From The Armchair: Trading Up

ArmchairWhat ho, chums!

There’s change in the air. And I don’t just mean the reddening of the leaves and the plummeting of the mercury as autumn takes hold. Although if you happen to be in the southern hemisphere, like my good chum and virtual housemate Sir Gaulie, it’s more the time of year when swimming trunks are hauled out of cupboards and the air conditioning receives its ceremonial turning on.

No, the change I’m talking of is the change in the console cycle, the inevitable business of upgrading to the next generation of newer and flashier boxes, a process that has gathered pace of late. Gaulie couldn’t wait to leap into the next gen, and even documented the shopping centre slumber party that heralded the Xbox One’s arrival in Oz. I, however, have been somewhat more reticent to upgrade, being generally underwhelmed with the range of launch games on offer, not to mention the exorbitant prices. In fact, I ended up buying a PS3 instead to catch up on all the PS3 exclusives I missed.

But recently, I’ve started to catch next-gen fever. It began with the launch of Destiny – finally a truly next-gen game that I actually quite fancied playing. Of course, it’s also available on Xbox 360 and PS3, but it seems a waste to play such a beautiful-looking game on a system that can’t do it proper justice. Likewise, I’m excited about playing Alien: Isolation, which looks fantastic, but it seems a shame to settle for the last-gen version – and that’s another thing I’ve noticed recently, the subtle shift where people are slowly beginning to refer to the Xbox One and PS4 as the current generation. Change is in the air.

So pretty... so tempting...
So pretty… so tempting…

So like many people, as Christmas looms I’m beginning to finally contemplate a gaming upgrade, especially as retailers have begun to offer some very reasonable console bundles: I recently spotted a PS4 with FIFA 15, Minecraft, Infamous: First Light and Wolfenstein: The New Order for £369.85 on The temptation to bag myself an early Christmas pressie was near overwhelming.

But £369 is still a lot of money, even if it is good value, and really I could only justify a next-gen upgrade by trading in my old consoles and games. But alas! I’m still not quite done with the current – well, last – generation, as a quick look at my games backlog will show you. There’s no way I could trade in my PS3 until I’ve at least finished the Uncharted series, Ni No Kuni, Heavy Rain, Deadly Premonition, Journey… and probably others too (let me know if there are any other must-play exclusives I’ve missed). All those great games, so little time… but with the weather drawing in, at least I have an excuse to stay home and play them.

So the next-gen upgrade is postponed yet again as I once more attempt to whittle down the backlog. But then again Destiny does look rather good… and £369 is a terribly good deal for four games… and then there’s the new next-gen only Batman game… and ARGH! The cycle of temptation begins again!

Well, I'll HAVE to get a PS4 for the new Batman game...
Well, I’ll HAVE to get a PS4 for the new Batman game…


  1. It’s true, the Xbox 360/PS3 generation will probably keep going for a while yet – I guess because they have such an enormous established user base, publishers are reluctant to release next-gen-only titles and miss out on all those sales. The tide is slowly turning though – Destiny sold the most on PS4 after all. By next year, I expect the majority of games will be released on just the PS4 and Xbox One, and then I’ll HAVE to upgrad 😉

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