Find out about how Screen Critics Melissa found new appreciation for Microsoft’s Xbox One, despite being a hardcore PlayStation user.
Should the console war between Xbox and PlayStation call for soldiers; You’ll find me clad in blue on the side of Sony. This is not going to happen, I just wanted to be clear that I lean toward PlayStation as my preferred console. The console war is about the competing brands. It is not meant to be a battle between the gamers over which is better. For me, PlayStation consoles and games have filled my shelves and consumed hours of my life for roughly 10 years now. What then tempted me to fall behind “enemy lines” and get a Xbox for the first time?
The Moment of Weakness
It truly started with the 2016 E3 conferences. The excitement and buzz of all the new games being announced is a thrill each year. I watched and listened to the live streams in the background of my work day. It did not surprise me when a few of the Xbox exclusives caught my eye. There had been a few in the past that made me tempted before. This time was different, this time one made me break. The trailer for a new IP I had not seen before stirred my excitement. It did not shine over the larger franchises, but it won my eye at the 2016 E3. When I learned in the final beats of that trailer, that had me awe, that it was exclusive to Xbox. I let out a defeated sigh and concluded I would have to get an Xbox. After years of cringing away from the temptations, I had finally been broken.
There were other factors that helped tip the scales. A key factor is that I had the income, I worked enough to save money aside for the system. The other factor is that I already had my PlayStation 4. I was not going to be choosing one over the other as previous generations of the consoles. On top of the knowledge that the One S, Scorpio, and even PS Pro would be upgraded versions of systems in terms of performance, but not change the disc. The games will continue to be made for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The only true reason to upgrade is for 4K graphics and VR games. Knowing that I felt more confident in putting the money towards an Xbox.
I would get the Xbox One S the following September in time for the release of ReCore. No, ReCore was not the game that drove me to Xbox. I had gotten some interest for it still and figured it would be worth it. I was wrong, but I’m not here to discuss how unfinished that game was right now.
It was a rocky introduction to the system. I found myself comparing and judging the console against my PS4. Essential the life blood of the console wars. I dislike the Home Menu and the store. Learning the controller was one forgivable aspect since I need to do that in new games anyway. The part I did judge about the controller was needing to buy a rechargeable battery pack for it. Batteries never even worked in it. It was either keep it plugged in 100% of the time or buy the pack so I wouldn’t trip over the cable all the time.
Despite my growing list of complaints I held out. I obtained a few more games for it: Rise of Tomb Raider, BioShock Collection, and Stardew Valley. Not exclusives, but the Xbox version had been accessible or cheaper at the time. I was determined to wait out and hopefully get over my gripes.
It was a major hit when the announcement that the game that had won my heart at E3 was canceled, Scalebound. The action role-playing game that was being developed by Platinum Games. It was a game that would be slightly outside of the comfort zone for the developers with a larger focus on the RPG aspect. Players would play as Drew, exploring and progressing through the world of Draconis. Drew’s companion in his travels is the dragon named Thuban. Literally bonded together, should one die the other would too. That was a big appealing factor.
On top of the visuals, to be able to fight alongside a dragon made my jaw drop. I spent enough time playing Monster Hunter and hunting them down, it was time to join forces with them. With Platinum Games as the developers, I was certain they could develop a fun gameplay given their track record. But all of that was shattered. And no, I’m still not over it.
Now I looked at the system that ranged from a waste of space to a streaming box. The meagre few games I had to play were finished or cast aside. I had other games to play: Final Fantasy 15, World of Final Fantasy, God Eater, and more. The PlayStation continued to dominate my collection and time. Without any exclusives for the Xbox garnering interest, the system sat and collected dust. Until I wanted to watch Youtube and Netflix on my tv. Something I could have done with my PS4, but it needed the break after hours of actually playing games.
After mourning the game I would never get the chance to play. I wondered if the console was worth holding onto. The games I did have for it I enjoyed, but my attention continued to gravitate to my PlayStation 4. It was on my PlayStation that I found a reason to keep my Xbox.
My PlayStation 4 is filled with games. I have a large number of exclusive titles and the free games as a PS Plus member there is never enough room for all of them on the system and I honestly hate having delete games to make room for others. After another struggling debate of deciding which to remove from the console, hoping I wouldn’t regret the choices, I took a look at my collection. There are a number of games I realized were not exclusive to the system. Then remembering other non-exclusive titles I had yet to obtain but wanted to play eventually. Some of those games I even shied away from knowing it would bring another juggling sessions of who to drop from my PlayStation. I was fixated to the PlayStation console that I failed to notice what I should have done from the start of getting the Xbox.
Instead of squeezing them onto my PS4 or only trying to find Xbox exclusive titles to make the system worthwhile; I decided to get the non-exclusive titles for my Xbox. Since that decision I’ve gotten: The Witcher 3 Complete Edition, Return to Arkham, Overwatch and Hitman so far. Still meager and tiny in all compared to the number of PS4 games. But at least I have a purpose for it and no longer see it as a waste of space and money. This way I also ensure that I’ll be ready should any other Xbox exclusives down the road.
I mentioned at the start of this article the console wars are between the brands, not the players. Even though the main reason for my purchase floundered I found a better reason for it. I enjoy having the system for games I do have for it now and not the game I’ll never get to play. I’m eager to grow the collection of games for it.