgeist and an increased interest in smaller events, the writing on the wall is clear: E3 is gone, at least for the time being.

SEE ALSO: Ubisoft pulls out of E3 2023

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Gaming

Honkai: Star Rail to launch on April 26

All aboard the Astral Express

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Honkai: Star Rail

HoYoverse has announced April 26 as the official release date of upcoming space fantasy RPG Honkai: Star Rail.

The brand-new title will be available on the Epic Games Store, PC, Android, and iOS. The PlayStation version is currently under development.

Honkai: Star Rail takes gamers to a journey of the unknown. It has fantasy elements, myths, and legends integrated into a space sci-fi story. It will adapt an intuitive turn-based combat system as players explore a vast universe filled with cultures, landscape, and scenery.

The main storyline revolves around protagonist Stellaron, who travels the galaxy from the Herta Space Station to know the truth behind the Cancer of All Worlds.

Players will eventually encounter Jarilo-VI, where numerous dangers and conflicts are frozen beneath the snow, and silkpunk flagship Xianzhou Luofu where immortality gets introduced.

To get everyone ready, the Boarding Preparation Special Program is available to watch below.

The informative video aids players on how to make the most out of Star Rail Passes and Stellar Jade, as well as behind the scenes stories of the game.

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