The gaming industry is bracing for the arrival of the next-generation consoles, which officially launch this week. In the weeks leading up to this, Sony has been grabbing the spotlight thanks to its series of publicity efforts such as teardowns, UX showcases, and brand-new game trailers. Yet Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will be the first out of the gates when it drops on Nov. 10. As such, here are some of the essential add-ons to consider.
With the exception of special bundles, game systems are normally launched as basic packages that include the console, the controller, cables, and documentation. Games are traditionally sold separately, which has been the standard practice since video games moved from arcades to households. Depending on several factors, Microsoft's latest platforms might require additional accessories to augment the experience for certain consumers.
Number of players
The final retail version of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have been previewed by journalists and influencers weeks ahead of its release. Both are shipping with one controller only, which could be a problem for those who want to play multiplayer titles locally. Unlike the PS5, Microsoft is promoting cross-generation compatibility for software and accessories. So, if you have a spare Xbox One controller, it will work on the new console.
On the other hand, folks who are making the jump from Sony's ecosystem might need to purchase a secondary gamepad for couch co-op games. These included "Halo: The Master Chief Collection," "Borderlands 3," "NBA 2K21," "Gears 5," and more. The Verge notes that Microsoft will keep the price of the new controller at $59.99. The gamepad boasts enhanced ergonomics, a USB-C port, matte texture buttons, and improved triggers.
Physical or digital
Sony is offering two versions of the PS5: The standard and Digital Edition. The latter does not have a Blu-ray drive and is sold at $399.99. The Xbox Series X is equipped with both, while the Xbox Series S is the dedicated digital-only platform. With games now occupying a sizable chunk of internal storage space, players will need to upgrade their system's SSD.
The Xbox Series X is equipped with 1 TB while the Xbox Series S has 512 GB, but the actual space available is 802 GB and 364 GB, respectively. This is due to the operating system and other essential files that are required to operate the consoles. As modern games often push beyond 100 GB, owners can opt for external storage or the proprietary SSDs developed in partnership with Seagate.
Gamers who plan to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will benefit from the added storage space so they can download the free games included without worry. The Seagate Game Drive for Xbox costs $112 and adds 4 TB and is ideal for older Xbox games. However, to get the best speed and performance, Seagate 1 TB NVME SSD Expansion will cost $220.
Next-generation gaming is shaping up to be an expensive one as even the PS5 will soon require owners to upgrade their storage space as well. Meanwhile, Microsoft makes it easier with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S via the plug-and-play nature of its add-ons.