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Sep 29, 2020
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PS5 and Xbox Series X: Why you shouldn't go next-gen until 2021
Commentary: November will be exciting for gamers, but that doesn't mean you should drop hundreds on a new console just yet

Final Fantasy 16. God of War: Ragnarok. Halo Infinite. These games have two things in common. One, they're all console exclusives. You'll need a Sony PlayStation 5 if you want to play the first two -- or a Microsoft Xbox Series X or S to play the latter. Two, you won't be able to play any of these games until at least next year.

And that means you don't have to buy either a PS5 or a Series X until next year either. That's a hard reality to face after a September blitz of next-gen news.

Both Microsoft and Sony spent 2020 in a game of brinksmanship seemingly centered on who could say the least about their next-generation console for the longest. The standoff ended on Sept. 9, when Microsoft announced that the Xbox Series X will launch on Nov. 10 for $500, along with the less powerful, digital-only, $300 Series S. Sony followed up just over a week later, revealing that the PS5 will hit store shelves on Nov. 12 and will also cost $500. Its digital-only version clocks in at $400. Oh, and Microsoft bought Bethesda.

Conversation has justifiably swirled around these points for the past couple of weeks. But with the rush of console news having ebbed, and with preorders difficult to secure for either console, the most important question now arises: Do you actually need to buy either a PS5 or a new Xbox this year?

Nope, you sure don't.

Elusive exclusives
For the first time, Microsoft and Sony have different approaches for their upcoming consoles. Sony is hoping to recapture its PS2 success with a catalog of games you won't be able to play on the Xbox Series X. Microsoft, meanwhile, has its Game Pass, a Netflix-like subscription service, and Project xCloud, which lets you play Xbox games on your phone. It's turning the Xbox into a service.

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