Thursday Throwdown: Should You Buy A Next-Gen Console at Launch?

September 12, 2013 | By | 3 Comments

Welcome to the first weekly Thursday Throwdown, where a hot-button topic in the gaming world is picked out of the air, and then thrown to the Stealthy Box writing staff for them to air their particular opinions on the matter. Sometimes these opinions will line up, and other times they won’t. We’re crazy like that.

In this initial installment, we consider the hype built up for the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and ask: Is it really worth getting a new console on Day One?

Joe Garcia:  There’s no doubt that the arrival of a new generation of video games is exciting to gamers the world over, but very few people actually need to get the new machines at launch.

As great as the PS4 and Xbox One both look to be terrific from a pure hardware standpoint, the worst version of any console is the initial wave of launch units. They don’t even need a total overhaul — such as PS3 to PS3 Slim — for this to be true, as they tend to become quieter and more power efficient as chipsets improve. They also become more reliable, as any early-adopting Xbox 360 owner can attest to.

More importantly, the best games are a ways off. While the launch lineups for PS4 and Xbox One aren’t *bad*, truly next-gen experiences such as Infamous: Second Son and Titanfall won’t see release until 2014. That’s to say nothing of current-gen games still being released, such as Grand Theft Auto V, Batman: Arkham Origins, Gran Turismo 6, and Beyond: Two Souls. Are you seriously going to put away your non-backwards compatible next-gen system before you play them all?

Clear your backlog while Sony and Microsoft iron out the kinks. You (and your wallet) will be happier for it.

David Wales: I don’t think this is really a question at all. It’s undoubtedly the right thing to do if you’re a gamer. It’s no secret that the first iteration of a console may have its flaws, but it’s also usually the highest feature set version that the company is going to manufacture throughout its lifespan.

We’ve seen it in the past. As hardware revisions are made, companies like to cut out minor things whether it is backwards compatibility or something less important. Either way, your best bet is always to get a Gen One version of a specific console you have your eye on.

Furthermore, it’s also easy to see that the point of technology is to move forward. The reason we’re getting a new generation of consoles, outside of money, is that technology and gaming experiences are ready to step it up; developers want to give us new experiences that we couldn’t have enjoyed on our current consoles. If you’re a hardcore gamer, I think the answer to this question is simple: I gotta have it now!

You’re going to be buying the most expensive version of these consoles, but you’re also going to get to enjoy these new experiences first as well. It’s worth the price of admission and if you’re sitting well enough financially, then you can always keep the PlayStation 3 around until you’re completely done with it, right?

Travis Tucker: Should you get a new console at launch? I’m going with a definite… Maybe? It truthfully does depend on the circumstances for each, individual gamer.

For example, if you are a gamer that has a current gen system and you plan on getting Grand Theft Auto V immediately, and you haven’t played through a few other big name games from this year but really want to, I wouldn’t buy one. Let’s say that you have already played BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider, and The Last of Us, and you really aren’t interested in games like Grand Theft Auto V; if you have the cash, I say go for it.

My personal situation is that I’ve gotten rid of my other consoles because there was nothing left on them I wanted to play, and those games that are coming that I would have would be superior on next gen anyway, so it was a no brainer for me. I don’t mind working through the kinks of a system launch and I feel both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have fairly solid launch line-ups. However, if I had still been playing my PS3 or Xbox 360 and was going to be grabbing something like a GTA V (something that would have absorbed me completely), then I probably would have waited.

Ultimately do I think you should get a new console? Yes if you want to be on the cutting edge of gaming consoles and want to play the best versions of everything. If the new features or graphics don’t impress you that much, and most of your time will be spent playing Grand Theft Auto Online, you probably should just wait until next year. The systems will still be there.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Are you salivating to pick up the latest and greatest on day one, or are you will you wait it out a bit before diving in? You know where to let us know.

  • Chad Fenwick

    If I had the money I would still wait a couple months. I like to punish myself I guess. ^_^

  • Always Luigi

    I agree with David that if you want all the features that are available currently on the system it might be a safe bet to get the newer system. That was one thing I noticed with the PS3, as the newer versions of the system came out they started having less and less of the features that came before.

  • Blacklash5

    As I have the original “fat” PS3, with a very dodgy BluRay laser (BioWare-games like DA2 and ME3 won’t even run, and in Assassins Creed I look like a pincushion), I just have to have a new console. And like mentioned, it’s not like I have to throw the old one out.