An Essay on Why It Is Usually Best To Hold Off For a While, Before Buying a New Product
Regardless of the amount of times we get burnt as an audience, gamers are still notoriously guilty of premature endorsement of a multitude of products across the market. Before I get into the nitty-gritty of why this is still such a prominent issue, let me give you a brief history of my pre-ordering experience over the years.
I have owned a multitude of consoles during my time playing games, – the majority of them being Sony consoles. I was born in May 1995 and the PlayStation 1 was released in the UK in September, ’95. I think my Dad bought the system in the summer of ’96, just after my first birthday.
The PS2 was released in Britain in November 2000, I remember wanting it so bad at the time, but my Dad refused to buy it on release, so it wasn’t until Christmas 2001 that I eventually got the console.
Then in May 2006, it was announced that the PS3 was releasing in that following November. Although I was only 10 years old at the time and didn’t have any sort of job, but I was determined to get it on release. So for my birthday that year, I didn’t ask for any presents, just cash.
I still didn’t have enough though, but one benefit of being raised catholic was that every time I made a new sacrament, I would get a bunch of cards from my relatives with cash inside, so my Holy Communion money was put to it as well. This is slightly hypocritical when you consider that the money I received for what is supposed to be a religious affair ended up getting spent on a means to kill and maim indiscriminately in a virtual world, (then again the big man in the sky did His fair share of killing in the old testament as well!)
Then, when November came I was still about a hundred quid short and my Ma offered to pay the extra money to make it up, but that would count as my big Christmas present for that year. I took the offer without hesitation and got that big, fat, dumb, loud, overpriced box on release. In hindsight it wasn’t worth it, but I was pleased at the time.
By the time Sony released the PS4 in 2013 I had a job and disposable income, but I decided to hold off on buying the console upon release. This was mostly because of the lack of enticing launch games. There was a part of me that was tempted, mostly due to the fact that my mate had got the console on day one, but I was sticking to my guns.
It wasn’t until Christmas 2015 that I bit the bullet and bought the console. I paid £300 for it and got a good selection of games right away to play through. This time around, I was definitely glad I waited that extra period of time before purchasing the console.
And at the time of writing, I still do not own a PS5 console. Granted, this is mostly due to the fact that they are still rarer than gold dust, but I do still have plenty of games on my PS4 backlog to keep me going in the meantime.
This doesn’t just apply to consoles though; it applies to games and peripherals as well. When PSVR launched I was excited about the new technology, but hesitant due to the price, (although it is still the cheapest VR system by far.) So I held off, tried the product and decided it was pretty cool, but not something I needed right there and then. A year or so later, I purchased it at a lower price point.
In terms of actual games, I couldn’t actually tell you what the last game I pre-ordered was. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say it was probably in 2015 so most likely Uncharted 4 or maybe Arkham Knight? However even as recently as late 2020, we all saw a startling example of premature endorsement when Cyberpunk: 2077 was released. Again, I got the game in early 2020, after a few of the ‘patches,’ had dropped.
It was genuinely baffling to me at that point how this can still be happening in a world that has already been through; Batman: Arkham Knight, No Man’s Sky, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Fallout 76 and Fallout 4. Will we never learn?
My point is; when you see the epic trailer for the next game in a franchise and it gets you hyped, that alone shouldn’t be enough for you to automatically throw 60 of your hard earned dollars at it. That is exactly what I mean by premature endorsement.
Instead, wait for the reviews, read up on what other players think before you make the commitment. People who invest in gaming as a culture are too eager to throw away their cash prematurely; there is a benefit to being a more frugal buyer.
At the end of the day, I can’t tell you how to spend your money; I can only recommend you on how not to waste your cash based on my own personal experiences in the past. I am no money saving expert and there is a lot that I still don’t understand about the video games industry.
That said, I do know that premature endorsement is still a persistent issue that plagues the industry. If we can put a stop to the issue of premature endorsement, it will only mean good things for the industry as a whole.
Generally, I consider myself to be a pretty savvy consumer in terms of where I put my money. I also understand that really, that is all that matters when it comes to the decisions made by video game publishing companies and that is the power that we have over them as an audience. That is the only way that we will ever be able to change thing or make a difference, for the better, to our favourite pastime.
If you are enjoying Dan’s AG@G series, you can check out the previous entry on The Insane Amount Of Fantastic Videogames That Were Released In 2017 right here.
Buy tickets for BGCP Comic Con in and around Glasgow Scotland – BUY TICKETS
If you want to be part of the BGCP community, Join us on Discord, Twitter, Instagram etc then click HERE