While a GTA 5 release date has been set for September 17 on existing platforms, the game has yet to be confirmed for Microsoft and Sony’s next-gen consoles, a move retailers have warned could cause consumers to hold off making the jump to the new platforms.
With neither the Xbox One or PS4 back compatible with existing-generation titles, UK retailers have told MCV that upcoming AAA titles such as GTA 5 and Gran Turismo 6 could force gamers to stick to their current machines as they look to get value out of the latest games.
“The core gamers will be out in force at launch but after that it’s going to be hard convincing consumers to spend £350 to £430 on a new console as many of the best games will be available on machines they already own,” one leading retailer stated. “That’s made even more complicated when you consider that games like GTA V, Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Gran Turismo 6 are only available on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.”
With the raft of new titles set to precede the next-gen consoles and land prior to the November Xbox One and PS4 release dates, it has been suggested many will wait to see the upcoming game line-ups before splashing £429 or £349 on the respective consoles.
“I think there will be a ‘wait and see how much this affects me’ attitude to the next-gen from gamers,” Simon Urquhart, buyer of PC games at Dixons said.
“If they aren’t seeing an immediate difference in the server populations and gameplay features, then it’ll be tough to justify the expense. Killer apps like Halo and God of War are always tipping points for owners of legacy consoles and until dates on those are released, gamers will be patient – especially if they have a PC and an Xbox 360.”
With many retailers echoing similar concerns, Games Centre MD Robert Lindsay added: “Publishers seem to be covering every angle by bringing their titles out on current and next-generation formats. As a publisher you wouldn’t want to put all your eggs in the next-gen basket straight away, especially as Microsoft have just announced record sales of the Xbox 360.
“If consumers are feeling the pinch, and with quality titles still being released on current formats, the customer transition to next-gen might be slower this time around.”
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