The holidays are quickly approaching and so are two brand spankin' new consoles. It's already one of the craziest times of the year to buy things, and both Sony and Microsoft are only adding to the chaos. How does one even prepare for the madness of the next gen of gaming?
Well, while they may have the two hottest items to hit the stores this season, there are still a myriad other choices out there clamoring for some of ours, and your, hard-earned cash. Nintendo is coming full force with the Wii U and Super Mario 3D World, the 3DS has a new Zelda, and Sony's Vita is finally finding its groove after a price drop. Let's not even forget that looming around the corner is the Steam Box, and some killer current-gen titles like Ultra Street Fighter IV and Castlevania: Lords of Shadows 2.
So what will you be buying this holiday season? PlayStation 4, Xbox One, perhaps a shiny new Wii U? Not one of those you say? Wait, all of them...
I want both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, but if the companies weren't already sending us one I wouldn't have gotten either next-gen consoles. The launch lineup is just too weak to justify purchasing them right now. I do kind of want the Wii U for Super Mario 3D World alone, but that's about all I want on the Wii U. Actually, outside of Mario 3D World there's not really any game I OMG NEED TO HAVE this holiday season. All the good games I was interested in came out this year already.
I've known for a while now that I'm not going for either of the next-gen consoles at launch and barring any poor last-minute decision making, I should be able to stick with said plan. The major console game I absolutely must have this year is Super Mario 3D World and, thankfully, I don't need to go buy a Wii U to play it. I'm ready and waiting.
As has been the case for the last couple years, my end-of-the-year gaming money is getting depositing directly in Valve's bank account once the Steam holiday sale starts. I'm embarrassingly far behind with my backlog and the majority of the list consists of PC games that should be discounted heavily. When I do eventually buy a new console, it's going to be the PS4 -- but that's a long way off. For the first time in a long time, I'm in no rush.
It's a pretty interesting holiday season -- my 10-year-old Nintendo-loving self could never predict that I would be buying not one, but two consoles in November. Part of the reason is due to the obligation of my job, but I'm really digging a few of the exclusives that have been announced so far. Oddly enough it's all the downloadables I'm interested in, like the PS4's Resogun, and the Xbox One's Peggle 2 (which will sadly miss launch). Though, I am interested in seeing what Killzone, Crimson Dragon, Killer Instinct, and Dead Rising 3 can do.
On the other end of the spectrum you have the "is it, is it not" next-gen Wii U, which I will be heartily enjoying this Christmas season with friends and family. My wife and I still play Pikmin 3 to death together, and I have a feeling Super Mario 3D World, my top holiday game pick, will light up our house for weeks to come.
I'm still sitting on a launch PS4 pre-order I set out of habit. I've gotten all of Sony's consoles at launch, knowing there would eventually be things I like on them. A couple days from launch, I'm considering cancelling, partly because of the mountain of unplayed games I've amassed over my lifetime. I'll have a PS4 eventually, but what we're getting in office should sustain me for a while. Then again, there might be games I really want to play before a price drop, so why not just get one at launch? Up in the air.
Not picking up a personal Xbox One anytime soon, though.
I am not an early adopter of consoles. In the olden days, it would have been because it could be hard to tell if a console would continue to be supported within a year or two. While I think we're largely past the point where that's a risk, now we see launch units with unforeseen hardware issues which make it hard to want to drop cash on something new. I don't want to have to buy these things twice, so I may wait for a hardware revision before taking the leap at all. While digital distribution has made it much easier to have a healthy stable of titles available when consoles launch, the initial library of games invariably feel lacking unless you happen to like every kind of game made ever, and I like to wait until I feel I'm going to get my money's worth in content right out of the gate.
And, frankly, I think most of my money in next gen is going to go into PC gaming. I barely turn my existing consoles on any longer, as just about everything which appeals to me which has appeared on them is also available through Steam. I'm still going to wind up with all the hardware this gen has to offer, but I think it's likely that I'll only be getting them for what I can play nowhere else.
I'm pretty bummed about the PS4 and Xbox One. As awesome as PS Plus is, paying for online multiplayer still feels like a small fart. The leap in graphic fidelity on the PS4/Xbox feels more like a baby step than a leap. All the extra stuff (Kinect, stream button) generally feels like unwanted side salads. No backwards compatibility means kissing my sizable backlog and re-playable favorites on the PS3/360 goodbye. In many ways, swapping my PS3 out for a PS4 would be more of a loss than a gain at this point.
That said, it’s inevitable that the PS4 and/or Xbox One will someday get some exclusives that I can't live without. A new God Hand, Viewtiful Joe, Gitaroo Man, Parappa the Rapper, Mega Man, Resident Evil, or exclusive from any of the hundreds of upcoming smaller developers will surely bring me into the fold at some point. In the meantime, I'll have plenty to do on PC, Wii U, and 3DS.
While I wasn't all that impressed with LoZ: A Link Between Worlds and Super Mario 3D World when they were first announced, they've both slowly crept to the top of my must-have list. Shovel Knight, Samurai Gunn, Ultra Street Fighter IV, and 1,001 Spikes are all coming soon. Hyper Light Drifter, Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS, Legend of Raven, River City Ransom: Underground, Medusa Medusa, Scale, Fist Full of Gunn, Gravity Ghost, Night in the Woods, and countless other fantastic-looking games are just on the horizon.
Current releases like Fjords and (God damn) Candy Box 2 remain unfairly compelling and replayable. The Ace Attorney 5 DLC about defending an orca on murder charges looks amazing. The list goes on and on.
Next-gen consoles have never felt less compelling to me, which may sound like a bad thing, but it's actually a reflection of something very positive. Why bother with new toasters when you already have all the toast you can eat, with an seemingly endless supply of bread still to come?
I've been ready for the next gen for quite some time. Since the unveiling of prices (and relative release dates) both consoles have been on lock-down from the moment Amazon turned on those pre-order SKUs. And while I've been beyond eager to get them connected and integrated into my home system, I can't help but have an inkling to just sell them both to some crazy-desperate soccer mom whose kids are screaming for the consoles and turn a quick buck.
Why is this? Well, mainly it's because of the fairly lackluster launch titles. While I'm more impressed with PS4's tech (Killzone and Knack look amazing) I feel the Xbox One has the better exclusives at launch. I've played Killer Instinct a few times now and have been more and more impressed each time. But after the cost of the system, game, and arcade stick (like $700) I might as well just by the original arcade cabinet.
My only 100% guaranteed commitment this holiday is to The Legend of Zelda 3DS XL. I like to make my Zelda loving nut of a girlfriend jealous. She still resents me for getting the original 3DS system.
Why can't all launches be like 9/9/99???
For next-gen I'm doing virtually nothing until March at the earliest, which is when Infamous: Second Son is supposed to come out. The reason why is that I'm planning on a fat, expensive upgrade to my PC that may well blow the PS4 and Xbox One, if not out of the water, over a few waves. With more and more games appearing on multiple platforms I'm finding fewer reasons to get in early on the console generation. And when I do, it'll probably be a PS4, seeing as that's likely the basket Japan will be putting whatever next-gen eggs it has cooking in. Plus, I've already got a Vita, which will make a good second screen for a PS4.
I'll finally be getting a Wii U around my birthday, grabbing Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, and Super Mario 3D World with it. PlayStation 4 will wait until some time next year, and Xbox One will come an undetermined amount of time afterward. The biggest thing I learned from the last big console launch was to wait a year or two. Launch systems are risky purchases with potentially high failure rates, and even without considering that, the libraries just aren't worth it most of the time. I'm at a place in my life now where I just don't need to play games on the day that they are released, and I often couldn't even if I wanted to. I fully intend to own all three of the next generation consoles, just not yet.
I've learned after buying almost every console to date on day one that it is probably the dumbest mistake I always keep making. Like an addict, I have to have the newest product before others, but it's an addiction I'm breaking. I may be sounding like Walt from Gran Torino bitching on my front porch, but I always advise to wait for the first few batches of a consoles to come out before buying one. I have a graveyard of day-one consoles in my basement that Mrs. Lucha keeps telling me to throw away, but you never know when you need parts.
I am currently waiting for the start of the new year to purchase an Xbox One. Honestly, I've never had an personal issues with Microsoft and they seem to have treated me well over the years as a 10-year Xbox Live member. I'm really excited for Dead Rising 3, I'm a huge mark for the series as the original Dead Rising was the first Xbox 360 game I owned. I drove through a Tornado to buy the Xbox 360 and Dead Rising. That night was one of my favorite memories in gaming because it shows how dedicated one could be towards gaming, and how stupid I was for risking my life to play a video game.
I'm not interested in getting any of the new consoles right now. I think most people know I'm a PC-centric guy; my desktop PC is just a year old and won't need an update for for years. The launch lineups for both the PS4 and Xbox One are underwhelming and as someone who was burned by console hardware failures on multiple occasions, I'm taking the wait and see approach. I'm curious about the new console's interface, performance, and how well the online networks are integrated. That stuff won't be fully known until they've been released and are in people's hands.
If I had to pick, I'd lean towards a PS4; there's plenty of PS3 games I never played that will be available on the system (Flower and Sound Shapes being interesting launch choices) and the cheaper price point is attractive too.
You only get one first impression, and, well, we all know how that went. For now, there's a PlayStation 4 out there with my name on it, and I'm really looking forward to Killzone: Shadow Fall and Resogun. Beyond that, I'm kind of banking on the first-party Sony, indie, and Japanese stuff showing up somewhere down the line. Oh, I also have a Wii U that I'd like to get more use out of at some point. Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem and Monolith Soft's X sure sound enticing.
As ridiculous as it sounds, I still don't know what I'm going to do with regard to buying next-gen consoles. Frankly, both Sony and Microsoft put me in a position where I don't feel compelled to actually have it figured out. No one's put on a show that warrants me dropping a half grand, so I'll take a bit of time to let the picture clear up. As an early adopter, that almost pains me to say, but that's the situation I'm in.
When it's time for a decision to be made, there's a good chance that Sony will win my money first. With the way that Microsoft burned bridges with independent developers in the past eight years, it looks like PlayStation 4 will be home to the best indie titles, and those are the experiences that always seem to resonate the most profoundly with me. Until then, as long as Steam keeps the decent sales coming, I'm content to stay in a holding pattern for a while.
I'm getting a PS4 with Battlefield 4 this week and absolutely no time to play it. I'm also renting Killzone: Shadow Fall and Assssscr...er Assassin's Creed 4. Of these three games, I'll probably play Resogun the most.
I'm also looking forward to Super Mario 3D World on my Wii U and replaying Super Mario 3D Land on my 3DS in anticipation. I'm actually more excited about upcoming/already out 3DS games -- especially A Link Between Worlds. And Vita games that are free through PS Plus, such as the two from this last month: the wonderfully violent and addictive Hotline Miami, and the intriguing shmup Sine Mora. I only have time right now to play mobile games anyhow, since I'm usually stuck studying or at school all day, every day.
As badly as I want to play Killzone: Shadow Fall (and I do want it badly), I can't justify buying a console at launch for one exclusive and a bunch of current-gen ports. (And there are literally no exclusive launch titles I "need" for Xbox One, so it isn't even in the running.) I'll definitely pick up a PlayStation 4 down the line (and an Xbox One after they drop the price by at least $100), but it won't be any time in the next year.
Given that, my next gen is actually looking a lot like my current gen: I'll be playing the occasional first-party Nintendo game on my Wii U (Super Mario 3D World cannot come soon enough!), enjoying the current-gen versions of new releases, and reaping the benefits of having an adequate PC and a Steam account.
My current MUST BUY list includes: Super Mario 3D World (haven't been this excited for a Mario game since SMB3), Titanfall (PC), Thief, EDF 2025, and Tearaway. It's gonna be a good year!
I plan on getting a new PC by the end of this year or very early next year, which is exactly where my "next-gen" money is headed. Once that is finished, I plan on keeping a watchful eye on Valve's plans for the Steam Box. If it fits as a compliment to a new PC and the price is right, I'll have no issues scooping one up. Oh, and I most certainly plan to pick up Valve's new controller as soon as it drops.
I'm just not interested in what Sony and Microsoft are offering. My 360 has been turned into a Rock Band machine, and with that series behind us I see no reason to purchase a Microsoft console, as all of the decent titles make their way to the PC in due time. Sony's done a pretty decent job nabbing the indies, but the PC will always be the true home of the indies.
I'll comfortably sit back with my PC and Wii U and watch this "next-gen" fly by.
This will be the first time in a long time that I won't be getting the systems at launch. So, my plans are very simple this year: I'm investing in high-powered binoculars and stereo-listening spyware devices so I can watch my neighbors play all the sweet new things. Hopefully my PS4-getting neighbor will be picking up Knack, and the neighbor getting the Xbox One grabs Dead Rising 3, as those are the game I most wish I could play.
It's not all sad, however. Like many here, I will at least be picking up Super Mario 3D World. Because of reasons.
I'll be grabbing up my Xbox One on launch day, alongside Killer Instinct and Dead Rising 3. The decision really just comes down to launch titles for each system. While I totally plan on getting a PS4 sometime early next year, the Xbox One at least has two titles that I was excited about getting on day one, whereas none of the PS4 launch games really do anything for me at all.
To be really honest, a lot of my decision was based on KI alone. As a 20-year vet of the original, and someone who has played thousands of hours of it, I was very skeptical about this new addition to the franchise. However, after getting my hands on the game at SDCC and PAX Prime, and talking with the developers about the new mechanics and such, I was instantly hooked. It's different, but all in all, it's still very much Killer Instinct, and I can't wait dive in again.
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