I’ve been playing video games for most of my cognizant life. My brother and I started with an NES, and we consistently traded up with each new generation. We went from the SNES all the way up to the PS4, hitting most of the major stops — and even some of the handhelds and side consoles — along the way.

When the upcoming generation started gaining traction late last year with rumors of new PlayStation and Xbox hardware, the heat was on. The PS5 and the Xbox Series X hype trains were about to leave the station.

The console war was once again flaring up with prospective troops getting their keyboards blazed up in frenzied attacks upon their sworn enemies. Every time a new console cycle kicks into high-gear, pundits across the board start looking for reasons why one will be far superior to the other, thus new allegiances are formed and old friendships are broken.

For me, none of that matters. The only thing that gets my goat is console exclusives. Thankfully every exclusive I wanted to play thus far in the current generation are all available on the PS4. So, though I don’t pledge my allegiance to one box over another station, in my humble opinion the PS4 had far more original content to offer than the Xbox One.

But this is the first generation where I owned every console, so never needed to make that choice. That being said, for the next generation, I’ve already decided I was going to get a PS5 before an Xbox Series X, simply because the PS4 is my current go-to and holds 95% of the games I own. Plus I am currently in the process of trying to build a gaming PC, so there really isn’t a need to get an Xbox Series X.

Xbox Series X

So with all of that being said, my biggest hurdle going into this next generation is simply that nothing about these consoles is really all that exciting to me.

Some of that stems from the fact that, at the time of this writing, we are about three, maybe three and a half months from the projected launch windows, and there is still no solid release date for either console. It’s kind of hard to get excited about something when it’s still elusive and ethereal.

Add to that the fact that we have no idea what to expect for pricing and you’ve really got a recipe for apathy. Some prices have been speculated by analysts, and maybe even accidentally leaked, but even then, the numbers seem to fluctuate wildly with every new projection, leak, or rumor.

Thankfully, I am in a position in life where I don’t need to put aside new-console money anymore. But there are plenty folks out there that are still in a financially unstable situation, especially these days, and knowing what to expect would help those who need to budget accordingly. On top of that, if the sticker price is higher than expected, it would be nice to have more time to process and justify the purchase.

Halo Infinite

Then we have game delay after game delay after game delay. Looking forward to the Xbox Series X so you can play that hot new Halo game? The game is delayed until next year, but you can still buy that Xbox Series X this year in anticipation, I guess.

But hey, you don’t need exclusives to have a party, just buy current-gen games and hope that when the next-gen consoles come out, you get a free upgrade to the new version that takes advantage of the extra processing power. Or, if that particular game is Control, then you’d better hope you bought the Ultimate Edition or you’re out of luck, buddy.

Add to this the fact that we don’t know what the difference would even be between the current-gen version and the next-gen version in most cases –other than it might look a little better and perhaps have shorter load times.

I don’t know, maybe I am just an alarmist. But thus far, there is no apparent reason to buy a next-gen console whenever they do release at some as-of-yet-undetermined future date.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Although the aforementioned hype train has creakily left the station, it would probably be best to just delay the whole affair until next year when hopefully life has returned to somewhat normal and the games industry won’t have the hurdle of COVID-19 to contend with. Perhaps then they can reliably — or at least as reliably as before — get back to producing games.

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