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10 reasons not to buy an Xbox One or PS4 before Christmas

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The Xbox One and PS4 are guaranteed to be high on the wishlists of millions of adults and kids across the world. But there are a few reasons why we should all consider cooling our jets and waiting a while before investing in next-gen gaming. In fact, we'd argue the reasons not to buy (right now) are better than the reasons to buy one.

10. The games library isn’t any good yet
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A games console is mostly about playing games, and the games libraries of the Xbox One and PS4 are fairly poor at present. The Xbox One has a slightly greater variety of games, but most of its more interesting early titles won’t be out until 2014. The PS4’s Killzone is a fairly anonymous shooter, the Xbox One’s Ryse is a classic example of the lo-fi console launch title and most other games are sequels that fail to get us truly excited.

Many of you will find yourself going back to play a different game on your old PS3 or Xbox 360 half-way through the Christmas break, which brings us onto our next point...

9. You still have 700 last-gen games to play
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If you’re anything like us, you still have a load of top-quality last-gen games to play. Now is the time to get stuck into those, rather than buying a new console. Not only are some of 2013’s titles much better than the vast majority of next-gen launch games, once you start playing Xbox One and PS4 titles, you’ll effectively be spoilt.

Once you’ve gotten used to next-gen graphics, heading back to the ‘old’ visuals of PS3 and Xbox 360 games will ruin some of the excitement of those perfectly good older games. So appreciate them before you ruin your eyes with those shiny new visuals.

Our best games of 2013 has a few you may want to try before you move on.


8. There are always first-wave hardware nigglesPics 2

This is one of the most serious reasons to consider holding off buying an Xbox One or PS4. There are likely to be some hardware issues with both the new consoles.

So far one of the most commonly reported is an issue with the Xbox One disc drive malfunctioning. However, it’s a bit early to tell if there are going to be problems widespread enough to worry about. Microsoft has been very careful in the Xbox One, using an oversized frame in order to avoid issues with overheating. But it's no guarantee.


7. They can’t replace your old consoles yet
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If you’re thinking you’ll simply replace your old Xbox 360 or PS3 with a new console, you can’t. Not unless you want to wave goodbye to all your old games too, anyway.

The next-gen consoles are not backwards-compatible with games from the previous-gen machines, and nor will they ever be. Sony is working on a game streaming service for older games, but this won’t be out until next year at the earliest.

This is true in other ways, too. The PS4 doesn't have DLNA support at the moment, a feature present on the PS3, while anyone who uses the Sky app on Xbox 360 will be disappointed to find it's not there on the Xbox One.

6. Getting one is easier said than done
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Predictably, both consoles have sold out. Many retailers now say that they cannot guarantee delivery before Christmas. Unless you’re willing to put in a bit of effort to find one not selling at a ridiculous price, you may be better off waiting until the rush has died down a bit, and stock levels are back up. This will be a few weeks – we wouldn’t guess more than six – after Christmas.

5. They currently miss out on loads of featuresPics 5

Many features are missing from the PS4 and Xbox One at launch. The worst-affected are the media and TV services that let you watch films and TV through the consoles. For example, the Xbox One does not have BBC iPlayer yet and most of the more advanced TV control features of the Xbox One are not available in the UK yet.

How long these extras will take to appear is not yet clear, but if you rely on your console for any of the above then the Xbox One and PS4 fall short at present.

4. Bundles with games cost a bomb
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Being an early adopter costs. Consoles aren’t cheap, and neither are the games that go with them. Launch titles cost £50 a pop, and don’t really drop under £40 online. When there are so many great last-gen games available for a few quid, it’s a pretty painful investment – especially if you’re going to end up buying a game just so you have something to play on your new console.

3. Games won’t be cheap for a while, and poor freebies from XBLA/PSNPics 1

The prices of games will drop, but it’s unlikely to happen much before Christmas. Three to six months after the consoles are out – around March – we’ll start to see games drop rapidly in price as the launch titles descend to budget levels in order to win over a new audience.

For the budget-conscious among you, waiting until that price drop point is a good idea. There are also unlikely to be any full retail games available through PSN of Xbox Live Gold for quite some time.


2. A price drop will come… at some point
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As ever, the consoles will drop in price at some point too. But when? This will depend on the sales performance of the consoles, and it won’t be any time soon.

We wouldn’t advise waiting for a price drop unless you’re cash-strapped. The Xbox 360 took 18 months to get its first price drop, and unless something goes very wrong the Xbox One is unlikely to get a significant price drop until around the same time.


1. It’s not clear which is better, yet
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Unless you’re going to end up buying both consoles, you need to buy the right one. And as yet it’s really not clear which one is going to end up being the superior console.

The PS4 has a weaker launch line-up. But will that change? Is Sony going to pull its finger out and make an amazing game streaming service, as planned? It’s not clear. Will we in the UK ever get the full power of the Xbox One’s entertainment skills? In the US it can be used to control a digibox. But will we get that? The jury’s out.

Picking the wrong console could prove to be an expensive mistake, so sitting it out for now is the best move for most people.

Next, read our Xbox One vs PS4 comparison

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