The lights are on
I waited in line for my Xbox 360 at midnight after days of nail-biting over smaller than expected launch shipments. Was I going to get the console I preordered? Was I going to have to make a choice between a stripped down "core" system now or a standard system later?
Thankfully, all went well. I came home with Perfect Dark Zero and Kameo, and was surprised at which was the better game (hint: Kameo). I was excited for the upgraded Xbox Live experience. Over the coming weeks, I played nearly every launch title, happily consuming everything I could.
I don't feel that right now about the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4. Both companies have done a decent job competing with one another, but have failed to do something more important: explain why the jump to next-gen systems is as important this time as it was eight years ago.
A large part of what's driving my disappointment is the weakness in the launch lineups. Microsoft's heaviest hitters are on the bench. There's no Halo and no Gears of War. Unless Gamescom yields a Crackdown 3 announcement (something that has been teased since the console reveal in May), Microsoft is going to limp across the finish line in November (unless you like racing games or Dead Rising, which doesn't apply to me).
As for Sony, its brightest title, Infamous Second Son, will arrive in 2014. The Killzone series has been enjoyable, but it's not a system seller. Knack looks cute (and might surprise just like Kameo did on the Xbox 360), but I'm not sold enough to drop down $400 plus tax.
Beyond exclusives, there are a number of cross-generation games to consider. Call of Duty, Battlefield 4, Watch Dogs, and Assassin's Creed IV are all going to be available on current-generation consoles. There's no reason to upgrade to either the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4 just for these prettier versions. If there is, then shame on the developers and publishers involved for failing to explain why.
As for console features, onboard streaming is kind of neat, but what else is there that makes next generation feel like more than a visual upgrade? I'm hard pressed to think of one other feature that the upcoming hardware offers that is earth shaking like the online revolution on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 was.
My finger has been hovering over the "cancel" button on both of my pre-orders. The only thing stopping me so far is the fear of regret in November. The closer we get, the easier this decision is getting.
You're going to have to try harder, Sony and Microsoft. Stop competing with each another and start competing with your history. You have a big case to make and not a lot of time to do it.
Email the author Mike Futter, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
I have both Pre-Ordered as well, I also own both the PS3 and 360, but I see your point, current gen has had some great games, I loved Uncharted 3, The Last of Us, I loved Halo 4, Gears 3, so I know I will continue to play those games, Borderlands 2, Far Cry 3, Tomb Raider, the list goes on and on, so why buy next gen, I think because of the same reason we play current gen, those exclusives that are coming out and will be coming out. I am a gamer and I love to have these experiences that last me for years. I only hope that I can use my Astro A40's with my Xbox One because I have already been told by Astro that they will work with the PS4.
I wasn't really excited by the previous gen (360/ps3) when they came out either. The prettier graphics are always nice and welcome, but as always, I get excited about the games. And most of the games I've seen for next gen are "meh". With a few exceptions. Witcher 3 springs to mind.
I´m not exited because I´m mainly a pc gamer my pc is almost the same as a next gen console, plus I will only buy a ps4 when the price drops like I did with my ps3. I´m exited about some next gen games though.
I couldn't agree with this more. Last time around, by the time the 360 and ps3 were being announced and hitting shelves, it felt like the current gen had run its course and it was time for something new. I may be biased (and broke) but I feel that switching generations now isn't a sort of technological necessity, but more of an arbitrary cash grab. "If you want to keep keeping up with the video game industry, spend 700 dollars!"
This is why this year is dedicated to purchasing a Wii U. Nintendo has several great games coming out that completely shattered any possibility of me buying a PS4 this holiday season. Don't get me wrong. The games look great, but I don't see anything that demands I play it right away. Plus, let's be honest; price cuts will be on the way in a couple of years,
Hit the button, Mike. Just do it. I'm with you.
I'm in it for the leap in technical ability. So I'm super excited. That said, I'm super excited for the games coming out only for this generation like Splinter Cell: Blacklist, GTA V, and Batman: Arkham Origins. I'm getting the next gen systems (eagerly) because I understand their potential. I don't need it spelled out for me in overblown advertising and panels and press releases to be excited.
I'm getting a bit tired of all the console talk, so I can somewhat agree with the authors opinion. A console is supposed to be a infrastructure. It's supposed to be a set of capabilities (in this case, visual power among other things). It's from this infrastructure that franchises, IPs, and amazing games are built on. So while all the talk about hardware and capabilities is nice, I'm still waiting for the games to take the full spotlight.
I have to agree. So far, neither of these consoles have something that makes me feel like I must have it right away. It seems like most of the system exclusive games are being pushed back to next year at the earliest. Though even if I did want these systems, money is most likely not going to let me get them.
I'm with you. Unless you have to have those consoles for work purposes, I'd cancel it off.
I know I won't be getting a PS4 for at least a year after launch. As it stands right now, the only games I'd buy a PS4 for would be Infamous and Watch Dogs. And like you said, Watch Dogs will be available on PS3 too.
Besides, in the next couple of months, I'll have GTA, Batman, AC IV, and Saint's Row for sure to mess around with. Add to that my PS3 collection which I love dearly, and the Wii that fell into my lap and a dozen stellar games that came with it.....and real life stuff too I guess......I'm not going to need a PS4 for a long time.
I agree. I've decided to stay with the current console generation and clean up any games I have had in my backlog for a while now. There is so much out there that I have yet to play, why would I leave so many great games behind?