Next-Gen Upgrades: Awesome or Gimmick?

Several publishers are offering trade-in deals towards current-gen games when a gamer trades in the same game for a next-gen console. But how great a deal is this really?
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Current-gen consoles such as the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 are approaching the end of their lifespan, and their successors are mere months away. 

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The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are will be released in roughly 2 months, and video game companies are preparing for the transition to the newer consoles.  However, some game publishers are offering a deal on current-gen video games that will be released on the next-gen consoles in November.

I have covered the “upgrade program” from an objective standpoint once before but now I am starting to view it from a different angle.  At first, the idea of playing the video game before the release of the next-gen consoles sounded awesome, but that idea has quickly begun to sour.  Are publishers just using the so called “upgrade programs” to their own advantage to simply make more money?

Battlefield 4 is an upcoming title that I am looking forward to because of my admiration for Battlefield 3, and I had originally planned to get the game on Xbox 360 first then upgrade after I made the jump to next-gen.  However, after thinking about it, is it really worth $70 to buy the game on Xbox 360 then trade it in towards a next-gen version of the game really worth it? 

Battlefield 4 is not the only game that is being offered in this program.  Games such as Madden 25, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag are also being offered under the same incentive, so it is not just a single developer promotion.

Same game, two different generations… worth extra money?

The Main Idea of the “Upgrade Program”

The idea behind the program is that players can get the current-gen version of the game and transfer their online stats over to next-gen when the new consoles launch.  At first it sounded like a great idea. Who would not want to play the game right when it releases and then upgrade to the next-gen version later on?  It seemed like a real “no-brainer” when the program was first announced, but now my thoughts are quickly changing.

The idea of paying $70 for a game is not the problem because I realize how much work goes into making a video game, and the game developers deserve to have their hard work rewarded with game sales.  But, is playing the game for three to four weeks and then upgrading the game to next-gen really worth it?  For $60, the game belongs to the gamer so long as they choose to keep it and that could be anywhere from a year to five years.  Under the “upgrade program,” players will pay $10 to own that version before upgrading to the next-gen version of the game a month later.

My Main Complaint

This might not bother some gamers but when you have bills to pay that extra money may not seem worth it.  If you were to buy three games and trade them in under the “upgrade program,” you would be spending $30 to upgrade to the new versions and that is half the price of a brand-new game!  You also have to consider that the next-gen version will probably be more advanced when it is released less than a month later anyway.

This article is not meant to criticize those that are looking to take advantage of this program, however.  For some people, the “upgrade program” will be worth the extra $10 as they get to get a headstart on part of the gaming community, and that is fine if they are willing to spend the extra money.  Personally, I would rather save the money and potentially put it towards games that will release later on… like Titanfall when it hits game shelves in 2014. 

What is your opinion of the “upgrade program?”  Is it something that you are going to take advantage of, or think is a good idea?  Let me know in the Comments below with what you think.

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Public Relations major at Virginia Commonwealth University. Fan of all types of video games, old and new.