Do we still need to purchase consoles?

Is there any need to continue purchasing consoles?

Typically, I play Xbox the old fashioned way, through my console and TV. At first I was skeptical about trying it out using Xbox Cloud Gaming, fearing that it wouldn’t be as enjoyable playing on a small screen. However, shortly after pairing my controller with my iPad Mini, I realised I was wrong. 

Of course, the first game I tested out was my favourite, the beloved Skyrim. My initial concerns about it glitching and failing to run smoothly were soon gone, as I realised how amazing the graphics looked (perhaps even better than on my TV). Another thing that stood out to me was that the soundtrack still sounded brilliant even without an external speaker or surround-sound system. I also tested out Battlefield I, another personal favourite, and again I was shocked by the quality of the game and how smoothly it ran on a mobile device.

In order to play Xbox on a remote device, all you need is a Game Pass subscription, an Xbox controller and of course a device, which can be an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. You simply head to to get started, and from there you can play all your downloaded games pretty much anywhere you like, provided you have an internet connection.

This got me thinking whether there’s really much point in buying a console. A new console is certainly not the cheapest purchase to make, whereas simply purchasing a Game Pass and a controller seems a lot more reasonable. Not only this, but buying physical disc copies of games also seems a bit redundant to me, as I soon realised that nearly every game I enjoy playing is available through Game Pass anyway. Of course, this doesn’t apply to every game, but you can definitely find an abundance of games on there and easily get your money’s worth. 

Another point this raises is the portability aspect of Cloud gaming. It’s much more convenient to have the option to be able to play your games on the go as well as at home. This is something larger, traditional consoles simply don’t allow you to do due to the setup required and the sheer size as well as the weight of them. I can safely say I’ve personally never attempted to take my Xbox One anywhere, not even to a friend’s house! 

As well as wondering whether I would want (or need) to upgrade to a newer Xbox, I am beginning to question the purchase of my Nintendo Switch. As much as I love my little yellow Switch Lite, I’m not entirely sure I have much use for it now I’ve explored Cloud gaming and realised how simple it is to use! I bought it solely because I wanted to play Skyrim on the go, and whilst I own a few other games for my Switch I find them to be quite costly, especially for a student, and generally I prefer the range of games available on Xbox. 

To an extent, this debate has opened up a can of worms. As well as being uncertain about my Switch, I am also wondering if I am someone who really needs a TV, which in this age could be a good question for a lot of people. As someone who doesn’t watch traditional TV, and only uses streaming platforms, I bought my TV solely to play my Xbox on. But again, Cloud gaming negates this purchase, as I can access my games through a mobile or desktop device instead. Again, this involves playing on a smaller screen, but it’s very much down to each person as to whether this could be a problem or something you’d get along with.

If you are someone who loves to try out the newest consoles and editions of games, or playing from the comfort of your home, then a traditional console may well be the right choice for you. And you still have the option to access your games portably too! However, if you’re looking for a more affordable way to play Xbox and don’t already own a console but own one of the devices previously mentioned, then perhaps trying out Cloud gaming is a better idea. 

So, the decision of whether buying a console and all the equipment they come with is worth it is really down to the individual, and what devices you own. 

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Holly Jackson

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November 2021
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