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I recently upgraded my graphics card in my PC. I figured it needed an update from the trusty GTX 750 Ti I'd been using for years. So now, I'm officially a member of current gen graphics, even if it's the lowest end of modern graphics with the 1050 Ti. As I was playing Killer Instinct, an absolutely fantastic fighting game which was originally an Xbox One exclusive, it suddenly dawned on me that there wasn't really a reason to play the Xbox One that was nestled away in my brother's bedroom.
This isn't to say that there's nothing good about the One, of course. In fact, it's much the opposite. The Live Game Pass is a fantastic pay-to-play system where, for a monthly fee, you have unlimited access to a huge selection of games ⏤ a fantastic concept which is far superior than the clunky, overpriced and undercooked Playstation Now alternative, in my opinion.
Further, Xbox Live has come far to offer genuine value for the service. While Playstation Plus has become complacent in its offerings, Xbox Live has come far from the restrictive and undesirable position it was in last generation. The games offered are generally of a higher standard than those on PS+ and they even include Xbox 360 games which are directly playable on the One through backwards compatibility, something which PS+ doesn't offer and is even ceasing to offer in the coming months, leaving you with two PS4 games a month. Factually, it's a worse deal, obviously.
Of course, this does lead to a good question ⏤ why not just buy a preowned 360 for about £70 and play the games on the official system? These are definitely nice features to have on the One, don't get me wrong. In fact, I'm still frustrated at Sony's obstinate refusal to just offer backwards compatibility to make the PS4 more valuable to consumers (y'know, the people who are actually buying the console). My point is, backwards compatibility is only a reason to buy a console when it first launches, as you can sell previous gen consoles to get next gen consoles, without having a useless library of games.
As time goes on, though, there have to be reasons to have an Xbox One that don't come back to just getting a 360. Unfortunately, all these features have downsides. The Game Pass, for example, is a great idea, but the games on the Pass are generally older, and have smaller titles which are available for dirt cheap in other places, or will realistically be games you already own.
Of course, there are Xbox exclusives on the Live Pass which are enticing. However, given that Microsoft have openly admitted that all future exclusives will be available through Game Pass and available for Xbox Play Anywhere, there's no reason to buy an Xbox One exclusively on Xbox One! You can buy it on the Windows Store and have access to a PC version with your adjustable and adaptable hardware and settings, or use the Game Pass on PC to play for as long as you want for a flat rate!
Unfortunately, there doesn't really seem to be any reason to buy an Xbox One at this point, when the money could go to getting a better graphics card for your PC and having access to most of the exclusives on PC. Sure, there are a few exclusives which haven't come to PC, but I can only think of three, and frankly Rare Replay, Sunset Overdrive or ScreamRide aren't exactly system sellers.
What about convenience and compatibility? Well, don't get your hopes up there, either. As I showed in this video, there's a noticeable dip in playability on Xbox One. Now, sure, that was recorded on an original model, so the S and X variants will likely run better, but still. The point of buying an Xbox One is to play Xbox One games and if you can't offer a playable experience of a launch title, what's the point?
To conclude, there's only one real reason to buy an Xbox One in 2018 ⏤ because you want to. It's really as simple as that and, to be fair, it's not a bad reason. You do you. But logistically, Microsoft has sadly failed to make the actual console an attractive buy through offering the games through PC and nerfing their own system.
I appreciate the consumer-friendly practice here, without a doubt, and I hope to see Microsoft continue this trend in the future. As it stands, though, healthy competition is important for consumers to get the best deals, as companies constantly try to one-up each other, and Microsoft has sadly failed to make the One compete with the Playstation 4.
But, hey, there's always the Xbox Two.