Opinion: Without a competing service, Xbox Series X with Game Pass will be a no brainer for next gen gamers on a budget

I have always been a PlayStation fanboy, for no reason other than the PlayStation was my first home console, and I have had a PlayStation as my primary console ever since.   Halfway through the Xbox 360s life cycle I was finally able to own both consoles and have been a multi console gamer since enjoying everybody’s exclusives with nothing but pure bliss. 

Despite my current position, I still remember being able to buy one or two games a month  because gaming is expensive as hell, so looking at what Xbox has done this gen it’s hard to not conclude that the Xbox Series X will make so much sense if you can only afford one machine.

Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X

Dumb names for awesome stuff

I’ll hit the low hanging fruit early, the naming department at Microsoft needs a bit of a kick because Xbox 360, Xbox One and now Xbox Series X hurts my brain.  Then there is Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate which is the combination of Xbox Game Pass with Xbox Live Gold.  My only justification for it is maybe Xbox Game Pass Gold must have already been taken.  

Despite their terrible naming convention giving ammunition for ridicule, behind the names are some seriously cool stuff.  The Xbox Consoles have been great, and their services provide outstanding value.

The service to trump all services

Xbox Game Pass is insanely good value.  At 12.95 NZD (9.99USD) a month, and slightly cheaper on an annual sub, it’s hard to not see the value.  Take this month for instance with Nier Auomata, and recently Final Fantasy XV and Wolfenstein: Youngblood joined the service, you already have weeks of gameplay ahead of you if those games tickle you.

If they don’t, a quick glance at the line-up of well over 100 games shows a wealth of quality such as:

Nier: Automata


Dead Cells

DOOM (2016)

Devil May Cry 5

Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition

Life is Strange 2


Final Fantasy XV


I have a bunch of these on my list alongside a whole lot of indie games which look intriguing.   That’s on top of all of Xbox’s exclusives like the Gears, Halos, Fables, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and outstanding Forza series of games. 

The financially strapped gamer

Gaming is an expensive hobby. Back when I was a student and a minimum wage employee, I could only afford one console (PS2 then PS3 when the price dropped).  Given this scenario, which is probably common for many, I could only afford one game a month because they cost $120 a pop.

If back then I was offered a service which cost 20NZD a month (15USD) which comes with a bunch of AAA games and plenty of indie titles, as well as the free games with gold, I’d be chomping at the bit for that value.  Given I couldn’t buy every game at launch day because of financial reasons, playing a lot of these games later on wouldn’t have even been a consideration.

The PlayStation exclusive problem

There are a lot of people who would jump to PlayStation for the exclusives alone.  Given multiplatform games come on both consoles, it makes sense to buy a PS4/PS5 for the exclusives, right?  If you must choose one console, and finances aren’t an issue, I agree.  Now I am in a better situation financially than I was as a student, I own both because I adore exclusives from both, but if I had to choose one, I would go for PlayStation.

The big caveat there, however, is if you can afford to buy all the games.  If your options are the PS exclusives, or the monster library in Game Pass, there are a lot of excellent games in Game Pass that will give you so much more variety.

The PlayStation Game Pass?

At the end of the day people will make their own decisions on what they value and what they can afford.  I will own both consoles on launch, assuming they get made given the global manufacturing issues now, but I am an older gamer with more money than time when it comes to games.  When asked about which console people should buy, however, the last few have been an Xbox recommend, for the value of Game Pass alone.

Even if the Xbox Series X comes in more expensive, you could easily save a lot of money from this service in your first few months.

Hopefully PlayStation has a sweet service lined up for launch announcement coming soon, and if they don’t then I will continue those recommendations into 2021.

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