If you follow video games or technology, you’ll probably be hearing that the next generation is upon us with the release of the PS4 and Xbox One, the new games consoles from Sony and Microsoft respectively. These come with a fairly heavy price tag of around £400, and some people may be thinking of splashing out on one as their student loan comes in. Before you make an impulse purchase on one of these two consoles, there are a few things you should consider, in my opinion.
First, is it worth the money? Sure, there are some great games with good graphics on the new consoles, but the leap in graphics will be much smaller than the last generation crossing (around 2005). This is because graphics on the last generation consoles (PS3 and Xbox 360) were already pretty good, and making graphics better requires a disproportionately high amount of processing power.
Also, this time round there doesn’t seem to be a real killer app for either of the consoles. There aren’t many things you can do on the new consoles you can’t do already. The number of really amazing looking games is very small, and in fact a lot of the games coming out for the new consoles are also coming to the current generation consoles, just with slightly better graphics.
So my point is, you should just wait it out right now, in my opinion. Price drops are inevitable, and all the best games of the next generation will come out way after launch. All this only applies, if you haven’t considered PC gaming.
I didn’t plan to preach via this post, but it might end up being that way. You may or may not know that gaming on desktops (and laptops) is becoming more popular and more viable. PC gaming offers lots of advantages, some of which you may like. The main ones for me are:
- If you own a gaming PC you also own a powerful PC that you can do uni work on (my course in particular requires the use of some demanding software)
- Platform openness means anyone and any company can make games and sell them for PC, this is opposite to consoles where developers must go through approval programs to get their games on the platform
- The previous point means one will find a huge variety of games across different genres that are not playable on any consoles
- Because a ‘PC’ is just an assortment of components made by different manufacturers, you are free to upgrade, fix or modify PCs in any which way you want. You can have a tiny PC that sits underneath your TV running Linux to play basic games, or you could have a gigantic beast of a computer that can run the latest games on 3 huge monitors at a graphical fidelity consoles could only dream of achieving.It isn’t as expensive as console gaming for most people. If you think ahead of time, you can see that even though a PC may set you back a few hundred pounds more than a PS4 or Xbox One right now – it will be cheaper over time. This is due to the fact that games on PC are generally much cheaper and you don’t have to pay for subscriptions to play online.
Before you jump in, there are things you should consider. First, do your research before buying any prebuilt PC or laptops. You may get it home and find it cannot run games at all. Find benchmarks for the components in the system to see if they perform well in the games you want to play. You can always build your own PC without any tools other than a screwdriver, and putting it together is half the fun in my opinion – but again, do lots of research before you try to do this. Although it is easier than you may think, there is still potential for you to waste money on parts that aren’t compatible with each other or aren’t as good as you think.
So there are my thoughts that I currently hold at the edge of the next generation of console games. What I hope you take from this is to thoroughly research any sort of technology product before you spend money on it. It makes me wince when I hear someone just paid full price for a phone when the new model is due to come out a week later for the exact same price. Games consoles are a big investment, make sure you put your money into the platform that you personally will get the most bang for your buck from.