This generation saw the first time in the history of consoles that we saw a mid-generation console upgrade that came with a substantial boost in power to take advantage of new technologies. We’ve seen many slim models releasing since the PS One days, but other than a small tweak to the hardware here and there, the games had the same quality to the older models. Most will think of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X when it comes to these upgrades, though many forget Nintendo also released the New 3DS with improvements too. Being the tech-hungry gamer that I am I ended up buying all three hardware upgrades at launch and over the weekend I was wondering if it was really all worth it?
The answer, for me, is yes and no.
It really comes down to your own personal taste in gaming and whether you have some extra money to spend on the other upgrade you need to really see the improvements take shape – a 4K TV. If you’re still holding on to a standard HDTV there are limited reasons for upgrading. A performance boost to improve the frame rate of your games stands out. For some that could be a very important reason to upgrade, while others really can’t fathom paying for that upgrade just for some extra performance. For me it ended up being a case of being super happy about my Xbox One X upgrade, but not so much for the PS4 Pro. The reason is simple – the base Xbox One struggled right out of the gates when it comes to performance, while the base PS4 is actually quite impressive. The PS4 Pro upgrade is surely there, and perhaps I’ve become so accustomed to it that I forgot what the base model really performed like, but the upgrade wasn’t as impressive for me. That said, I can’t imagine playing Horizon Zero Dawn or God of War on a non-4K/HDR television.
The New 3DS is another story altogether. The part that pulled me in for that, in particular, was the right analogue nub thingy (basically a right analogue stick) and the improved 3D. Yes, I’m a person who actually really enjoys 3D to this day (no, I hate 3D cinema, because it’s a blurred mess). Nintendo promised that games would be taking advantage of the extra horsepower, so that was a bonus. Xenoblade Chronicles is the one and only game that ‘required’ the New 3DS to be played. Every other game works on other 2DS/3DS systems, though I’ve heard of some games struggling with slow-down and bad frame rate on the base models. Other than the built-in amiibo reader, it’s never lived up to expectations for me. I’ve not bought a single game, since buying the New 3DS, that takes advantage of the right analogue nub and the 3D has an improvement, but it’s nowhere near the quality upgrade I expected. I might as well have held on to the original 3DS XL.
So, in short – The Xbox One X was a worthy upgrade for me, with the PS4 Pro being passable and the New 3DS being a waste of money. How do you feel about those upgrades, or did you dodge them altogether?