Greetings! This is our weekly GameSided Roundtable feat..."/> Greetings! This is our weekly GameSided Roundtable feat..."/>

Next-Gen Consoles: Now or Later? – GameSided Roundtable

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Rebekah Valentine (Twitter)

Jumping into the next-gen has been a decision on the backburner for a long time in my house. Both my husband and I have good PCs that could play most of the new games we wanted. We also have 3DSes and several classic consoles, and were content with that. However, a recent life event cut us off from last-gen content, and forced our hand…into purchasing a Wii U.

Our decision was based on a few points: first, most games that we were interested in that were available on PS4 or Xbox One were also available for PC. Purchasing one or the other would not give us access to many new things (though I am lamenting not being able to play Kingdom Hearts 3 when it finally arrives). My husband had a Wii back at his old house with lots of games he liked, and the backwards compatibility of the Wii U is awesome. We’re social people, and the Wii U has tons of fun games that appeal not only to regular gamers, but are also fun for our friends who don’t play very often.

We’ve owned our Wii U for exactly three days now. We own Mario Kart, Nintendo Land, and Super Smash Bros so far. The GamePad is unique and interesting–we love the capacity for 5-player gaming in Nintendo Land (and looking forward to Mario Party 10!) and the unique ways in which Nintendo uses its functions. My only issue with it is so far is the lack of 3rd party content, but Nintendo’s recent support of indie developers gives me hope that they’ll find some way to bring a wider variety of games to the Wii U. Whether they do or not, with upcoming titles like Pikmin, Captain Toad, and Xenoblade Chronicles, I’m sure I’ll have plenty to do with the Wii U for a long time to come.

Eric Chrisman (Twitter)

I would say if you are buying a next-gen console based on what it has right now, the value is questionable at best. Te exclusives are few and far between, plus the difference between many cross-gen games is minimal. A lot of the promised features still haven’t come to fruition. And, while unlike some I would not argue that there is a lack of quality titles, the best stuff is often re-releases of older games or smaller stuff that’s mostly already been available on PC for quite a while. Not to mention many games seem to launch at least partially broken lately. Not the best reason to plunk down at least $350 for a brand new console. The Wii U actually presents the strongest case right now for a brand new system to buy in my opinion, as it has a load of quality exclusive software on it right now including several GOTY contenders (Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2, Smash Bros). But obviously it is sorely lacking in 3rd party software and if you can only swing one console that has to be a consideration.

But in some cross-gen titles, the difference is really starting to show and making purchasing a next-gen console a good investment if you truly want the far superior version. Shadow of Mordor on PS4 & Xbox One is one of the best titles of the year. Shadow of Mordor on 360 & PS3 is an ugly mess, performing horribly and missing some key elements of gameplay that are essential to the overall experience.

And while the consoles may currently be lacking in a wide variety of exclusive software, that will quickly change in the first 6 months of 2015 with titles like Witcher 3, Bloodborne, Arkham Knight, The Order, Fable Legends, etc are all due in that time period. The 2015 release calendar for last gen systems looks incredibly sparse. Ultimately, I think, especially if you have a decent backlog now or in the near future on your last gen console (and pretty much all of us do) you can probably hold off another year. However, if you are itching for new stuff to play and looking at the consoles as a long-term investment you’d do well to pick at least one up now so you already have the console when these killer next-gen exclusives hit in the coming months.