My PlayStation 5 sits in its original box in the corner of my condo. It’s been that way for two weeks and probably for the foreseeable future. For all the good it’s done in the gaming industry, Sony has yet to release a program similar to Game Pass. And because of this, I often wonder if the console was worth buying.
I’m an early adopter of Game Pass, back when it felt more like a gimmick than the service it is today. I liked Game Pass because it mirrors how I consume content today – owning nothing and everything simultaneously. While many people balk at the idea of never owning a game, I’ve come to understand the appeal. I grew up gaming. If you visited my parents’ house, you would find boxes of old consoles and video games. And you know what – I never play my old games. Part of it is due to technology (The Genesis doesn’t have HDMI). The other is the abundance of games available on current consoles.
No one could have expected the pandemic or what it would do to the gaming industry. Still, Microsoft found a way to future-proof their console for situations just like this. The series X is probably the most unsexy upgrade in gaming. Moving from an Xbox One X to the Series X is like the old days of moving from the iPhone 4s to the iPhone 5. It still plays all the old games, just better. In a time when we don’t know when our next AAA game will drop, it’s cool to have an entire backlog of games that will run at the best frame rate with minimal load times.
This was the first time I wondered if it was worth owning both consoles at launch. When the PS5 arrived, I hurried over to Best Buy with a Christmas gift card to buy some games. When I arrived at the store, I realized the games I could buy were available on Game Pass. Outside of Spider-man, I didn’t have a reason to take the PS5 out of the box. The PS5 doesn’t have a ‘must have’ exclusive or games on-demand like Game Pass. The PS5 is what Sony wanted to make – an ‘exclusives only’ console.
Last night I finished Shadow Warrior 2, and tonight I’ll start Octopath Traveler. And this weekend, I might put a pause on Octopath to play Outriders. And when I finish with those, I might try Prey. The possibilities are abundant, and there’s always something to play, which is something I would like to say about the PlayStation 5. Sadly, I’ll have to wait for the next blockbuster console exclusive whenever that might be.