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Tech Musings: Gaming dilemma—should I upgrade or what?

Been thinking seriously about putting in a pre-order for a PlayStation 4 on Amazon.

I’ll order, have it delivered to a relative or some other patsy in the States, then have it brought over. (Hey, what’s a guy to do? You can’t have it delivered directly here, obviously; not unless you’re ready for a drumbeating by customs, not to mention bring drummed by the shipping costs.) Those forthcoming Amazon deals with a free game seem more and more attractive as the days go by. It’s gonna be expensive, but not as costly as the first few units and games to be sold in Greenhills.

There are already a ton of games waiting to come out at launch: Killshot: Shadow Zone, Watch Dogs, Destiny, Call of Duty: Ghosts, inFamous: Second Son, Assassin’s Creed IV, Knack, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Final Fantasy XV, DriveClub, Kingdom Hearts IV, Wolfenstein: The New Order, NBA2K14, The Evil Within, Saints Row IV, UFC, The Order: 1886, The Elder Scrolls Online, Need For Speed: Rivals and a lot more. But you never know if they’ll all be good. Like you don’t really know if the new console’s going to be all that great.

I realize it’s the beginning of another new and expensive hobby, what with the new generation of games. And you’ll end up an early adopter and all that that entails. (I figured, what the hell, I’ve been an early adopter all my life, what’s one more?)

For all you know, there may be hidden and unseen glitches in the system that’ll come out with the first wave of gear, only to be remedied and improved with later iterations. Or on the other side of the coin, you might luck out and have a good, heavy-duty workhorse gaming system that’ll last you for years, while later editions will have weeded out these good, heavy-duty workhorse qualities in favor of cheaper and less-than-stellar downgrades. Who’s to say?

But I’m loathe to put my PS3 in mothballs. Not just yet, anyway. Not after all my investment in games; I still haven’t finished a lot of them, and the ones I’d finished still have a lot of re-playability left in them. And I can’t resell it, not with the back catalog of games I got. Give up Tomb Raider, The Last of Us, the Uncharted series, Need for Speed, the inFamous and Max Payne series? Over my dead body. Sheesh, I’m still waiting for Beyond: Two Souls, which won’t be out until October!

800px-PS3-slim-console

The PS3′s also a great DVD and Blu-ray player, and I got tons of them to watch still. And my PS3 makes for a great media server too. I have it hooked up to Plex on my iMac on the network. I originally connected it via XBMC, but it’s too much trouble for the little bit it allows you to do, and the PS3′s better suited to Plex. I watch all my downloaded video files on my big screen flat TV in all their glory, through Plex and the PS3.

Not that a new PS4 won’t be able to do these things. If truth be told, it’d probably do them better, judging by those demo videos put out by Sony. But I’m not quite ready to put away the PS3 when it can do all these things still reasonably well.

I’m not quite so interested in upgrading to an Xbox One just yet. Even though Microsoft‘s done a 360 on their proposed requirements already, I’m still not convinced I should upgrade. Besides, the online component won’t be officially allowed from our country, and there’s no word on when it will be, if it ever will. That makes it half of a modern-day gaming console. I don’t think I’m ready to undergo the rigamarole of enabling it to work in this country—I’m not that big of an Xbox fan.

Xbox-360-Elite

I only got the Xbox 360 in order to play Microsoft’s Xbox-exclusive titles like Halo and Gears of War. But otherwise, I’d be fine not having an Xbox at all. Their restrictive policies and the practice of having to pay something to get anything done rankles. (You charge me for a simple avatar and avatar items, Microsoft? Really?) I got an Xbox Gold subscription for the 360 and have regretted it ever since, after realizing it only gets you partway though the door. You have to pay more to get in deeper into the online Xbox Live world, and that really bothers the hell out of me. It’s not like Sonys PlayStation Plus subscription, which continues to pay for itself over and over with all the free services and free games it offers, month after month.

Of course, getting a PS4 now (or an Xbox One) means you have to wait for the new games to come out. There are a few launch games scheduled for release, but not many. The bulk of them are still in development, and we don’t really have a solid timeframe as to when they’re eventually coming out. Like anything else in this industry, there is some trust required of games. Trust that the games will come out, and trust that they’ll be as good as everyone says they will be. Meantime, we’re at their mercy.

controller

So I’m still trying to decide whether to upgrade or not, or just wait it out first. See if the new features are worth it, that the new Dualshock 4 is all it’s cracked up to be, that the new processor, new graphics and faster memory are better, and that the new games are deserving of all the hype.

I still have a little less than six months to decide. We’ll see.

 

 

 

Adel

Adel

Adel Gabot is a freelance writer, editor, teacher and Palanca award-winning fictionist. In his spare time he loves Macs, his iPad and iPhone, old Sean Connery 007 movies, Stephen King books, his Kindle Paperwhite, his Nexus 7, his video games, Green Tea ice cream, Aeropressed coffee and a good Merlot. His favorite noodles: Ma Mon Luk mami.

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