With the eighth generation of consoles coming to a close, Sony and Microsoft have new consoles ready to buy. Excitement is high, and fans are devouring the smallest morsel of information like ravenous animals. It’s easy to fall in with the crowd, but is buying a new console right now necessary? Both consoles have their draws, but are they enough to justify dropping hundreds of dollars in a time of worldwide financial instability? Here’s three reasons why it might be wiser to wait for a PS5 or Xbox Series X.
1. No Games
Covid-19 has affected every creative industry on the planet in some negative aspect. Not being in the same room as the rest of your creative team is a massive obstacle that will lengthen the development of any project. We’ve seen evidence of this with delays of many next-gen titles, the most high-profile example being Halo Infinite. It’s also come out recently that Kena: Bridge of Spirits has been delayed with coronavirus responsible.
With this lack of next-gen titles, why should we upgrade our equipment? Unless you absolutely need to have more power, there won’t be many games this holiday season that will be exclusive to next-gen consoles. Third party titles releasing will also be available on current consoles, with many developers even providing next-gen upgrades completely free.
And if you’re a die-hard Xbox fan, there’s even less of a reason to buy a Series X/S. Xbox Game Pass might be an amazing subscription service, but it’s also left no incentive to purchase a new console. Microsoft itself has admitted that there will be no Series X exclusives for at least a couple of years. Since every first party title will be available on Xbox Game Pass anyway, why go to the effort of buying a brand new console?
2. Hardware Issues
With every new generation of consoles, there are the inevitable hardware and technical issues. Every console from past generations has had some kind of problem right after launch, and this time will probably be no different. Critical software errors, dodgy disc drives, and faulty headsets were some launch issues this generation, and whilst these didn’t affect every console, you could just as easily become one of the unlucky few that have to suffer through day one launch issues.
The seventh generation of consoles had even more notable issues. For starters, the Xbox 360 had a loose disc drive, with many people experiencing laser burnt discs from picking up their consoles. Then there was the console bricking “Red Ring of Death”, a phrase that makes any Xbox owner shudder.
The PS3 was also horribly optimised, something which ultimately led to Xbox dominating that generation. Games would be have ridiculously long install periods, and third-party titles were notably inferior on Sony’s system. Time has shown that becoming an early adopter isn’t a necessarily wise thing to do. You’re basically gambling that your system will work perfectly from day one. Why do that when you could let people test the systems out first before you put down your hard-earned cash?
Another reason to wait for a PS5 or Xbox Series X is the price. Xbox Series S might be a cheap entry point for next-gen, but it’s still hundreds of dollars. Lots of people have been praising Xbox All-Access, a system that lets you pay for a new Xbox in instalments, but can you honestly tell me you’d get yourself into two years of debt just for a gaming console? A more measured approach would be to wait for six months, or even a year. Consoles always receive significant price cuts in their first year to mop up any potential customers holding out for discounts.
Better yet, why not wait for the inevitable console bundles that also come out around a year after launch? I’ve already explained how a lot of games have been pushed back to 2021. You could pick up a console at a reduced price with a must-have game alongside it for the same price as the console at launch. It’s fine if you have all the money in the world, but if you’re more concerned about how expensive upgrading consoles will be this year, try waiting for some price drops first.
So there’s three reasons to wait for a PS5 or Xbox Series X. I know I won’t convince those of you who are dead set on buying a new console at launch. However, if you know you’re going to struggle to afford one this year, just be aware that you’re not missing much. We let FOMO dominate our lives, but sometimes it’s better to step back and look at something critically. You won’t be much better off buying a new console immediately anyway.