Why you should wait before buying a new console

Xbox One (Console) Screenshot - PS4 and Xbox One

Microsoft and Sony are releasing new consoles this November in the US, just in time for Black Friday. It’s been close to a decade since we’ve seen new consoles from Microsoft and Sony — the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are long overdue. It might be hard to resist the urge to upgrade, but good things could come to those who wait.

Here are five reasons to hold out three to six months before making the leap to the next generation.

1. Wait for the games

Both consoles have respectable launch lineups, but a good portion of the games are also coming out on current systems — all the big boys like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed are going cross-platform. Sure, they won’t look as good, but you can also buy and play them without also purchasing a new system, and when you do get that new system, you’ll be able to upgrade some of them if you want. You could buy eight new, full-priced games with the same money you’d use to buy an Xbox One. Buy a couple of current-gen games and play those until the new systems start seeing more exclusives in early 2014.

2. Wait for the finished features

The new systems look like they’ll be able to do a lot of really cool stuff… eventually. Word’s still out on whether the new systems will be able to do all the things they’re supposed to do right out of the box (few systems do these days; remember waiting on the 3DS eShop?). It’s best to buy tech for what it is, and not what it could be. So if you’re looking for that true all-in-one media powerhouse machine, maybe wait a few months until you can confirm your system of choice pulls it off.

3. Wait for better bundles

Infamous

Whenever a huge, system-selling game comes out, there’s always a chance of Microsoft or Sony bundling that game with a system. Why not wait until one of those pops up? The best guess for PS4 is Infamous, which should come out in early 2014. For Xbox One, there will likely be a bundle for Halo 5, which doesn’t have a release date. It’s probably safe to assume it will be out in the back half of 2014 though.

4. Wait for the kinks to be ironed out

If you didn’t have an original Xbox 360 die, you likely know someone who did. Microsoft’s last console was plagued with hardware problems. It would be insane if Microsoft flubbed the hardware again, but it wouldn’t hurt to wait a couple months to find out. Same goes for software. Between game streaming, device streaming (between the PS4 and Vita) and Microsoft’s cloud computing stuff, there are a lot of things that could break. Sit back with your working current-gen systems while the early adopters iron out the kinks.

5. Wait till your home is upgraded

This one is the elephant in the room that neither Microsoft nor Sony has addressed. Both systems will benefit from a strong Internet connection, especially if you plan on streaming games. Might be time to beef that up if yours is slow — some providers even offer “gamer certified” speeds. So shop around if you’re not on contract. If you have TV service, check and see if they’ll support the Xbox One TV pass through and overlay. On the 360, Verizon FiOS had special TV services, check for FiOS coverage to see if you’ll be able to take advantage of that. Of course, check out hardware too. Instead of fighting over a new system on Black Friday, pick up a new TV and some good sound equipment. Then, come 2014, your home is ready for action.

Bonus Reason: Wait for Valve

Steam controller

Valve wants control of your living room too. Earlier this week they announced their own OS, called Steam OS, and hinted at a variety of configurable machines running the OS. These Steam Machines will be out sometime in 2014. Valve’s hardware announcement was light on details, so if you’ve only got $500 to spend, maybe wait and see if that money could get you more if you go with a Steam Machine.

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Christine Henderson I've always had a passion around new media and technology, which is probably why I have such an affinity toward gaming. Probably didn't hurt, that I grew up in the Silicon Valley either. On the side, I also consult as a PR specialist.
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