Unless you've been living under a rock, you already know: we're basically here on the eve of the "next generation" of console gaming. It's been a long, exciting road to get to this point, filled with fascinating revelations, awesome trailers, and pointless dialogues about nuclear submarines. I should be positively giddy - after all, we're looking at the birth of a new era; a new crop of consoles which could well revolutionize the way we game.
So...why do I feel completely indifferent?
While I'm not sure there's any humanly possible way for me to get excited about the Xbox One - Microsoft's constant blunders and the fact that the console requires a day one patch to even function have sort of killed it for me - I'd expected to be more stoked for the PS4, to the point that the wait would be nearly as agonizing as the failure to buy it on launch day. Thing is...I'm not.. I'm still going to be buying one or both consoles eventually - that's a given - but for the time being, I'm going to hold off, and I'm going to do so willingly.
I've my reasons for that. Primarily, it's the games. For me, at least, neither consoles offers compelling enough games yet to justify dropping several hundred dollars on a new system - particularly when my current crop of hardware's perfectly serviceable, and the majority of the launch line-up on both systems can be played quite easily on current-gen consoles.
Certainly, both consoles have some decent offerings: On the PS3, you've got Knack, Killzone: Shadow Fall and Need For Speed Rivals; the Xbox One, meanwhile, offers up Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome and Killer Instinct. Although all these titles are incredibly strong in their own right, I'm not certain they're enough to carry either console. None of them are system sellers, that's for certain, and aside from them, most every game we're yet aware of ether won't be on console at launch or can be played on another platform.
In short, I have a gaming PC. I have an Xbox 360 and a PS3. What reason do I have to buy an Xbox One or PS4? Titles that I'm actually excited about - inFAMOUS: Second Son, Destiny, and Titanfall - aren't coming along for several months yet, while we won't be seeing heads nor tails of Dragon Age: Inquisition for at least another year or two.
You could say that both consoles bring some pretty revolutionary stuff to the table through games sharing, built-in streaming and a host of hefty upgrades to the friends lists. You could say that...but you'd be wrong. Cloud gaming is something that's been around for years, streaming can just as easily be done with a half-decent desktop, and the new friendlist features introduced by the PS4 (being able to 'play through' difficult segments of a game for a friend) are neat, but not enough so that they should be bellowed about from the rooftops.
I'm not even going to address the multimedia features of either system. Again, I have a desktop for that.
There's yet one more reason, as well, See, both systems are incredibly powerful - so much so that they blow many modern PCs almost out of the water. It's foolish, though, to expect developers to be able to unlock all that power right away. It was the same story with the PS3 and Xbox 360 - games that launched with the systems didn't make anywhere near as efficient a use of their consoles as recent releases .
The next generation of console gaming is almost upon us. In the very near future, we'll be seeing a collection of titles and features which could very well revolutionize how we game...They just haven't really arrived yet. You'll forgive me then, if while the rest of you are bounding towards a new era, I stay where I am for just a little while longer.
I'll catch up with you later - for now, the current generation's just as compelling as the new one. Sony and Microsoft have managed to secure some bloody awesome
exclusives for their shiny new rigs, to say nothing of all the
independent titles which are no doubt waiting in the wings to be
released. I'll see you online when they actually arrive.