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Posted in Gaming, Review

Console Wars

With Xbox recently showing their hand there’s much to be said about Sony and Microsoft’s movements leading up to the fall. For a large part there seems to be factions of fans sided with each company willing to die for them, arguing on Twitter and bleeding blue or green.

What Did Xbox Have to Say Then?

This time last week Phil Spencer introduced us to some of the projects and games we can expect to see on the Xbox Series X. They led with Halo: Infinite their launch title and possibly Xbox’s biggest exclusive franchise.

Not exactly breath-taking graphically.

It wasn’t the most welcomed look either, despite good numbers on Youtube. The graphics seemed to be somewhat lacklustre for a next gen game. Its possibly the biggest talking point for Halo at the moment and ammo for those in blue.

It had other features unseen before, seemingly being more open world than linear like previous games. The gunplay and enemies seemed to be reprised from the original games and the cut scenes promise a story worth telling.

After Halo however, it was rather forgetful. We saw a teaser for Forza, but that’s it, a small reveal type look. We saw a teaser for Fable (I’m generous when I say teaser) and the same for Avowed, Obsidians Elder Scrolls knock off. There were a bunch of games from all over the genre spectrum and some Microsoft exclusives but nothing too worth mentioning. I say Microsoft as they seem to be aiming for PC/Xbox crossplay/save.

So Who Has the Upper Hand?

This all depends on your approach to gaming. Sony have been quite vocal in their approach and their intentions for next gen.

Sony are ready to leave PS4 behind, with new titles being PS5 only.

For Sony, next gen is the future and the past is to be left behind. Their showcase backed this as well as they seem to be closer to launching more next gen titles than Microsoft. They have had a stronger showing so far in terms of games and exclusives. Arguably Spider-Man has as much attention as Halo, and it’s only a large DLC.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales has stated 4k 60FPS resolution on PS5.

Sony’s console is probably the only thing that hasn’t been received with applause and anticipation. Its clunky and looks kinda weird. Especially next to Xbox’s simple rectangle design. For Sony they would consider this a win, all aspects considered.

Xbox, while having a more attractive console, are lagging behind when it comes to games. They have all their eggs in Halo’s basket in terms of launch title exclusives and are relying on third parties from Ubisoft and CD Projeckt Red to boost their library out of the gate. They’re also looking backwards to games intended for the One.

What Xbox do have is Gamepass. With Gamepass they are significantly lowering the paywall entry into next gen and full priced titles at ~£70. They have secured Destiny 2’s content on Gamepass and promise titles such as Halo: Infinite and Forza for a tenner a month.

In a nutshell for the price of 2 games at release cost, you can game for a year with the Gamepass library. That is huge, but it’s the only thing Microsoft and Xbox are banking on to boost sales after a poor showing for the One series.

Sony on Top?

I would say overall Sony has generated a bigger buzz. It currently leads the console market in sales and has a prestige library of exclusives in its repertoire. When we think of gaming we want the best games and Cyberpunk, Valhalla, Godfall and Spider-Man are all coming to PlayStation by the end of the year, whereas Xbox will only receive half of them.

When push comes to shove, Xbox’s hand will start to prove dominant. Not many of us can afford to keep up a hobby that costs 60-70 of our currency each game. With Gamepass there will be access to a massive back catalog and next gen games which will prove more valuable to some than 1 or 2 top tier entries for PlayStation can do.

I would say that quality is louder than quantity and for this Sony is on top, especially out of the gate. Xbox are looking to multiplayer and community within their games whereas Sony are looking for quality and critically acclaimed titles.

My advice would always be to play with your friends or where your favourite games are at. I can’t bear the thought of not having access to Spider-Man: Miles Morales or God of War 5 (rumoured to be announced next month). So I’ll see you on PlayStation.

Hobbies

You ever just want to change all of your hobbies? Or at least most of them.

I would consider myself to have 3 main hobbies:

  1. Video Games. I love them and play them a fair amount, not as much as I used to but still quite a lot.
  2. TV and Films. This one goes without saying as I have a blog and Instagram dedicated to it. Probably the thing I do most.
  3. Football. I’d play at least once a week most of the time and watch for the rest.

I feel that makes me not very interesting. Not very fit either (that’s a whole other post). I’m on my arse for 80% of the day, but I also wish I had completely different hobbies sometimes, not to increase the on arse to moving ratio but because I think my hobbies found me.

I think hobbies should be things you go out and seek. They bring out the good bits of your personality as usually they make you happy. You should always be happy and smiling and sometimes that is hard, but if baking a loaf of bread helps, go bake that bread.

For me, I love playing guitar. Something I did for a while when I was like 12 or 13 till I went uni at 19. Not that I was ever particularly skilled but it was fun. I love music and imagine myself jamming along to the likes of Vukovi or Architects.

I’ve actually picked up my guitar again, bought an amp and some bits and I’m finding my love for it again. I just need to figure out how to get good, get picked up and tour the world and get rich. Or maybe not, got a bit carried away there.

I’m missing a few inches for basketball

But when it comes to football, I would trade it in a heartbeat to play basketball once a week. It’s weird how it’s not even a contest. Something I’ve been doing for years and years but its not my favourite sport to play. Its likely if basketball was more accessible in this country it wouldn’t be my favourite sport period.

It’ s weird that sometimes we consider our hobbies to be the things we are used to doing. It’s not always the things we wish we did, or would like to do.

I’ve certainly looked into playing basketball but its few and far between opportunities in Leicester. I could hire out the court at my local leisure centre but that seems against the point for just me.

I think my love for basketball comes from Space Jam. Its the earliest I remember enjoying it. Things like One Tree Hill, Coach Carter and NBA being on Sky all reaffirm my love for the sport. Also Jordan and Kobe were possibly the biggest athletes during my younger years so it was all around me really.

I guess my point for this blog post is to consider that if what you do is a hobby or is it something you’re used to doing and call it a hobby? Thinking about what would you do if you could do anything and is that what you’re doing?

I would certainly aspire to follow more of the things you love and explore how you can do them, whatever it might be, just don’t settle.

Let me know made you chase your hobby or gave you inspiration.

Posted in Lifestyle

The One Where I Don’t Know What To Do With This Blog…

So I’m in two minds with this blog.

Mind A: Put more into it. Literally more content, like lifestyle stuff. My life isn’t exciting but I like to talk and write so this would be a good platform for that.

Mind B: Scrap it all as reviews don’t do well in a blog. I started this blog because I felt like I didn’t have anyone to talk about everything I was watching. It was always this person watches this thing and that person watches that thing.

And did they/ do they even want to talk to me about it? Does anyone even read my posts. Like actually read them? I know a couple do and I love that but beyond that I think I have to like offer a comment for comment deal or my soul or something.

So I’m at a cross roads. I’ve paid a small fee to have this till like March next year or something, so I feel I should get my monies worth.

This year I committed to taking another step at work. I want to go beyond being a trainer. I’m already being under paid but I have a lot of freedom to grow so I should make the most of it. Of course, like most other people COVID put a ‘delay’ on that (I’m glass half full).

At one point I thought getting back into writing and trying to reconnect with some people would probably take the place of that commitment to grow, and well it could. Maybe I could look into writing completely.

Like fuck being some snooty journalist but try and find a job that I can write and design.

So maybe I’ll carry on writing whatever crap comes into my head, especially what I think of films and TV and Games and maybe even music. I love music.