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(Seriously,) are we (really) ready for the next gaming generation?

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Time sure flies when you’re on lockdown or just generally social distancing. We’ve completed so many TV series and also some of our backlog on games as well. We’ve gone crazy with the Animal Crossing craze, jumped on the nostalgia trip of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, divided as a community with The Last of Us 2, brought back together again with Ghosts of Tsushima, and a great deal of us waiting for the release of  Cyberpunk 2077. So, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Are we ready for the next console generation?

Real talk, are you? 

We’re just too damn broke

Raise your hand if you still have a job. A home. Your health. All three? The pandemic has been hard. We’re spending a lot more money to keep ourselves afloat and many of our financial futures have been put on hold until a vaccine is found. For the fortunate among us, we still have all three pillars intact. However, we’re probably missing one of the three. We’re too busy trying to make rent for a brand new console, hell a great deal of us actually found the motivation to try Final Fantasy 7 Remake at this point now that it went on sale. 

The real question we should be asking ourselves right now is: Could we afford to buy food in three months? Do we still have a roof over our heads next year? Are we still COVID free? If we’re fortunate enough to say yes to those questions, maybe, just maybe we could drop $500 US on a shiny new system. Although, that may not be the case because…

Some of us have brand new consoles

Raise your hand if you purchased a brand new Switch for Animal Crossing? How about a brand new PS4 for Final Fantasy 7 Remake? Or a brand new Xbox One X because… you really love Microsoft? March, April, and May haven’t been the nicest months as many of us have been called to a mandatory lockdown, or in Canada, they asked us really nicely to stay indoors. We could only watch so much stuff on Netflix, HBO Max, or stream our animes and K-dramas. So, a great many of us most likely picked up a brand new console.

Even before COVID, the latest iteration of the current gen systems only lasted for a good seven years, four for the Nintendo Switch. I purchased my PS4 back in 2016. I don’t think I’ve maximized its use four years later. I feel like I’ve maximized my PS Vita a lot more than my PS4, as I’ve saved a lot of money purchasing discounted PS Vita games that are also for the PS4. I didn’t really get into my PS4 until 2017 and even then, my use of it is seasonal, with an emphasis of heavy usage around December to April.

Even with the few of us who’ve had our consoles for about four years or more, the main reason we haven’t exactly purchased it pre-2015 because there was really no reason to own one due to the fact that most of the AAA titles I wanted for the PS4 were still coming out on PS3. The reason why I’m not hurtling down to Best Buy to ask about the PS5 pre-orders is… 

The games are delayed

Deathloop, one of my anticipated games at launch, has been delayed some time in 2021. The reason: the pandemic. That leaves us with Spideman: Miles Morales and possibly the Demon Souls remake. While I don’t mind having the Spiderman game as my sole title at launch until Deathloop or Horizon Forbidden West comes out, but cost-wise, I would rather stick with my current gen console and experience my anticipated titles there (Cyberpunk 2077 and Yakuza: Like A Dragon).

It’s even worse for Xbox Series X as their marquee title, Halo Infinite, has been delayed to next year. It’s actually much better to purchase a Xbox One X at this point, slap a Game Pass on it and one could experience many of their first party games for $15 a month. There’s no reason cost-wise to purchase the Series X at this point if this is the case.

Going back to the PS5, if you have the cash and you’re a big Miles Morales fan, I wouldn’t stop you from buying a PS5 at launch. However…

Can we actually get a PS5 at launch?

It’s not looking good at the moment when Sony is asking us to audition for a chance to get a PS5. I don’t know about you, but I’ve put my PSN ID on the website to try to get my hand on applying for a preorder. Sony is telling us that stock will be limited and good luck trying to get one at launch. If the main branch is being that stingy in offering their limit of one per household, imagine trying to get the console from Amazon, Best Buy, Circuit City (is that still a thing?) or Data Blitz. Will you be waiting in line for a PS5, camping out in front of a store like those Iphone zombies? Count me out.

Still, you’ve gotten this far and nothing is deterring you from purchasing your brand new PS5 (or Xbox Series X because you love Microsoft that way). I would ask the most important question of the bunch, and I sure know it’s bugging you too in the back of your mind…

They don’t seem all that prepared

Or at least Microsoft seems to be.

It’s September. Jose Mari Chan is waking from his hibernation. Earth, Wind, and Fire is singing its coming. It’s also two months before all the launches of said next gen consoles. Both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S were pre-empted by vicious leaks. Retailers left and right keep teasing on the PS5 price and launch reveal but Sony themselves haven’t given us a bone. Will the vaccine for COVID come out before the actual consoles?

Maybe Sony isn’t ready yet… But maybe they are and are just taking their sweet time. I don’t really know at this point.

They say they are but from where I’m sitting, I say put your proof where your pre-order mouth is.

Author

Vincent Ternida moved Vancouver, Canada in 2006 and called it home ever since. He spends the lockdown catching up with his Japanese RPGs, writing his new manuscripts, and figuring out why he suddenly became the main character of the latest Haruki Murakami novel.

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