A next-gen console launch happens once every three quarter decade or so, and this one was a dull mess. The Xbox Series X and S, and PlayStation 5 are fantastically powerful consoles, though sadly they are plagued by a disappointing launch. But lets be very clear, that is not the fault of Microsoft or Sony. Well, not entirely anyways…
Next-gen is disappointing
The past couple of months leading up to the release of the next generation of console gaming were exciting as heck. Big leaps in console gaming are few and far between; the exact opposite of PC gaming, where a new, slightly better GPU is released seemingly every couple of minutes.
So with the rare occasion of a next-gen launch, it should be the biggest gaming event of that year. But as you might have noticed as well, it’s surprisingly quiet. On the day of the release of both the Xbox Series series and PlayStation 5, they were respectively trending. That launch hype train stopped dead in it’s tracks just days after departing though.
Launch game drought
I think at least partially because of the lack of fuel for said train, if you’d indulge the metaphor a little longer. The fuel being launch games, that should propel the new consoles far beyond the limited collective attention they were given now.
Sure, we’ve got Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion, FIFA 21, CoD: Black Ops Cold War, and some other major titles. But who are we kidding; those come nowhere close to what we were lead to expect by promotional footage in terms of graphical prowess and next-gen features. For example, in our Valhalla review we express our disappointment in it’s graphics.
All the big games that would be truly next-gen were delayed. Of course, the missing launch games were almost all exclusively hindered by a little disease called COVID-19. Titles like Halo: Infinite, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and Deathloop were all announced as launch games, before promptly being delayed until 2021.
And so, we’ve got these consoles that are only wildly powerful on paper. Given that there’s no way to translate those specs onto a screen right now. That made the supposed giant leap into next-gen gaming more of a small step for gamers.
Cyberpunk to the rescue?
There is one game that could save them all though: Cyberpunk 2077. Although it should’ve been released months ago, it is one of the only games out there that seem to challenge next-gen hardware substantially.
However, there’s one big caveat to the expectations of Cyberpunk 2077; technically it isn’t a next-gen game yet. As CD Projekt Red announced this month, Cyberpunk 2077 will only be upgraded with a next-gen update ‘sometime next year’.
So even the next-gennest of next-gen games keeps it on the quiet for a while longer. That leaves us with an anticlimactic console launch. No particularly spectacular launch games. And with no end in sight for this COVID nonsense, this major generation of consoles might be the slowest burn to date.
What do you think? Is this the next-gen console launch it could’ve been or was it a disappointing mess for both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5? Let us know in the comments or join the discussion on our Facebook page.