Buy Early Or Wait It Out?

Xbox 360

Pros and cons of buying now or waiting it out

Let's not fool ourselves. By now you've already decided if you're going to buy the Xbox 360 in 2005, or if you'll wait 'til next year.If you're undecided, you'd better start dusting off your online order contacts because there are already severe shortages from most major retailers. Either way, there are good reasons for both waiting or for buying.

Advertiser Links for xbox

First, the shortages are a great reason to wait. This is the most expensive Xbox 360 will be in its lifetime- don't expect price drops anytime soon. If you're not an early adopter, 360's release only means great deals to be had on the original Xbox that will probably be selling dirt cheap. Since the system will be selling in two flavors, Core ($300) and Premium ($400), the Core is likely to be more available. But don't get suckered into it. The Core is $100 cheaper and does without key ingredients like the 20-GB hard drive. Any gamer worth his salt is going to need that hard drive and it alone will cost $100. Why not spring the $100 now and get the drive plus the other goodies?

The Premium Package will include:
  • 1 Wireless Controller (core will only have the cabled controller)
  • Remote Control for media capabilities
  • Headset (for Xbox Live)
  • Component HD Cables (A must for HDTV gamers)
  • 20 gig removable/upgradeable hard drive.

Top reasons to wait for 2006 to buy your next gen console:

#1 You're holding out for PS3

The jury is still out as to whether or not PS3 will blow away the Xbox 360. The closest thing to a head to head comparison so far was E3 when an ill-prepared Xbox 360 showed Ghost Recon 3 in-game and Sony demonstrated Final Fantasy VII on an early rendition of PS3 hardware. Ghost Recon 3 didn't exactly blow anybody away, but the scene from Final Fantasy VII looked amazing. This is hardly a fair comparison. But it's already an established fact that PS3 will have significantly more technology, dropping names like Blu-Ray and HDMI.

#2 Waiting for games that truly take advantage of hardware multi-threading

With only some ten games ready for release at 360's launch, selection is underwhelming and none will take advantage of the new Xbox's full potential. It won't be until sometime in 2006 that the real killer app for 360 is released. Oblivion is going to be halted until closer to Q1 2006- that alone is enough for some to wait.

#3 Shortages

It's the same old thing as Sony's PS2 release in 2000- shortages. Right now, the only way you can guarantee your Xbox 360 is to buy one of those bundle deals where you get a bunch of extra crap you don't need. Even Wall-Mart is jumping on the bundle bandwagon to squeeze the consumer out of a few extra purchases for a hot item before Christmas. Don't encourage these people; be patient the best is yet to come.

Reasons for not waiting to buy your next gen console:

#1 You're an early adopter Gizmo-holic

You know who you are. Those of us who carefully unseal the bubble-wrap only to take a long whiff of factory fresh silicone and unmentionable polymers to get those endorphins kicking.

#2 Next gen performance

Ok, it might not be everything Chief 360 architect J Allard is promising it can do. But the best gaming graphics on the face of the planet come November will be found on Call of Duty 2 and Perfect Dark.

#3 Windows Media Center

It might not make a bit of difference to the average 12 year old using his dad's HDTV, but Xbox 360 is a media marvel with Win XP MC. Your router streaming WMV true hi-def movies through wi-fi is just too cool.