In the past few weeks, we’ve seen both Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs and Sony’s Driveclub delayed. Naturally, this has brought on more than a few criticisms of the current state of next-gen launch lineups, especially the PS4's. In fairness, it’s always a bummer to see delays on games for which the general public was pretty exciteddoubly so when they were launch day releases for the upcoming — and hopefully impressive — generation.

But here’s the thing: launch lineups are not as important as you may think.

Firstly, it’s financially unrealistic for us to desire five or more great AAA titles at launch. You’re spending either $400 or $500 on the consoles themselves, before taxes and any extra accessories. I don’t mean to presume anything regarding your financial situation, but I’m willing to bet that not many people can afford to dish out $60 several times over. Sure, those games we don’t end up purchasing will be knocked down in price by the time we can afford them, but at the potential cost of the developer not getting the returns they needed during those first few crucial months. And, at the end of the day, is that actually something we want?

On a semi-related note, when I purchase half a dozen games at once, I only end up playing one or two immediately. The rest sit there, and just when I get the motivation to play them, some fascinating new toy comes along and I forget all about that old junk.

My second — and more universally applicable — point is that it’s often better to have a slow trickle than a quick flash. The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long, as they say. More often than not, the majority of titles during a console's launch end up being pretty abysmal. How about the PS Vita? Prior to release, it had a highly anticipated group of games backing it. But, as it stands now, people have been complaining about the lack of software from day one. Even the Xbox 360 — which had a great early run — was kicked-off in a rather lackluster fashion. There was KameoPerfect Dark: Project Zero, ports of King Kong and Gun, and a few sports titles. Despite all that, the 360 did quite well out of the gate, all because of Call of Duty 2.

All it takes is one system seller; just ask the N64 about Super Mario 64.


Part of the reason for the so-so quality of games early on is the lack of experience on the development front. They’re in marginally new territory, and because they don't posses the understanding that comes with multiple years of development experience on single console, they play it safe. The upcoming launch lineups prove this to be true. Plenty of military shooters, familiar franchises, and zombie cliches. Frankly, that’s sort of okay. I'm not mad. Let them toy around with what they’re already comfortable with before going all out on a new franchise.

Finally, consider this. Whether you're looking to purchase a PS4 or Xbox One, the lineups are actually rather impressive in comparison to previous consoles. As far as multiplatform titles go, we’ve got Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed IV: Blackflag. Those are three juggernaut franchises. I realize there are those who are burnt-out on some of those series, myself included, but there is no denying the power of these games. More next-gen systems will be sold because of their availability. Additionally, if you do end up playing COD or Battlefield, you're doing so for the multiplayer — which has countless hours of potential entertainment. I'm not even a diehard fan of either series, but it's safe to assume I'll be sinking 30+ hours into Battlefield 4's chaotic online fun-house.

But what about the exclusives?

Well, on the PS4 we may have only one seemingly sure bet in Killzone: Shadowfall, backed by the albeit iffy Knack. But with a solid number of indies such as Resogun and Contrast, I think we future PS4 gamers have little to fear. On the Xbox One front, there is plenty of potential. Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Killer Instinct, Forza Motorsport 5, Lococycle, and Crimson Dragon all are on pace to be available day one. While I personally question the varying quality of these titles, I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked to see a few of them eventually deemed Worthy Time Sinks. 


True, there are no new AAA IPs like Watch Dogs to ring in the new generation, but we’ll be getting those sort of games in due time. Let's take what we’re getting and make it last just a few short months, because before you know it we’ll be knee deep in 2014 and its Wells Fargo Wagon of Games.

When it comes down to it, buying in for a launch day lineup is incredibly shortsighted. New consoles are an investment in the future. You’re taking a risk on what is to come in the long term, and not what we’ll be getting in just a few short weeks.

Originally posted on Plus10Damage.