Why I haven’t upgraded to the “current-generation” of video game consoles
Since creating this blog in 2007, a significant amount of articles have been video-game related. However, as the years go by, things change. I am currently heavily involved in my PhD program, work, and three volunteer jobs. While I did purchase a Nintendo 3DS (which gets the most usage, along with the Original Xbox), this was back when the 3DS first launched and I had more time to immerse myself in video games.
I also purchased a Playstation Vita on launch day (because I really wanted to play Lumines Electronic Symphony and soon after, Gravity Rush). However, the Playstation Vita mainly collects dust as there are not too many games that have been released. My brother finds the Vita a great entertainment device for watching movies though.
With the Wii U, Xbox One, and Playstation 4 console releases, I did not feel any compelling reason to “buy me now” (as so they say on infomercials). Here’s a rundown on why I have yet to purchase these consoles (despite my busy schedule, which will not be a reason listed):
Wii U: The Wii U (32 GB) system currently retails for about $299 as of this writing. Once in awhile, there are sales that drop the price to about $250, but this is still not worth it to me. It’s difficult to purchase a system when there’s so few games worth buying for the system. ZombiU, The Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros., The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Super Mario 3D World, and Bayonetta 2 are the main exclusives (as of November 2014). Of these games, I have personally already played many of them at my sister’s house (The Wonderful 101, Mario Kart 8, and Super Mario 3D World). I also played The Wind Waker on the Gamecube and don’t see much need to get the HD version if I were to buy a Wii U. If I ever wanted to play other Wii U games, I could always rent a Wii U game and play the game at my sister’s home. Additionally, the online infrastructure still leaves much to wish for, and is lagging behind in today’s times.
I was also disappointed by the Wii (though I was happy for buying the Wii if only for Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon, which is my favorite Wii game). I don’t really see myself purchasing a Wii U, but it does have the highest possibility out of the three current generation consoles (especially if the Fatal Frame game is released in North America). I also believe that Nintendo will probably release a much better bundle down the road (in one or two years, along with a price drop). Since there isn’t much of a backload of games to play, waiting that long wouldn’t be problematic if I felt that I wanted to buy one. The Nintendo Eshop is also a decent enticement, with the rare Earthbound game available to download.
Xbox One: With hardly any unique exclusive games (Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection are the only two I can think of right now), buying an Xbox One is not on the radar. Although The Master Chief Collection is a great drawing point, Halo 3 was really the end for me. I tried playing the Halo 4 campaign at a friend’s house, and by the time I got to the second level, it didn’t feel like Halo and was rather bizarre (strange new alien creatures and weapons). The multiplayer also failed for me, as I did not like the new maps and gameplay. I also feel that the series was supposed to end at Halo 3, so anything after is just “milking the cash cow”. With Bungie no longer on board with Halo, 343i has taken Halo to a new direction and not one that I agree with. The Xbox One, which is priced at $399 (without the Kinect) is severely lacking in what the Xbox brand was known for: amazing games.
Who can also forget the “slap in the face” to all Xbox consumers during the Xbox One release pre-E3 event? Microsoft told consumers that the Xbox One had to be connected online, and buying used games would not be possible. Realizing their errors, Microsoft changed strategies, but has suffered because of their original plans. With the Xbox 360 still alive and running (and also has more features than the Xbox One in other ways), there is little incentive to upgrade, especially since many games are still going to be released on the Xbox 360. While it would be cool to play Halo 2 in HD and relive those moments, the upgrade won’t have the same appeal… and most of the people I played the game with online have moved on to other things (life takes over). Finally, I still have many games I would like to finish on the Original Xbox (yes the really old console released back in 2001 in North America). Those games include Fatal Frame II, Panzer Dragoon Orta (the extra missions), Syberia II, The Matrix: Path of Neo, Dreamfall, and Beyond Good and Evil (plus a few others).
Playstation 4: In order to explain why I don’t really want a PS4 (but does interest me more than an Xbox One), I have to begin with the Playstation 3. I purchased a Playstation 3 when Uncharted 2 was released, and there were only a handful of games that really interested me after. While I enjoyed exclusives such as Ni no Kuni, Heavy Rain, and Beyond Two Souls, there wasn’t much more that I can recall worthy of a system purchase. There were some great digital games too, but overall I did not play the system enough to really consider buying a Playstation 4 at $399 (which lacks many features that the Playstation 3 has).
Time will tell how the Playstation 4 evolves, and I do think it will do the best out of the three current generation consoles, with the Wii U hopefully gaining more sales, while the Xbox One struggles to keep up, with only their Halo franchise (or some new franchises or revivals) to keep the systems selling.
This article is not meant to deter anyone from purchasing any of these consoles, but I have a good feeling each of them will have a price drop and significant console adjustment that would make waiting worthwhile since there isn’t many games out worth buying a system for right now.