Tobold's Blog
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Buying a console for a single game

I bought a Nintendo Switch mostly because I wanted to play Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I don't regret that decision: I already had 165 hours of fun with Zelda, and there is still some DLC content I haven't done; I can even imagine playing it again with a different approach. And I have already a small library of games for the Switch that I might enjoy as well. However, as a general approach, buying a console because you want to play one specific game on it has its limitations. And this week I'm pondering these limitations due to the release of Monster Hunter: World.

Monster Hunter: World looks like a game I would like to play. In many aspects it is quite similar to Zelda, being an action-adventure open world game. However this week it comes out only on the Playstation 4 and the XBox One, neither of which I own. A release on the PC is only foreseen in "late 2018", with not even a date fixed.

The most likely scenario is that I will just wait. And if I wait until late 2018, I might also wait until 2019+ for some Steam sale. There are a bunch of reasons why I don't really consider buying a PS4 or XBox One to play Monster Hunter: World or any game: First of all I simply don't have the room for several consoles in my den / man cave; I have an enclosed TV cabinet, which already holds the TV, the Switch, a BlueRay player, the cable box, and a Chromecast. All of which pretty much fills the enclosed space *and* the available HDMI connections on the TV. Second I already think that console games are rather expensive on their own, so adding the price tag of a console to one or few games makes them feel excessively expensive, even if I could afford that excess. And third both the PS4 and the XBox One are closer to the end of their cycle than to the beginning. Next year or so the PS5 and "XBox Two" or whatever it will be called will come out. If I haven't felt the need to buy one of the current consoles in the last 5 years, now might be a bit too late. Especially when I know that Monster Hunter: World will be eventually released on the PC (and will look better there). Anyway, I already got far too many games and far too little time to play them all.

So, yeah, buying *one* console for a single game I am okay with. But I balk at repeating that for a second or third console, because that feels like a slippery slope into a bottomless money hole for me.

That's pretty much my opinion. I'd like to be able to play Horizon: Zero Dawn, but I'm not inclined to drop the money on a PS4 just to play that when all of the other games I play are on PC.
If you are willing to be a patient gamer then it gets a lot more feasible if you wait till the console has been superseded. Within a few months of the release of PS4/Xbox one you could pick up second hand PS3/Xbox360s very cheaply. I bought a second hand PS3 just to play the Last of Us and I certainly don't regret it. My only regret actually is that I bought a bunch of other second hand PS3 games which I was never really likely to play. I think I felt an obligation to justify the purchase but in hindsight I should have just admitted that I was only going to play one game on the console. Bonus - the PS3 is still handy as a Blue Ray / Netflix player.
You could always pick up a Xbox one S ($189 in the US) if the price tag of the XB1X seems too high. It's significantly slimmer then the original XB1 and I believe even the X so it might not affect your space that much.

Although I would also agree that at this point in their life cycle their might not be much point unless you cannot wait for a specific game. All first party Microsoft games will be coming to PC so it's basically only third party games and Sony exclusives that you won't find anywhere else.

With the Switch blowing worldwide I wouldn't be surprised to see more third party games porting to it in the future so you might end up with only Sony first party games being truly exclusive.
Wait for the PS5 / XBox 2 to come out then buy a PS4 / XBox 1 second hand with the game probably for less than you can buy a new console system now.
I bought the Xbox One just so I could continue with Halo 5 and Gears of War 4 so I empathize. Outside of those two games I deliberately bought Ghost Recon: Wildlands on the X1 just so I could feel justified (in the end the Xbox One is actually dominated by my son so it worked out). OTOH I tend to buy all consoles and still play PC more than them, so whadda I know, don't come to me for advice on saving money, I guess.... No thanks to you I've now decided to add a Switch to the collection, though!
After you pointed it out, I played a lot of Empire Deluxe on my iPad. The dev was not very competent, at least on iOs; lots of memory leaks. (s)He did not bother to recompile it so it would run on iOS 11. But a cheap Amazon fire table let me continue to keep playing this 40 year old game.
I was thinking about the Sony Neo but they unfortunately did not include an ultra DVD player. The latest XBOX does. So an XBox costs about the same as an Ultra DVD player and could replace your dvd player. (OK, this is clearly a strech but a lot of time I am looking for an excuse not reason.)
You may be correct on the timeframe of the PS5/XB2. But that market moves so slowly relative to PCs that I was just assuming they would be further out.
Same. My brother bought an Xbox-One just so he could play Forza Horizon. I got to play the latest Tomb Raider as a side deal, but still. Plus, he sold the game two months ago because he got bored of it, so now the console is just accumulating dust on my table -_-
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