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| June 25, 2017

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To wait or Not to wait before buying PS4 or Xbox One? -

To wait or Not to wait before buying PS4 or Xbox One?
Roy McCoy

We’ve been around long enough to know that only one or two years after a console launch, it’s likely a revision will be on the way. Sony likes to slim down its gaming boxes, with the original PlayStation, PS2, and PS3 all getting a Slim version; the PS3 receiving a second, even slimmer revision toward the end of its lifecycle. The PSP experienced four different iterations — the original model, the subsequent 2000 and 3000 models, and the ill-fated PSP Go. The PS Vita has only been around for a year-and-a-half, and it’s already getting a 2000 model, as well as being turned into the PS Vita TV set-top box. The eighth generation of console gaming is closing in (sorry, Wii U), and both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will land next month. Sony’s new console will drop on November 15 of this year, and Microsoft’s Xbox One will release one week later on November 22. With every new console generation, the launch consoles are either must-haves or must-waits. Though every single Sony console has been revised into a slimmer form, the PS4 may be the first one that isn’t. The console is using x86 — or, standard PC — architecture, which means there isn’t much room to get smaller without getting more expensive.

The same — more or less — applies to the Xbox One. The original Xbox didn’t undergo a slim revision, though it received many different color variations and special branded editions. This might have been because the original Xbox employs x86 architecture. However, the original Xbox released late into its console generation, so it’s possible Microsoft simply didn’t get far enough into the hardware’s lifecycle to slim it down. Microsoft did revise the original Xbox gamepad, though. Meanwhile, the non-x86 Xbox 360 received a number of revisions and redesigns.Though both the Xbox One and PS4 are using x86 architecture, there is already room to slim down. A not insignificant portion of the Xbox One is composed of empty space for airflow. If Microsoft can figure out how Sony was able to remove all that empty space, the Xbox One could shrink in size

This time around, the PS4 and the Xbox One both won’t be inherently backwards compatible, so neither console will be launching with a must-have feature that could be dropped in the future. Both companies appear to be angling toward offering backwards compatibility through cloud services, which will always be available as long as the consoles are internet-capable. The only console revisions we can feasibly look forward to in a short amount of time would be the addition of an SSD, or slimmer units. If waiting a couple years for a somewhat smaller (but still giant) set-top box with a faster storage device is worth missing out on those couple years of games, go right ahead and sit this one out. If not, the eighth generation of consoles could easily be the least risky target for early adoption in video game history. This time around, it should all come down to how long you can do without the launch window games. You likely won’t be missing out on some kind of special launch-day hardware feature that gets dropped somewhere down the line.