It’s the age-old question: should you buy a new gaming console or should you wait until prices come down or more games are available? Right now, the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S are riding high in the gaming world, and although there are still some supply issues, availability for the two machines is beginning to stabilise. With that in mind, now is a great time to think about whether you should upgrade the console you’ve currently got or wait for a more advantageous time. Here are some of the situations and circumstances you should consider when you’re thinking about upgrading your console!
Although current-gen consoles (the PS5 and the Xbox Series X|S) are more powerful than their last-gen counterparts, they are lacking some crucial features. For example, the PS5 doesn’t have a web browser, while its predecessor does. If you use the web browser on your PS4 a lot – to watch videos, for instance, or to enjoy the casino games of platforms like Casino HEX Österreich – then you might want to hold off on upgrading. The Xbox Series X|S, however, maintains many of the same features as its predecessor, so upgrading won’t lose you any of the things you’ve grown to love.
Naturally, if you pick up a current-gen machine, you’ll notice the difference in terms of graphics and performance almost immediately. Modern consoles are capable of running even the most demanding games at silky-smooth frame rates, often upscaling resolutions to 4K in such a way that you couldn’t tell the difference between their output and native resolution. To put it simply, if you want the best graphics and performance, then you’ll need to upgrade to a more powerful machine, and so buying a current-gen console is a good idea.
Of course, if you’re going to buy a next-gen console, then you’re also going to pay for one, right? The PS5 recently got a small price hike, so you’ll now pay £479.99 for the disc version and £389.99 for the digital version. By contrast, the Xbox Series X will set you back £449.99, and the Xbox ecosystem is also where Microsoft’s secret current-gen weapon is hiding; the Xbox Series S costs just £249.99, which is a ridiculous steal for a console that’s still capable of running many current-gen games at excellent frame rates and resolutions.
This might sound like a silly concern, but both the PS5 and Xbox Series X are seriously massive machines. The Series X measures in at 30cm by 15cm by 15cm, and the PS5’s dimensions are 39cm by 10.4cm by 26cm, with that size shrinking slightly for the digital version thanks to the lack of a disc drive. You may find that you don’t actually have room for a current-gen machine in your setup unless you’re replacing your old one, so make sure you’ve measured the space where your console is going to sit very carefully before you commit to a purchase.
Backwards compatibility could be a big hindrance to your purchase of a current-gen console. The PS5, for instance, will play pretty much every PS4 game, but it won’t play PS3 games, PS2 games, or PS1 games, save for a selection of those titles on the PlayStation Plus service. The Xbox Series X|S doesn’t have that problem; it’ll play a large amount of Xbox One, Xbox 360, and even original Xbox games, whether via disc or digital purchase (and it’ll have to be the latter if you buy an Xbox Series S). If you’ve got a big last-gen library, bear the backwards compatibility situation in mind.
At time of writing, the situation with current-gen console supply is rapidly improving. It’ll soon be possible to simply head into a shop or jump onto a website and pick up a current-gen console without any trouble, which feels like a far cry from the Dark Ages we were stuck in when the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S first launched. Anti-scalper and anti-bot measures have gotten cleverer, and while the chip shortage that fuelled many of the supply issues surrounding both consoles continues to be an issue, it does seem that console supply is improving.
Your PS4 or Xbox One might well be reaching the end of its life. If you’re still rocking a base model from launch, then your console is almost 10 years old, and while many machines continue operating long beyond that milestone with no issues, others don’t. If your console is starting to show signs of wear and tear – failing to read discs, for instance, or regular crashes – then upgrading to a current-gen console might be a better way to honour your old faithful machine’s legacy than constantly drawing out its life cycle with repairs.
In the end, only you can make the decision regarding whether you should upgrade to a current-gen console or not. Be aware, though, that many games are still being released for last-gen platforms as well, and while your new favourite might not be among them, you’d be surprised (God of War Ragnarok, for instance, is getting a PS4 release as well). If you’re happy with the way your PS4 or Xbox One is performing and you don’t see any reason to upgrade it, then by all means, hang onto your money, but if you think the upgrade is necessary, the current-gen consoles are in a good spot for a purchase right now.