We’re only a few weeks away from the release of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S, so Sony and Microsoft have sent out review units to a bunch of publications and influencers for preview coverage (but NOT US… MAKE U THINK*).
We’re learning a lot about the boxes, albeit in a very piecemeal fashion.
On the PlayStation side, we’re discovering how robust and legitimately exciting the DualSense controller is. With it’s combination of motion controls, tactility, and haptics, the controller has garnered praise from nearly everyone who’s had hands on time with it. We also finally got confirmation that the PlayStation 5 itself is a beefy rig
. The Seto Kaiba lookalike
is just as silly in person as it is in photos and honestly, I love that. It’s huge, doesn’t really seem like it’s designed to fit in anyone’s TV stand, and Sony didn’t seem like they cared about that when they designed it. It’s got real “Y'all were gonna buy it regardless of what we made it look like so we made it look like this.” energy.
For Phil Spencer and the Xbox team, they paired their preview coverage with a bizarre refrigerator promotion
? You can enter to win a fridge that has treats like 12 cans of Monster Energy, cronched Sea of Thieves bananas, tomatoes with the Gears of War Logo on them, donuts that have a piece of plastic with the Forza Motorsport logo on them, and 12 more cans of Monster Energy. I guess it’s a reference to the fact that the Series X looks like a refrigerator (it doesn’t) but whatever, it worked. As of writing it has 2.1 million views on YouTube in ~24 hours. We also got unboxings for the X + S this week
. The industrial design that goes into electronics boxes has always been one of my stranger interests. I still remember unboxing the Wii on Christmas in 2006 and sliding the console and cables out of those little drawers that were built into the box. The Series X puts the monolith right in front of you as soon as you open the box, and I think it’s pretty nice!
Unfortunately, both of the new consoles are bigger than the Nintendo GameCube so they will never sell. I hope Sony and Microsoft try harder next time.
*Actually, let’s talk about access real fast. Lots of publications were on Sony and Microsoft’s lists this year, and the usual suspects were able to swing one or two of each console. Anecdotally, it looks like Microsoft made a bit more of a concerted effort this cycle to get the Series X into the hands of smaller creators, and also more creators of color. A thing that I didn’t really realize before actually working in this industry is that access isn’t something you can really get outside of forging a good relationship with PR people. It’s a back and forth between press and PR to show why a website’s audience is special and distinct enough to merit preview access to stuff like new hardware and games. But sometimes, you just get forgotten about! It do just be like that sometimes.
I was bummed when I realized that we didn’t get a PS5 or an Xbox early, but then I realized that that gives us the freedom to do more than just a simple unboxing or dripfeed conversations about games on Fanwidth because of arcane embargoes. We can just make something that’s authentic to the way we cover games, and not just talk about the Cooling Springs level of Astro’s Playroom. Steven and I have some cool stuff planned for November, so stay tuned to Fanbyte
and our podcasts