The Dilemma: Should you Buy the Current Gen or the Next Gen Games?

Written by migs

September 7, 2013

The Premise


This is something I came across while reading The Game Informer’s article on NBA 2K14’s game improvements.

“NBA 2K14 is coming to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on October 1. A next-gen version touting additional features is expected to launch day and date with both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.”

NBA 2K14 is basketball video game that every fan should have. For the past couple of years, inasmuch as it has become a monopoly, reviews and critical acclaim have been consistent. This makes 2K14 all the more desirable as the improvements and innovations to the video game seem exponential. But here’s the catch: “A next-gen version touting additional features…”

Imagine that statement zooming in my head by a thousand times. It does raise a certain concern. It’s still unknown what these additional features are, and it might be simple nuances that the next gen version can offer. However, it can be a game-changer in the industry that a person can actually say “I was there. I was among the few who first experienced that.”

Now, here’s a hypothetical situation and a follow through question:

  1. You have a current generation console.
  2. You have the resources and will most definitely buy a next generation console on release date
  3. Inasmuch as you also have the resources to buy the same game on both consoles, you find it more practical to just buy one version of the game.*
  4. Which version of the same game should you purchase? The current generation or the next generation?

The Argument


* Now, regarding point number 3: It is admittedly really tough to start a game again knowing that you have already progressed so much in another console. For example, I have considered spending more than 250 hours playing The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim on the Playstation 3 a big sunk cost. I did not realize that there were a lot of issues on the PS3. Glitches were everywhere and lag was the norm. I only found out about the blatant compatibility issues around 130 hours into the game. It was just too late to turn back.

On the flipside, I recently bought a new (gaming) PC. My friend gave me a copy of Skyrim and advised me to give it a go. Just to see the things I did not experience on the PS3, I tried it out. I installed the game, all settings on ultra, 5.1 surround speakers maxed-out.

The PC version clearly beat the hell out of PS3’s. It was that spectacular. I almost wanted to spend another 200 hours on it since it offered a better experience.

The Dilemma

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The only problem is the feeling of regret. Regret on the part that I have already played Skyrim, and I don’t want to spend time starting from scratch. I have invested so much time on the PS3 version that I just have to live with it. Inasmuch as I would like to play video games all day long, I grew up. My time playing video games have substantially decreased compared to High School and College, but I still would like to play.

Now, that was just a PS3 vs. PC experience comparison. I think the argument for a current gen vs. a next gen would stretch out even further. Is it naturally skewed for the beefed-up, new kids on the block? Not necessarily so. Here are some possible reasons why:

  1. Stability Issues: Gamers are still wary that those who would buy the next generation consoles at launch have submitted to their fate as “willing beta-testers.” Here’s a good analogy: I still prefer my 2007 version of Microsoft Office. It’s stable and I’m familiar with it.
  2. Hardware Issues: Gamers have been traumatized by this current generation’s hardware issues, the Red Ring of Death for the Xbox and Yellow Light of Death for the PS3 that it’s much better to just wait for the new and improved console versions. In the meantime, might as well settle for the current generation’s version.

Open Ended

To be honest, I’ll leave this one up to you. We can always settle things through a toss coin (even elections!)

What do you think? Current gen or next gen?

You decide.



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