The Playstation 4 I bought on eBay, alas, appears to be a dud. There's no picture, no sound, and no access to the safe mode... just a blue light on the top of the system that strobes at an agonizingly sluggish pace. So unless I plan to host a rave party for sloths, it doesn't seem like I'll be getting much use out of it.
|Go, sloths! Go sloths!|
...uh, are you going, sloths?
(image from Pinterest)
Deep down inside, however, I'm not that choked up about this. Back in 2006, I was eager to step up to the big leagues of the Xbox 360, but ten years later, buying a current generation console feels like an obligation; something I HAD to do to continue enjoying the hobby, rather than a choice I was happy to make.
Admittedly, software for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One is getting better... we're starting to see fewer rehashes of last generation games and more titles designed especially for the new systems. I'm especially excited about Horizon Zero Dawn, an upcoming action-adventure title that likely would have been held back by the ten year old technology of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Here's a clip of the game's robot-slaying warrior princess in action, in case you missed the reveal at E3:
Yeah, I'd like to play that. But it's probably not going to be out until next year, and I wouldn't have much to tide me over while I waited. There's not a lot on the Playstation 4 that thrills me at the moment... just Street Fighter V (once it's finished, cough) and a handful of indie titles which could just as easily been released for the Playstation 3. Many of these are already available on personal computers, and a few can be played on the significantly cheaper Playstation TV.
Then there's this push toward iterative consoles. If I bought a working Playstation 4, how long is it going to be before I'm nudged into purchasing the next Playstation, and the Playstation after that? If last week's E3 was any indication, maybe a couple of years at best. I've had friends argue that frequent hardware refreshes could benefit early adopters, in the same way that the owner of an older PC or Android phone can still run the majority of software available for those formats. I just wish I could be that optimistic.
|The S stands for "sucker."|
(image from Microsoft)
Sony and Microsoft are insisting otherwise (for now...) but when the new consoles arrive, who's to say the two companies won't shift the focus to their new products, at the expense of the old ones? Who's to say developers won't take advantage of the advanced technology of the Xbox Scorpio and Playstation Neo, while releasing inferior versions of the same product for the legacy consoles? It's the way the industry has always worked in the past... there's no reason to believe things will be any different now. If Sony and Microsoft have new consoles, you'd better believe they'll find ways to incentivize a purchase.
So yeah, I feel a little stupid for having bought that Playstation 4. Not just because it didn't work, but because I don't think I'm ready for one that does. Or the systems that will be nipping at its heels.