I’m excited to announce that Turtle Jump will now be covering Xbox! Sure, we’ve discussed news before, but now we can actually start talking about our experiences first hand. Last Sunday I sought far and wide for a 1 TB Xbox One console at a retailer participating in the free game promotion. GameStop told me no, not yet. Target did not carry the 1 TB console. I called two Best Buys, another Target, Toys R Us, and at least three other GameStops. Only GameStop had a 1 TB console in stock, and none of those stores had even heard of the promotion.
After stewing a bit and weighing my options, I realized that I had neglected to call another GameStop just twelve minutes from my apartment. I was already resigned to ordering from Amazon and waiting a couple of days on shipping, but I decided that a call couldn’t hurt. To my surprise, they knew about the promotion! They had consoles in stock! I rushed to the store and picked up my console, along with a free copy of The Witcher III.
My compatriot, Paul Shirley, has likewise taken the plunge into Microsoft’s console domain. His system is en route from Amazon. It may even be in hand before this post publishes. Soon you should expect us to begin covering Xbox games on the blog and the podcast, likely starting with Halo: The Master Chief Collection (included free as a download with the 1 TB bundle).
But why Xbox? Why now? For the last three console generations I have solely owned Nintendo and Sony systems. The Xbox One is the first non-Windows gaming platform from Microsoft that I’ve purchased. A lot of factors contributed to my decision to get an Xbox, and Microsoft’s strong E3 showing played a large part.
In truth, I’ve been tempted by the Xbox for several months now. I nearly grabbed one up when Microsoft dropped the price to $349 for the 500 GB console with The Master Chief Collection bundle. I had never played through the Halo campaigns before, but I’ve always been interested. Playing Destiny in the last year has made me even more eager to try Halo. Still, one game series was not enough for me to invest in the platform.
Then Microsoft held their E3 conference. Rare Replay, Gears of War Ultimate Edition, Halo 5, and Fable Legends all look like solid games, and they’re all coming exclusively to Xbox One (with a few on Windows 10) this year. Rare also unveiled a new game, Sea of Thieves, that looks like it could be a return to their roots. Then they announced Recore, an exclusive game from Keiji Inafune and the creators of Metroid Prime. On top of all that, they dropped the bomb that the Xbox One will soon have backwards compatibility with the 360, opening the door for me to explore a backlog of titles I missed last generation. I was impressed, and I was shocked that I was impressed.
Already after the show I was writing up spreadsheets, tapping on my calculator, and consulting a magic 8-ball to determine whether an Xbox One would fit into my budget. Then right after the show, Microsoft announces a deal whereby those who buy an Xbox One will get a free game, up to $60. The deal only runs for a week, and in haste I finished my calculations and decided to buy a console, then and there.
I have since been playing through the original Halo campaign and exploring The Continent in The Witcher III. I’m enjoying my time with the console so far, and you can expect to hear more about my thoughts in the coming weeks, both on the podcast and the blog.