The Playstation 4 came out a few days ago. I stared at one longingly in our local Gamestop. But I didn’t pull the trigger to become one of the early adopters (you know, before they ran out of units at most stores in America).
I spent a lot of time in the weeks leading up to the PS4 launch trying to talk myself into a sale. I can afford it. The games look amazing and my 50″ TV would do them justice. Tons of games will be coming down the pipe.
But it just wasn’t enough.
Even at its slightly friendlier $399 price point (as opposed to the Xbone’s $499), I couldn’t do it. Thousands of people across America and the world are enjoying their PS4s right now, and I’m watching from the sideline.
There were three major issues for me. Price is one of them. Factoring in an extra controller or two and at least one game, that $400 price tag suddenly inflates to $600. That’s a lot of money up front for a young system. After the Yellow Light of Death and Red Ring of Death fiascos from early in the previous generation, let’s just say I’m a little nervous about the potential lifespan of my new investment.
Those console issues tied into another issue: no backwards compatibility. I know that there’s a school of thought out there that says “if you care about those games, just play them on your old system.” Personally, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that my new console play games from just one generation ago. Now, if those previous consoles had a reputation for being workhorses that lasted for a decade or two — like my Super Nintendo has — I could see the other side of this. But I’ve owned three PS3s and I’ve watched roommates replace two 360s in five years. That’s not exactly a sterling track record.
Yes, Sony will be offering some PS3 titles as digital downloads. That’s not the point. If my PS3 bites the dust again, I won’t be replacing it. Enough is enough. Plus, being able to play old titles on my PS4 would help with my final issue, which is the launch lineup.
All things considered, I think the PS4 and the One have a decent selection of titles available at launch. Sure, some of them are also being offered on the old-gen systems. But we’d be lying to ourselves if we didn’t admit that both day-one lineups are better than the Wii U. That said, the lineup isn’t all that interesting to me. The only title that is a must-buy in my book is NBA 2K14, because I already love the series and the game looks RIDICULOUSLY good. I mean, check out the screenshot below.
2K14 could have mailed it in and done a direct port, then put out a shiny new title next year with the benefit of a full development cycle. Or they could have boosted the graphics and taken a pass on game modes. Instead, the next-gen version of 2K14 is the best looking title of anything on the market, and plenty of small additions were made across the board. I would play this game for 100+ hours, and that was almost enough for me to pull the trigger on a PS4 even without any other titles.
But it just wasn’t enough. Unfortunately, all three next-gen (current-gen?) system have the same problem for me: there just isn’t a killer app yet. Smash Brothers comes out in 2014; that will almost certainly be enough to get a Wii U. Kingdom Hearts 3 will be out…uh…sometime, and that would do the trick for a PS4. Until then? I guess I’m rocking my existing systems until something more enticing comes along.