Xbox One

Why Next-Gen? Games Are Awesome Right Now

The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 are nearly a decade old. Their hardware is so outdated that even the most budget-friendly gaming PC’s match its specs. In fact, if you play game on the 360 or PS3, you probably own a newer, thinner and more efficient version of the original consoles. Given the age and number of refreshes from the current generation, the Xbox One and PS4 seem way overdue. There’s just one thing – right now, the Xbox 360 and PS3 are in their absolute prime.

Breaking Records
Rockstar spent more than a year ramping up hype for Grand Theft Auto V. The success of the series, alongside other games like Red Dead Redemption, helped GTA V fly off the shelves when it launched in September. So quickly, in fact, that the game earned an unbelievable $1 billion in just three days. For some context, it took “Marvel’s The Avengers” 19 days to earn the same amount. GTA V is the most successful launch in entertainment history, not just gaming, as Forbes points out.

What makes this figure more impressive is GTA V is, for now, current-generation console only. There will be no version for the Xbox One or PS4 and a PC version is still a floating rumor. Rockstar made a clean billion dollars (and more) off two consoles getting replaced in a month.

Pushing Limits
Look at games made for current generation consoles in 2007 and compare them to a game released this year. You won’t believe they were even made for the same console. First-person shooters like Battlefield 4 use advanced physics engines letting players level entire buildings on a map or break levies to flood a town. Those were features not possible in the early days, and now it’s the standard on these old consoles.

On the other side, this could be a bit of foreshadowing, considering the upcoming consoles. It took developers years to master the hardware under the hoods of the 360 and PS3 and the first rounds of games released in 2013 and 2014 for the next-gen consoles will hardly be fully optimized. We won’t see what the next-generation is really made of until several years down the road.

Perks of Current-Gen
It’s not as if your current-generation consoles tragically shut down when the new ones launch. Microsoft and Sony will continue to support them for years and developers will still make games for both generations. Current owners get some perks for the transition between consoles. Microsoft announced it was ditching its annoying points system and now lets enthusiasts buy games with real money instead of the pointless (no pun intended) conversions. Gamers on both the 360 and One get to take advantage of this as Kotaku points out.

Free games are also going out during this process. Microsoft gave Halo 3 as a free download for Xbox Live subscribers this month, and have been handing out freebies for the past few months before that, as reported. The next-gen consoles will be awesome, no doubt, but gamers with a 360 or PS3 have years of fun to look forward to. For the current-gen, 2013 is a great year for gaming.

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