The 6th December 2013 is the official South African launch date for the PlayStation 4 and I'm not getting one. And it's not because I don't have the money for it. Neither is it me holding out for the Xbox One's release, which will likely be sometime next year, since I'm not planning on getting one of those either. Simple fact is, I don't want either one of those next-gen consoles. Well, that's not strictly speaking true. I do want them, I just don't intend on getting them anytime soon, not for a year at least. And if you're smart, you shouldn't get one either.
The thing is, as awesome as these two devices look, the models that are going to be available at launch are going to be the worst versions of those consoles available. Allow me to explain. When electronic companies release a new piece of technology, they don't stop iterating on it; they continue making small incremental changes to it, to improve it's reliability, feature set and as cost saving measure. Sometimes this iterative process is obvious, like the move from the launch version PlayStation 3 - affectionately called the 'fatboy' - to the PlayStation 3 Slim and the current PlayStation 3 Super Slim. Other times it's not as obvious, like when Microsoft surreptitiously started including an HDMI output in the Xbox 360, something that was originally only available on the Elite models, an iterative upgrade in and of itself.
Taking advantage of that improvement process is a valuable tool, because it helps you as a consumer avoid things like the infamous Red Ring of Death on Xbox 360 and the less common, though equally upsetting, Yellow Light of Death on the PlayStation 3. Now, I'm not suggesting that the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 are going to suffer from similar high failure rates, but by waiting at least a year before you take the plunge will ensure you're aware of any issues should they arise.
But given the issues that the Xbox 360 and, to lesser degree, the PlayStation 3 experienced during their first production runs, it stands to reason that Microsoft and Sony will be much stricter with quality control and there's less chance of the new devices having similar woes. But there's a better reason than that to wait. Price.
At the moment the PlayStation 4 is going for R6 299. There aren't too many people that would consider that a small amount of money. It's way more than I'm willing to spend, I'll tell you that right now, and don't think you're going to score a saving if you wait for Xbox One to release later on. Internationally, Xbox One is a $100 more expensive than the PlayStation 4 and I predict that it will retail here for more than the Sony console's asking price. But when it comes to electronics, prices always come down and they come down quickly. Why spend that much money now, when you can spend much, much less later on.
Now compare that impending price drop - and I don't think that's too grand a phrase - with the third reason to wait, and I think you have a very compelling argument to stave off. That third reason? The launch games are mostly meh.
"Meh? What the hell are you talking about Zaid? The next-gen games look freaking fantastic. Have you seen Titanfall, Destiny, Watchdogs, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, The Evil Within, Dying Light, Assassin's Creed IV, Battlefield 4, Thief! You're crazy,man!" Yeah, those games all look amazing, except they're all coming to the current generation consoles as well. Consoles you probably have under your TV already. So if your thought process is you need to get a next-gen console for all those new titles, well, actually, you don't.
No matter what happens with the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, there's at least three years of support still ahead for the current generation consoles. Why spend over six grand for a device to play the games that you can already play? And then, when you start mentioning games that will appear exclusively on the next-gen consoles, The Division immediately comes to my mind, many of those games won't be available at launch and are still a ways off. And the next-gen only titles that will be available from Day One aren't particularly compelling. Sure Knack and Ryse look alright, but I'm not spending over six grand for games that are just alright.
Now, I'm not telling you how to spend your money... OK I am telling you how to spend your money, but I'm right about this. Save your next-gen money and rather buy some topflight games for the consoles you already have. Trust me, you'll thank me later.
If however, you don't want to do the smart thing, then you can pre-order the PlayStation 4 from kalahari.com HERE
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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd