Let me be clear: When I refer to the next generation of video game consoles, I am referring to the Microsoft XBox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4. The Nintendo Wii U is already available for purchase, and has been for a decent amount of time.
I’ve never been a huge fan of purchasing new consoles at the point of their release. Unlike games, which are obviously cheaper, the consoles are much more expensive, costing of hundreds of dollars. Then there is the addition of controllers and other accessories — all that adds up to a huge sum. For example, look at the Nintendo Wii — you had to buy the console, the games, the Wiimotes, the Nunchuk, covers for the Wiimote, new wrist straps (Although some of these were given out courtesy of Nintendo), the charging station for the Wiimotes, the Wii MotionPlus, and so on. While not all of these accessories were mandatory for all games, some were for certain ones. Controllers in the current generation (soon to be past) were costly due to their hardware. This is all passed off to us, the consumers.
Many people will remember the issues that many had with the current generation when they first came out, aside from the cost for everything total. The Nintendo Wii held up alright, at least to my memory. I got one of the first Nintendo Wii consoles available at a retailer, and I haven’t had any problems since. On the other hand, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 had many issues overall — most notably the infamous Red Ring of Death. Many gamers will remember this, as they would have to then send back the console to Microsoft and wait weeks for it to return, with many consoles reverting back to the Red Ring of Death state some time after. My Xbox 360 never got the Red Ring of Death, but the first one I purchased through Gamestop seemed to become very hot, despite its vertical positioning and it being in an open space. My first console also would scratch up the video game discs and make a “ticking” noise from the lens scratching against the disc.
Sony’s PlayStation 3 had issues as well with the yellow light coming on, which I was told is the equivalent of the Xbox 360’s Red Ring of Death.
So, in essence, I am waiting because video games these days are extremely costly for a hobby. I remember playing the Nintendo Entertainment System and getting games off of a spinning rack for as cheap as if they were DVDs. Now many games are kept in plastic cases or behind the store’s register. When these costly systems fail, then we, the consumers, are out of time with our product, and our money is gone, therefore we must wait to get patches and other fixes for these expensive items.
It is also smart, as one company may offer more after the initial sales, especially the holidays. Policies can change on a whim (Has ANYONE ever read the Terms of Agreement?!) The cost of online play, for example, can increase, as it did with Xbox Live not too long ago. One company may start offering better services, announce better games and more frequent updates and patches. This is what I want to look for prior to throwing my cash into the ring.
The games are also a huge component to whether I purchase a console or not, so I’d rather wait a bit and see what is announced, not just what comes out on launch day or what is announced by then. By this time the holidays will have also passed, so I’ll have an in-depth idea of which games play best, how the communities are, how the companies are when it comes to referencing and fixing issues all around, and so on.
This is my reasoning, but some people just want that shiny new toy right off the bat. I can’t blame them — I’d like each console on launch day, but it’s not realistic for many consumers these days, especially given the economy. Me? I’d rather get the most out of my money and ensure a good experience by investigating and reviewing each product prior to purchase.