The next-generation has arrived, but rather than running out to buy one of the new consoles at launch, I’ll explain why I’m sticking with the current (last?) generation of consoles until the end of 2014.
Although the Wii U is arguably part of the next-generation scuffle, I’ve left it out of this discussion because, unlike the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, the Wii U has a great selection of games you can go and play right now. However, they’re not cheap, and you’ll still take quite the hit to your bank balance.
So the question is: are the new consoles worth your hard-earned cash, or do you stick with your guns and wait until the launch period is over?
1. Being an Early Adopter Never Works Out
You’re the coolest kid around – you obtained the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One on launch day but you don’t have any friends to play with other than online strangers. Congratulations.
My brother Adam and I don’t have much patience waiting for new console launches; we often get excited to delirium, becoming mutant versions of the ‘N64 kid’ as the quest to obtain shiny new pieces of gaming hardware consumes us.
We learnt our lessons the hard way. (Except Adam is buying a PS4 at launch for review purposes – the trooper.)
Being early adopters has never benefited us once; having acquired a PS3 at launch we found ourselves waiting months, even years for some good titles to arrive whilst it sat around collecting dust, posing as an overpriced Blu-ray and DVD player.
The 3DS launch was also a complete disaster by Nintendo with limited 3rd party support and a dismal launch lineup. Again, we waited many more months before we saw our money’s worth, and the same goes with the PS Vita. With the launch lineup for both next-gen consoles looking less than impressive (Killzone: Shadow Fall and NBA 2K14 being the exceptions) this trend may continue.
2. Graphics an Evolution, Not a Revolution
— Jeremy Conrad (@ManaByte) November 12, 2013
(To the developers of Dead Rising 3, you disgust me!)
This isn’t the generational leap from standard-definition to high-definition, which left most gamers with jaws wide open in amazement. And unless you’ve been living under a rock this entire time you’ll have no doubt seen the outrage at the number of Xbox One launch titles running at 720p and not 1080p.
Frustrated fan boys have long maintained the argument around 1080p over 720p but even this isn’t guaranteed with some next-generation titles.
This is what we certainly don’t want from this next generation of consoles:
- Frame rate issues or slow down
- Screen tear
- Sub-HD Resolutions
- Poor textures or texture pop in
PC gamers have been enjoying graphics that match or frequently better the next-generation of consoles, running at higher resolutions and better frame rates. If you compare recent PS3 releases to PS4 games in terms of overall graphical presentation it doesn’t look like a massive step up, either.
We buy consoles for their exclusives but the better games that showcase the new power and technology on offer sadly aren’t here yet.
3. £50 for a Video Game OUCH!
I’ll play £50.00 for a video game if it’s the best game I’ll play in my entire life and it’s received near perfect critical acclaim.
I remember fondly walking into Woolworth’s and asking my mum to buy me the latest PlayStation game, not realising how pricey they were or how many hours of chores I would have to do to pay it off.
Video games haven’t always been this costly, but thanks to digital distribution and download services such as Steam it can be more affordable. The Wii had some of most value for money pricing we’ve ever seen but it was overlooked due to the casual gamer stigma, and lack of HD graphics.
Save your money and wait. The launch prices on titles will drop as demand waivers and people discover how poor some of the new games on offer are.
4. You’ll Need A Good Internet Connection
I know this might be a stretch for a few people to believe, but Internet connectivity across the UK isn’t brilliant.
While the companies who market us these products might be doing their demos on super fibre optic speeds, showing seamless transitions on their interfaces and the ability to download games quickly, it won’t be the case for the majority of gamers out there.
I am blessed with a phenomenal 1MB download speed, barely enough to open web pages, let alone contend with any of the PS4 or Xbox One online services. The chances of me using the new consoles without lag, buffering or a reduced experience is nil and I know I’m not the only one.
5. Still a Back Catalogue of Games to Play
Too many gamers are dismissing the last generation as done, complete, finished, over… but it’s far from it. There are loads of Xbox 360 and PS3 releases scheduled right up till Summer 2014, including blockbusters such as Destiny, Watch Dogs and Titanfall. Simply put, they’re both still worthwhile consoles.
The games are now inexpensive to obtain, too. Perhaps you passed on some hidden gems or underrated games. This is your chance to go back and play them while you wait for the PS4 and Xbox One to work out the kinks and get a great library of their own.
Here Comes A New Challenger!
Call me biased. Call me a Nintendo fanboy, but you cannot argue with the facts. The Wii U is the least expensive console to purchase with money-saving bundles galore. It already has a great library of games which is getting stronger each month and the games themselves also cost significantly less.
Either that or get a decent PC if graphics and resolutions are your most important gaming feature.