I Missed The Next Gen Bus, But That’s Okay

By John Wahl

When Microsoft announced their plans surrounding the new Xbox Series X/S consoles, and that they would be blurring the generational divide by offering all of their launch lineup on the Xbox One as well, I thought that it was a great way to keep those who wouldn’t be buying a new console from feeling left out. Some claimed that the policy would hold back new games from being “truly” next gen, but I thought it was a very consumer friendly move that, with the addition of Smart Delivery, made it easy for people to take that step into next gen gaming when it was right for them.

But these policies were clearly aimed at other people, not myself. I’m the kind of person who likes to get in on day one and be a part of the hype machine. I want to experience my games the very best way possible on the newest hardware. So back in September I pre-ordered my Xbox Series X the moment they went live on Amazon. With lightning fast reflexes I added that sucker to my cart and sat back as I waited for November 10th to arrive to bask in all of the ray traced goodness. But the universe (and Jeff Bezos) had other plans and the following email arrived on the evening of November 9th.

I couldn’t believe it. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I had my pre-order in and it was supposed to be all good! Sadly, Amazon had other plans and I sat in my chair wondering if I would be getting my console next week, the week after, or as the email stated, “by December 31st or before”. I went to bed Monday night feeling frustrated and defeated.

But then a funny thing happened. I woke up the next morning, poured a cup of coffee, walked down to the family room, and turned on my Xbox One. There were the games that I was so excited to play on my Series X. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, possibly my most anticipated game of the year, was ready to download. Gears Tactics was there too, and a quick look at Game Pass showed me all of the games that had dropped on the service overnight like Tetris Effect Connected, Planer Coaster: Console Edition, and the entire EA Play library of games.

I queued up game after game to download, and spent much of my day checking out these incredible new games, just like I would have if I was played them on a Series X. Sure, I have load times like I’ve had all generation, and the games aren’t as pretty as they would be on the new hardware, but a great game is a great game and while I was playing them I wasn’t thinking about what was missing, just enjoying them for what they were.

That’s not to say that I still don’t wish I had gotten my Series X, or that I didn’t feel a bit of jealousy seeing so many people on social media raving about their new toy. But the way that Microsoft is approaching this generation of games meant that I didn’t feel left out on Tuesday. I still got to share in the excitement of a lineup of cool new games. And when Amazon does decide to get it’s shit together and send me my console, I’ll easily be able to move everything over to the new hardware and pick up right where I left off.

So whether you’ve been planning on waiting to get a next gen console, or are like me and and had the rug pulled out from under you, try not to sweat it. There’s still a ton of amazing games to keep you busy until it’s your time.

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