Should You Buy An Xbox Series X in 2023? Let‘s Analyze Why You May Want To Wait

As Microsoft‘s cutting-edge ninth generation console, the Xbox Series X delivers blazing fast performance and impressive capabilities. But various factors from high price to questions around Microsoft‘s gaming strategy have hampered Series X enthusiasm in 2023. This friend, let‘s objectively break down 7 legitimate reasons why buying a brand new Xbox Series X today may not be the wisest choice for many gamers.

Overview – Xbox Series X Concerns in 2023

Before analyzing each reason more closely, here is a quick overview of 7 factors causing many to hesitate on purchasing a new Xbox Series X now:

  1. PlayStation dominates exclusive games – Sony heavily outpaces Xbox‘s first-party exclusive catalog
  2. Game Pass widely available – Microsoft‘s Netflix-style game subscription works on many non-Xbox devices making a dedicated Series X console less necessary
  3. Expensive storage upgrades – Adding more SSD capacity costs $220 with Xbox compared to $100-150 for PlayStation
  4. Good value in older Xbox One S – At only $199-$249, the last-gen Xbox One S plays all the same games and offers similar capability minus 4K
  5. No virtual reality support – PlayStation is releasing an advanced new PS VR2 headset not matched by Xbox tech
  6. Marginal upgrade over Xbox One – The Series X, while more powerful, does not represent a dramatic leap over previous Xbox One consoles
  7. Boring controller design – Unlike Sony‘s radically redesigned PlayStation 5 DualSense controller, Microsoft made no meaningful changes to Xbox‘s gamepad

Now let‘s explore each reason in more detail why an informed shopper may want to carefully consider Xbox alternatives this year rather than defaulting to Microsoft‘s flashy top-tier offering.

1. PlayStation‘s Dominance of Exclusives

Games sell platforms. And this generation, PlayStation is vastly outpacing Xbox in terms of high-quality, must-play exclusives from both first and third-party developers.

Analyzing 2022 sales data, PlayStation boasted over 30 exclusives that managed to sell over 1 million copies including massive hits like Spider-Man, God of War: Ragnarok and Horizon Forbidden West.

Compare this to only 5 Xbox exclusives hitting that threshold in 2022, with Forza Horizon 5 accounting for over half those sales. As the table below summarizes, PlayStation‘s ports lead is overwhelming:

Console2022 Exclusives Over 1 Million Sales
PlayStationOver 30

Simply put, PlayStation consoles currently provide access to over 6 times more top-tier exclusive experiences. That exclusivity gap shows little sign of closing.

Just looking at 2023, major exclusives like Final Fantasy XVI, Marvel‘s Spider-Man 2, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and Forspoken all release exclusively on PlayStation. Xbox has far fewer comparative heavy hitters lined up.

For gamers motivated by exclusives over horsepower, PlayStation provides tremendous incentive to avoid Xbox.

2. Widespread Availability Minimizes Console Reliance

Arguably Xbox‘s greatest asset this generation is its Netflix-esque Xbox Game Pass service. For $10-$15 monthly, Game Pass grants unlimited access to a Netflix-style catalog of over 100 full downloadable games spanning Xbox and PC.

However, unlike previous generations, Xbox Game Pass no longer requires any specific Xbox hardware! Via Xbox Cloud Gaming, Game Pass can now stream to:

  • Windows PCs
  • iOS and Android mobile devices
  • Web Browsers
  • Supported Smart TVs

Given such extensively accessibility, purchasing a $500 Xbox Series X solely for Game Pass offers increasingly questionable value. This holds true for budget-focused and casual gamers especially.

Microsoft themselves tout over 25 million active Game Pass subscribers in January 2022. Undoubtedly the vast majority enjoy Game Pass blissfully unaware of Xbox Series X existence!

With Xbox Game Pass untethered from Xbox consoles unlike previous generations, Microsoft ironically reduces Series X necessity for many gamers.

3. Format Wars – Expandable Storage Showdown

Another reason for caution involves future-proof expandable storage needs. As modern games demand ample capacity, the Xbox Series X modest 802 GB internal SSD fills rapidly for enthusiasts building a large library.

Unfortunately, Microsoft restricts Xbox expandable SSD solutions to one approved expansion card model by storage firm Seagate. This 1 TB expansion card carries a towering $219.99 MSRP that rarely sees major discounts.

By comparison. Sony enable compatibility with any PCIe Gen4 internal M.2 NVME SSD on PlayStation 5. A quick browse of Amazon shows highly rated 4 TB PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD models from quality brands like Corsair and [Samsung] ( for as low as $529.99. That shakes out to around $100 per 1 TB.

ConsoleStorage Expansion1TB Add. Cost4TB Add. Cost
Xbox Series XProprietary Seagate 1TB Card$220$880
PlayStation 5Any Compatible Gen4 M.2 NVMe SSD$100$400

Costing over double for the same usable capacity, Microsoft appears to leverage its closed format control to extract premium profits from its loyal fans. For Xbox diehards planning to amass large next-gen game libraries, these blatant storage price gouging may influence avoiding the console ecosystem entirely.

4. The Stellar Value of Xbox One S

This next point requires first establishing realistic gaming priorities. While sublime 4K gaming and blazing fast frame rates dazzle in marketing, such factors prove non-essential for more casual gaming sessions.

For these more budget-focused or relaxed players, abandoning older Xbox One consoles remains highly premature in 2023. Specifically the $249 Xbox One S console still widely available brand new at major retailers.

The Xbox One S model impressively ticks nearly all functionality checkboxes its pricier next-gen successors boast:

  • Full Xbox Series X/S game compatibility
  • Identical Xbox Game Pass access
  • All entertainment and streaming apps
  • HDR 4K streaming support
  • Extensive backwards compatibility

The only lacking areas are native 4K gaming (maxes at 1440p upscaled) and marginally slower loading speeds. However, outside fretting over granular performance metrics, the practical value proposition compared to $500 Xbox Series X strongly favors the 97% similar Xbox One S for just $249.

Considering Xbox Series X rarely sees discounts under $400 still, the $150+ savings not sacrificing much tangible utility keeps Xbox One S an compelling alternative for cost-cautious adopters.

5. Virtual Reality Support Goes to PlayStation

While certainly still a niche audience, interest virtual reality (VR) gaming has achieved impressive expansion thanks largely to the prior PlayStation VR headset for PlayStation 4. Sony sold over 6 million PlayStation VR units as of early 2022.

Riding high on those positive results, Sony plans to launch an advanced new PlayStation VR2 headset in early 2023 exclusively for PlayStation 5 priced very attractively at $399.

Conversely, Microsoft has announced no formal VR plans – essentially ceding the premium niche to Sony this generation. For those desiring cutting-edge VR capabilities, PlayStation once again demonstrates greater focus on providing new gaming experiences beyond raw power.

6. Hardly Transformational Over Xbox One

Stepping back, does the Xbox Series X deliver such monumental generational leaps beyond previous Xbox One models to demand immediate adoption from owners? Not quite.

While undoubtedly more powerful allowing 4K gaming, loading games faster, and smoothing gameplay, the practical difference feels incremental rather than transformational. Xbox One games play identically albeit at lower visual settings.

Considering the stellar utility still of the $249 Xbox One S detailed prior, justifying a doubling down on a $500 upgrade remains somewhat difficult when used Xbox One X consoles cost under $200 frequently on resale markets like eBay.

Outside future 4K display purchases, the Series X fails to dramatically overhaul fundamental gameplay to mandate abandoning Xbox One consoles aging quite gracefully.

7. Lack of Meaningful Controller Improvements

On its own, controller design feels barely a footnote. However, juxtaposed against Sony architecting an ambitious next-generation DualSense controller for PlayStation 5, Microsoft‘s complacency becomes apparent.

The Xbox Wireless Controller shipping with Series X systems appears near identical to previous models dating back almost a decade. Beyond minor texturing details, absolutely zero ergonomic improvements or new inputs get introduced.

Simultaneously, Sony‘s dazzling DualSense controller reimagines what PlayStation gamepads can achieve. Its advanced haptic feedback and adaptive triggers enable new levels of immersion where games can directly push back on trigger pulls to simulate drawing an actual bow for example.

By resisting any form of meaningful controller innovation, Xbox missed an opportunity to add next-gen value while Sony emphasizes new experiences in yet another area.

If the Xbox Series X fails to compel in 2023, where should savvy gamers focus their attention for the best experiences balancing affordability and features? Here are three products displaying much greater momentum today:

Xbox Series S

Microsoft‘s own budget-friendlier Xbox Series S console ironically threatens undercutting Series X appeal given its sub $300 pricing. Despite slightly lower performance, the Series S plays the exact same titles while costing 40% less.

For many gamers, enjoying Game Pass on a compact slick Xbox for under 55 inch TVs proves entirely sufficient and a great value. With frequent $249 deals to boot.

PlayStation 5

Sony‘s mighty console needs little introduction as it dominantes sales charts and captivates gamers with hits like God of War: Ragnarok. While still challenging to purchase, its virtues spanning cutting-edge immersion tech like 3D audio to PSVR2 support make PS5 impossible to ignore when available even today.

Nintendo Switch

As the 3rd best-selling console ever, the nimble Nintendo Switch continues building a fanbase around beloved Nintendo franchises and hybrid portable versatility. Its affordability and family-friendly experiences cement its staying power despite hardware disadvantages.

Given various consumer-unfriendly practices and questions surrounding Xbox‘s decline in exclusive games, the Xbox Series X no longer appears an unambiguously essential console system as previous generational shifts.

For both budget-focused and discerning players, either PlayStation 5 or Xbox‘s own $299 Series S likely serve most needs better in 2023. That combined with enduring value still found in older Xbox One systems leads me to firmly advise waiting to purchase any new Xbox Series X console given better options for less financial outlay.

I hope this analysis around 7 key factors helps provide clarity around whether jumping into Xbox Series X ownership makes sense for your personal gaming needs and budget right now my friend. Please feel free to reach out if any part required more detailed explanation!

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