2012 Holiday Console Purchase Guide

This is an interesting holiday season. The next generation has technically started with the Wii U, but there is no sign, other than vague and inaccurate rumours, of the other two console developer’s next systems. As such, there is a very big question of whether or not it is a good idea to buy a console at this time. Should you wait until the release of the next generation of consoles, or is it a better idea to grab these consoles when they are at their cheapest?  I’ll even throw in PC viabilities because I’m such a wonderful person; however, I’m not dealing with handhelds as I’m focusing on the core experience today. If you have a question as to whether to buy one or not, the answer is yes. Today’s post will be somewhat short due to the holidays, and Tuesday’s post will be cancelled, so enjoy.

It can’t be an attack on Christmas when there’s a cute penguin, right?

Playstation 3

The PS3 is a pretty good buy this year. There hasn’t been any major price drop or anything, but there is also no word on the PS3 successor, so it will be at least two years, I would think, before a new console has been released. Because of this, this is perhaps the last great time to buy the PS3. There is also a possible concern for those who are waiting of whether or not the next console will be fully backwards compatible. While the early PS3s were totally backwards compatible Sony cut that feature fairly early on, and there is no evidence at this point that they won’t do the same in the next generation. The PS3 has a huge library of games with one of the biggest library of excellent exclusives out there. For those not interested in the past library, there are quite a few major PS3 releases coming out in the future such as Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, which will certainly make the PS3 the console to own at the end of this generation.

Learn the bundles. Little Big Planet 2 = Good. Ratchet and Clank All 4 One = Bad.

Xbox 360

The 360 is a good buy for the same reasons as the PS3. There is, of yet, nothing but vague rumours for the 360 successor, so I wouldn’t hold out on a surprise release causing purchase regret. The 360 is certainly at best position that it has ever been with the red ring of death a distant memory and the console being cheaper than every before. One word of caution to the holiday buyer: the 360 is often bundled with Kinect. It is absolutely not worth buying a Kinect bundle, as Kinect is a huge waste of money. I put a small exception if you want to play a party game during the holidays, but even so, it’s still not worth the money. The 360 is in a worse position than the PS3 however, as there are considerably fewer exclusives left on the 360s roster, which makes it a considerably less exciting machine at this time. However, if you are looking for the 360’s great backlog and some of the earlier multiplatform ports, which were better on the 360, than it is certainly a safe buy.

If you see the word Kinect, run as fast as you can.

Wii U

The Wii U is both the safest and perhaps best buy this holiday season. As Nintendo’s newest console, there is no chance that Nintendo is going to release another console soon and undermine your purchase. At the same time, Nintendo has put out a very good launch lineup with games such as Scribblenauts, The New Super Mario Bros U, Nintendo Land, ZombiU (Very good word of mouth despite the reviews), and a good selection of upcoming games that are sure to impress such as Rayman Legends that will be arriving early next year. Combine the games with the very impressive Nintendo TV, and the fact that it is backwards compatible with all Wii games and you can transfer all of your virtual console games over, and the Wii U is a no brainer this holiday season.

Not quite this exciting, but what is really?

Wii

I cannot stress enough how much of a bad purchase the Wii is this holiday season. Nintendo sure as hell doesn’t realize this though. They’ve dropped the price of the Wii and they’ve released a Wii Mini redesign of the aging console, but do not be tricked by this. The Wii is long dead and nothing new of substance will ever be released for it. The backlog is good, but as the Wii U is fully backwards compatible, it is a complete waste of money to favour the Wii over the Wii U. If you absolutely must buy the Wii, then you should get the cheapest one you can find, or one of the bundles that come with as many games as possible. However, this is the worst time to invest in the Wii.

Don’t be fooled by how cheap and pretty it is, put that $100 towards a Wii U.

PC Rig

Of course you can skip console gaming altogether and invest in a new PC rig. This is the most expensive option and parents and family are unlikely to be able to do this, so it’s probably a gift to yourself. The PC may be the most expensive option, unless you’re just looking for parts, but it will also allow you to get the best out of some games as compared to consoles. The PC is always worth investing in, but it may be noted that supreme graphics are not needed as some of the most popular games on the PC such as Minecraft, League of Legends, Diablo 3, and the like are not graphically intensive. While, if you want your games to be at there best, you will want the best specs, it isn’t necessary to be able to simply play some of the great PC exclusives, and the trends in PC gaming seem to be going against graphically intensive games with indie developers picking up the slack.

Please just don’t be a dick. That’s all anyone wants from PC gamers.

So there you go, internet. I’m sure most of you already have at least some viable console, otherwise I strongly question why you are reading this blog. Despite this, there are plenty of people that have been on the fence about buying one or more console, especially with the new Wii U. Considering all the people that missed out on the Wii because they considered it inferior, the Wii U is an excellent buy this holiday season, and the other options look great too, which is probably the last time I’ll say this since I would bet anything that there will be a reveal of a new console this E3. Just don’t buy the Wii, internet. It isn’t worth it anymore.

– Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer

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