Waiting for Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X Supply to Catch Up with Demand
The future is now! And here we are in a glorious time of supply shortages and meteoric demand for the new generation of gaming hardware; the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Twitter is ablaze with disgruntled consumers who are having online pre-orders cancelled and delayed deliveries of their new consoles this holiday season. Scalpers are out there as well of course. At the time of writing this article, there is an Ebay listing of PlayStation 5s at $1,700 and an Xbox Series X at $1,200… Pass.
Being a gamer in their mid-twenties, I can say that this is a very normal start to another console lifecycle and will not be the norm for the next 3-6 months. It has always begun with unrealistically high demand, unrest amongst the ‘enthusiasts’ and the eventual day when everyone grows tired of their consoles and looks to the next generation for nicer graphics and a slightly different controller.
If you are among the millions of gamers who will need to wait until 2021 and beyond to finally pick-up your next-generation console, here are four tips I use to get the most out of the last year with a console. I want to clarify that; I have only ever bought one console at launch. I bought the Nintendo Switch on March 3, 2017. I stood outside my local EB games early on that Canadian cold morning to bring home my pre-ordered console and play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the next three months straight. Other than that one experience, I have always waited a year or two to jump in on PlayStation or Xbox platforms.
Tip # 1: Take a good look in the Mirror
I am talking to probably 90% of gamers with tip #1. I know you have at least one game on your shelf you bought and barely played in the last 3 years. I bet there is even a game over on that shelf still wrapped! This is the perfect opportunity to knock games, movies and TV shows off your backlog. At this point, most PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games will even have dirt cheap or free DLC you can download to increase your play time a little more. Hop on some online multiplayer matches, meet some new people or play with your real-world friends. I know it is hard to imagine, but games can be played years after that one weekend they came out. If you have games you never plan on playing, now is also a good time to make some extra money by posting some online ads for selling or trading.
Tip #2: Having Fun Isn’t Hard When You Got a Library Card
I go to the library. I go to the library a lot! Here is something a lot of people don’t know. Libraries carry video games! Depending on where you live, your library may have a pretty decent collection of PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch games available to lend out to you. I spent my college years taking out PlayStation 3 and WiiU games from my library and as a result, I did not unplug those systems until 2016! I kept finding hidden gems that I would never have found at EB Games. You can renew the games you like, and return the games that suck. The library is infinite, FREE Blockbuster rental hack in 2020 that not enough people take advantage of. Take a chance on some of those games that look interesting, you never know what you will find, and they’re all just a few steps away from Goosebumps books and People Magazines.
Tip #3: Indie Games are Video Games Too
Yes it is probably true that not too long from now AAA games will stop coming out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Disappointing, I know. However, there are still going to be a handful of independently developed video games released on digital storefronts for years to come and it is up to gamers like us to find them. These games are typically short experiences ranging from 1-10 hours and cost the equivalent of a few cups of coffee, but they have the potential of becoming some of the great games of a generation. I highly recommend looking up ‘Best Indie Game’ compilation videos on YouTube at the end of every month. This has helped me find several games that have gone down as my favourites of all time when I am waiting for the next big release (Pikmin 4 where you at?)
Tip #4: It is OK to Cheat on Your Hobbies
I know that there are a lot of people out there who eat, sleep and play video games, and that’s OK. But if there is one thing I can leave you with during this whole GameCube Was Cool Podcast adventure, it is that Mike and I do not spend every waking moment absorbing ourselves in GameCube Games. We also know the importance of diversifying our interests. I love video games. I hope that comes across in our podcast. But I also spend my free time with books, fitness, music and baking (just to name a few things). Video games are a great hobby, but sometimes there will be times in your life that you can’t play games for whatever reason (time, money, other responsibilities etc) and those are the times that other hobbies are going to be so important. Take these next few months to master a new skill or find something else gaming-related; start a podcast, start a gaming blog/discord group, read video game books, or maybe even try basic video game development. You never know where that may lead!
I hope these tips are helpful to someone while they are waiting for their new favourite console to come out. And I really hope your new console is worth the wait. But there is too much panicking in the gaming community, and I want to do what I can to decrease that. I myself have taken Scooby Doo: Night of 100 Frights off the shelf and am playing that this weekend. I can’t tell you how to spend your time, but I can tell you that Tweeting at retailers that you can’t find a video game console is helping no one.
Maybe this article will still be relevant in 7 years when the PlayStation 6 and Xbox Two comes out. What is up future people?