This November is a very big month in gaming. It's traditionally the biggest month in the gaming calendar, but this one knocks the others into a hat so cocked it's balancing on its brim. It sees the release of both the Xbox One, and the PS4. That's enormous - previous console releases have been staggered, the PS2 appearing a year and a half before the Xbox, the Xbox 360 beating the PS3 to the shelves by a full year. That was all seven long years ago, and this time the battle is head to head, just a week separating the two black boxes' arrival into the world. With them comes a slew of launch titles, some exclusive, some cross-platform, and what both Microsoft and Sony must be hoping will be their biggest Christmas ever. So where does that leave you, the fine looking PC gamer?
While we at RPS certainly believe the PC to be by far the best way to experience games, the perception that we're in some way anti-console is entirely imaginary. We all own them, we all play games on them. Until about a month ago, when my PS3 coughed its last and bleeped its three deathly bleeps, I had both the current gen consoles plugged into my telly. And indeed have a cupboard full of their ancestors, going back to the Megadrive. No console can match the PC for its extraordinary freedoms, the instant and open access to a range of games so vast as to dwarf the consoles combined, and the intricacy and complexity available to its games. But that doesn't mean we don't enjoy sitting back in a comfy armchair and waggling a controller when the game is right.
And we know the same is true for very many of you. So we're very interested to learn how readers plan to approach this month to end all gaming months.
Did you pre-order them both six months ago, and are now desperately wishing you could be one of those who gets an accidentally shipped early delivery? (Can we just take a moment to acknowledge Microsoft's gall at having an unboxing video removed from YouTube because of "copyright violation".) Or are you waiting to see how they go down, undecided on which to pick until a consensus is formed? Maybe you'll wait a year for the inevitable revised versions, and pick up the old one at a significant discount? Or do you have absolutely no intention of picking up either?
Does the leap forward in tech concern you over your current PC build? It's been an odd five or so years, with the consoles delaying their replacements a lot longer than was expected, leading to a significant drop in the progress of fidelity. When the big-budget, cross-platform games were coming out on eight-year-old hardware, they were far less likely to make demands of the PC, and so the biennial update has rather faded away. But what about now? As developers learn the new consoles, they'll start pushing the tech farther and farther, and a middling PC might not keep up much longer.
Of course, it's entirely possible that you're placing your bets with the Steam Box, recognising that your armchair experiences needn't rely on a plastic box that also wants to be your DVR, Hi-Fi system and teasmaid. Or do you wish the whole thing would just go away so you can get on with playing your elaborate RTS across three monitors and seven keyboards?
Let us know below.