It's Time To Buy A Modern Video Game Console

It's Time To Buy A Modern Video Game Console

Hey, you. Gal or guy who's interested in video games but still doesn't have a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One (or, of course, the PC equivalent). Now is the time to buy one.

In November of 2013, when Sony and Microsoft first launched their video game boxes, it was hard to recommend either of them without throwing in some caveats. Both consoles were impressive, sure, and from a technical standpoint they blew their predecessors out of the water, but they just didn't have enough games. Multiplatform titans like Assassin's Creed IV and Battlefield were also available on the last-generation Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and it was tough to justify buying a $600 console for the likes of Knack or Ryse. Back then, if you asked me whether you should buy a "next-gen" console, I'd say sure, as long as you kept in mind you were investing in the video games of the future.

Two years later, that future has arrived. Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are a little sleeker, a little cheaper, and way easier to justify, whether you live and breathe video games or you're just curious about the hobby. If you can deal with all the patches, installations, and other tedious bullshit that's coupled to modern gaming, then consider this an official recommendation: It's time to buy a current-generation console.

Go ahead and take a second to browse our lists of the best games for both systems. It's almost hard to believe how strong they have gotten. RPG fans can lose many a weekend to The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, and Divinity: Original Sin. People who prefer more action can mess around in the worlds of Infamous: Second Son or Sunset Overdrive. There's Batman: Arkham Knight, Bloodborne, Ori and the Blind Forest, Rocket League, and so many more games both big and small that are well worth your time. Some, like Batman and Bloodborne, are exclusive to the newer consoles. Others, like Call of Duty: Black Ops III, don't even ship with a campaign on PS3 and Xbox 360. Current-gen versions of gems like Metal Gear Solid V and Dragon Age: Inquisition both look and run better than the older ports, and today, two years into this generation, publishers have all but stopped supporting the last generation of consoles.

That's a lot of proper nouns, right? If you're not a big gamer, let me slow it down for you. The Witcher 3, a fantasy role-playing game made in Poland, drops you into a massive world and lets you hack your way through all sorts of smart, well-written quests and stories. Rocket League, a digital game, is basically soccer with cars. A few of us Kotaku writers are obsessed with Destiny, and if you're looking for an excuse to get on voice chat with your friends and shoot some aliens, you could do way worse than the PS4 version. The remade version of The Last of Us, while sometimes clunky and complicated for inexperienced gamers, tells one of the strongest stories in modern media. Until Dawn is an interactive horror movie. All of these games are rewarding in many ways, and they will enrich your lives more than Candy Crush or even, dare I say, Threes.

It's not just games. The new consoles are a lifestyle upgrade for gamers. Sure, the Xbox 360 and PS3 had Netflix and friends lists and could do plenty more than the Xbox and PlayStation 2, but an upgrade to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, consoles with about a half-decade's worth of better technology in them, should provide some positive culture shock. The new machines multitask better, have sleeker interfaces, and even let you suspend your games so that you can pick up right where you were the next time you wake your console up.

You might be thinking: What about Nintendo? Isn't the Wii U pretty cool? I hear that Mario Maker thing is awesome. You would be right. But the Wii U, like the Wii before it, is best as a supplement to the other consoles, not a replacement. You're only going to get Nintendo games there. All of the big multiplatform games — the Call of Dutys, the Batmans, the Fallouts — are designed for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, so if you want to play most modern video games, you'll have to get one of those three.

Two years into this console generation, we've hit the point of no return. Whether you're a veteran gamer who's refused to upgrade or you've just heard about this "Fallout 4" thing on the subway and you're curious to see what today's video games are all about, you should buy a current-gen console. No caveats needed.


    All I can hear being played right now is Splatoon.... It has become an obsession in my house. Go figure!

    Last edited 15/11/15 8:48 am

      Don't be silly, Splatoon isn't a modern game on a modern console for modern gamers.

          Stopped watching when he said it doesn't take war seriously. I think a strong argument could be made there that COD/Battlefield are much more guilty for this.

          Though after typing that out, I'm sure we discover at the end of the video it was all satire :p

            It is satire.

            The reasons he gives are ridiculous!

            Last edited 16/11/15 12:50 pm

    I bought a PS4 this year. It was a good decision and I'm glad I didn't buy one any earlier.

    All things considered, the Wii U has had a far better library than the PS4 or XB1 up until this point. But E3 this year also marked the beginning of the end for that console.

    I think the Wii U has been criminally overlooked, but the truth is that the PS4/XB1 are the consoles with the brightest future at this point.

      I keep trying to talk myself into a Wii U but they are just too expensive at this point, they shouldnt be in the same price bracket as the Xbone/PS4.

      And every time I look at the games I remember Nintendo NEVER drops the prices of their games so each game will be the full 60.

        IMHO, as an owner of everything, just wait to see if the NX has backwards compatibility. Even if it doesn't, WiiU prices would most likely drop at that point. The WiiU is a great additional console to compliment a main platform, so there isn't too much urgency to get one 'right now'.

        Last edited 15/11/15 4:39 pm

        I've got kids, so the local multiplayer options are simply unbeatable (SSB, MK8, SM3DW, Rayman, etc).

        Aside from that, The Wonderful 101, Bayonetta, Splatoon and Pikmin 4 are all games I'm really glad I got a chance to play.

        to be brutally honest the Wii U isnt worth the asking price. if you absolutely must play the latest version of Mario then go for it otherwise its not really worth it.

        I made the mistake of grabbing one on day one. i have 3 games for it to this day.

        This is the same reason I never got a Wii U. I've been waiting patiently for a price drop to about $200 and since it's never happened apart from a flash sale or two, I've never bought one :-P

    Might consider getting a PS4 if I have the funds.

     it, is best as a supplement to the other consoles, not a replacement

    Very silly that WiiU isn't included, for someone with a PC WiiU is the best option.

      How is it? I think it boils down to your individual tastes. I've always been a Sony fan, so I ended up with a PS4, even though I mostly play games on my PC these days. I'm also thinking about getting an Xbone, because why not & the model with the hybrid 1TB & elite controller seems cool.

        I'd say because Nintendo have a lot of it's own exclusives, whereas many PS4 and XB1 titles are also available on PC, so having a PC and Wii U probably gives you access to a wider range of games.

          I guess if you like Nintendo games, then yeah sure! But personally I never found them to be that interesting to me.

            Ditto here. I've never really been able to feel much enthusiasm for any of the Nintendo franchises (although I'm sure some of them deserve it).

            About the only games that tempt me to get a Wii U are Bayonetta 2 and the new Xenoblade game, but two games isn't enough to buy a new console.

            Pretty much the only people making games for the Wii U at the moment are the people Nintendo is paying to do so. Admittedly, the same is true of the other consoles where exclusives are concerned, but at least the PS4/XB1 have healthy third-party support independent of bribes.

              Curious as to why you are not terribly interested. Is this just your view or from playing them?

                I've played a decent cross-section of the classic Nintendo franchises.

                Super Mario (2D and 3D), Super Mario Kart, Zelda... Pokemon isn't bad, but is mostly on portable. Metroid (Prime, never played the original) was sort of OK but didn't really grab me. Castlevania I've never tried but it's supposed to be similar to Metroid. Have I left out anything important? I have a copy of Pikmin but I don't think I've ever actually played it.

                I can't say I hate them, just don't like them very much. I have enough games that I positively like to not splash out on a new console unless it has something outstanding.

                The fact that I generally dislike platformers probably plays a role, since almost all of their big franchises have a platforming component. The main exception is SM Kart, where I dislike the rubber-banding and the arbitrary power-ups.

                I bought my Wii mostly for Xenoblade Chronicles (and a couple of other 3rd-party RPGs reeased at about the same time) and a Gamecube mostly for Tales of Symphonia and Baiten Kaitos. I bought an N64 (my first Nintendo console) originally for Mario 64, before I'd formed an opinion of the franchise.

                So it's not just hearsay. It is actually possible for people to be disinterested in Nintendo franchises while having played their games.

                (Edit) Also played Animal Crossing, which is perhaps the only Nintendo franchise I actively dislike on a "how much will you pay me to play this" sort of level.

                Last edited 16/11/15 1:06 pm

                  Fair enough! It's just that there is a fair range of different genres they cater to, that is all.

                  Give Pikmin a go, that is probably one my all time favourite series. 2 and 3 particularly.

          @virus__ as well

          The WiiU and PS4 both, IMO, make great 'additional' consoles. They both have a good amount of exclusives. Just depends which types appeal to you, as Virus has said really.

    I put it to the family... "A PS4 for Christmas?" It got a strangely half hearted response.
    They seem pretty happy, and pretty invested, in their PS3 games.
    I think it will happen, but the TV is running out of HDMI ports.

    Still very unimpressed with next gen. Still having fun with my Xbox 360 plus they keep giving away games on Xbox live. Nuts to next gen.

    Anyone care to give a PS4 or XB1 to a brother?


      Too bad I don't have a brother :P

    I adopted both last year. PS4 has been fantastic, while Xbox has had 2 exclusives I've been interested in. I'm sure WiiU is great and all, but if I had to dismiss any of them this generation, that would be the one.

      So you'd rather 2 consoles that do almost exactly the same thing? Than 2 different platforms covering more exclusives?

      I just don't understand people.

        yeah you could have a games console or a machine to play multiple variations of mario.... coool.

    "But the Wii U, like the Wii before it, is best as a supplement to the other consoles, not a replacement."

    The WiiU is the best Nintendo hardware you can buy, ps4 and xone are not the best x86 hardware you can buy- the PC is.
    Therefore the WiiU is 'best' as a supplement to PCs, not other consoles as they are the inferior choice.

    "The Last of Us, while sometimes clunky and complicated for inexperienced gamers, tells one of the strongest stories in modern media"

    Face to the palm.

    I just really like my PC at the moment you know..........I am kind of interested when the playstationVR comes out........maybe Ill buy one then??

    I got given an Xbox One by my exs parents. I wouldn't buy one. Trying to justify a PS4 but I'll wait for R&C and a few other titles before jumping in, Bloodborne is the only thing I'm interested in.

    I have a PS4. But i cant say that it's 100% necessary. It's not even plugged in right now.

    I'd wait a year. If you have a decent PC you will be able to play rocket league and most multi plat games. The PS4-Slim or whatever the upgraded model is will be available. Which might actually have decent power efficiency, current games will have hit a price drop, and the PS4 might have more then 3 exclusives worth owning. (HD remakes don't count)

    Meanwhile Next year is going to be huge. in terms of new content. Plus Nintendo is going to Launch the NX soon. I'd hate to Upgrade to the PS4/XB1 early and miss out on the NX, which will probably have a launch lineup loaded with Wii U ports plus a bunch of new games.

    You find almost all the good titles of the Xbone and the PS4 on PC but none of the Nintendo ones. And yet, somehow the Wii U is the "supplemental console"? If any, there are good arguments to state that the Wii U is the only must-have console, while the other two are supplemental for the handful of worthy console-exclusives they have.

      This kind of bias has gone on since the GameCube.

      I would love a WiiU but I'm holding my powder to see what the NX is first - if it's the real deal (a Nintendo system which merges handheld and console) then I'm onboard!

    can't use mods on these potatos and exclusives...HA! What exclusives?
    Potato owners can't even use something as simple as a save game for FO4...

    Last edited 15/11/15 11:20 pm

    I bit the bullet and signed up for a steam account shortly after release of the new consoles to tide me over until I found a reason to upgrade.
    Now I have over 120 games on the list and very little motivation to spend another few hundred on a new console
    Cant really say Ive missed a console too much, Ive just hooked the PC up to my lounge room TV and playing with a controller so it doesnt really feel that different

    Two years later, that future has arrived." LOL what, you mean the 30 capped fps, areas where fps drop to 15, no 1080p, dumbed down gameplay, outdated hardware?? What future?

    By the time I can justify a PS4/XBoxOne in my house, the PS5 and XBoxTwo will be out. I have a PS3.. and I have a beast of a PC. Once my son is a little older and can actually manage to hold a controller and make use of it, then I might consider buying one.

    Having said that, the thing I find that is different from the consoles and the PC is that the PC isolates you a lot more than the consoles. When you're playing on the console, you're sitting on the couch and you're not isolating yourself from the rest of the people in the house... you're still approachable etc. When you're on the PC, you're focused solely on the game on that LCD in front of you.. hunched over your keyboard and mouse etc. It really isolates you away from the other people in the house.

    What I really want to get is a decent android media device... every time I think I've found one, it either gets discontinued (Razer Forge TV) or turns out to be not as good as I thought (Roku 3/4, can't use Kodi). Oh well...

    Last edited 16/11/15 9:03 am

    Articles like this have disregarded Nintendo machines since the Gamecube, nothing has changed.

    Games do not have to be a lifestyle choice
    Games do not have to be a lifestyle choice
    Games do not have to be a lifestyle choice
    Games do not have to be a lifestyle choice
    Games do not have to be a lifestyle choice
    Games do not have to be a lifestyle choice

    PS4 is there to supplement my Wii U. I bought the PS4 for exclusives, I bought the Wii U for exclusives. I am having more fun with Wii U exclusives than anything else in the last 10 years.

    Still waiting for an exclusive killer app on either system and there is nothing on the horizon that looks remotely interesting. My 2012 PC still more than enough to handle the rare AAA port that interests me. In all likelihood this will be the first console gen I miss since the second.

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