What Makes You Buy Into the Next Gen?
Traditionally, I tend to buy into new games consoles within a few days of their respective release dates. There’s an element of risk to this, though, as a system’s future is always tainted with a sense of the unknown. But I do it anyway. I did it with the PS2, the Gamecube, Game Boy Advanced/SP, Vita, 360, Wii U, and now with the PS4, I’ve been an early adopter of all of them, because there’s an undeniable thrill in picking up a new system and jumping into a whole new videogame world, even if there are limited launch titles.
My reasons for buying into new systems early are normally centred around saving up money in preparation for said system, and if there’s at least two franchises confirmed for it (e.g. Uncharted on PS4, or Zelda for the Gamecube). When talking to others about new system launches, it became apparent to me that some require far more before they are willing to buy into a new system at such an early stage.
It started to make me think about what people want in new consoles (be it now or through the years), what drives them to be happy to inject fairly large amounts of money into a new system. With consoles becoming increasingly diverse with what they offer (the Xbox One and its TV features, for example), does this mean people look beyond videogames when it comes to deciding on what system they want and when they want it?
The Wii U, at least to me, symbolizes the change in what people expect from new systems. 1080P, blu-ray functions, social media features, sharing option, streaming services, unique features, and of course, the games. The Wii U offers the majority of the things mentioned, but not all of them. There are of course people who just wish to play videogames and that’s what matters to them above all else, myself being one of them. The modern market of consoles is a diverse one, and making a decision on which system to buy seems to be harder than ever before.
Perhaps this generation–Wii U, PS4, Xbox One–is what will separate the culture in the most obvious way. The Wii U struggles to interest those who play the major mainstream games such as Call of Duty, Fifa, and Grand Theft Auto. Those people will most likely end up with a Sony or Microsoft system. The Wii U holds ties with those who grew up with Nintendo and still hold affection for the company and its ideals–and also people that dig those quirky games creeping out of Japan. The likes of Sony and Microsoft seem more in touch with the modern market, offering a diverse platform that supplies more than just videogames.
It boils down to taste, budget, and exceptions. Heck, it may even boil down to loyalty to a specific brand/franchise. This latest generation of systems seems to have a lot more people asking questions about just what they want–and that’s a good thing, a really good thing. Competition breeds creativity, and as they say, variety is the spice of life.