The Xbox One arrives November 22nd, and gamers are hugely hyped to see it. But I’m not one of them; in fact, I’ll be sticking with my Xbox 360 in the foreseeable future. Here are 9 reasons you might do the same.
1. It’s Cheaper
First of all, it’s kind of a no-brainer even if you haven’t bought a console: An Xbox 360 is as low as $180, where the Xbox One is going for $500 at launch. Also, you’ll be able to find a 360 on the shelves this Christmas, unlike the One, unless something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.
2. There Are 958 Games For The Xbox 360
OK, so not all of them are classics, but the Xbox 360 doesn’t exactly have a wimpy library, and since the One isn’t backwards compatible, you’ll need a 360 to play those games anyway. Playing every game available for it can take up years of time and includes pretty much every game worth playing aside from the Sony exclusives like The Last Of Us. And with games like Grand Theft Auto V, Assassin’s Creed IV, and Batman: Arkham Origins already on the shelves, not to mention the sheer endlessness of Minecraft, it’s going to stay busy for a good long time. And speaking of games…
3. The Launch Lineup Is Mostly Multiplatform Anyway
Most of the Xbox One’s games are either coming to the Xbox 360, or are already out for it. True, they’re prettier, sometimes substantially, than their previous-gen brethren. Assassin’s Creed IV in particular looks gorgeous on next-gen consoles. But by the same token, it doesn’t really matter all that much. Whether it’s on the One or the 360, Madden is still going to play like Madden, and at this point, development studios know the 360 so well they’re squeezing gorgeous graphics out of hardware that’s nearly eight years old. And not helping matters is…
4. The Drought Of Games For A New Console Lasts At Least A Year
Think of a previous console and the games that defined it. The PlayStation 2 had franchises like God of War, and the original Xbox sold millions of consoles on the back of Halo. The PlayStation 3 has games like inFamous and LittleBigPlanet, while the Xbox 360 had Halo, the Kinect, Gears Of War, and others. But almost none of those came out at launch. In fact, it generally takes about a year for developers to find their footing with new consoles; Gears, for example, arrived a year or so after the 360 came out, and unlike the launch titles on the 360, it actually used the hardware to its full effectiveness at the time.
Of course, you may not be able to play the games anyway, because…
5. New Consoles Can Be Buggy
This is something Xbox 360 owners know all too well: Odds are pretty good you’ve seen The Red Ring Of Death, those three pulsing lights that mean you might be out all your saved games, and definitely have to wait for a new console. Microsoft has never been entirely forthcoming about what happened, but one thing that’s for certain is that a lot of 360 owners had to send theirs back; estimates range from 23% to a staggering 54%. One assumes they’ve learned their lesson, but the fact remains… you might be an unpaid beta tester for a new piece of hardware. And on that note…
6. I Finally Have One That Works
The simple reality of that manufacturing problem is that it’s taken a while to find an Xbox 360 that’s fully functional. It’s not uncommon to find people who have sent their unit back three or four times, and even the double-digits aren’t unheard of. You invest that much time into a console, you’re going to want your money back one way or the other.
7. Microsoft Will Be Supporting It Until At Least 2015
Going hand in hand with that is the fact that not even Microsoft, with the brand new shiny machine, is giving up on the Xbox 360. It’s promised that the system will be supported in some form through at least 2015, although obviously as the Xbox One becomes more popular and more developers flock to it, the number of Xbox 360 games are going to slow substantially. Which mostly means there won’t be nearly as awful a backlog of video games to play, really, and third-party support can go for a long time; the last PS2 game didn’t arrive until this year.
8. I Don’t Need The Xbone’s TV Features
Stepping away from gaming for a minute, there’s also the other main function of the Xbox 360: video streaming. The 360 streams everything from Netflix to UFC, and it’s likely only going to keep adding streaming options as Microsoft and Sony get deeper into their fight to take control of the living room.
Just as importantly, it’s pretty difficult to see what the Xbox One brings to the experience of watching TV. So I can tune my TV with my voice? Uh… yay? I already have a remote? I don’t mind moving a finger? The same is true of most of the content on the One; it’s undeniably futuristic, impressive stuff, but it’s only for a very small handful of users compared to the system’s wider audience. I don’t need to wave at my TV to make it stop playback, and that doesn’t seem to be worth $500.
9. I’m Waiting To See If Microsoft Reverses Its Reversal
Finally, there’s this. Microsoft made some pretty bold announcements about connectivity and used games when the Xbox One was first announced, only to retract those statements surprisingly quickly in the face of an enormous amount of gamer ire. That raises a few questions, not the least of which is why these features were there in the first place if they were so easily removed.
The second is “Might Microsoft restore them again?” It seems unlikely they’re not going to try and keep pushing this always-on agenda in some way, shape, or form. Until I know for sure I won’t have my console held hostage by my Internet connection, I’m sticking with my 360.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.