Holding Out On The Next-Gen

February 3, 2014 12:35 PM

The PS4 and the Xbox One were released in November of last year and yet I do not consider it wise to rush out and buy either of them just yet.

Ring of Death

You may wonder why. It isn’t a lack of enthusiasm for the next generation of gaming, I can assure you, but traditionally the first released batch of consoles are notoriously faulty – think of the Xbox 360’s overheating and “Red Ring of Death” fiasco. While I’m not saying history will repeat itself with the next-gen, and some technical faults are seemingly inevitable, it is much better to wait until the larger creases have been smoothed out and significant updates, or even a new model of the console is released.

Moreover, I am one of the many people torn between the two. I started with Playstation in childhood, but heartlessly abandoned it for the Xbox 360. Now, embittered by Microsoft’s ominous campaign to control my living room, I am leaning towards the Playstation once more. All the same, these aren’t exactly the smallest of investments so I am waiting until they have been thoroughly used by a good swath of the world’s gamers, and their pros and cons are laid bare for me to scrutinise. I can wait. Some of you, I don’t doubt, are hardcore loyalists to which ever machine you have chosen and I understand that. But I for one am a fickle gamer in that sense, and will choose the one that A) I think is best and/or B) What my friends choose. After all, I don’t want to be stuck on the PS4 when all my friends are playing together on the Xbox One.

Furthermore, the games are pricey and the choice is currently limited. Many of the games, such as Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Fifa 2014, have been released on the old generation as well so it isn’t like you are missing out on those. There aren’t too many console exclusives as of yet, and ones such as Ryse: Son of Rome on Xbox One are – despite being beautiful to look at – disappointingly bland and repetitive in terms of game play. Beautiful visuals alone are not worth £50 in my estimations. I don’t know if it’s because I am getting older and starting to understand the value of money and my own lack of it better, but £50 is a lot of money for a game regardless of quality. Unless it is a game with almost endless replay value, I doubt I  would pay the full price for it and nor, dare I say, should you.

I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t an impatient part of me that occasionally urges me to rush out and make a purchase, but I resist. It is best to give the developers perhaps half a year or more to start getting the best out of next-gen. The zenith of Xbox 360’s graphics wasn’t reached for a good couple of years after release and while I don’t suggest waiting that long, I do suggest letting them play around with what they can do, let the prices of the games and the consoles themselves come down, and the kinks be worked out before jumping into the next-gen fray.

Xbox One vs PS4

But what to do in the mean time? Well, personally, I think now is a perfect time to take advantage of the older generation. Apart from new releases, 360 and PS3 games are getting cheaper and cheaper. So are the consoles. Recently I bought a second-hand PS3 on the cheap and a selection of the exclusives that had always caught my eye – Namely; Killzone 2 and 3, Gran Turismo 5, Resistance 2 and, most importantly, the Uncharted series. That is what I suggest. If you have always eyed certain games from the other console with a degree of gamer’s lust, now is the time to act and catch up on what you’ve missed. Perhaps you had a PS3 and wished you could play the Halo, Gears of War or Fable series. Well now you can get them on the cheap while you bide your time over the next-gen and then trade them in when it’s time to upgrade.