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1 expert and 2 parents have answered

Simon Munk writer
Simon Munk Consumer tech journalist, mountain biker, dad of two. Walthamstow

I'd go further than Matt - the truly innovative, interesting games are now mostly happening on PC (on services like Steam and IndieCity) or on mobile devices - particularly iPads. The console model of buying games for £45 in a store is increasingly looking like yesterday's way of getting games.

On top of that, all of the announced games for the Wii U and the next generation of PS4 just seem mostly like more of the same. Notably, the Wii U has attempted to put a tablet-like touchscreen into a motion-sensing gamepad - yet that has yet to result in any gameplay you'd describe as revolutionary.

On top of that, there are multiple new platforms coming - GameStick, Ouya, Project Shield, Steambox etc. that may yet prove more interesting than PS4 or Xbox "Durango" or whatever. In other words, now is not the time to be buying a new console (unless it's a PS3 because you want a cheap Blu-ray movie player and some nice games too).

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Opinion 4 years ago
Matt Thrower writer
Matt Thrower Parent. Gamer. Coder. Writer. Bath, Bath and North East Somerset, UK

The short answer to this question is: not unless you’re sitting on a lot of money that you’re just itching to spend.

Since the inception of the home console market, manufacturers have followed a well-worn groove. New hardware would be released by the major players every few years. At that point they’d be marginally more powerful than the gaming PCs of the time, and would then gradually fall behind until the next release cycle.

The latest generation, the eighth, has broken all these rules. It’s been eight years since the seventh generation releases. One player, Nintendo, released its Wii U console earlier than its competitors. Its focus was on innovative controls rather than raw graphical and audio power. When the other new consoles arrive they may not be ahead of the PC market. Things have changed.

There are several reasons for this. The rise of mobile devices as gaming platforms is one, the increasing costs of modern hardware and software capable of exploiting its power is another. Overall the trend is for the casual market – that is, people who have a handful of games and play a handful of hours a week - to leave consoles behind. That market includes a lot of families and children.

Even amongst the more dedicated fanbase that remains, there’s little sense of urgency in looking at the new hardware. There’s too much expense involved, and an assumption, validated by most of the preceding evidence, that launch titles are unlikely to be long-term classics.

Eventually better games will be released and prices will drop. And it’s likely there will some great family features available for next generation consoles like virtual reality sets and improved motion trackers. But that’s the future. At launch, they aren’t going to be worthwhile for any but the most hardcore gaming kids.

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Opinion 4 years ago
expert answer
James Brodie expert
James Brodie Test Director Birmingham, GB
Technologist expert

For young children I would definitely say no. I have just bought an Xbox One as I am an early adopter but that is for me. Not the kids. I love that the Xbox allows you to run Sky through it which for me is a stroke of genius but in reality my kids are playing on the Wii still.

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Experience 3 years ago

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