Like any budget gamer, the launch of a new generation of consoles is a bittersweet experience. It's basically a great big tease. We know the machines will be absolutely amazing. We also know we're not going to be able to find a financial excuse to purchase any of them for at least another 12 months. It's been four or so months since PS4 and XBox 1's initial release, and unless you were lucky enough to receive a very special Christmas present, it's difficult to see any reason why either console deserves your attention just yet.
With launch problems and some lagging visuals, XBox 1 is the surprising loser of the two-console battle. If I was to purchase a console today, it would be a PS4. Over the years, I've slowly managed to accumulate and inherit a mixture of XBox360, a Wii and a PS3, and a small library of games. In order to afford a PS4, I would likely need to trade in all of it. A few weeks ago, I would've said this was unlikely to happen before the end of the year. After all, a boosted up version of Assassin's Creed 4 or Tomb Raider just didn't whet my appetite.
However, the last few weeks have seen a number of gameplay videos released of particularly gorgeous games. While all of these are being released on last-gen also, it's difficult to balance the economic investment in a game on a technology that will be obsolete in a couple of years. But I'm not quite ready to give up last-gen yet. I still want to go back to GTAV, explore as much as I can of Assassin's Creed IV, re-visit Bioshock: Infinite, and even find a mythical month in my schedule to play Red Dead Redemption from zero to a hundred percent again.
More enticing than your traditional teasers, gameplay demos are like crack to a gamer. They give you just enough to get you high, and you find yourself reaching for your wallet before you've even realised you're already over your gaming budget for the month. Below are three gameplay trailers for games that will be available on both PS4 and PS3. How to make the leap and when will cause me much biting-of-lip in the coming months.
Released next week, Thief looks hot. It's a step up from first-person stealth games like Dishonoured, and remains in a genre that I find personally thrilling. Now that stormy steam-punk gorgeousness is probably just as exquisite on PS3...right?
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Given that the game prides itself on the fact that the entire thing looks like a South Park episode, a sharp upgrade in graphics quality isn't going to make much of a difference for this one. Still, with a March released date, and it being hyped already as one of the most enjoyable RPG's in years, wouldn't you want to play it on the best machine possible?
Shadow of Mordor
Scheduled for later in the year, and unlikely to get a last-gen release, Shadow of Mordor is set to be a game that changes the way we approach third-person battles. After seeing this trailer, I can't help but think this may just be the game that tips me over the edge later this year. (Future Dave note: It totally was. heif was a flop, but the combination of Destiny and Shadow of Mordor made me feel like the PS4 was worth it.)