Next-Gen Roundup: Microsoft Buys Bethesda and You (Probably) Failed to Buy a Console

Joe Jurado
·4 mins read

It’s Tuesday, and this week has already been some shit, y’all. Microsoft is out here buying studios, and we’re out here not buying consoles. Not by choice, of course, but because Sony, Microsoft and retailers have joined forces to make it as headache inducing as possible.

Last week, after Sony revealed the price of the Playstation 5, preorders went live, and well, it was a bit of a shitshow. First, Sony was unclear about when preorders would go live, with the official word being they would go live the day following the conference. Instead, many retailers opted to open them as soon as the price was revealed, leading many folks to frantically try (and fail) to pre-order the new hotness. Walmart opened another round of preorders Friday evening but those were gone in a snap. Trust me. I know. I tried.

Seeing this chaos erupt, Microsoft saw fit to talk a little mess on Twitter.

Funny how quickly shit can change up on you.

In case you weren’t aware, dear reader, today happens to be Sept. 22. Pre-orders for the Xbox Series X/S did, technically, go live. Though, similar to the Playstation, it’s been a bit of a shitshow. My attempt to pre-order a Series X directly through Microsoft sent me to an error page and Best Buy just repeatedly hit me with this message.

One casual glance at Twitter will show numerous folks complaining about being unable to procure the latest Xbox.

Kotaku staff writer Ashley Parrish sums up my feelings precisely:

Neither Microsoft nor Sony have been particularly clear about how pre-orders will continue in the lead up to their mutual November launches, only promising that more will be available at some point.

At this point, we may just have to accept the fact that—aw man, I’m choking up as I write this—we might have to wait a month or two to buy the new consoles. I know, I know, it’s hard but we have to stay strong, dammit.

While many of us have struggled to simply buy a console, Microsoft decided to ball out and buy a whole damn studio. Not just any studio either but Zenimax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks. You know, the people that make Doom, The Elder Scrolls and Fallout? Those folks. At $7.8 billion, it marks the largest buy ever for Microsoft’s gaming division.

Can’t even front, y’all. This significantly changes the landscape of the next generation. Microsoft heard us talking all that shit about them not having games and basically responded with, “Oh we ain’t got games? How about now? Exactly.”

Xbox chief Phil Spencer has said that the exclusivity deals the studio made for games like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo, which are timed PS5 exclusives, will still be honored but going forward cross-platform games will be determined “on a case by case basis.” This means that if you want to play the next games in the Doom and Wolfenstein franchise, two of the most acclaimed shooters this generation, you’re probably going to need to cop a Series X/S.

Personally, I’m excited by this news. While yes, I’ve traditionally been a Sony stan, I’m pretty console agnostic these days. My hope is that only having to develop for Xbox and PC will take away some of the jank that Bethesda games are notorious for. If console exclusivity can get us a Fallout 5 that plays well, is graphically stunning and isn’t buggy as fuck, then I’m totally with it.

We’re little under two months away from the release of both the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S and there’s still a lot we don’t know, particularly about the Series S and PS5 all digital versions. Hopefully in the coming weeks we’ll learn more about those and have a clearer roadmap for what year one of the next generation of gaming holds. Until then, good luck on them preorders, y’all.

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