It’s summertime and you know what that means. For most gamers, regardless of platform, that means you will be digging deep into the “pile of shame” and completing titles you left untouched when the industry was overrunning us with releases. Some of us have endless stacks – Chip’s third world country of sealed titles says, “hi” – that stand in some sort of queue, eagerly awating their chance at bat. Others take to the ridiculous summertime sales, which these days expands beyond Steam and PC gaming as a whole; Microsoft and Sony are dropping digital prices left and right and third parties have had drastic reductions at the big box retailer level. In leiu of nothing releasing money is clearly being spent in bulk. All of this comes together to reveal an appreciation of the games that have passed. Ironically I went into GameStop recently to make another payment on my PS4 and decided it was high time to pre-pay for a launch release, except I couldn’t think of anything to pre-order. I have mentioned before that Xbox One’s launch line-up was stronger than the PS4’s, but as a whole having these new consoles this holiday will net nothing but upgraded versions of games you can already get on your current consoles. What a wierd time. In a point in history where video games show strong promise, technology and cost seem to converge at a good balance, and experiences are really ramping up the closer we get to the next generation the more I’m sure I don’t have to be onboard day one. I will, because lets face it I know no other behavior, but I’m not alone when I say my current gen consoles will get much more mileage at the end of this year than my next gen console.
It’s not exactly a new phenomenon. Each new console attempts to net a killer app but there will be plenty of launch-day third party titles hoping to gobble up the hype without anything all that impressive. Additionally the best games of a console cycle tend to be at the end – this happened with titles like Kirby’s Adventure on the NES and as recent as God of War 2 on the PS2 – but I missed the aforementioned titles at the time of release because I was mesmorized by the new shiny. Not so much the case this time around. I know I’m going to play Splinter Cell Blacklist, Grand Theft Auto V, Beyond Two Souls, The Puppeteer, Lego Marvel Universe, Rayman Legends, Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus, Dark Souls 2, Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2, and Arkham Origins. Compared to the launch titles of the PS4 that I may want – Need For Speed: Rivals, Call of Duty Ghosts, Watch Dogs, and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – every single game is available on the 360/PS3 as well this Christmas. There are some exclusives, but sadly none of them are currently confirmed for this holiday season, although this may change and I’ve heard rumors that Killzone will almost definitely be a launch title. But in comparison I think it’s clear that the next generation doesn’t have all that much to offer right off the bat. Then there are the titles set for the future, but the biggest ones like TitanFall and Destiny are still on other platforms. In fact, the only compelling reason to get a next gen console right now has come from the Xbox One and third party developers talking about the cool uses of the remote servers. Even then Sony and Microsoft have been awkward about responding to specific functions of their competitors. Sony could be able to to do the same with its servers, although I doubt it, and Microsoft may not be able to make good on the poential they’ve suggested.
In short, you can definitely get much more bang for your buck sticking to the old consoles and not upgrading. Futhermore you will find that your library is much more expansive, you have almost the same releases on your console, and you will be able to experience the fortune you’ve already spent on this generation. It’s not to say you shouldn’t upgrade, hell I’m doing it, but it’s just hard to argue with those who want to wait. I’m getting a next gen console this holiday, but never before have I had to second guess myself so many times.
This editorial is the opinion of its writer, Fred Rojas, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the B-Team Podcast or any of its other hosts. In fact most of the time the other guys think I’m bat shit crazy.