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It really isn't. You can't use Steam or GOG, you have to pay to play online, the hardware is much lower end than what you can buy for a desktop, they have advertising all over the place, everything has DRM, and it's still another box.

Not to mention playing with a controller is a very different experience. A lot of younger people are probably already familiar enough with them, but I'm a fossil and need my keyboard and mouse.

Consoles support keyboard + mouse but it depends on game support.

>> the hardware is much lower end than what you can buy for a desktop

Tbf, you can recently get the Xbox One X for £360 with few games included(including Forza 7 and RDR2!), and it will let you play those games trouble free in rock solid 30fps in 4K - I can absolutely guarantee that you cannot build a PC to match that within that money. That's not an anti-PC argument, just wanted to point out that for people who don't want to spend a lot of money it really is an excellent option.

I would like to differ w.r.t to hardware price front, concurring with my initial point; my Windows use-case was only casual Gaming & an upgrade to Xbox One X has been impressive for my use as a casual frugal gamer.

1. Freesync support over HDMI gave good stutter free gaming experience on a low end Ultrawide PC monitor. (I didn't have to switch between my workstation setup).

2. Hardware is power-efficient & silent; I'm extremely power/noise conscious & specifically select extremely low TDP CPU's for my work. I'm not sure if I would have been able to build a PC of such low power/silent feature-set & get same gaming experience albeit; for the value.

3. Value - A new windows machine for similar gaming experience actually costs more in my country (at-least was at the time of my purchase).

4. OS - I didn't have to deal with the gripes which I have with full-fledged Windows OS; a toned down version only for gaming such as the one on Xbox is turning out to be a good fit.

5. Apps - Youtube on Xbox plays 4K without dropping frames; where as my 7th gen intel core i5 U series CPU couldn't. Youtube on Xbox is actually has less distractions than one on the web (Like comments, Ads).

> 7th gen intel core i5 U series CPU couldn't

You probably have software issue with that PC. Video decoding should be done in hardware, and your i5 can decode 4k h264, h265, VC-1, and VP9: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Graphics_Technology#Capa...

SW - yes, I've tested across multiple OS's, browsers & I have high bandwidth-low latency network.

1.Chrome 70 on Linux doesn't drop frames for 1080p but 4K is unwatchable.

2.Windows 10 on same PC is better for 4K but drops some frames for 1080p as well.

3.Safari doesn't have VP9 codec; so there's no support for anything beyond 1080p.

So Youtube on Xbox is the best experience I've had w.r.t to quality of streaming. But it zooms by default on my ultrawide PC monitor.

> A new windows machine for similar gaming experience actually costs more in my country

I suppose it depends on your country but in the US it is significantly cheaper to build a gaming computer. The hardware in consoles is lower than most people realize.

AMD Ryzen 2400G, Linux, Firefox thus no hardware decoding, Youtube 4K@30 - 0 drops. CPU price is almost twice short of 7200U which certainly can't deliver.

Modding is also lacking on consoles (limited on some). Fantastic to see Valve etc doing this, I imagine it's the last thing keeping a fair few people on Windows (certainly for me if I can get a fair portion of Steam games on Linux that's it for the Windows partition). Old classics like Everquest I might need to look at GPU passthrough if VirtualBox supports that now).

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