PS5 and Xbox Series X: 3 reasons why I’m not buying (yet)

ps5 xbox series x
(Image credit: Microsoft/Sony)

The PS5 and Xbox Series X have dominated the conversation online when it comes to video games in 2020. But I'm not pre-ordering either, nor am I even planning to buy them this holiday season.

We all have our reasons for saying "yas!" or "nah" when it comes to new console purchases, but I don't think I'm much of an edge case here. I'm planning on waiting because it feels like I'm not being given a reason to buy yet.

To get this out of the way, I'm not looking down on anyone who is ready to pre-order the PS5 or Xbox Series X. Supply chains and scarcity are reason enough, and I'll get to how there are some pretty important games on those platforms in a minute.

But for now, here are the three reasons why I'm skipping the PS5 and Xbox Series X for now, which go beyond the simple argument of "that's a lot of money I could spend on a lot of other things."

I still have plenty of PS4 games to play

Let's start with the PS5, the console I was more likely to buy in the first place (I run a PS4 household, and I didn't even buy my own Xbox One X). The PS5 feature I'm most excited about is its wild design. This thing looks like a Wi-Fi Router and a tower fan had a secret love child that grew up around EVE and WALL•E. As a piece of statement art, it's as strong as it is divisive. 

(Image credit: Sony)

But considering that's the thing about the PS5 I'm most excited about, you might already know where I'm going next: the games. Or, rather, the lack thereof.

This is the list of the games that are expected to be coming to the PS5 at launch or by the end of 2020:

  • Assassin's Creed Valhalla - Holiday 2020
  • Astro's Playroom - PS5 Launch
  • Bugsnax - Holiday 2020
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War - Nov. 13
  • Chivalry 2 - 2020
  • Cyberpunk 2077 - Nov. 19
  • Demon’s Souls - PS5 Launch
  • Destruction All Stars - PS5 Launch
  • Dirt 5 - 2020
  • Fortnite - PS5 Launch
  • Godfall - December 2020
  • Gods and Monsters - Holiday 2020
  • Jett: The Far Shore - Holiday 2020
  • Madden NFL 21 - 2020
  • NBA 2K21 - 2020
  • Observer: System Redux - Holiday 2020
  • Oddworld Soulstrom - 2020
  • Outriders - Holiday 2020
  • Planet Coaster: Console Edition - 2020
  • Quantum Error - 2020
  • Redo! Enhanced Edition - 2020
  • Sackboy A Big Adventure - PS5 Launch
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales - Holiday 2020
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 - 2020
  • Watch Dogs: Legion - Holiday 2020
  • Worms Rumble - 2020
  • WRC 9 - 2020

Of those, the two that have some of my interest are the horror-based first-person-shooter Quantum Error and Spider-Man: Miles Morales. The former feels like something I could "get to" somewhere down the road (I'm only about to start Horizon Zero Dawn), and while the trailer for the latter got me excited as heck... it turns out I don't need a PS5 to play it.

Yes, we just found out that Miles Morales' game is also coming to PS4, which made me smile. Now I have even less reason to test my luck with the PS5 pre-order chaos that's seemingly sending people in an endless loop on online retailers.

Why should I wait? Because I still haven't beaten the original PS4 Spider-Man game. And I know I should, but earlier this year, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Persona 5 Royal teamed up to each take over 100 hours of my play time. As much as I want to explore the virtual version of the NYC I can't really explore during this pandemic, Spider-Man faded into the background. 


(Image credit: Marvel)

Looking at that launch list, I can see games that I know some of my friends will rush to buy. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla and Demon’s Souls have strong and dedicated fan bases behind them. Dirt 5 is already impressing one of my colleagues. Heck, even the cute and peculiar Bugsnax is making fans out of some folks in the Discord I spend some time in. Cyberpunk 2077 has a whole world of hype around it, too.

But those games aren't for me. And even if they were, all of them (minus Demon's Souls) are also coming to PS4.

I've only recently begun Ghosts of Tsushima (which is rad), and since I got both Yakuza 0 and the Yakuza Remastered Collection for cheap on sales, I know I should give them the ol' college try too. Sitting above those titles is Resident Evil 7, which tests my love of horror as I play it one small sliver at a time.

Oh, and knowing me, I'll some day give another 100+ hours to the New Game Plus for Persona 5 Royal (yes, I'm trying to play Persona 4 Golden on Steam, but wow that game is buggy to the point of being unplayable, at least for me).

A new Xbox isn't for me (even at $299)

Sure, the Xbox Series S is tempting at its $299 price, but even if I were to grab it, I feel like it would go unattended to, just like the Xbox Series X I lucked my way into last year. 

Primarily, I use my Xbox Series X for the rare game that shows up on Game Pass that is intriguing enough for me to restart my subscription. Most recently, that was Tell Me Why, a point-and-click mystery game about two siblings uncovering the truth about their mom's death. It's an emotional and at times harrowing tale, and I'm glad I can play it.

(Image credit: Xbox)

But just as with the PS5, I don't see the reason to invest in the new Xbox early. So far, it has one game that truly makes me excited: Tetris Effect: Connected. I love Tetris Effect, but I mostly love playing it with my buddies when they come over. 

Tetris Effect: Connected adds online multiplayer, which is the fix that this modern age of quarantine requires. But as great as that is, that would require my friends who I play Tetris Effect with to own an Xbox or PC. Plus, as with many upcoming first- and third-party Xbox games, I'll be able to play Connected on the Xbox One I already have.

My Nintendo Switch is right here

I'm one of those types who keeps finding new ways to make their Nintendo Switch the most important game console they own. Most importantly, Ring Fit Adventure practically changed my life this past summer, getting me to work out which helped my sleep and back pain issues. I play RFA for about a half an hour every single morning, and while it does feel like less of a game and more of a workout, it's become an important part of my life to the point where I cannot stop.

The Switch also just got Spiritfarer, a really interesting and unique indie title (that's also on Xbox Game Pass, which I wish I knew before I hit Buy). Spiritfarer is about death and the high seas, and it looks to be such a compelling title that I might get drawn into finishing it.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Switch keeps getting quality ports, too, which makes me know that I can keep feeding it small $20 to $40 purchases and stay entertained, rather than splurge upwards of $500 on the PS5 immediately.

And my love of all things Nintendo Switch, from Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Ape Out to Untitled Goose Game and Celeste, has shown me something about myself. Gameplay matters a lot more to me than load times or graphical fidelity. 

Why I'm waiting on PS5 and Xbox Series X 

Sure, come summer or winter 2021 I might have a change of heart about this incoming pair of next-gen consoles. Maybe someone will be allowed to have guests over and show me the error of my ways.

But when I have more games than I can play at the same time already (oh, I almost forgot, I'm enjoying Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 no matter how bad I am at it), I just don't see the big reason. Especially when the few next-gen games that are coming this year that pique my interest don't do it enough to feel like they're worth buying a whole console for.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

  • LamethTDM
    admin said:
    Buy the PS5 or Xbox Series X? On launch day? In this economy? One of our editors is thinking twice, and has three reasons to just say no to next-gen consoles.

    PS5 and Xbox Series X: 3 reasons why I’m not buying (yet) : Read more
    Thanks for your thoughts. I have both a PS4 and Xbox One. I was debating on pre-ordering the PS5 and Xbox One Series X, but your article has convinced me to hold off on the PS5. Price isn't a consideration, but value is. If I get the Series X, I can still play my XB1 games as well as new games on the same machine. If I get the PS5, I would have to leave my PS4 connected. It comes down to HDMI port management. If I purchased both systems I would need 3 HDMI ports dedicated to consoles. Thanks to your article, I will wait until PS5 has more to offer in the way of next gen content.