10 Reasons to delay buying a next-gen system
We at GameZone have already told you plenty regarding why you should make the jump to next-gen; the smorgasbord of trailers, teasers and announcements floating around is enough to make any gamer giddy. But strangely, only a few million have picked up a PS4 or XOne thus far—though the figure is monolithic for sheer launch sales. While it’s entirely possible that the reason for this is that the other hundreds of millions of gamers reside under sound-deadened rocks, it’s marginally more likely that they’ve got one of the following on their mind.
Let’s address the elephant in the room first: Gaming is more expensive than ever. No amount of eBay scouring or bargain-binning will change the fact that the minimum entry point for a next-gen system is $400. Add in monthly network fees, software releases and the ever expensive holiday season, and it becomes easy to see why many aren’t eager to burdern their wallets with a new box of games. This leads us to our next little caveat.
Patience is rewarded in virtually every hobby, and gaming is no exception. If you hold out long enough, you will see some slashed price tags. Given the aforementioned price tags of next-gen consoles, there’s little doubt that a sizable chunk of gamers are biding their time, waiting for a deal to pounce on. With any luck, the Christmas cheer will infect Sony and Microsoft later this month and have them put a nice rebate in our stocking.
Bundles and promotions
Bundles are in the same vein as discounts in that they are inevitable, and music to the ears of the penny-pinching (read: everyone). We’ve already run the gauntlet of pre-order and day-one bundles, but equally promising additions to the lineup are already on their way. Sony is sitting on the Infamous: Second Son bundle, set to release alongside the game March 22, as well as the PS4/Vita bundle, and Microsoft is likely packing similar heat. You don’t need me to tell you that if these bundles include even the smallest bit of savings or a tidy throw-in (such as PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live credit), the wait becomes well worth it.
It’s no grand secret that, while enjoyable, the initial next-gen experience has been underwhelming at times. Heavily hyped titles like Knack, Ryse: Son of Rome, Dead Rising 3 and Call of Duty: Ghosts have yet to strike the perfect tune that early adopters were hoping for. There’ve been some absolute gems already, to be sure; just look at Resogun, the swashbuckling Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag or the controlled chaos that is Battlefield 4. However, no amount of average and indie can hold a candle to the titles currently in development—or at least the anticipation backing them. Fan-favored series Kingdom Hearts and Star Wars: Battlefront are currently slated for next-gen installments, as well as previous-gen classics like Uncharted and Dragon Age. What’s more, the overarching trend of open-world and online will soon hit in the form of Deep Down and Watch Dogs, as well as through innovative shooters like Titanfall and Destiny. There’s no shortage of things to look forward too; if only they’d hurry up and release.
Our own Matt Liebl raised a solid point in pointing out the lackluster integration and media functionality that has hindered both next-gen systems since day one. Music, chat, streaming and other functionalities have yet to find a solid foothold in the next-gen ecosystem, and are often only as reliable as the current firmware update. Luckily, there’s a simple solution to the problem, at least on our end: wait.
Kinect 2: Twice as underused.
The truly techy are not without gripes, even after discrediting the ever raging war over next-gen specs. Sony and Microsoft have been pushing external devices particularly hard this time around, with system cameras leading the charge. However, the fact of the matter is that there’s currently little purpose behind the things; few games beyond obligatory tutorial-lite releases use these devices in the least, and the continued stream of patchwork software updates has rendered them a liability, at least for the moment. In addition, support for features like cross-play and mobile access isn’t fully ironed out, and we’ve yet to see a dedicated peripheral line for headsets and the like.
Fixes and updates
Any PS3 or Xbox 360 owner can tell you that the power of modern consoles is not without its snags, not the least of which are rampant mandatory downloads. From fixes to updates, either next-gen system is sure to tax your internet as all the post-launch kinks are ironed out. Fortunately, major updates are few and far between, and the more frequent tunings are bite-sized at worst. Regardless, there are still quite a few nails to be hammered down.
It’s significantly less likely than with past console generations, but given the numerous hardware hurdles that have cropped already, it’s a safe bet to assume that revamped models of both PS4 and XOne will hit shelves immediately. Whether it’s a genuinely noteworthy hardware improvement, a petty cosmetic change or simply an excuse to bundle the systems with games, next-gen launch version 2.0 is a strong possibility. However, it’s likely years away, so only the truly steadfast will be holding out for upgraded systems.
There’s certainly no shortage of great games outside the next-gen environment. PC is booming with price cuts on triple-A favorites and overflowing with indie goodness as holiday sale season approaches; the handheld game is thriving thanks to the Vita’s newfound support and the 3DS continued stellar lineup; and PS3 and 360 will continue to see support for years to come. This is to say nothing of the fact that, if you’re anything like me, you’ve got a daunting backlog of retro games to play or replay. Either way, there’s no pressing need to trade up.
Perhaps you’re eager to get into the next-gen action but can’t choose between the green and blue pills? Not to worry; we’ve got you covered. Our next-gen contenders are extremely comparable systems—arguably more so than any two consoles before them—and offer similar experiences. If you want to get truly nitpicky, head over to our guidelines on choosing between PS4 and Xbox One.
Are you still holding out for a new system? Let us know why in the comments below. If you’ve already made the plunge, tell us why you do, or ideally don’t, regret it.