Where were you on November 10th? November 12th? Banging your head against the refresh button only to come up empty-new-console-handed?
We get it. We were doing the same thing: at the online frontlines confused about time-zones, spamming “add to cart”, and signing petitions to make captcha’s a requirement on these big-box retailer websites. Bots should be a war crime. But pangs of rage and disappointment won’t get you through what might be a long winter before you have a chance to wrap your arms around a warm Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5. That’s why we’re bringing you this super-practical (and not at all depressing) plan to make you feel just a little bit better about the wait.
1. Breathe Deep And Wait
Yes, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are shiny, new, and probably smell fantastic fresh out of the box, but they really aren’t going to be much different from the previous generation for at least a few more months. Obviously, they perform better in the graphics, frame rates, and load times departments, but they don’t really have any mind-blowingly different games (which is the most important part!) when it comes to the latest and most exciting offerings. Right now, at launch, the Xbox Series X doesn’t have any exclusive content– every single game available on the console is also available on Xbox One. That, and all the upcoming new games, like Call of Duty: Cold War and Cyberpunk 2077, are also available immediately on the previous generation. This is something that happens every console cycle because games take forever to develop, consoles are notoriously unavailable, and everybody is buying video games during the holidays. No developer wants to leave any gamer behind so don’t leave your Xbox One or PS4 behind just yet. Oddly enough, once the craze dies down and the consoles are more readily available is when upgrading is going to really matter for exclusive titles.
2. Recommit To Your XB1 Or PS4
Fall in love again with your old flame of yesteryear. Run your hand gently along it’s, comparatively, lack of luscious curves, and recall that time two weeks ago when you were playing Warzone with your friends. Simpler times, yes, but treasured memories nonetheless. Look, the PS4 and Xbox One, especially if you have the suped-up X or Pro, are incredibly capable workhorses that still have plenty of life in them. Everybody and their mother has one and are still very much online and looking for you! Plus, cross-compatibility with the newer systems means nothing has really changed in terms of your friends-list. So have a game night with your good friends or take a walk down memory lane on your own. I have a backlog of PS Plus games I still need to work through.
3. Broaden Your Horizons
Y’all ever heard of Nintendo? If you don’t have one already, get a Switch or a 3DS! There is an absolute wealth of fantastic content out there just waiting for you to goomba-stomp. I know so many folks that have never experienced a Zelda game and I’m telling you, they will really knock your socks off. Even if you roll your eyes at the mention of Breath of the Wild, the 3DS has ported versions of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask which, if you’ve never played, are critical entries in the video game history books. Why stop there? You’re already browsing eBay wondering if it’s worth it to spend $900 on a scalped Series X– go retro and bid on a Super Nintendo (or get one of these) and spend some time learning about what life was like before the internet. You know, if you’re a youngin’. Old heads don’t need to go through that again.
4. Finally Make A Change
If you really feel like burning $900, maybe it’s time you moved into the world of PC Gaming instead. For nine hundred bucks you could get a whole lot of computer that is actually, really going to change the way you play video games. Wait don’t go! I’m not here to convince you that computers are better than consoles (I mean, graphically it’s undeniable but that’s for a different day)– I just want to highlight some big differences in the experience that are maybe super attractive to you. Genuinely answer this question: What does it mean to be “playing video games?” What is the first thing that comes to your mind? The answer is different for everyone, but the one thing that all answers have in common is that they are completely different from what someone would answer a decade ago. “Playing video games” is no longer an isolated experience that begins and ends at the “on” button. Video games are just as big an industry as movies and music these days and to “play a video game” is to share an experience with a friend, be a part of a community, and in some cases even compete. Playing on a computer is the best way to “experience” what video games have to offer in their entirety. On the same piece of hardware I can, for example, play Rocket League, join a Rocket League-League, organize a scrimmage against people in a different time zone, and broadcast it all to Twitch– I mean, there’s a reason why the most prominent video game streamers all play on PC. It’s having the world at your fingertips and, when video game memes are the front page of Reddit nearly every day, video games are the world. Maybe it’s time you gave it a shot? Started streaming? Tried out Counter-Strike to truly understand just how good Shroud is?
Regardless of what you choose to do, know that in 2020 video games are here for you despite all the drama surrounding loot boxes and file sizes. As long as you have something to play on there is something to play and people to play it with. Whether it’s convincing your Mom to download Among Us on her phone or beating the Halo 3 campaign on Xbox 360 for the eleventh time, find a game and play it, because that’s really what this season of gaming is all about.