A few weeks ago, my eldest son and I decided that it was time for us to get a game console. My last console experience was during my school days – for several months I squeezed all the juice out of the PlayStation Portable. Then, for 10 whole years, somehow it was not at all up to the consoles, because I am not an avid gamer, and all this time there was a place to spend money. But the sons are growing up, which means that you can please them and remember how to hold the gamepad in your hands. And the hands remember the skill – experience, as they say, cannot be avoided.
Therefore, today I want to share with you the experience of choosing a console and why I chose the Xbox One S. This text is a small educational program that will be useful to those who are also thinking about buying a console, but avid console players should hardly read it, so as nothing new they learn.
The price of the console itself
I didn't really want to spend a lot of money on the first console in a long time. Firstly, because before buying, I had little idea how much it would “ go '' to us, and secondly, the current generation of consoles is literally living out the last year, and in 2020 all of us are waiting for a new 'nextgen'.
The more interesting option for the price, as expected, turned out to be the Xbox One S. Just in case, I looked at the list of exclusives for the PlayStation 4, was not impressed by anything and was even more inclined to buy a 'box' from Redmond. As for the One S version, not the One X, it was planned to play on a TV without 4K and HDR, so there was no point in considering a more advanced version.
After sorting through all the Xbox One S options by price, I found that the most budgetary version is All Digital, meaning no optical disc drive.
I asked knowledgeable people about why an Xbox drive might be needed in 2019, and I was told two things. Firstly, it allows you to play used games with Avito, and secondly, if you want to play titles from Xbox 360 in compatibility mode, then games on discs will be in Russian, and digital copies from Microsoft Store – in English. I did not plan to do either one or the other, so I decided only to compare the prices of disks and their digital copies.
As a result, we managed to draw two such conclusions:
- Most games in digital form are cheaper, although there are exceptions for some illiquid stock at the retailer.
- Building your own bundle from the Xbox One S All Digital and any digital version of the game is often more profitable than buying a ready-made bundle with games and / or subscriptions.
In addition, along with the Xbox One S All Digital, there are codes for digital versions of three quite good games and 1 month of Xbox Live Gold subscription. The set from Minecraft, Forza Horizon 3 and Sea of Thieves seemed more interesting to me, but there is also an option with Fortnite instead of 'Forza'.
In the end, I decided to wait for the Black Friday proposals. As it turned out, not in vain: at the beginning of last week, the cost of consoles dropped significantly, and Xbox One S All Digital cost me a little less than 13 thousand rubles, although earlier it cost about 19 thousand. Pleasantly!
Game prices and cost of ownership
The second important factor when buying was the cost of games, and if when buying specific titles their prices for PS4 and Xbox One differ slightly, then the obvious advantage of Xbox is the Game Pass subscription.
This is a kind of analogue Apple Arcade, providing access to 100+ games for a fixed price per month. Moreover, this list of games is regularly updated, however, it becomes impossible to play the 'retired' games within the framework of the subscription (if you did not have time to go through – buy the game separately). Of course, there are no super-new products, but there are plenty of good games. A complete list of Game Pass games is available here.
Curiously, there is no way to subscribe to Game Pass from the console or on the website Microsoft – you need to buy an access code in the store. Its cost in the official networks “Eldorado”, DNS, “M.Video” and others will cost about 600 rubles per month, and you can buy the code only for 3, 6 and 12 months. Well, at least you don't have to walk to the store, since the code is sent by email.
However, there is an alternative option for purchasing access to Game Pass – codes for activating a subscription are sold online by individuals. I don’t know where they get them, but it’s quite possible to buy a code for 1 month for only 200 rubles, that is, 3 times cheaper than the “white” price.
After talking with a couple of my friends, I found out that this method of renewing a subscription is quite popular among them, and even after years they do not receive any sanctions from the side Microsoft (if you know other examples, write in the comments). That is, conditionally for 200-600 rubles per month, Xbox One owners get 100+ games for every taste, while Playstation 4 owners are content with only a couple of free titles per month as part of a PlayStation Plus subscription. It has long been rumored that Sony is preparing a response to Game Pass, but so far such a subscription has not appeared in the competitor's camp.
By the way, Game Pass does not include the Xbox Live Gold feature that allows you to play online, and a few other PlayStation Plus similar buns.
With this subscription, the story is similar: you can take codes in official networks that give Live Gold status for about 300 rubles a month, or you can use the services of individuals. But in the case of this subscription, you will not be able to save much, unless you buy an option for 14 days or a month instead of semi-annual or annual subscriptions. Personally, I am not interested in the possibilities of Live Gold, so I am not going to pay for it.
But I liked the EA Access subscription (on Playstation 4, too), which offers about 1,700 rubles a year to play a whole scattering of games from Electronic Arts.
Sports games like FIFA, NBA, NHL, Madden, Need For Speed series, Battlefield 5 and many other cool games are available with this subscription, except for the most recent versions. For example, FIFA 19 and NFS Payback are available as a subscription, while FIFA 20 and NFS Heat offer a 10% discount off the regular price in the Microsoft Store.
Xbox One S All Digital with three digital versions of games (of which Forza Horizon 3 and Minecraft really came in handy) cost me about 12 thousand, which is 9 thousand cheaper than the cheapest 'white' Playstation 4.
Plus, as part of Black Friday, I was able to buy GTA V for $ 10 in the official store Microsoft. For now, I will be content with such a set of games, because there is absolutely not enough time for them, and a little later I plan to buy an annual access to EA Access for 1,700 rubles and, perhaps, I will take a Game Pass for a month for 200 rubles. This order of prices suits me perfectly, since for my purely basic needs in games this is enough for my eyes.
If you have the same need to play from time to time, without fanaticism and without a burning zeal for exclusives, then you can use my example. To be honest, I was surprised at these relatively modest expenses, since I imagined console gaming is much more expensive.