For some new console owners, we are quickly approaching the threshold that many early adopters dread; the dry spell. Yes, there’s a handful of big retail releases available on both consoles, but only open world games like Assassin’s Creed IV and Dead Rising 3 are going to have the potential staying power to remain in play through Christmas and beyond. Aside from that, and perhaps a few smaller downloadable titles released on the respective digital stores for each console, we don’t have a whole lot to do until March.
This is why—especially in light of the lack of backwards compatibility—it’s probably a good idea to not give that Xbox 360 or PS3 to the nephew, kids in the neighborhood, or guy in the dorm that doesn’t have a console. Giving up your old hardware now would be denying yourself access to some of the final great titles of the last generation.
You only have to look at historical precedent to see what I’m getting at. In the previous generation, as the PS3 and Xbox 360 slowly took over the gaming scene, there were still games coming out on the Xbox and PS2. The PS2 in particular had some of its greatest titles hit the ground running during its twilight years. God of War II and Persona 4 are regularly hailed as two of the best titles to come out of the PS2/Xbox era, and they were both released while the PS3 (which, at the time, was backwards compatible) was still floundering with a high price point and a lack of regular quality game releases. God of War II in particular gave launch PS3 games a run for their graphical money, while Persona 4 simply had no competition at all; it came during a period when the PS3 had no JRPGs to speak of.\
Now, in the early days of the newest current generation, we face similar prospects. With the exception of Ubisoft’s downloadable Child of Light, there are no major retail RPGs on the market for either the Xbox One or PS4. South Park: The Stick of Truth is, however, coming out in March for last gen consoles. We’re also looking at a period when new consoles need to play it safe, with familiar genres and brands to appeal to users. Meanwhile, Murdered: Soul Suspect, a brand new IP with the unique adventure game conceit of being a ghostly detective trying to solve your own murder, is coming out on PS3’s and Xbox 360s.
And then there’s the great big rampaging 1000 lb gorilla in the room that is Grand Theft Auto V. It’s still not available on either the Xbox One or the PS4, so if this is a game you don’t yet have, but want for Christmas, or even if you’re just returning to it again and again for its open world or multiplayer appeal, you HAVE to hang on to your old console to keep playing it.
I like my shiny new technology as much as the next geek, which explains why I got a PS4 at launch. But at the same time, once I get new tech, that doesn’t mean I have no appreciation for the old tech. My PS3 is still sitting in its original spot on the entertainment centre, and it’s still getting some major usage on a daily basis because of Final Fantasy XIV, if nothing else. But, like the Xbox 360, it’s still got some life left in it, and there are still a few developers out there that are going to give both of these machines a decent send off—at least in the year 2014—before we finally move on completely to the next generation.