Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Have you pre-ordered a PS5 or Xbox?


GameCentral readers share their experience of pre-ordering a PS5 and Xbox Series X/S – or explain why they never bothered.

Now that the pre-orders have started for both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S the question for this week’s Hot Topic was pretty straightforward: have you pre-ordered one and if not why not?

Everyone had their own reasons for choosing to jump in now or wait till later but surprisingly few reported having being prevented from pre-ordering because of a lack of stock or technical problems.

All that matters
Well, after all the excitement of the last few weeks I pre-ordered a PlayStation 5 and an Xbox Series S. I am looking forward to the reductions in loading times and haptic feedback and swanky new sound. After a few days consideration I asked myself why do I want two new consoles?

The main reason is, of course, to play games and looking at the games coming up in the next couple of years I decided to cancel the Xbox Series S, as I don’t think I will use it much. The lack of exclusive titles in the short term plus a lack of time now I am older means it doesn’t make much sense at the moment. I will probably wait a few years and get an Xbox Series X if it has some must have games by then.

I did not get an Xbox this generation and opted for the Switch as my second console, as the line-up was stronger in my opinion. Hopefully Microsoft splurging the cash will result in some great titles in a couple of years and in the meantime there is plenty on the PlayStation 5 to keep me going.

2020 goals
Pre-order the newest console? Nope. I’ve been looking forward to the newest line-up of hardware for my PC and I think I will be using it as my primary source of entertainment, followed by my Xbox and PlayStation 4, as I still have a pile of games to finish.

It’s probably going to cost me more than a PlayStation 5 to do what I want to do with the PC (new CPU, GPU, monitor) so I will do as I always seem to do with a console and wait for a price drop and a slimline or smaller version. Although by this stage Sony might let me play the newest God Of War on the PC anyway, so if that is the case then I can skip the console altogether.

The goal for this year is 4K and 60+ fps single-player or 144Hz multiplayer or both if possible. More research is needed.

Games before consoles
I’ve not pre-ordered a new console yet and I wouldn’t imagine I will get one for some time.

I’m not that au fait with what Sony and Microsoft are offering but from what I understand Sony are basically giving you the chance to pay £520 to play a Spider-Man or Ratchet & Clank sequel, and Microsoft are offering you the chance to spend £430 or £250 to play games that you can already play on formats you might already own, but with better load times.

I know that’s all a bit flippant but when you get past the marketing that pretty much seems to be what’s going to be available, and the whole situation has got a huge whiff of Emperor’s New Clothes about it.

Other than for people that work in the industry and have to keep up with the latest developments, I really just don’t understand the logic behind paying the absolute most money you will ever have to pay for a console, to own it at a time when it’s software catalogue is going to be the weakest it will ever be.

Ultimately, gaming will always be about the games for me. I usually buy a console when a game comes along that I feel like I just have to play. I bought an Xbox 360 for Oblivion (I didn’t have a PC that could run it), a PlayStation 3 for The Last of Us, a PlayStation 4 for Bloodborne, and a Switch for Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. Nothing I’ve seen yet for either of the two new consoles looks to be anywhere near as essential as any of those, and until that changes I’ll be keeping my money in my pocket.

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An expensive day
Managed to snag myself a full-phat PlayStation 5 and without too much trouble too. Took an early lunch last Thursday, strolled right past a block-long queue outside GAME and walked straight into Currys PC World and was their first of the day apparently.

I’ll probably pick up Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, and Godfall too (I actually really like the look of Godfall regardless of the internet hate… it looks like a co-op God Of War 2018 so, take my frikkin money!), though I’m still making my way through a backlog which has never been this big.

As it stands, its well over 100 games yet to be played, some of which are PlayStation 3… I’m currently alternating between a PlayStation 3 game followed by PlayStation 4 and back to PlayStation 3. So if the PlayStation 5 games I mentioned are sold out it’s not as if I haven’t got anything to play.

I haven’t pre-ordered any peripherals but I will probably pick up an extra controller and the headset if they’re not sold out, so it’ll be a pretty expensive day but new console releases are pretty rare, so why not.

Back to the backlog then, by this rate the remaining PlayStation 3 games should be done by next March.

No pressure
It’s certainly been a week or two of revelations, console wars are not dead no matter what people say.

I’m still unsure if I’m going to get either a PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S. The Switch has been my go-to console since its launch and I cannot see that changing, as 80% of my gaming is handheld while watching TV and chatting with the family. Well kind of, it’s more successively one then the other as I really cannot multitask.

As a second console, Game Pass makes an Xbox the obvious route. I wouldn’t have to worry about buying 100+ hour epics and not finishing them. I would be subbed in and have no buyers’ remorse if I hardly gamed on the TV for a month. I have an iPhone, so handheld Xbox isn’t an option for me, yet! I mean, I still wouldn’t finish them and I would still be paying a subscription, but if I moved on to other games 20 hours in I wouldn’t beat myself up over a £70 outlay like I would on the PlayStation 5.

I also prefer Western role-playing games over Japanese ones when I do go all in on something, Monster Hunter aside, with Bethesda publishing many of my favourites over the decades.

However, I suspect the people I game with the most had made their mind up on getting a PlayStation 5 years ago. They see the Xbox as something that would taint and corrupt you, you all know who you are! Given I’d only play the odd game intensively on anything but the Switch, playing the odd game we all enjoy together and keeping the Switch for everything else may be the best option, who knows.

Thankfully, I’m under no pressure to choose either service right now, even if I could, so if I do jump in I can decide once the dust has settled and I have a clearer view.
Antony White

Impulse purchase
I pre-ordered an Xbox Series S, kind of on a whim as it was so cheap. However, looking at the launch line-up, it’s kind of pathetic compared to PlayStation 5 and there is nothing that is really going to show off the new hardware. However, there are a fair few games on Game Pass that I want to play, and it was cheaper than getting a new graphics card for my PC, so it made sense for me.

I will get a PlayStation 5 eventually, but since a lot of PlayStation 5 games are now coming to PlayStation 4, I’m not in a mad rush. So the Xbox Series S is a bit of a stop gap for now, and hopefully should keep me entertained for a little while.

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The road to launch
I haven’t pre-ordered a new console yet because my experience of picking up consoles on day one has been limited to the Wii and the 3DS. Neither of those convinced me it’s not much better to wait a while.

That said, I think the PlayStation 5 does have the best looking day one and year one line-up that Sony (or probably Microsoft) has ever had. Even discounting the games I’ll be able to get on PlayStation 4, it looks like Demon’s Souls plus a new Ratchet & Clank and God Of War at the very least will represent a good start.

Much has been made of a few bumps in each console’s road to launch but the main thing that matters is always the games. As such, the only thing that’s changed in recent months is how early I’ll pick up a PlayStation 5, as I never expected some of the most appealing games to be available so soon.

The main reason I’m not getting one at launch is the £70 games. Once I can get the ones I want for £60 max, preferably physical versions, I’ll probably get on board. (That may be even sooner than anticipated given all the copies of Demon’s Souls that’ll get sold by rage-quitters but I think I’ll wait till retailers bring down the general prices for new copies.)

When it comes to Xbox and Game Pass, I’ve yet to see anything that convincing. Value for money is nice but it’s not a driver for my gaming excitement and I don’t think Microsoft throwing money at us until we buckle is going to be the best way of ensuring the best possible games in the long run.

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The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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