Now that the hooplah of E3 is over, we can all spend the next few months deciding whether the Xbox One and PS4 is better, and which console you have to pre-order to make sure you can buy your desired system on launch day. After all the hype that we’ve been through, we can’t be expected to wait until NOVEMBER to actually get our hands on the next generation, right?
I have always had a hard time buying into the hype of “the next big thing,” whether it be video game releases, the next big summer blockbuster, or the next big cell phone release. In my own experience, I’ve purchased exactly 1 big name item on the day it came out: The Nintendo Wii in 2006. Back then I was a college junior and I was working at GameStop as a part time manager. Naturally I was up on all of the latest news in the video game world, and strangely had no desire to buy an Xbox 360 that was already out or the upcoming $600 PS3. The $250 Wii, with the motion control that had never been seen before, with the new Zelda game that we had been waiting for years ready go on launch day, with all the fun times that Nintendo had given me sounded amazing to my extremely low bank account.
Of course, the Wii never ended up delivering on all the potential that it had. Third party developers didn’t spend the proper amount of time designing games for the Wii, and due to that, I only have bought about 5-6 total games for the system in the nearly 7 years that I’ve owned the system, and none of them are NOT Zelda or Mario (well, besides Wii Sports). I hate to be a revisionist, but if I went back and did it again, I definitely would have waited to try it at a friend’s house. I would have realized that I could bowl a 285 on Wii Bowling while sitting on my bed and I might have waited a bit to pick one up.
I feel like in the Twitter/FaceBook/Blogging world that we live in nowadays, we all feel like we have to have the latest, greatest thing in order to stay with the times. Back when the 360, PS3 and Wii came out, I waited nearly two years to pick up the Microsoft and Sony systems, and I’m glad that I did, mostly because I was able to pick up the PS3 for $300 instead of $600 and I got the Xbox 360 for $175 instead of the $400 that it was released at. I don’t feel as though I missed anything by waiting for the two years. With the current generation (and the generation upcoming) it seems that all the development goes into the systems, so we have to wait a year or more for the great games to come out. Halo 3 was released nearly 2 years after the 360 was released, the sports games (my favorite type of game) for both systems were terrible upon release, and I really didn’t miss anything by waiting to pick up a system at a much lower price.
This doesn’t even begin to mention the system problems at launch. The famous Red Ring of Death, along with discs being scratched with the slightest bump plagued the launch of the Xbox 360. The PlayStation 3 had its own problems with the Yellow Light of Death and some problems with the optical device not being able to properly read discs. History is full of examples of new technology breaking upon being released to the public, and this generation’s systems were not immune.
In no way do I blame anyone for picking up a system at launch. It’s an exhilarating feeling to have one of the newest things on the planet that relatively few people own and be able to show it off to their friends. I think that I’m going to hold off on this next wave of systems until I can play around with them a bit and get a good feel for what games will be available when I buy the system, not what is hopefully going to come out (I’m looking at you Kingdom Hearts 3). Sometimes, patience is a virtue, and when it comes to video games, it rings true yet again.