With Sony recently going on record and officially announcing the PS5 along with a release window, and Microsoft name dropping Project Scarlett every now and then, one thing is very clearly established. The arrival of the next generation of consoles is imminent. In just over a year, players around the world will be graced with the opportunity to get themselves a shiny new gaming console. Since this is something that happens roughly once every 7 years, it is only in your best interest to make the most of it and enjoy that sweet piece of technology in the best way possible. And to help you prepare for it, here are five things that you need to do in order to get the most out of your new console.
Save Up and Adopt Early
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. You have got to save up. With buffed up specs and a hand full on new gimmicks, the hardware is going to pinch your wallet. And now that we have a release window from Sony, we can be sure that Microsoft wouldn’t want to be playing catch up. Hence, we can expect a close release window for both consoles. So, whatever be your choice, you now have a timeframe to plan your budget accordingly. Because it is really important that you get the consoles as early as you can.
Being an early adopter not only prolongs your time with the console within its life cycle but also gives you the satisfaction of the money being well spent for obvious reasons. Granted they tend to get cheaper a couple of years after launch, but in the pursuit of saving some cash you may end up losing precious years in the already short life cycle of game consoles. I still regret getting an Xbox 360 in 2011, only to have the Xbox One launch two years later. So, if you want to make the most of a console, adopt early. Luckily there are a few things you can do to help you do that and save cash, which we will look at, further down in the list.
Resist the Hype
Choosing a console can be tricky, especially at launch. Every console generation brings a handful of features, gimmicks and, more importantly, promises that can cloud an individual’s judgement regardless of how hardcore of a gamer they are. Looking back at the motion-sensing Sixasis controller on the PS3 or the ‘new and better’ Kinect 2.0 on the Xbox One, it is evident that judging the implementation of such features in games in such an early stage is quite difficult. And if history is any proof, most of these features or gimmicks become redundant very quickly.
But the truth is that the companies don’t realise this until after launch and aggressively market these features which naturally generates hype. It is important that you look through the hype-fog and identify what kind of experience you want the most out of the new hardware. Because, in the end, the lightbar and touch panel on the Dualshock 4 did not make the PS4 one of the best consoles ever. The games did. So, tread carefully.
Subscription Is the Way to Go
One of the trends that I thought would fail, to which I eventually warmed up to, and am thankful it exists, is subscription services. While questions about the choice of games and long-term availability are valid, there is no denying that most of these services provide immense value for money. Perks like getting the full package of each game without the necessity of additional purchases only sweeten the deal further.
Depending on the platform you choose, this could help you cut a lot of expenses on games when you save up to invest on that new console, if you are smart about which of the various services you subscribe to. Not to mention this also extends to after you have got the new console so you could get the best versions of all the launch titles, once again, subject to which service you choose.
Older Catalogues Can Be A Good Thing
More than any generation in the past, Backward Compatibility has risen to become one of the top priorities within the Big 2 of the industry. Playing a vital role in the resurgence of the Xbox One, back-compat has proven that it is far more valuable in the eye of the consumer now, more than ever. So, although no official statements have been made, we can safely assume that most of the games, if not all, from the PS4 and Xbox One catalogue will be playable on their respective successors.
This means that you can wait on a few games which are yet to release and move those funds towards your new console and play it on them a few months later (think subscription services) unless you have the urge to play it on the very night of its release. It would also help you save up to…
Buy a 4K TV
At this point, chances are that you already have a 4K TV. But if you have been holding off on upgrading your regular HDTV to 4K, this would be the time. 4K TVs are now more consumer accessible than ever before, and this will only get better in a year when the new consoles arrive. Although PS4 Pro and Xbox One X support 4K, games are rarely rendered in 4K and the performance takes a hit more often than not when they do.
But with the next-gen consoles, 4K would not be an issue, as they made with native 4K in mind with 8K aspirations. There is no point in investing a sizeable amount on a console, only to not get the best output from it. So, invest in a TV that does justice to those gorgeous visuals the new machine will no doubt throw at you. The bigger the display the better. But always 4K.