Are Newer Consoles Even Worth The Money?

The newest consoles are starting to sound more and more like a PC... so why are we still willing to shell out the money to buy them when most new games are already available for our computers?

As gamers, we rely on a surplus of technology at our fingertips in order to sustain our habits. Habits that have our hands lusting for a game, fingers twitching in anticipation of the next device that might allow us to explode some candies or shoot Nazis or evade a zombie apocalypse. And these devices are not in short supply.

Our games are starting to cross devices which makes choosing a device a lot simpler... or does it?

I can play Candy Crush Saga on my PC or my android phone. I can play it on Facebook or on king.com. I can play it on a Kindle, iPad, any iPod that has internet access or can support apps. Basically I can play it on just about anything. The only thing that I can't play it on is, well, consoles. But if we really think about it, that isn't actually true. In reality, I can't play it on old consoles. The newer consoles are basically tricked out with similar functions to a PC. I mean, if I can stream Netflix, why can't I play online games on my console?

But if all these different devices support the same game, how am I supposed to choose which one to spend my money on? They aren't exactly cheap. And as a broke college student, I 100% cannot afford more than one new device... well, at least not if I want to afford games.

But if our consoles are basically turning into computers, why are we still spending the money to buy multiple devices?

At this point, a buyer isn't really losing too much by just saving the money on a console and buying a PC. These new consoles are costing gamers hundreds of dollars. Honestly, it isn't worth it. You can save the money and buy a fancy-shmancy computer with equivalent graphics and more options... especially when you consider that a lot of newer consoles are shying away from backwards compatibility and most newer games are available for PC.

And I'm not even going to get into the absurdity known as the Xbox One.

In my mind, consoles have always had one big advantage that made them stand out.

Completely internet free.

Living basically in the middle of nowhere, if the internet crashed, it wasn't a simple matter of restarting the modem. No. If the internet was out in my house, it meant it was most likely out for my entire area. Seriously, it's been years and nothing has changed. The lovely company (whose name I will not slander in this post) still drops the internet every couple of weeks for a day or so. So basically, none of my darling internet supported games work.

And when I'm at college, it is just as bad. Anytime too many people decide to get on the WiFi at once, it crashes. Plus it likes to be a jerk and ask me to "authenticate" my internet every couple of hours. Of course, I never have to authenticate when I'm doing boring research or filling out job apps. No, I have to authenticate in the middle of a show or a YouTube video or, you guessed it, a game. 

If I'm looking for a gaming fix, I turn to my PS2.

Ancient, I know, but it gets the job done. And I'm not the only one with internet capability issues. Anyone in the military is going to struggle with the next generation of consoles. When you get shipped out to the middle of third world countries or a vast ocean, an internet-free console might just be your only luxury. But apparently this is a luxury that is fading fast. 

And let's just consider that when I say I'm in the middle of nowhere, I'm defining nowhere as located in a small town with neighbors I can see and even walk to in under a minute. Plus my town is the county seat. We have courthouses and jails and government offices. All on the smaller side, but still. They exist in my town.

Now let's think of those poor gamers stuck out in the woods or back-country where their neighbors are over a hill and around a bend and they could visit them if they were willing to walk for about two hours on a skinny dirt road or cut through some cow-pie infested fields. I'm sure their internet is just dandy!

Basically, newer consoles are going to start losing their appeal.

If consoles continue to model themselves after PCs, they are going to slowly lose the market. Pretty soon game developers will see that most of their sales are for PCs because people have stopped wasting money on embellished consoles and the games will get marketed for computers instead of other devices. If consoles start forcing their users onto the internet (like the Xbox One) then the users are going to get fed up and realize that new computers are the better alternative. Seriously, even computers are more universal at this point than the Xbox One.

This isn't to say that consoles will disappear. There will always be those gamers who go out and buy the latest and the greatest even if it is a complete waste of money. 

But what do you think? Are consoles still worth your money? And if they head down the path of the Xbox One, will you continue to go out and buy them?

 Let me know in the comments below!

Correspondent

Platforms PCMacXbox One Tags console
Published Sep. 8th 2017
  • Ashley Peisher
    I agree with you on some points.
    The newest game consoles are losing their appeal, but not for all of the reasons you've listed. Computers are more universal than the Xbox One, specifically. The Xbox One is trying to be so much that it has lost it's purpose. It is your cable, it is your "tv inside of the tv you already have", it is your blu-ray player. Blu-ray compatibility aside, this is annoying to most Xbox-users. However, what is really losing Microsoft it's audience is the fact that the Xbox One is going completely digital. Users must buy each game for each console they wish to play on. You have to take your specific console everywhere you wish to play. You cannot share games. This is where the problem is. @Kevin is right in saying that you will have to replace the console around the time the new comes out, and that consoles can be very simple to use. The issue is, Microsoft is trying to make things SO SIMPLE that it's limiting what gamers can do.
  • ErinV
    Correspondent
    Peisher!!! Love this point! And I completely agree on all points. Speaking of which, I am so glad that the Xbox One has decided to change some things. I would also love to hear what you think of my Back to the Classics: Revisited article. Please comment if you have any feedback!
  • kdwill13
    This is your lovely senior speaking. I would say that the Playstation 4 and Wii U have gained appeal by sticking to consoles being consoles with a few add-ons and by giving us the choice to remain offline. Due to the way the world is changing, it is inevitable (and horrendously, terrifying) that everything, including consoles, will go all digital. But the terms that Microsoft was giving were not worth the change just yet. And call me privileged if you want, but Microsoft's focus on everyone else before the gamers is downright appalling. The Xbox would not have gotten anywhere if gamers did not buy their consoles, their games, their peripherals, and everything else associated with those consoles. It was gamers who got them to this point and to alienate many of their fans just so they can try to get "everyone" on their console is stupid. That's why I like the PS4; it gives us the choice of being online or offline and anything they have that's for non-gamers is an add on feature, not their main feature.
  • Germ_the_Nobody
    Correspondent
    I find it hard to even want to read this. Its nonsense to me. Consoles have basically always been PC's. Little portable ones made for gaming only.

    And one of your plus's to consoles is that it was offline? The first time I could play a game online on my console excited the living crap out of me.

    I don't even know why I'm commenting on this. Sorry. =p
  • ErinV
    Correspondent
    No! Thank you for commenting and I think you make a fantastic point. I'm pretty happy about streaming netflix on my Wii or being able to connect some games to the internet. My point was essentially that consoles had always had the option of being internet free, but the Xbox One was trying to eliminate that. Luckily, they changed tactics! I'm glad you commented!
  • Kevin Spence
    Correspondent
    I'm going to disagree with you on most points. You're right that consoles are getting closer to computers, but we're not to the point yet where computers are going to replace console games for most people.

    1. A computer powerful enough to run AAA PC games is expensive. And if you want to keep up, you will have to replace it by the time the next gen of consoles come out anyway. So the cost is a moot point.

    2. At the present time, consoles are much simpler for most people to use. You don't have to install the games (usually). You don't have to troubleshoot any performance problems, or upgrade a graphics card to play that new game you can't wait to play. In general, games crash much more frequently on PC than they do on a console (an inevitability when you're writing software that has to work on xxx configurations of machines). Because consoles are such specialized devices, they're easier for most people to use.

    3. At this point, consoles are much more social than PCs. Have your friends over, fire up a console, pass out the controllers, and play from the couch while you drink beer and trash talk all day. Yes, it's possible to play PC games from your couch, but it takes more effort and specialized knowledge. Consoles make it easy. Don't underestimate how much of the console market is driven by people who want to play sports games (like Madden) with their friends on Saturday afternoons.

    I do believe that a day will come when consoles as we know them will die. But it won't come until some problems (primarily revolving around simplicity and ease of use) are solved.
  • Germ_the_Nobody
    Correspondent
    Well there ya go. Well said.
  • ErinV
    Correspondent
    You definitely made some fantastic points that I didn't consider. I want to point out that there is a reason I made the title a question. I wasn't trying to state a fact, but rather incite a discussion. I think consoles are a long way from being equivalent to PCs, but I also think the gap is starting to close quickly... or rather was starting to close quickly. The new change in the Xbox One has shown that developers are listening to us and have realized that we don't want a console that is just like our PC but with less functions. I'm really glad you wrote this comment and I believe that consumers have made it clear we don't want to reach a point when consoles are essentially PCs.

    And thank you for posting such a pleasantly constructive criticism on my article! I am continually amazed by the intelligence and tact of the GameSkinny users. I would love to discuss this more with you and here more of what you think.

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