So I’m a little behind. Sue me.
The Xbox 360 has been my weapon of choice since the beginning of the current console cycle. I chose Microsoft’s console over Sony’s because I wanted Halo. I wanted Mass Effect. I prefer the heft of an Xbox controller to the cheap feel of a Dual Shock and I also find the analog sticks to be more comfortable and more responsive. I’ve never really cared about the added expense of Xbox Live because I’m not all that interested in online multiplayer. I’ve been through three Xbox 360s, having twice used Best Buy’s replacement warranty to replace units that decided they’d had enough of my shit and red ringed. The 360 has been good to me, and I’m still happy with my decision to go Microsoft rather than Sony.
Enter the Xbox One and the Playstation 4. The last few months have been jam packed with tantalizing trailers and dramatic presentations of groundbreaking new features–assuming you believe the marketing departments involved, of course. Regardless, pretty new games are pretty new games, and the Xbox One and the Playstation 4 are set to deliver a shit ton of pretty new games just in time for Christmas. So why, with the next generation of consoles roaring toward us like a horde of photographers chasing a Kardashian, did I purchase an old piece of hardware?
Simple: there are lots of Playstation 3 experiences I haven’t taken a crack at yet. The Last of Us tops that list; other D Pad D Bags staff members have been raving about Naughty Dog’s latest since its release, and I’m feeling a bit left out. Then there’s Uncharted. And God of War. And Metal Gear Solid. I’ve never hung out with either Ratchet or Clank. There are plenty of excellent Playstation 3 games I want to try, and they’re all about to become very, very cheap. A Playstation Plus subscription also delivers a large library of downloadable titles at no additional cost. If we’re talking bang for your buck, a current generation console you have yet to pick up can’t be beat.
Beyond the prices, I’m also going to wait out the next generation for at least a year simply because I don’t trust first generation hardware. I’d rather let someone else work out the bugs and problems that come with a brand new product. I also think it’s smart to wait the market out so I can make as informed a purchase as possible. I’m leaning toward the Playstation 4 right now simply because of all the goodwill they built at E3 by virtue of not changing anything about how console gaming works, but who knows how things will really shake out until the next generation consoles are in the hands of consumers? What happens if Sony’s new box doesn’t actually work reliably? What if the initial controller models flop? What if one side’s launch lineup blows the doors off the other’s? A new console is a big expense, and I want to make sure I’m spending my money wisely.
If you’re like me, and you’ve been firmly planted on one side of the console wars for the last few years, buying the other company’s console and waiting to see how the next generation pans out is probably the smartest thing you can do with your gaming dollars this year. I’ve written before that rushing out to preorder or buy a game day one is probably a bad idea; the same principle applies to consoles, especially for those of us who haven’t experienced one of this generation’s big ones.