Why 2015 Is The Year To Upgrade Your Console

The world's biggest video game expo has come and gone for another year and we can't help but feel a little disappointed. In 2013, we urged gamers to hold off on buying a next-gen console. Six months on and not much has changed. Here are five reasons why you're better off waiting until 2015.

"Remaster" double-dipping

Many of the PS4/Xbox One "exclusives" announced at this year's E3 were little more than last generation's games with a slightly slicker paint job. This isn't what we purchased a next-gen console for.

Sure, it'll be nice to play Grand Theft Auto 5 or The Last Of Us in Full HD at 60 frames per second, but not that nice. If you've already finished these games in their original guises, there's zero incentive to buy them all over again. You can expect more of these quickie "remastered" versions to clutter store shelves in months to come. Hopefully, most publishers will have exhausted their back catalogue of suitable candidates by 2015.

Cross-platform hamstringing

Last year, we lamented the lack of PS4/Xbox One titles that were exclusively developed from the ground up on new hardware. Sadly, many of the games featured at this year's E3 fall into the same boat (i.e. cross-platform titles that will be appearing on both old and new systems.)

The obvious downside to this is that the new machines are being held back, both in terms of graphical prowess and gameplay potential. As many reviewers pointed out, the PS4/Xbox One version of Watchdogs didn't exactly scream "next-generation" despite being one of the year's biggest releases. If only it had been an exclusive, eh?

As the new generation's user base grows, this situation will begin to shift. But for now, you can get most AAA games on your old console. Are slicker animations and sharper graphics really worth shelling out hundreds of dollars for? We remain dubious.

Still no price drop

The Sony and Microsoft E3 press conferences were conspicuously tight-lipped on console pricing, which came as no surprise. Traditionally, video game consoles tend to receive an official price drop during their second year on the market. If the PS4 and Xbox One follow suit, we should see a more attractive RRP sometime in 2015.

Apart from the occasional 24-hour sales blitz, you can expect the Xbox One and PS4 to remain at full price for the rest of the year. By contrast, 2015 should be kinder on your wallet. There'll also be a larger games library by then, which could translate to better bundles.

Most big releases aren't coming this year

Most of the biggest announcements at E3 2014 won't actually be appearing until sometime next year. Uncharted 4, the new Zelda, Star Fox, Batman: Arkham Knight, Bloodborne, The Order: 1886, Mortal Kombat X, Dead Island 2, Star Wars: Battlefront and Halo 5 are just some of the games slated to appear next year. 2014 isn't nearly as crowded. Indeed, Driveclub and Halo Remastered appear to be the only noteworthy PS4/Xbox One exclusives.

2015: The Year of Project Morpheus

Project Morpheus Hands-On: The Virtual Future Is Very, Very Bright

This is a big deal. Project Morpheus is Sony's answer to the Oculus Rift: it's a virtual-reality headset that puts you inside PlayStation 4 games. Gizmodo got its hands on the device during E3 2014 and was suitably blown away: "Playing these games raises your pulse in a way that playing on a flat screen (even a very big one) just doesn’t. By altering your sense of reality, Morpheus successfully manages to trigger some of your fight or flight reflexes...It basically allows you to play in a way that would be otherwise impossible."

A release date for Project Morpheus has yet to be announced, but we wouldn't be surprised if it launches at the tail end of next year — which makes 2015 the perfect time to snap up a PS4.


Comments

    I think people hanging on the massive price drops are going to be sorely disappointed. Last gen only had these price slides because it started at such a high point, the PS3 was $1000 here in Aus at release, and it's price only slif because they took stuff out of it anyway and the WiiU only slid because nobody wanted the damn thingsame with the Vita and it's still held reasonably steady until the v2.
    The PS4 and Xbone are at a very precise price point and it is clearly selling (for Sony at least).

      x2 on this, when was the last time we had console entry point this low? The N64/PS1? I remember the PS2 being pretty expensive at release too (but I was in high school so it might of been relative).

      Compared to the 360/PS3, the Xbox One an PS4 are bargains. Really though it'd be great if they were a bit more fully featured for media while the games slowly roll in. Give them both 3D bluray capabilities, PS4 needs DLNA, and some plex apps would round out the experience nicely.

        Yeah pretty sure the PS2 (and I think even the PS1) was $700 at launch, N64 I'm pretty sure was $500, so I think the price points this console generation a very good. I already have an Xbone, and recently a Wii U, and plan on buying a PS4 in about 3 months.

        There's no way in hell they're gonna have a price drop this early after launch, and when all these blockbuster games come out next year they'll have even more reason not to drop it, because they'll be even more desirable.

        Hell, even the Wii U won't be getting a price drop anytime soon, from what I've been reading Wii U console sales have gone through the roof since Mario Kart was released, and with Smash Bros. Yoshi's Woolly World, Captain Toad, Mario Party 10, Kirby and Amiibo's on the Horizon, and Zelda next year, sales are gonna be strong for them for quite a while. This is the turnaround that Nintendo needed.

          I can pretty clearly remember the N64 being $187 at the end of 1998, granted that was 18 months after it was released. I think it started closer to $300 in Aus when it was released.

        Can PS4 stream video files over the local network yet? Play videos that are stored on my PC? Can it even play video files from an external HDD?

          Nope, nope and nope. Xbox One can DLNA PlayTo, but it doesn't have a DLNA browser built I, personally I think this is better, but they've done a shit job of marketing it, and nobody I've talked to seems to know it exists. Neither can use external hdd media currently.

            Who cares about any of that. I want my console to do one thing, play games.

            Pretty sure external hard drive support was implemented in the June update.

              To store games and apps, and transfer the installs between consoles. Not to view media. The drives also have to be formatted specifically to the Xbox One. Plenty of people care about that, plenty of people want their console to do what they're used to their console doing. Neither console is really strong in games.

              Why wouldn't I want my console to do everything? I can be watching TV, watching my game of thrones from uncle torrence, watching Netflix or hulu, and it doesn't matter which of those I'm doing, if I'm sitting in front of my TV, my friends can invite me to play a game on my Xbox and I can join. I find it pretty anti gamer that all these "gamers" don't want their console to do anything but game. Why? They don't like gaming enough to want to do it at any opportunity?

                Horses for courses.

                I do play games at any and every opportunity, but maybe I'm just old school, and I'm eventually gonna get left behind.

                I'm cool with that.

              Well I care. I have a gaming PC in my room. But a PS3 under the TV in the living room to play Blu-rays and anything digital over the network from the PC onto the big TV. I sometimes even play PS3 games on it. Not often. but sometimes.

        N64 debited at 399 remember the ads for it. Ps1 I remember being as high as 1200. This is all on aus tho

          Actually now I think about it you're right, the N64 was $400, it cost me $500 to get the console and Mario 64, so that's where I got that figure from, can't remember the PS1 being anywhere near that high though.

            Bought my first ps1 for $700 at the end of '96

            Actually:
            https://www.flickr.com/photos/archdoug/14438932846/
            $288 for the console; controllers were $48.84 and games went from $68.83 (Cruisin' USA 64) all the way up to $128 (Mortal Komat 64)

          Lemme check: I managed to find a cutout from Kmart of the N64 on release at home xD
          Gave it to mum to say that this is what I wanted for my birthday as I would be overseas at the time. Somehow I got it back then kept it away in some scrap book somewhere...

      Plus to be honest, they're pretty damn affordable. 500 for a console is ok. I can see them going to 399 in say, 3 years? But not much sooner than that. Plus we're looking at the cheapest generation of games since the PS1. With companies fighting each other I can get a game for 68 bucks brand new! Bonus! Back then 69 - 79 was RRP. PS2 they hit 99.

        Unless you're buying digital off the XBOX Store. Then it's $99.99 all the time. Digital convenience is never having to deal with unpredictable prices.

          Bah, buy from the US store, then it's $59 US :D. Region swap, buy with AU credit card, region swap back, download and play.

          Last edited 16/06/14 9:13 pm

            I hope they don't fix that anytime soon.

              That's why I would much rather pester them to change their minds than be satisfied gaming the system. I'm sure they could argue that it breaks the terms if they ever felt like it. I don't think they've ever even hinted at wanting to get into that messy area, but I just don't trust Microsoft enough to ever put myself in a position where they're potentially got a green light to delete my games. You break those terms and in their mind they're free to walk into your house and take their XBOX back. =P

                There are quite a few people on forums who have got Microsoft support to help them set up US billing fully transparent in what they were going to use it for. The support guys thought it was a great idea.

                  Honestly, I'm with @dogman - I'm sure corporate thinks it's a great idea as well. Keep the noisiest players thinking they've got a good deal by helping them out and make the 'protest' noise about Oz-tax go away.

                  Why drop AU prices to the same as the US across the board when you can oil the squeaky wheel so a handful of savvy users get regular prices and MS still picks up the Australia-taxed prices from Mums and Dads who don't know the difference? No incentive for them to change anything at all, that way.

                  @transietmind honestly I think it has more to do with keeping their retail partners happy. Why drop the price and directly compete with the people who sell your consoles and games to mums and dads, risking them pushing your competitors product? It wasn't the consumer backlash that killed the E3 vision xbox, it was the retailer backlash.

        Guess I'm a bit older but I remember when I was a kid my parents wouldn't buy my a snes cos games were 99 retail. Same for n64 n ps1. A sale around release was 89 bucks. Fromy knowledge anyways. Price wise it's much cheaper to game today.

      Yep. Looking back it's also very important to remember the fuss the Wii was making at the time. The PS3 launch price was high but it wasn't outrageous until the Wii hit. We look at the Wii as a bit of a joke now but at the time it sank the PS3 launch. It's sucker punch took the PS3 from a sure thing after almost total domination of the PS2 generation to scrambling to compete with the follow up to the console Microsoft had to spend almost $4b on just to stay in the ring with the PS2.

      That said things aren't going perfectly for Microsoft and Sony this time around either. The XBOX One and PS4 are both suffering from a bad case of meh. They don't look bad but the number of people who aren't interested enough to upgrade seems higher than usual. I know personally nobody plays my XBOX One or PS4 and rushes off to buy one. The XBOX 360 and PS3 are currently giving the XBOX One and PS4 enough competition that either side may drop the price to secure converts. Normally they'd be happy to wait until the games dry up to force people's hands, but they've got to be at least a little concerned that waiting may blow up in their faces.

      Exactly.

      The PS4 already costs LESS than the PS3 did at the same point in its life cycle, and that's without even factoring in 7 years of inflation. That's pretty crazy when you think about it.

      Compared to buying into previous generations of consoles, PS4 / XBone / Wii U are actually pretty damn affordable already.

        It's worth remembering that the power jump between the PS3 and PS4 is much smaller than the power jump between PS3 and PS2. Also it had a Blu-Ray player when stand alone units where upwards of $700.

        And we where doing pretty good economically pre GFC. Both Companies have factored in the current state of affairs.

        I'm also of the opinion Sony was a bit lax due to the massive success of the PS1 & PS2.

          To be honest I'm not sure why they haven't both ramped up the power and priced them at the $700 mark, it wouldn't of taken much more power to be solid easy 1080 60fps, instead of this 1-2 years of optimising to get there.

            The problem is, people say that but it isn't all that easy, people say look at what PCs can do, but look at the size of PCs and what you need to keep them running with performance like they put out, try and squeeze that into a little black box. The smaller you try and make computing power the more heat it produces and its exponential. Unfortunately consoles also need to be consoles, make them big enough to put out the performance of a PC and you just have a PC.

            Not to mention the "leap" in performance not being as great it was is a trend across all technology, it is slowing down across the board because we are reaching the limits of performance vs size and power consumption.

            In short I'm sure it's not just a price point issue holding the power back and holding the developers back.

              Remember reading a article a while back saying thay technology now days is severely hamstrings by what you said, heat. My rig today requires 6 fans to keep temp at mid 40's. Pretty good imo, disaster over summer tho. Closed door = sauna

            I think they believed it would take longer to get a return on their investment at a higher buy in rate.

            And in this era of Financial instability best to make Safe bets. Hold back $200 worth of power for something easier to sell. People where getting desperate for a new machine so they didn't have to make massive jumps like previous generations.

      I wouldn't expect price drops until the next node shrink, which should be quite a while off. The Rx 200 series Radeons are all on 28nm, as are all the Jaguar-based APUs and their Puma-based successors. 20nm looks to be some time away.

      the Xbox One is already $200 cheaper than launch and comes with games!! in New zealand anyway, I paid $750 for the fifa bundle on launch, its not about $560 I think with forza 5.

      Last edited 17/06/14 8:40 am

      Thats true, in the past the masses basically jumped on board when the consoles dropped to around the current release price.
      The other thing is that in the past when a Playstation was released it also packed a new form of media (ps2 DVD, and ps3 Bluray) which a standalone player was fairly expensive at the time which helped people justify the cost.

    To be honest the "remastering" is quite disappointing especially for the last of us and GTA, games that released just last year. The Last of Us is apparently using the same assets as the PS3 version as well, it was just scaled down on the PS3 because it wasn't powerful enough. While there are some small differences between the PS3 and 4 versions, there are hardly enough to make me go and spend another $70-80 on something i played less then a year ago.

    GTA i will forgive a little more since it is actually coming to PC and they seem to be experimenting with a few things (traffic density, significantly more detail in the environment).

    Master chief collection is getting the thumbs up. Halo 1 anniversary with multi online as it was, H2 campaign getting remastered, 6 H2 maps getting remastered, H2 MP as it was at launch, H3 and H4 campaign and multi in 1080p and 60fps, all from the same UI and all interchangeable with playlists for campaign, multiplayer and co-op for all 4 games on dedicated servers. This picture explains the value: http://i.imgur.com/7CWkHsL.png

    While it might seem a little hypocritical of me to be bagging GTA and Last of Us and giving the thumbs up to halo there are a few key differences. Halo did not come out last year, the chief collection is 4 full games with their respective multiplayers all intact and playable as it shipped with and playable on the same playlists which is incredible and IMO offers more value. I honestly don't think i have seen more value in a collection since Orange Box and Burnout Collection.

    Also willing to take bets morpheus slips into 2016 and the PS4 is not getting a price drop till then either (unless MS and nintendo sales start impacting on Sony's sales)

    Last edited 16/06/14 8:35 pm

      With the Last of Us assets it's plausible that the originals were made for the PS4 and scaled down for the PS3. It doesn't hurt that the game looks fantastic on more than just a system spec level. It's a lot like the classic GameCube games like Luigi's Mansion, Mario Sunshine, Metroid Prime, Wind Waker, etc, where no matter how out of date the graphics get the environmental detail is there so the HD version really is just a case of turning the resolution up, smoothing over the few rough patches and tweaking the controls a little.
      Of course if you don't feel like playing it again on the PS4 is worth the cost of a full game that's fair enough. I think it's a smart move though since the PS4 wants to snipe a lot users from the 360 who probably didn't play it but know it's a great game. I had a similar response to the 'definitive' Tomb Raider re-release. I missed the original and there wasn't much going on on the new consoles at the time so the upgraded version was worth the full sticker price.

      Meanwhile Halo sort of needs it the same way the original Fable needed a remaster to bring it back up to a playable level. When you just up the specs on the game it's still crystal clear you're playing an old game. Plus the older Halo games are legitimately old enough that a remaster rescues it from the scrap pile. People see it as milking a cash cow, but as long as the quality stays high I see it as a good thing. I mean as long as it's not diverting funds from new games what's bad about having the option to pick up Metroid Prime I-III in HD on the Wii U? It's a little early but Gears of War, BioShock, Left 4 Dead, Mass Effect, etc should never be at the mercy of being out of print or only on consoles that are no longer being manufactured/supported.

        I got the feeling playing the Last of Us that they had pushed the machine too far and some aspects were inconsistent because of it. It was a gorgeous game, but it looked like it was squeezing every last drop of power out of the system if you know what I mean.

        Yes, it had some real time reflections (At least I think it did, it was a while ago. But it was amazing that they worked) but they were very low resolution. It really looked and felt like it was a defiant effort from naughty dog to push themselves and the system as hard as they could one last time. They seem like the type to get a kick out of torturing themselves and the systems like that haha.

        I will be picking up the remastered version, because I felt that the game was ever so slightly offbalance visually. It looked both amazing and dated. The ps4 version is worth it for 1080p and the texture filtering alone IMHO. Let alone the supposed 60fps and other improvements.

      The remastered releases are great for anyone who switched consoles this generation, though.

        Truth be told I'm not sure about them. It was fun when a few games that came out close to the next gen systems got ported over because I think they were close enough to have been seen as belonging there.

        Then it was fine when a few key titles everyone wanted to see that were perhaps held back got the treatment. Just like the HD remastering last gen.

        Difference being with the HD collections we were getting 2-3 'classic' games completely re-worked for the price of one. Not one tweaked game running higher resolution. (not saying that's always the case, but it's starting to look bad imo.)

        I guess we got used to the idea last gen and it isn't such a stretch now to get what we are getting so we accept it. It also makes last gen feel even less capable, which although true, is sad. I don't want to look back at a generation and say: well, at least NOW it can actually be 1080p. Especially when they aren't even completely out moded yet. It makes consoles look like a bad joke and like publishers really have very little drive to look for new IP's.

    On the other hand now is the perfect time to buy a WiiU because Mario Kart is out.

      Yep I was about to say that. Bought one a couple of weeks ago because of Mario Kart and Donkey Kong Country mainly, but there's quite a few good looking games on their way this year as well. Now I think is a great time to buy a Wii U and it's a bit disappointing the article only focused on the PS4 and Xbone.

        I got a wiiu just after my ps4. I use the wiiu and my pc more than my ps4. I still use the ps3, vita and 3ds more than the ps4.

        Actually.. I wonder if it still works, I haven't turned it on since Infamous, and after Gta and The lastof us (two remasterings) it looks like it won't come on until 2015 again. This gen was rushed out and ontop of that I think developers under estimated how much effort 'next gen' would take. (they were all saying they wouldn't need more development time and that their engines are all next gen already because they are scalable, leaving only a handful of games that actually look 'next gen'. What a sad state of affairs.)

    no. just no. it is never a good year to get a new console. the current day you are in is as perfect as any to get a new PC. but never a console. you will always be behind in technology and power with every new console. its a joke.

      Maybe for you, but not for most people. PC gaming is expensive and restrictive. I can't play multiplayer co-op with my son on a PC. We can't sit on our sofas and play games as a family on a PC. Consoles are there for different things, and there's nothing wrong with that. Neither format is right or wrong, and each has its limitations. I don't care about cutting edge graphical performance, so consoles have always made the most sense to me.

    Of course, if you were putting off purchasing games like GTA5 in the hope that you'd be able to play them on the next generation of hardware, perhaps the remastered versions do make it worth upgrading.

    I've certainly had enough games in my shame pile to not be tempted so far (although I am starting to consider it).

      Honestly, I was so happy with GTA V I pre ordered it as soon as I heard it was coming to PS4. The Last of Us, even though I owned it on PS3 never played it and was happy to trade it in (I got more for it trading in than I paid for it on boxing day) for the new version, since I had no intentions on playing it on my PS3 after becoming so accustomed to the PS4 controller.

      Now if only they'd remaster Heavy Rain & Beyond Two Souls. I'd buy those again for sure.

        Maybe if they came on one disk... Or perhaps if they, you know, made a new game like developers should we new hardware comes out.

          What're you talking about PlayStation games do come on one disk :P

          I don't see why they "have" to make a new game for new hardware, I reckon it's a good idea in some cases to take some of the big sellers of the previous gen which came out <1 year before the new consoles and bring them to the new format. It lets developers get comfortable with something that is already a success and will have a guaranteed fan base on the new consoles!

            I meant both games on one disk. Also, while I would pick them up, I don't want the option.

            I'm starting to feel ripped off by all these 'remasterings'. As much as I would like them, it has to stop somewhere. If people want to play old games that they used to play 'low' @ 720p but now max settings 1080p after upgrading their systems they should rather have PC's. Selling the PC dream on console doesn't work because of one little reason: We have to go buy the game a second time.

            So while I will be getting both GTA and the Last of Us on PS4 even though I have them on PS3, I do feel that they should do one of three things:

            1) Stop

            2) Offer the remastering at a discount for people who already have the game, if not free for anyone with the digital version (I know more work goes in but it does not justify paying near full price twice. Especially when on PC you don't have to re-purchase a game when you upgrade if you want to run it at higher settings on your new hardware.)

            3) Make consoles more like PC's where they can run games from older hardware but at higher settings, again using the old game, not a new version of it. In other words: Bring back some form of 'scalable' backwards compatibility that allows some form of upping the resolution/ settings and make sure modern games/ systems think towards future systems to ensure compatibility. It may be limiting, but with X86 I don't see why next gen (PS5 or whatever) can't have backwards compatibility if needed. (But lets face it, I seriously doubt any publisher would want to loose the opportunity to re-sell a 'remastering'.)

            On the front of exclusives however.. Its a tough cookie. Because I know many people would have missed out. I guess my feelings are the same: Because there is no backwards compatibility, offer discounts to people who already have it, and only make the remastered games if it doesn't affect the production of new games.

            Last edited 17/06/14 7:32 pm

    Still no price drop

    Whose expecting a price drop on 2 fast selling consoles that aren't even a year old. Also the Dick Smith sales are more than occasional. Just yesterday you could get the Destiny white PS4 bundle for $480.

    The lack of good quality and variety of games for the current consoles is what kills them.
    I have an xbox one and haven't played it in over 6 months. It's my new dust collector.

    This is why we still call PS4 and XB1 next gen, because it hasn't really happened yet.

    It's only the people who bought the new gameless consoles who moan about us doing this, their cries and arguments that PS4 and XB1 are 'current gen' are laughable.

    I don't begrudge the pricing except to point out that at $150 more than the US price, Sony is taking the piss big time. No amount of exchange rate or GST can explain that mark-up.

      $150 is probably fairly reasonable IMO. GST would make up at least a third of that, then factor in shipping and handling and exchange rate and it actually doesn't come out too bad. It's certainly not almost double the price like some other products on the market.

        they all ship form the same place - china. gst is 10% $39 and converting from US $399 is $425. so thats about $465. NOT $548, its the FU australia tax and theres no justifying it at all

          US prices don't include their sales tax so it's not that black and white

          Shipping from the same place doesn't mean the shipping cost is the same- the US makes up a lot on volume.

          Plus, domestic distribution is more.

    The only reason they continue to hang onto "cross-gen" games is because a massive % of the market hasn't upgraded yet. So what you're telling us to do is wait for the games but so many of us waiting is what's keeping our games back also. The sooner we leave our "last-gen" consoles behind, the sooner we will get epic "current-gen" exclusive games.

    Side note, I haven't bought a PS4 yet either, I'm still on my 360... but it's killing me cause I'm missing out on so many games. (I don't want to play cross-gen games on my 360 just because of the tiny things "next-gen/current-gen" will have over "last-gen" versions)

    If I could afford it I would have my PS4 already and be looking at Xboning it up soon too. I hate this "cross-gen" shit holding our games back!!!

      I'm actually starting to wonder if developers/ publishers aren't actually going to hold onto PS360 for the next few years and treat it like an entry-level market or the PS4/X1/PC as a more 'enthusiast' market, offering them slight upgrades over last gen systems.

      There are plenty of new games coming, even in 2015, to half justify not upgrading yet if you haven't already.

      I'm not saying that we wont see more 'current gen' exclusive games, but I think this time around the PS360 is going to hold on longer than any past consoles. IMO.

      Last edited 17/06/14 7:37 pm

    So let me get this straight. If I wait the console will get cheaper and there will be more games available?

    BIND MLOWN.

    PC > Wii U > XBONE/PS4 at this stage. Aside from MGS: Ground Zeroes and Garden Warfare I havent touched my ''next gen'' console. Very disappointing so far.

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