It's all well and good wanting, wishing perhaps for the next Xbox and a new Playstation console, but the reality is the desirability is often met with a number of pitfalls which present themselves to those who immediately rush out and buy them. In many ways, and regardless of how powerful, or feature laden the next gen consoles are, past experience should make consumers a little bit cautious. Here's why.
1. High hardware price
The price of next gen consoles aren't going to be cheap when they hit store shelves, and even if stripped down versions like the original Xbox 360 Core are on offer, the price of entry is still going to cost an arm and a leg compared to those prepared to wait. If we look at history, most consoles lower their price after the launch period - some sooner than others (cough 3DS). You're paying for the privilege of early ownership.
2. Lack of software
Whilst Microsoft and Sony will be touting a strong line-up of software (expect the usual Ubisoft entry), in general the games are trickle fed to consumers where rather than being spoilt for choice, there's very little in terms of variation. There will no doubt be the racer, shooter, sports game, but games hungry gamers will be left with the only option to buy all the games for their new hardware, simply because there's not a lot else available.
3. Games under par
The first generation games simply aren't representative of the capabilities of the hardware, and although there are few exceptions, some projects are bound to be carried over from current gen systems and given the under par next gen treatment as opposed to being built from the ground up. Simply look at the launch games of Xbox or PS3 and then compare the quality to those released later.
- Future Soldier
4. lack of Features
Consoles evolve over time and whilst this isn't necessarily a cross too heavy to bear for new consoles, the fact that the version 1 console isn't as good as later iterations is telling enough. What might look like a great deal at launch is scuppered when a newer version is announced in more varied colours, better features (such as more storage capabilities) making the original a bit of a dead horse. What was once cutting edge, quickly becomes old hat and considering the expense of the initial hardware, not something consumers are likely to swap out. In with the new, out with the old, not unless you have more money than sense.
5. Potential hardware issues
Probably the biggest and most testing issue of new consoles is their reliability especially in light of Microsoft and Sony rushing to get their product out to market first. Whilst some fare better than others, the initial batches could have issues which rear their ugly heads once out of the labs and into the wilds. Xbox 360 had serious design flaws which meant it was a risk buying the new core or premium as the RRoD became more than just an Internet meme but a reality for thousands of consumers. Xbox next and PS4 might be designed flawlessly this time, but if not, then the first versions treat consumers like guinea pigs almost.