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Opinion: Hanging Onto Last Gen

 

The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have been out for months. If sales numbers are to be believed, you may have one of those systems nestled under your TV right now. Maybe you unplugged your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 to make room, or perhaps it just seems like time for a ritualistic retirement. The launch of a new console generation can be exciting, but I’m not interested in milking my new systems’ limited library of game options while there’s a glut of great last-gen games I haven’t played. No, my 360 and PS3 aren’t going anywhere for a while.

Through a combination of personal savings and generous loved ones, I was fortunate to come out of the holidays with both a PS4 and Xbox One. I eagerly hooked up and updated my PS4 when I got it, jumping into games like Call of Duty: Ghosts and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. I love the shiny new graphics, new DualShock controller design, and more intuitive online features. Then I put down my PS4 controller and picked back up the DualShock 3. 

I’ve seen posts of friends on social media packing up their last-gen systems and putting them into storage. This boggles my mind. I’m currently playing Final Fantasy XIII-2 in preparation for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, and plan on playing Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 when it arrives. On top of these more recent titles, there’s a load of backlogged last-gen titles I’ve yet to play. Packing up my 360 won’t help me finally get around to Gears of War: Judgment or XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Gamers commiserate about their ever-growing backlog enough as it is, so how is putting away the corresponding systems helping anything?

And unlike last generation, neither of these new systems is backwards compatible. Yes, Sony’s PlayStation Now may remedy that a bit, but it’s still not a surefire way to play the games you want. With that in mind, I intend to keep them beside my PS4 and Xbox One for the foreseeable future.

I feel like gamers sometimes feel obligated to play on their new systems, like they have to justify the purchase immediately by draining every last ounce of fun from these underdeveloped game libraries. New console generations are fun and all, but turning to the new and shiny isn’t always the best use of your time. It’s like driving home your first car. The new tech and possibilities are exciting, but your trusty bicycle still fulfills its unique purpose perfectly. It’s not an either/or proposition. Unless you prefer to sell old game systems to buy the newest stuff, in which case I cannot relate to you on any level (the collector in me cannot bear to part with my games).

My suggestion is to take your time settling into the new generation of hardware. There is no rush or obligation to make the switch as quickly as possible. Titanfall releases next month, which marks the release of arguably the most anticipated next-gen title. But even then, that doesn’t mean your Xbox One is the only system that deserves attention. Play what you want for now, and let the latest consoles earn your attention with worthwhile experiences.

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