The eighth generation of consoles have been released. People have queued to get theirs at midnight, others have paid a handsome sum of money to purchase one from a reseller on eBay. I plan on picking up a PlayStation 4 myself, but I am in no hurry. It is normal to want the latest high-tech device that every Tom, Dick, and Harry owns, but despite all the hype that is surrounding the launch of the new consoles, I am going to explain why it may be better to hold on purchasing one just yet.
Let us begin at the the first major hurdle for most people. The price. Both machines cost a hefty chuck of change, even if they are purchased from a retailer rather than a guy who just happens to have bought a few extra on the first day. Now, I do not think it is likely that they will come down in price any time soon, but next year retailers may create some rather attractive bundles to temp any late comers to the new generation. Games are likely to drop in value much sooner though, and a few months after Christmas we will see a good quantity of second hand titles available for the savvy shopper.
Speaking of games, there are not that many to choose from right now. Many are also available on the last generation of consoles at a more attractive price. Yes, the graphics will not be quite as shiny, but does that really justify the outlay of £330 ($400) and more so that I can appreciate an extra lens flare? Not really, and while games are still being produced for the PlayStation 3 I find it hard to upgrade. Persona 5 is likely coming to the west in a little over a years time, and that is only announced for the PlayStation 3 right now. Tiles that are exclusive to the new generation are on the horizon, but that will only tempt me once we are much closer to their release.
Holding off on purchasing also allows Sony and Microsoft to sort out any launch issues with the machines. I doubt anyone reading this is not aware of how high the failure rate of the Xbox 360 was. The launch model of the PlayStation 3 was not without issue either, as 10% failed within two years. In a perfect world, giving both companies time to tinker with their machines allows them to potentially release new versions that solve launch issues, increase the storage capacity, and create new hardware bundles with the latest games. This could take longer than most people would like to wait, but at the very least, everyone who purchases a lunch console will be able to inform the hardware issues to those of us who wait.
Many PCs are more than capable of producing the same experience as a console, and will likely get a fair amount of games that will not see a release on the previous console generation. A new piece of hardware may be all it takes to display graphics at the highest settings, and at a much cheaper price than it be to purchase a new console. As anyone who already games on a PC should know, we enjoy slightly cheaper games and the ability to add mods to many of them, increasing the replay value of games we already own. Valve are working hard to turn gaming PCs into a console experience. They already have their ‘big picture mode’ for Steam, and soon enough we will see the release of the Steam operating system which will give us the ability to have a machine dedicated to games.
So, these are the reasons I am holding off on a new console until next year. I do not believe there is much to gain from buying a new machine this side of Christmas, especially with so few games on the immediate horizon. The PC market has never been in better shape thanks to Valve and their work on Steam, and the various humble bundles that appear regularly. But to all those who like Call of Modern Battlefield 8, thanks for Beta testing the new consoles for me.
Have you purchased a new console, or are you waiting until next year? What does it take to make you purchase a new machine? Do you think PCs will be able to compete early on in this generation? Let me know in the comments!