After what seems like forever, the next console generation is looming. The PS5 and Xbox Series X have been announced. Soon, gamers will be clearing a space on their entertainment centers for the newest line of consoles.
Microsoft has been incredibly open with the specs for the Xbox Series X. The hype train will only continue to increase until the launch date. With all the excitement a new console generation brings, there’s room for improvement on what we have now. Here are five things the Xbox Series X can do better than the Xbox One.
Better, Faster, Stronger
Increased hardware might be the most exciting part about new consoles. Developers will have more freedom to give new levels of gaming that current gen limits us from. The console is noticeably bigger than previous Xbox models, but Microsoft has used that space to fit in as much processing power as they can. We’ll see less loading screens, 4K graphics, and 120 FPS. The next generation going to leave the current gen in the dust.
The internals are impressive, making the Xbox Series X look like a cousin to many gaming PCs. A split motherboard, a heat-sink chassis, vapor chamber, and whisper-quiet fan are all integral components in the architecture that give confidence to Microsoft’s claims that this is “the most powerful console ever.”
A Competitive Launch Price
The Xbox One reveal was a long series of missteps. Microsoft aimed to make the Xbox One a hub for entertainment, with gaming as only one aspect of that. The PS4 sold itself as by gamers, for gamers. This gave the PS4 a head start over the Xbox One and a much stronger sales numbers in the opening months after launch. One of the biggest errors Microsoft made? The Xbox One cost more than the PS4. That extra $100 cost a lot of potential customers before the consoles even hit the shelves.
Despite all those gaffs at the beginning, Microsoft has done a lot to build themselves up this generation. They’ve already been developing titles in preparation for the Xbox Series X, looking to do everything right this time. Planning ahead and keeping gaming as the focus gives me a lot of confidence. If Microsoft comes in with a solid launch price, they’ll be doing themselves a lot of favors. It also helps that they aren’t packaging a Kinect that most people won’t be using.
A Better Dashboard
Microsoft tends to revamp or change the dashboard every few years or so. Any new user to the Xbox console can be overwhelmed upon first seeing the dashboard. A new generation is a good time for a new dashboard. With the new console will come…the same UI, apparently.
That might be a little surprising, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see any changes. There have been more frequent, smaller changes to the current dashboard rather than larger overhauls. So we’ll probably see some nice facelifts once the new gen kicks off, but launch into a familiar dashboard.
I do worry about new gamers being overwhelmed the first time they the dashboard. It takes a little time to learn how things work, but it’s intuitive once you get the hang of it. This is easily solved with a quick tutorial to run new players through the basics (and a skip button for all of us long-time users).
Exclusives and More Choices
Exclusives can pull consumers to one console over another. Xbox won the early days with series juggernauts like Halo and Gears of War. The Xbox Series X needs to have some great exclusives lined up for launch. But that isn’t their only card on the table.
Another avenue to pursue would be lesser seen genres on Xbox. Sony, for example, has largely enjoyed a monopoly on many Japanese themed titles throughout the years. While this might not change considerably, Microsoft could definitely get a slice of the anime-themed genre. With Japanese culture—anime and gaming the most obvious examples—exploding in recent years, Microsoft could garner a good amount of sales by expanding into that genre. Indie titles are also worth keeping attention on. We’ve seen a lot of indie games find big success on the Xbox One, so neglecting them would be a mistake.
Xbox Games Pass is almost a blockbuster on its own. This low-cost subscription gives you access to dozens of titles across every generation of Xbox games. While we won’t see new games on the Game Pass, having so many classics to rely on is a strength in itself. That’s what Microsoft should be investing in: choices for every gamer.
So Many Little Things
We’re going to see a lot of little things that all add up to a much better experience. The controller has been refined to feel more comfortable in your hands and be more responsive in game. Streaming and sharing game clips will be easier than ever. All the extra processing power will give games a whole new level of immersion. The 1TB SSD will let you keep more of your game library on the console and stop the juggling between downloads when you need to free a few GBs for a download.
Maybe the biggest difference of all, the Xbox Series X will launch with the biggest library any Xbox console has ever had. Xbox Game Pass will work on day one, as will every Xbox One title. Microsoft’s backwards compatibility means we’ll have four generations on the Xbox Series X, on launch day.
There’s always excitement about a new generation of consoles and what that means for games. Microsoft is coming off stronger than they did for the Xbox One, giving us a lot to look forward to. Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long. Microsoft is aiming for a 2020 holiday season release. A new generation of gaming is a great way to welcome the new decade.
Stay tuned to Generation Xbox for continuing coverage of the Xbox Series X and all things from the world of Xbox. The console page is live on the Microsoft store as well, so stay tuned there for announcements and when you can preorder the box.