The prospect of a new console generation is always exciting. Shiny new expensive toys employing the latest current hardware and sporting impressive technical showcases as launch titles. It’s exciting times and now that both Microsoft and Sony have shown their hands, the new console generation race has now officially begun. We have two extremely powerful consoles detailed and the sheer ambition of both of them is enough to get anyone excited for the future.
You see, each console generation so far was sort of a battle with hardware and technology. Consoles were never really powerful, always trailing behind the superior PC platform. The same can even be said today with consoles looking more and more outdated as the years go on. But the next generation looks to be filled with all sorts of new and insane prospects with the proposed consoles looking like equal contenders with PCs.
Ray tracing, SSDs and the usual package of upgrades make this next round of consoles something that shouldn’t be underestimated. Our mid-generation refresh models, while significantly powerful, will look quaint compared to their shiny new counterparts. We know of this technology already because it has existed in PCs, but consoles are our universal parity when it comes to gaming technology.
But we can go on all day about the significance of the next consoles, but the question is, will you be an early adopter? Becoming an early adopter puts a lot of faith in your manufacturer of choice since, theoretically, you’re paying the most money for what is essentially the worst iteration that the console will ever be. We have a storied history of launch failures, be it with lacklustre launch titles or outright hardware failures. But that is the price you pay when you want to be on the bleeding edge.
I think many of us have a new fear that hasn’t really happened in previous console launches. Will there be a mid-generation refresh again? Last year I bought a PS4 Pro because it’s obviously the most powerful version of the console, but I also did it because my standard PS4 model was starting to die a slow death and I would have needed a replacement anyway. Will these new consoles be strong and relevant enough to last for a full cycle without a “Pro” edition releasing a few years later and just overshadowing the launch console?
It’s a unique problem to this particular point in time, but I think both companies want to avoid releasing more consoles than they have to. Both are going to try to sell us on services, be it Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass or a hopefully revamped PS Now for Sony. They want the consoles in as many homes as possible for as long as possible and to make multiple consoles during the span of a decade or so would run counter to that. Let’s not even begin with how expensive it’s going to be. We can theorize all we like, but I think it’s safe to assume that the consoles will be expensive at launch one way or the other.
So, will you bite the bullet and try and get in on the action early or are you going to hold off on your purchase? Personally, I’m going to try and sell my PS4 Pro to fund a PS5 because of the backwards compatibility and I have a really powerful PC that will most likely handle next-gen Microsoft titles and with Xbox Game Pass for PC, I can get the full Microsoft experience anyway.