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Sunday, November 8, 2020

Dawn Of A New Console Generation

In 2 days and 4 days we will have 2 worldwide launches that will start off the next generation while the current generation will begin to fade. Or will they? For the 1st time, both major consoles will support the previous console's games on day one. Almost every current gen game will be supported on next gen consoles. In the case of the Xbox series X/S, games from the previous 3 generations will be playable. Sure not every single one, but a lot for sure.

This will also be the 1st time where we have 2 versions of each console. Sony ditching the BD drive on 1 Ps5 model and Microsoft dropping a lower specced Xbox, also without a BD drive. While I am not a fan of all digital systems, for some the cost and shelf space savings can mean a lot. Granted, storage space is not an issue.

Unlike the current generation of console, next gen systems will not let you use standard USB storage for next gen games. Sony will let you use properly specced PCIe 4.0 M.2 Nvme drives, once enabled in firmware, to add additional storage. While it seems interesting, the feature doesn't seem enabled yet on consoles currently in the wild. Microsoft, on the other hand, is releasing a storage "card" that is simply plug and play. While ssd storage has gone down over the last few years, Sony's requirements for M.2 drives means they are not cheap at the moment. Microsoft's implementation could mean prices won't drop as quickly or often, but it seems as if other 3rd parties will be allowed to make drives soon, so hopefully competition will drive those down. Especially since next gen games can be anywhere between a few GBs to 100+ GBs in space. 

Then we have looks and size. I have said this many times since it was 1st shown off, the Ps5 is a hideous console. It sticks out like a sore thumb and seems to have been designed for people to notice it. Add to that the fact that it will not fit in many entertainment centers. The Series X does look like a giant, plain block, but at least will fit in more places and will not be out of place with all other AV equipment. The Series S.... Looks like a toy or a cheap Chinese clone console while being the smallest of all Xbox consoles and will fit everywhere.  Luckily, as long as the end result is playing games, then the system's look shouldn't be that important.

While I'm not going over system specs, games on both look fantastic. Hopefully I'll have both systems in this week and maybe, time permitting, share my thoughts on them and their respective games. Beyond all of that, just remember to enjoy the games. 

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