Despite the PlayStation 4’s underwhelming launch, fans are already readying themselves for the next generation of video game consoles. But while Sony and Microsoft are both hatching plans to pillage your wallets, games like God of War: Ascension are proof that you don’t need to buy their latest machines immediately.
To be fair, Ascension is not the best in its franchise. Being another installment in a massively popular series, this prequel has the great gameplay and tremendous production values we've come to expect, but it isn't as revolutionary as its predecessors. Couple that with some frustrating multiplayer and Ascension is essentially Sony’s equivalent of Halo 4: a very decent entry into a franchise that is sure to be carried into the next generation.
That having been said, Ascension is still a great game and living proof that current consoles are still alive. The Playstation 3 has not had a mind-blowing product like Uncharted or Guns of the Patriots in a while but it is still bringing out great games regularly and, hopefully, The Last of Us will give the console a fitting sendoff.
So, considering the excellent, diverse and still-expanding library that has numerous surefire hits and still promises several more, already making plans to abandon the PS3 and embrace its successor might be a bit hasty.
Of course, why should you miss the opportunity to log into your Playstation 4 account the first day the console is released, especially when it is going to be stronger, will offer more features and will even play these older games? Simply put, because you might end up overpaying.
When the Xbox 360 was first launched, it sold on Ebay at an average auction price of $786, nearly double the original price. Yes, some gamers overpaid that much because they couldn't wait to get it from proper stores. To be fair, most gamers avoided this and waited a few more weeks but, in the long run, even they overpaid.
The launch price is meant for the hardcore crowd, the kind that buys games before bread for their starving family. For everyone else, console pricing is rather inflated in the beginning, as shown by the fact that the PS3 saw a considerable price drop just eight months after release, the Xbox 360 a month after that and even the massively successful Wii eventually caved in.
So, really, if you value your dollar, don’t buy gaming consoles immediately.
Besides, there isn't even any need to buy immediately. As I said before, we’re not running out of great games. The libraries of all the consoles are filled with dozens of gems and, due to backwards compatibility, fantastic PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube games are available for loose change.
Also, if you believe the delusion of “launch games,” understand that these products come long before developers know the strengths of a console. There are glaring exceptions such as the original Halo but, for the most part, launch games are not the best on a system.
As LittleBigPlanet, Gears of War, and Super Mario Galaxy showed this generation and just as the original God of War, Ninja Gaiden, and Resident Evil 4 had shown the previous, the best games for a system arrive well into its cycle.
Games like Ascension and Halo 4 show that there’s fun to be had with the current consoles but they are nothing more than primers for things to come. Sony and Microsoft have effectively thrown the bait; just take your time savoring it.