In an insane turn of events - something that's only made manifest across February and March 2021, after a sluggish launch period for the consoles themselves - Microsoft are currently playing a masterful hand.
Seemingly content to sit back and let Sony and Nintendo worry about attracting consumers through exclusive titles and brand loyalty, they've instead shot for the sun... and largely nailed it.
I'll break everything down as we go, but the likes of Game Pass - a service offering you a selection of titles for a consistent monthly fee, including new first-party releases and entire developer back catalogues - is simply a ludicrously good value proposition.
It single-handedly reframed the conversation around Xbox's marketing strategy, and now we're left looking at an opening generation salvo that might not be generating as much interest as a State of Play livestream reveal, but is arguably hitting home more reliably.
Going forward it's still all to play for, but already this has been a fascinating generation to watch unfold.
Honourable Mention: Stock Unavailability
As mentioned in the PS5 version of this article, both Sony's machine and Microsoft's latest powerhouse are in far fewer hands than the companies would like. It's an issue stemming from a variety of factors including record-setting demand and a global semiconductor shortage, and sadly it doesn't seem like this will meaningfully change across 2021.
Still, at least you have the perfect excuse to finish off your backlog.