Me, I write about games. That alone, arguably, is a good reason to buy a next gen console. But you, dear reader — are there enough reasons for you to buy in?
In an interview with Eurogamer today, Yusuf Mehdi, the Xbox chief of marketing and strategy told Eurogamer that Microsoft plans to support the Xbox 360 after the release of the Xbox One — for a few years, at least.
“If you look at 360 that platform lasted for seven to eight years and it’s going to go for another three years. It’s incredibly profitable now in the tail. We’re going to continue to invest in Xbox 360, and the two devices can work in concert. So it’s not like the day we ship Xbox One your 360 won’t work. We’ll continue to support it,” Mehdi said, before stating that the 360 still had at least 100 games coming in its future.
Now, supporting a console even after the new one ships is not new or novel: the PS2, for example, saw support after the launch of the PS3. Heck, one of the best games in the PS2’s library, Persona 4, released two years after the launch of the PS3. In this regard, Microsoft’s situation is not unique; I’m sure we can expect some PS3 support following the launch of the PS4 too. Still, it’s one of many reasons that can make it easy for the average person to hesitate on dropping a few hundred dollars on new hardware this fall when the PS4 and Xbox One launch, especially when they could just as easily stick with current hardware and not miss out on much. Heck, who doesn’t have a backlog to take care of?
A lot of the big launch games for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, like Watch Dogs, and Assassin’s Creed IV? They’ll be on the 360 and PS3, too. There are exclusives, like Killzone: Shadow Fall and Driveclub for the PS4, and Dead Rising 3 and Forza 5 for the Xbox One, but there’s nothing anyone can concretely say is a system seller. Not yet, anyway. And the next-gen exclusive games that do look promising, like The Division, The Witcher 3, The Order: 1886? We don’t quite know when they’re landing. Not for a while, not until next year, at the earliest. Ultimately, the list of “exciting next-gen exclusive games” isn’t quite as large as the more general “exciting upcoming games.” A more general list can include awesome cross-gen games like Dragon Age: Inquisition and Titanfall.
Plus, it’s no secret that most early adopters get the short end of the stick: they pay the most to have access to the least refined hardware (just look at all the spiffy redesigned consoles we’re getting toward the end of the PS3 and Xbox 360’s lifespan) — hardware that often doesn’t have immediate access to such a great library of refined, worthwhile games. Waiting — be it for better games, better-designed hardware, or cheaper price-points — is never a bad idea. The Wii U, which is arguably a next-gen console, is a great case-in-point here. Sometimes, a console can take a while before it picks up.
It’s not like next-gen consoles don’t have their merits, of course. In particular, I’m fond of the PS4’s “share” button, the Xbox One has improved controllers and a new Kinect which look great, and the specs on both consoles will be better than current offerings. And how rad does remote play look on the Vita and PS4? Plus, it’s been a while since we’ve had new hardware; many people are itching for new consoles. I get it, I do.
But if amidst all the hype for next-gen you’ve found yourself doubting whether or not it’s a good idea to be an early adopter with the Xbox One and the PS4? I don’t blame you.