The alternative to the next-gen console: the current-gen console
I recently documented my troubles acquiring a PlayStation 4 (PS4), the conclusion to which has been my PS4 being absorbed by China’s bureaucracy and my getting a refund from Amazon. Let me just take a moment to say a big thank you to Amazon on behalf of my friend and I, whose Christmases would have been ruined had Amazon not been so understanding about the situation. To the customs officers: well played and enjoy the PS4s.
Now I am guessing if you are reading this you are a video game nerd (or the parent of one, and therefore have extensive experience with said critters) so you can understand the rage and frustration of not being able to have what you want immediately. (Lets face it, Steam has broken us!) You can imagine then how irritable I was. Another shout out to great friends and my very patient girlfriend for putting up with a petulant Scotsman stomping around Xiamen for the last two weeks; it was tough for everyone, I know.
But thankfully, I had an epiphany on Saturday morning. Why did I have my heart set on a PS4? Why was its appeal so strong? Actually, the games lineup don’t excite me too much and the game that I am most excited about, , Persona 5 isn’t even getting released on next-gen. So why was I so committed to the idea of getting a PS4?
The answer is simple: it’s because I am an Xbox guy and I have never had a PS3! I was excited for the change, and for being able to play a series of games that had previously been denied to me. So why the hell did I need a PS4 when there was a much cheaper console that could already scratch that itch: the PlayStation 3 (PS3)!
It didn’t take long for the idea to take root and less than an hour later I was heading to the electronics market to collect a shiny new PS3. On the bus I did the math and figured out that my total savings in buying a PS3 in China instead of a PS4 from the UK would be $225.64.
That’s $225.64 that I had already put aside, so I made the reasonable and logical decision (my girlfriend who is campaigning for new furniture thinks otherwise) to spend the whole lot of it on games.
Here’s what I spent it on (bear in mind I have a UK account so some prices may be different for US accounts)
1) PlayStation Plus- $65.35
I bought this for one reason and one reason only…FREE GAMES! Every month you are given a selection of free games on PlayStation Plus which you can download and play for the duration of your membership. Fantastic. I am sold. For the first month I got: a) Grid 2 b) Guacamelee! c) Remember Me d) Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams e) Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen f) Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception g) Little Big Planet Karting h) XCOM- Enemy unknown.
2) The Last of Us- $44.00
3) Shadow of the Colossus and Ico HD- $32.50
4) Beyond Good and Evil HD- $13.00
5) Journey: Collector’s Edition- $26.00
6) Infamous 2- $26.00
7) Tokyo Jungle- $16.50
8) Papo & Yo – $10.50
9) God of War 3 -$20.00
This is why we got into gaming right? It has nothing to do with Netflix, Spotify, Pandora or Youtube; we are into gaming because we love gaming. Sure new graphics are nice, but seriously, have you played The Last of Us? Did anybody play that game and think, “damn, these graphics need a serious upgrade?” I didn’t think so.
Whilst I would have been happy with a PS4 I can’t help but think that, at least for now and until the inevitable price drop, the PS3 was the right decision. I have a whole new library of games to play — most of which were dirt cheap — and a whole new console to fall in love with. I guess what I am saying is that if you can’t get your hands on the next-gen console of your dreams then maybe, just maybe, a better option is closer than you think.