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Why I won’t buy an Xbox One or PS4 at launch

I feel like by stating my intentions in public, I will feel obligated to follow through.

I won’t buy at console at launch.

As much as I would love to join the internet and my friends in launch day festivities, buying a console – either the PS4 or the Xbox One – seems like a terrible decision when you put only the slightest bit of thought into the act.

Regardless of my initial PS4 pre-order, both consoles feature lackluster launch titles. I didn’t expect otherwise. Consoles historically launch with marginally interesting games or games that don’t warrant a brand new console purchase. Looking at the results of my Wii U launch purchase, I would suggest that any person should not buy a console at launch with games you wouldn’t normally play and to not commit solely on promise. You will get burned.

We buy consoles for games. If Killzone: Shadowfall, Forza 5 or whatever game doesn’t immediately sell you, then why bother. Instead of buying Killzone: Shadowfall, which I think will release with a decent single player campaign and great multiplayer, I would rather buy something like Beyond: Two Souls or Watch Dogs. Instead of investing both time and money into agame I only would play as a part of a launch lineup, I would rather spend my time on games of this generation.

No one can stop you from buying a PS4 or Xbox One with Watch Dogs or Call of Duty, but why bother purchasing multiplatform games on newer consoles? Those multiplatform games will run better, yes, but not playing at least one exclusive launch game feels like a like a betrayal of the console you just purchased. Assuming you don’t pick up both, you chose either the Xbox One or PS4 for reasons that the console excels in.

Your console purchase should not hinge on the competitors incompetence. The exclusive games or control methods should bring determination. You should plan on buying a PS4 not because of Microsoft’s old, now revised policies, or reasons not related to what makes the PS4 the most viable option in itself. Obviously things like indie publishing policies or online connections should factor in, but don’t make the competitors blunders or lack of features a reason for purchase the competing item.

If you buy an Xbox One, buy it for the games, Xbox Live and the Kinect. If you buy a PS4, buy it for Naughty Dog, PS Plus and an indie friendly environment. If the primary arguments for buying a PS4 at launches includes reasons like, Microsoft only wants my money, then you should re-evaluate your list to include things that the PS4 capitalizes on, not what the competitor lacks.

I lacked a list for the Wii U. My reasons for buying one at launch included artificially inflated hype, fanboyish Nintendo pull, and the promise of games to come.

Most of all, promise will haunt you.

At the time of the Wii U launch, it made sense. I really wanted Rayman Legends and Ubisoft PROMISED to launch it exclusively alongside the new Nintendo console. Ubisoft then delayed Rayman until two weeks after the Wii U’s launch. I ignored the signs. I committed blindly to my Wii U pre-order on the promise that Ubisoft would deliver their game on time. As you probably know already, Rayman Legends will no longer launch as an exclusive on Wii U and it will release in early September of 2013.

Avoid my terrible situation. Don’t drop hundreds of dollars on a console and then regretfully purchase games like New Super Mario Bros. U. Thankfully, playing ZombiU slightly redeemed my awfully timed Wii U purchase, then slowly no longer mattered when I found out Bayonetta 2’s delay until 2014. Nintendo promised and I regretfully believed them.

For many, Forza 5 or Killone: Shadowfall represents perfect reasons for buying a PS4 and Xbox One; that remains unquestionably legitimate. However, if you put all your stock into future titles vulnerable to delays or cancelations, I would advise waiting until that game actually finds its way onto store shelves before committing hundreds of dollars.

If the lackluster, disappointing and irrelevant life as a Wii U owner taught me anything, waiting, even just a few weeks, will save you months of the reoccurring feeling of buyer’s remorse of early console adoption.