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Buying A Next-Gen Console On Day 1 Might Be A Bad Idea

There was a time when I was a big advocate of hardcore gamers landing the latest and greatest console on launch day. After all, if it's your primary hobby, you might as well be proactive and passionate.

However, as consoles have become more and more like personal computers, it's becoming painfully evident that purchasing a brand new system on day one probably isn't the best idea.

Launch lineups are rarely anything to crow about and even if there are titles you really want, there are usually a myriad of problems and issues that take time to fix. Plus, you've got the whole price issue; prices fall with time, as in any other industry, and when the price of a new console does fall, it's a guarantee the unit is more stable. Enough time has passed to make it more reliable and more appealing overall, yes? It goes way beyond more (and better) games.

Note the multitude of issues surrounding the recent Wii U launch. At one point, I was almost convinced that Nintendo - despite my waning interest in their products - was almost immune to such problems. They usually produced a wicked reliable machine and because it wasn't as technically insane as the competition, it was, perhaps by default, more stable. Oh, and it was usually cheaper, too. But obviously, there are a great many early adopters who are none too happy with the new Wii, and that isn't a new phenomenon. Quite the contrary, in fact.

The Xbox 360 was a hardware catastrophe out of the gate and it had little to nothing in the way of compelling software. The PS3 had a formidable price tag, there were hardly any machines available, and it too suffered from a lack of software (although for some, Resistance: Fall of Man alone was worth the price of admission). I really don't foresee either the new Xbox or PlayStation launching with perfectly stable hardware and a ton of awesome software, nor do I see totally accessible price tags. Therefore, I'm finding it difficult to stick to my previous position, where all the ardent gamers out there line up to get their shiny new console the night before launch.

I'm sorry but practically and even logically speaking, it just seems like a bad idea going forward.

Tags: next generation, next gen, next generation consoles, video games

11/19/2012 10:03:32 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (49 posts)

Draguss
Monday, November 19, 2012 @ 10:27:40 PM
Reply

I generally buy a console about a year or more after launch, when the library for it grows a bit and we know of any problems it might have.

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PoopsMcGee
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 2:11:51 AM

Not to mention that when ps4/nextbox are released Ninty will inevitably lower the price dramatically ($100?) just in order to stay relevant at all...

Last edited by PoopsMcGee on 11/20/2012 2:12:29 AM

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Neo_Aeon666
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 7:49:17 PM

lol I still bought a WiiU since my only reason for selling my Wii was that it looked like hell on my HDTV and really turned me off.

Been enjoying the new machine so far although I will say that the PS3 installs are nothing compared to WiiU lol XD

ZombieU is fun and I have been enjoying the NinjaGaiden3 Razor's edge :D Didn't try Nintendo Land yet.

I have to say that IF you get one... BUY a *pro* controller. God at first I tried NinjaGaiden on Hard with the controller/tablet and ARG it was a pain. I really don't suggest any type of action combo button mashing game with that remote. The pro works like a charm though.

So yeah well one of the *pros* of buying it first is that you can brag about it and you will know stuff about it that the majority doesn't know :D Information is priceless :P

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Snaaaake
Monday, November 19, 2012 @ 10:42:08 PM
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I chuckled a bit when I watch a vid of the first person who bought the 360, and he was very happy for it, can't blame him though, even I would be proud when there's so many people lining up and it's just like being the first to buy an iPhone 5.

But then I wonder how many 360 that guy already went through.

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Temjin001
Monday, November 19, 2012 @ 10:47:54 PM
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Early adopters get screwed first. It's true about many electronics more than ever now. Whether they get stuck with shoddy ports, high priced items, design bugs, you name it, the early bird only gets the worm few others want to eat.

Only casually glancing at Wii U's third party ports, all I can say is, I really hope no one is buying into the Wii U because they think franchises like CoD, Tekken, Batman, Mass Effect, Darksiders, and Assassin's Creed will have any business with the console 2 years from now. Nope, I think it highly likely they'll move on with Sony and MS once they make their move. I say, unless you're coming for Nintendo's in house stuff you're going to be disappointed.

For me, I'll wait two years and reconsider any moves, once and if the console gets enough content to reasonably justify my purchase.

Oh, and PLEASE Team Ninja, stop the charade. Go ahead and announce NG Sigma 3 already. You know PS3 and Xbox audiences were the one's screwed. If this game was supposed to be something of a peace offering, offer it to the right crowds. Otherwise you're just aggravating the point.

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Jawknee
Monday, November 19, 2012 @ 11:12:01 PM

Activision has been supporting Nintendo products with COD since the Wii and DSi launched. Even when the PS4 and the new Xbox launch its safe to assume they'll still be supporting the Wii U given their track record.

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Temjin001
Monday, November 19, 2012 @ 11:56:53 PM

hmmm forgot about that.. one.



hehe CoD on Wii.

I remember when Tiger handhelds made versions of Street Fighter II =p



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Jawknee
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 12:02:57 AM

Pftha, yea, the Wii versions of MW and W@W blew but Blops2 is on par with the PS3 and 360 versions. No network issues either.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 12:06:19 AM

But Temjin makes a good point, those series will move on to more powerful hardware and whatever the Wii U gets will have to be somewhat lesser.

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Jawknee
Monday, November 19, 2012 @ 11:09:12 PM
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Quite honestly, some of the issues in that article seem overly exaggerated. Yes it's true you can't log into a different Wii U with your account but that's been the case for Nintendo products since they brought their systems online. Hardly news. Same with the gamepads battery life. The 3-5 hour charge has been known for some time. I've been an early adopter of just about all my gaming consoles or Apple products and I've never had issues right of the box. Only years down the road. Namely my PS3 and my iPhone 3G.. Of course some devices will have issues at launch. Nothing is perfect but a few squeaky wheels shouldn't deter most from buying a new system at launch if they really want one. That goes for any tech device.

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Jawknee
Monday, November 19, 2012 @ 11:19:24 PM

A note on the web browser, it's not slow by any means. It takes less than 2 seconds to load sites like IGN which take much longer to load on my iPhone when not using their mobile site. It's the best browser on a Nintendo device yet.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 1:06:39 AM

On a good note for hardware life expectancy the Wii U is reporting extremely low voltage consumption with the processors drawing only 33 or so watts on lighter tasks and apparently not too much more under load.

Heat was a real killer of early 360s and PS3's. I say anytime a console can keep heat generation as low as possible it bodes well for that platform. That and only solid state memory is a real plus as well.

Though, the Wii U is something of a new beast with that tablet controller. ill be interested to see how well the tablet controller holds up under heavy use. It doesn't look like the sort of thing one would want to replace no matter the circumstance. Meaning, I see defective controllers being mailed in for repair due to their high value....

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daus26
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 2:03:23 AM

Less than two seconds? Forget Nintendo devices, that would make it the best browser on consoles/mobile/media players period. Quick question, can you view the browser on your TV as well?

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Dridion
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 2:35:05 AM

@daus26 yes you can. you can even open multiple tabs, watch a video (at least for youtube) on the tv screen while still surfing the web on the pad AND have a game paused in the background. No more having to exit software. And like jawknee said everything loads amazingly fast. To say the wii u browser sucks is beyond arrogant and that site (or whomever) have some insane expectations. Yes there are annoying load times and other nuances but I've honestly been utterly amazed with what this thing can do. That site sounds bitter and I don't know why because aside from the insane update, everything else has been flawless. If I'd have to give the entire ordeal a rating, it would be a solid 8.

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CrusaderForever
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 9:25:40 AM

Is there a power cable that you can plug into the controller and play while it's charging? Or is it a sit the controller into a charging station type of setup?

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Jawknee
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 12:24:27 PM

Yea the gamepad has its own power cable to charge it with. So if its running low on power while playing you can plug it in and continue playing. The chord is fairly long too giving you plenty of room. I have an extension chord that can reach to my couch so I can plug it I while still playing. With the extension chord and the length of the gamepads power chord I have more than enough room to sit comfortably without worrying about chord lengthy while playing and charging.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 12:05:10 AM
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That's why it's nice to have a Sony console, while you wait for the new one to stabilize the last one is still being supported. So I think I'll wait on the PS4 too unless I can't handle the excitement :)

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Heartless Angel
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 12:39:12 AM
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Now, early adopters = beta testers

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Beamboom
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 1:44:07 AM
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I'd apply that same principle to games.
Rationally speaking there are only positive consequences with waiting a few months before buying them. Much lower price and critical bugs usually gone.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/20/2012 1:44:34 AM

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daus26
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 1:59:22 AM

True, but with games, at least you can update and fix it. With consoles, it's expensive repairs/replacement. But yeah, of course there's only positive consequences to waiting, that is if you don't want to be too late playing online with your friends or something. That's a small sacrifice for me so I always have no problem waiting, except if it's a Gran Turismo title. I'm a sucker for that franchise.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 4:47:43 AM

Indeed, the online-centric games are the only one (with a good handful exceptions of course) I buy day one, simply cause coop friends gotta get it on day one and I wanna join.

But other than those, I gotta say I have become quite good at waiting. There's simply such an insane amount of quality these days, so with a decent backlog it's not that hard to wait.

The only thing I am forever guaranteed to buy day one is Fallouts and everything Bioware. Those are simply too good.

Last edited by Beamboom on 11/20/2012 4:48:00 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 10:28:21 AM

Uh, Beamboom...ironically, the games you SHOULD wait to buy are the online-centric ones, as they're the ones that always have the most problems out of the gate.

Why the hell should anyone wait to buy a new Uncharted? Why should anyone wait to buy the upcoming MGS: Ground Zeroes?

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Beamboom
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 11:02:01 AM

Ben, I stated why one would want to wait with the single player games. You save like... 40-70 percent off the day one price. That is, for those who don't receive the games in the mail for free, quite the incentive.

One could rather ask, why the hell should anyone *not* wait when you save that much by waiting. It's the exact same game a few months later.

As for competitive online games there is one *major* argument for buying them as early as possible: To keep up with your competitors. If you wait months before buying you risk meeting an armada of players who know every map, every class, every perk. In other words: They will *totally* dominate you.

Last edited by Beamboom on 11/20/2012 12:45:04 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 3:59:06 PM

Games don't become half price in a few months. Uncharted 3 was still $60 a year after it released. Not sure where you get the idea that they just immediately drop in price. You typically have to wait at least 6 months before it even falls $10 and the only exception is if the game sucks to begin with.

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Neo_Aeon666
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 7:53:48 PM

OR if Wallmart gets it in their heads to put on a discount! lol

Here we have Batman Arkham city launch at 39.99 because of them XD

They did that for a few good games and force the competition to follow.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 @ 1:05:06 AM

@Ben: Sony keep their exclusives exceptionally long at full price. They are completely in a division of their own. I had to wait a YEAR to get Infamous 2 at the price I wanted. COD also never drops much in price until the next COD is out.

But seriously Ben, you really need to go do a price check. Dishonored for example, is at around 50% now (at least here in Europe - check Amazon UK). Assassins Creed 3 will be at a low price already this christmas, I promise you.

Take it from someone who buy a good majority of his games from the bargain bin: 8 of 10 3rd party games drop considerably in price within the first three-five months.
But even to have to wait six months (who admittedly do happen) is not *that* bad, it is? Not for as significant price drops as we talk about here!

@Neo: You need to go online. Physical retailers, at least here in Norway, is lagging way, waaay behind online retailers when it comes to pricing.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/21/2012 1:17:31 AM

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daus26
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 1:55:19 AM
Reply

You have to also mention the YLOD problems for early PS3 too if you're going to mention early system problems of the 360. Sure, it may not be as bad as the 360s, but PS3 phattys aren't exactly reliable if MOST of us went through it. Lack of software and high price are understandable, but to have a a HIGH chance of your system breaking in 2-4 years under normal use isn't exactly reliable either.

I think one year is enough of a wait to see if there are any problems or if you're waiting for a bit of a price break. Two years is too long for us gamers who can't wait to play certain games. Then again, it took the PS3 phats about 2-3 years to show any signs of major system failures so I'm not too sure on how long I would wait on the PS4. I'm not gonna be getting it on launch day for sure, although if GT6 is a launch title, I may just bite... errrrggh.

As for Nintendo, them being technically less may not be the reason why their system is more reliable because their Gamecube was much more reliable than the phat PS2s, if that means anything. I guess eventually, they'll have to come over challenges if the tech is getting much more advanced, but I still have faith that Nintendo is still the best in system reliability.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 10:26:39 AM

I'm not mentioning the YLOD because it wasn't a big deal. Defective ratios were extremely low from retailers, in stark contrast to 360 defective return rates. Nobody I know ever had an issue with their 60GB machine, including me.

I'm aware it existed. But I don't think the PS3 ever crossed the 5% defective barrier, while the 360 sat at 30% for three years.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 11:22:07 AM

You can be sure the slims will eventually fail as well once they pass the 5-year old mark. But I'm quite sure it will still only be a 5% failure rate.

My 60GB YLOD'd, but not until a year and a half ago. It was a release model, and it got used a lot. It was well after 5 years, and my system gave me red flashes as a warning well before it happened. So I was able to back everything up. I'm the only one from my friends who no longer has a phatty. My friend Brandon plays more than I do, and he still has his in happy order.

The fact is, the YLOD was not what you would call an "issue".

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___________
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 3:58:56 AM
Reply

sadly thats become the standard but i still cant help being there on launch just simply because im a tech head.
ill never go to a midnight launch, hell EBs been hounding me for weeks to come to the wiiu launch.
but the wiius launch has been pretty smooth, besides the big day 1 update theres really no problems with it.
id like to think next gen systems will be the same.
hopefully there will be allot more software available, systems will be cheaper, more reliable, and most importantly just work!
no day 1 patches, no PSN down due to server load, just work!
eh, only time will tell.....

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Knightzane
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 5:09:27 AM
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If Demons Souls 2 is a launch game, i'll sell a kidney to buy it day 1. I know it won't but hey, i can dream. I lied by the way, i wouldn't sell my kidney... I'd sell my neighboors kidney. Basterd thinks its funny to pull up in the driveway, 3am blaring rap music. I also think im going to avoid the next xbox all together.

I always try out each system but after spending 350$ on a 360 elite, only to have it die after a few weeks makes me not want to get the new one. As much as i loathe the wii u i will be buying it eventually. Not because im contradicting myself but because i want to support nintendo. I bought a wii, and it sat in my closet for... since 2010? So i did my part for Nintendo. Sony however, i've boughten 4 ps3's. Oddly enough not a single one has broken but one is simply not enough. I need 2 in my room (my girlfriends and my own) Then i need one in my living room. Then the fourth is sitting in my closet next to my wii. Its the old fatboy. It has the B/C, but i see little reason to use it when i have my ps2.

I think it has 40g? Something like that. Anyway, i don't think i'll buy the ps4 day one unless i feel there are MUST buy games. Im still plenty happy with my ps3. Oh, zombie U is pretty damn awesome. The control really ruins the atmosphere though. Its like wandering in the dark, with an ipad.

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Vivi_Gamer
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 5:58:16 AM
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The only time I have ever bought a console within the year of release was when the PS3 was beginning to sell out of the original backwards compatible models. I know I wanted one and saved ever penny I had at the time to get it.

But even upon buying it I felt there was a lack of games, luckily Uncharted 1 was only a few months away from when I got my console. But I look at the line up for the Wii-U, there is not one game announced for that console that I am interested in. It's mostly just ports of current gen games, just like how the 360 started off.

But I find within the first year of a new console, there are still solid games being released on the previous one. in 2007 Final Fantasy XII was released (While I disliked it intensely, it was still a big release...) So I imagine the PS3 will still have content to keep me occupied until the PS4 is a year old at least. It will take a big title like Final Fantasy or Metal Gear to really convince me I think.

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CrusaderForever
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 9:01:24 AM
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PS4 = D1P! Nuff said

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slugga_status
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 10:19:49 AM
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I'm usually 6 months or a year late to the new console scene..But honestly I'll be getting the PS4 on launch..It took almost 3 years for my fat PS3 to YLOD on me..I was late to the 360 scene as well and I've been through 2 due to RROD..

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Highlander
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 11:24:54 AM

We've had 3 phats, one completely original since launch that YLOD'd after 5 years of heavy use, one that was bought reconditioned about 2 years after launch that is still kicking - though it needed a lens cleaning. And finally we had a refurb from Sony to replace the original that died, sadly it died 18 months into it's second life. Not bad considering how heavily used they have been. The original refurb we got a couple of years into the life of the PS3 runs like a champ. Though I will admit that if I can get the thermal compound changed on it I will before turning it on again.

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slugga_status
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 1:17:19 PM

Yea when my phat PS3 YLOD I cracked it opened and the thermal paste was basically gone. Didn't bother sending it in b/c I saw a b/c phat daddy at Gamestop..Yet it turned out to be a lemon as the graphics card went out. I have a Slim now but I either need to clean the lens or replace it as it takes a couple of tries for it to pick up some games..Just trying to decide if I want to get the Blu-Ray disc cleaner or just crack it open and do it the old fashioned way..

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Beamboom
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 1:19:08 PM

Yeah I'll get the PS4 at launch too.

As for me I've had one fatty replaced with a refurb who are still running, but it is noisy like hell and quite frankly I don't feel too good about leaving it on. It cries for air pretty soon after a game is started.

My slim is still going strong though, with no sign of aging.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/20/2012 1:21:31 PM

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Highlander
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 1:46:53 PM

Try the lens cleaner first it's a lot less intrusive on the system than opening it up.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 2:32:09 PM

My 60GB phat died in 2 and a half years. Sadly, most people I know or have encountered who had a first year PS3 are on their second, some even third unit now.

In all my years of gaming I've never seen so many system failures among those I encounter in so short of time. The HD consoles unfortunately lowered the standard of life expectancy as far as Im concened. PS2's, while some needed a lens adjustment, ran for a decade or more.

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Highlander
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 5:00:30 PM

Agreed Temjin, regardless of the comparative difference between 360 and PS3, the SP3 was not as reliable as it could have been. Though I suspect that has more to do with the fact that they were shipping out systems that were too close to the leading edge of technology. The failure rate of the blue lasers for example was too high, and the RSX burns too hotly for a chip that lacks thermal protection circuitry. Hd they brought PS3 to us a year later, I think it would have been different, or had Nvidia paid more attention to power consumption and thermal protection.

It's true that the thermal compound has a limited life as well, but even then, the CellBE doesn't burn itself out because it shuts down before damaging itself. A lot of the actual PS3 fatalities in the early models are caused by the thermal compound losing efficiency and the RSX burning itself out. Sadly it's just not capable of shutting down before it damages itself.

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Highlander
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 11:18:10 AM
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Regardless of the scare stories of early PS3s with the so-called YLOD, the vast majority of those systems are still in use today, and let's be honest, no one who got one of those really felt ripped off - except for Mr Trol...erm I mean Mr. underline - but then he'd feel ripped off no matter what Sony did.

Seriously though, anyone who bothered to read the tech press knew that the original PS3s were right at the leading edge, just one step back from the bleeding edge of technology, and knew that component life could be an issue. The fact is, those Ps3s are the only onesthat came with adequate backwards compatibility, and if the PS4 drops in two SKUs, one with and one without PS3 compatibility, you know that a lot of people will buy the more expensive SKU, just as more bought the 60GB sku than bought the cheaper 20GB SKU at PS3 launch. Let's not forget that the launch system is the best bargain in town in any case since it's typically the most expensive to build, comes with the best hardware and is sold at a loss.

When it comes to launch day - assuming that Sony doesn't foist a PC wannabe on us - I'll be in line for a launch system.

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telly
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 11:22:48 AM
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I'll say this -- seems unlikely the next Xbox or PS4 are going to launch with top shelf games next fall (if they launch next year at all) considering we just got a new halo, gears of war and god of war have new entries coming in the spring, Last of Us is a PS3 game, etc.

Still, one has to think both companies have some tricks up their sleeves. no way they're going to launch without ANY compelling games... time will tell I guess...

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Highlander
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 11:26:16 AM

New franchises. The current console generation was built on new franchises, not retreads - well except for Halo on 360, but that's besides the point... :)

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telly
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 12:25:24 PM

Good point! I'm sure we'll see sequels to the big guns at some point but clearly new franchises are coming...

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Deleted User
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 2:22:30 PM
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While I agree with Jawknee that some of these issues might be exaggerated or maybe isolated cases, that they even exist is shocking. You would think Nintendo Q&A would make sure everything was on the up and up before rushing the console out the door for Christmas. Things like a debug menu being left in, shoddy ports of games that are better on "older" consoles/PCs and massive patches that eat up almost all of your flash memory are inexcusable flaws.

I still want a Wii U to play Nintendo games someday but I wonder if any of these flaws can be even fixed. Nintendo has really crapped the bed when it comes to first impressions.

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AcHiLLiA
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 3:46:38 PM
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Blu-ray was still in war with HD-DVD, one of the reasons why I held back of getting a PS3 60GB. I couldn't makeup my mind back then. If they lost the format war, I don't know what would of happened for us consumers wasting money and Sony wasting/losing more money, it would of been a mess.

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Highlander
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 5:02:20 PM

The thing was, BluRay was never going to lose that struggle, it was always the better standard and always better supported by the Consumer Electronics industry. MS threw money at HD-DVD and kept it afloat longer than necessary not to back the standard (had they really want to back the standard they'd have put it into the 360 instead of an external add-on) but to block Sony and PS3.

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Neo_Aeon666
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 7:58:52 PM
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Anyway y'all don't wait!

The WiiU is great so far. It is slow to setup but once it's all done it works quite well and has native 1080p games.

ZombieU/NinjaGaiden3/NintenLand/Mario/Blops2 will help me pass the time till Beyond is released on PS3. Pretty much been around the other games. Nice to have some fresh hardware with a new way of thinking. I really like the *harmony* you feel when using the system. Pretty well thought. My favorite collection remains on PS3 but the WiiU is still a great machine so far and I can't wait to try all the multiplayer features with my family this christmas :D

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Rogueagent01
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 10:45:29 PM
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I bought my 60gig PS3 day 1 and I will do the same with the PS4. Just like I want to support certain developers of games by buying day 1 I am the same with hardware. By the way my original PS3 still runs, and it ran 24 hours a day for a few years as I always used Folding@Home on it. I also have 2 other PS3s and both run fine as well. I have and always will be a day 1 supporter of Sony and Sega(RIP) systems, all the others(Nintendo and Microsoft) I pick up when a friend wants to sell them for $50 or less.

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