Opinion: I Won’t Be Getting A Next-Gen Console at Launch and Neither Should You

by on November 17, 2013

I have no interest at buying an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 at launch.

That’s not to say I’m not interested in the next generation, oh no. On the contrary, I am incredibly eager to jump feet first into new technology wherever possible – but my point is that I will not be purchasing a console on launch day, nay for a great deal of time, and neither should you.

There are far more reasons for me to not buy either console then there are to do so. While the decision is mainly monetary, the truth of the matter is that there are not enough compelling reasons to lay down £400+ on a new system, let alone £1000 on two!

The first year of a console’s life can be surprisingly disheartening for any consumer. The supply of games is but a trickle of worthwhile releases spread out over time, alongside a host of next-gen versions of the games released in the last generation’s twilight months. It takes time for games to be released that make the best of a console, and with development costs and resources constantly rocketing into the stratosphere, that length of time is taking even longer. Even within the first month of a console’s launch, there are rarely enough killer apps. Take a look at this Wikipedia list of launch titles for each system and count how many of those offer something revolutionary enough to justify buying that particular system at launch?

Why get in on the ground floor and have to wait for new games, when you can wait a mere 6-9 months and have a lovely selection of games to choose from? On top of that, why even choose a system at launch? One system could have far better exclusives than the other, why not wait until some of those are announced before picking a horse?

Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have something to offer the consumer, but considering how both Microsoft and Sony have a history of releasing consoles that initially have a few design flaws, why would you want to pay to be a hardware beta tester and be subject to all the bugs, glitches and system failures that cause so much frustration? At this stage, it’s not clear what the user experience will be like, but I can guarantee that for the first few months, it’s not going to be without its hiccups.

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Finally, there’s the biggest reason of all not to jump on the next-gen bandwagon: We’re not done with this generation yet. Granted, it’s been eight years since the Xbox 360 was released, hailing the beginning of this generation – one of the longest in gaming’s history. But there are still great games being released, and I envision that there will be more on the way over the next 18 month. 2013 has given us so many amazing games, and I guarantee hardly any of you have played them all yet. Hell, I have about 30 games on my backlog that I haven’t even touched, and I reckon I could add at least another 10 games to that list, just from what’s been released in the last nine months. There are still exciting games on the horizon for these ageing consoles, including many that haven’t even been announced yet, and let’s not forget that they won’t be playable on the new systems.

The last generation of games has been amazing. Over the last eight years, the medium has been inching closer to mainstream acceptance. The indie game revolution has given us fresh ideas and the return of the bedroom coder. Social media has changed the way we play and talk about games, not to mention who plays them. I find no reason to swiftly throw that aside right now, not until more next-generation games are out there and both the systems and software are cheaper.

While I am excited about the possibilities that the next generation of gaming will bring for us and our chosen hobby, when everyone else is queuing outside stores or waiting at home for the postman, I’ll be happily in front of the gaming bounty that’s nestled under my television right now, whittling down my pile of shame.

What do you you think? Are you going next-gen on day one? Are you holding off like me? Let us know in the comment section, below.

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