The ongoing “plight” of the early adopters of the PS4, Xbox One and Wii U continues.
With each launch of a new console, those who choose to purchase the hardware within the same year of its release throw their arms up in the air when they come to realize that maybe, just maybe, they should have waited for more games to come out for their system.
It’s not as if the evidence of a slow launch period isn’t laid out in front of us when these consoles first release. In the age of the internet, we’re easily able to view video game release calendars. Prior to the Wii U releasing, we knew that Nintendo had yet to officially announce the release date of a new The Legend of Zelda, 3D Mario, Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart game. Yet when the Wii U dropped and, months later, the console still had a notable lack of software, those who had purchased the console were somehow shocked by its lack of games.
The same can now be said for the PS4 and Xbox One. The PS4 released with a timid line-up of graphically enhanced last-gen games and a couple of underwhelming exclusive titles in the form of Knack and Killzone: Shadow Fall. The Xbox One’s line-up was decidedly better, with Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5 and Killer Instinct all being solid games that players could enjoy on the first day of its release.
However, a few months down the line and, aside from the release of the excellent Titanfall and the disappointing yet popular inFamous: Second Son, there’s seemingly not a whole lot to look forward to for owners of either console in the coming months, so complaints have inevitably ensued. Considering the wealth of information out there regarding the planned post-launch titles for each system, this anger emanating from early adopters of the next-gen consoles truly baffles me.
Being a man with a love for new technology, I bought all three consoles in the first year of their respective releases, even though I knew that I’d be waiting for a little while to fill my cabinets up with games for each of them. It’s always an illogical decision to purchase a new console on its launch day, given that it will retail at its highest price point and will have the least amount of games in its entire lifespan, but if you, like me, can’t wait to get your grubby paws on new stuff, then you likely threw down the money for a PS4, Xbox One and/or Wii U on launch day, too.
However, if you did so and now occupy the increasingly growing number of consumers who complain that they still have nothing to play on their new consoles, then you should know that your argument is redundant at this juncture. We knew that this was going to be the case. Purchasing any console on its launch day is an investment, and an unwise one at that, as you’re investing in a new piece of hardware that doesn’t yet have the software to truly validate its existence. There are bugs, problems that need to be ironed out and updates that need to be made. History has evidenced that jumping on at the very beginning of a console’s lifespan isn’t a wise decision, but we still do it regardless. So when a vocal minority begin complaining that history is repeating itself, and that the PS4 and Xbox One launches are almost barren as that of the PS3 and Xbox 360’s, I begin to disappointedly shake with my head with such ferocity that I almost give myself whiplash.
The Wii U was released at the tail-end of 2012, spent the majority of 2013 with a lack of software to its name, and is now gearing up for its biggest year yet with the upcoming releases of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. U, two games which will undoubtedly shift a few units.
Now let’s compare that with the launches of the PS4 and Xbox One. Both released at the end of 2013, and now face a similarly quiet year after their launch punctuated by the release of a few hyped titles, such as the aforementioned Titanfall and inFamous: Second Son. Sound familiar?
This is the routine of console launches. Their respective line-ups are small due to developers learning how to adapt to the new technology, the bigger exclusives are saved for further into their individual timelines, and when they’re at the peak of their popularity they’ll also likely be at their cheapest. I bought all three consoles at the time of their launch partially due to the necessity of having to own them to do my job, and also due to the excitement of experiencing something new after years spent playing the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii. I knew that I’d be waiting a while to truly get my money’s worth out of these systems, but I’m okay with that.
Currently, my PS4, Xbox One and Wii U largely sit gathering dust as I continue to favor PC gaming for the time being. The dust will soon be swept off my Wii U as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. U come veering round the corner, and the Xbox One and PS4 will likely get a lot of use when Microsoft and Sony get the ball rolling next year. I recognize that we are an increasingly impatient generation, but this continued ignorance of the fact that console launches routinely start off slow and that, despite us all having access to the full list of planned post-launch games for all three consoles, we somehow believed that at this moment in time we’d be basking in a wave of great new games, continues to frustrate me.
If you feel that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have disappointed by allowing your consoles to gather dust, then you shouldn’t have purchased them. Let this be a warning to you for the next console generation.