Notice: This article has been cut severely, as it pertained to 7th generation consoles. If you are knowledgeable about the current state of eighth generation consoles, pleased consider updating this unbiased guide.
So you've just gotten your first paycheck and wondered what to invest it in other than rent and ramen. You worry about spending said money irresponsibly. Being dissatisfied with your purchase is your nightmare. You also want a way to guarantee that the shiny new console you want to buy will make you happy. Fear not! Because this guide can help with your indecisiveness.
REMEMBER! The most important rule is to consider your own needs and situation. Brand loyalty will only benefit the corporation (take a look at Microsoft). Some of the issues you might like to consider are:
- Consider the reasons you have for getting a console. Do you want online multiplayer? Or for when friends come over? Or just for fun singleplayer? What about backwards compatibility with older games?
- Compare the games on each platform. Which console appeals to you more? Which appeals to whoever you're buying it for? Would it be better to get a portable console or a full-fledged home one?
- Consider what you already have. Do you have an HDTV? What about your internet connection? What console(s) do your friends own? Will you be playing with them a lot? Do you have friends?
- Think about the stuff ancillary to a console purchase; Do you want "free" games? Do you want to mod your console? Do you need a Blu ray Player? Are you aware of the maintenance needs to prevent RRODs, YLODs, and overheating in general? How long do you plan on using the console for? Do you need any of the millions of accessories or hardware that you could buy for the console?
- Think about the time. Are you better off waiting for a price drop? Are you better off waiting for a critically-acclaimed game to be released before investing into the console?
At the end of the day, it's your purchase, and your money. Make sure that you won't regret your buy, regardless of what /v/ thinks. And remember, if you aren't having fun, you're doing it wrong.
If all else fails, stop by a garage sale or used game store and pick yourself up a NES or SNES and ten or so games. Cheap, classic fun. (PC Emulation of classic games is a grey area)