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Say Hello to the XBox Series S

I’ll be honest: I was one of those shopping online when the new XBox Series S/X was launched. I hovered in front of my computer for hours. I had one in my cart, I waited patiently for the checkout page to load. It never did. The site slowed and crashed and my dreams of a next gen gaming console went out the window.

Although disappointing, it wasn’t a must-have at the time. It would have been nice, sure. But, with Stadia, my existing PC library and Geforce Now, it’s not like I was hurting for games.

That’s still the case. I have more games than I’ll ever play.

Yet, now an XBox Series S rests below my TV, ready to take on the family’s entertainment needs.
Does this mean I’m jumping ship from the cloud gaming revolution? Not at all. It’s just another avenue. I’ll still be playing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on Stadia. I’ll still jump into Elite Dangerous and American Truck Simulator on GeForce Now. I’ll still play Fallout 4 on my PC. 

Why the S? Why not the X? Simple, really. Supply. As the holiday season began, the S was available on a weekly basis at a number of retail outlets. I looked for an X but eventually I pulled the trigger on the S. I’m a gamer, yes, but I’m hardly the hardcore gamer I was in my younger years. But, reading and watching reviews of both systems, it became obvious to me that it wasn’t necessary to spend the money on the X. The S, even though inferior, would do just fine.

The week we’ve had the S hooked up has confirmed as much. Playing Forza Horizon 5 is a dream. Flight Simulator 2020 beats my laptop by quite a bit on the performance side and streaming these games to my laptop from the S itself, it works perfectly. In other words, the S met and exceeded my expectations.

One interesting observation: coming from spending a year mostly playing in the cloud, I found that both myself and my son quickly became very impatient with the download times. We spent the better part of the first day just downloading updates and games. Of course, once that was done, the games loaded quickly.

So now what? Well, I expect I’ll spend this month exploring the S (especially since the Stadia Pro games this month didn’t excite me a whole lot) and then go from there. Valhalla is calling, as is the road in American Truck Simulator, so it won’t be long before I’ll be rotating between the various platforms. As for the S, I’ll have a bit of a longer review once I get more time under my belt.

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