On February 20th the next generation will be announced. Yes, I’ve resigned myself to believe that Sony is unveiling the PS4 this month. At first I thought, “no way not until E3,” but it just seems way too likely.
Yesterday I went over all of the rumors and talked about the PS4′s specs, controller, price, release date, bundles, and features. Today? Well, today we talk about you and if you’re prepared for this upcoming gen or not.
So say you’ve been hiding under a rock or you just didn’t get much playing done during this generation of gaming, how should you prepare? What if you’re still in the stone age of technology and need to catch up?
Well, don’t fret because we have the list to help you gear up for the shiny new PS4 (or even the next Xbox if that’s your scene).
Buy an HD TV
There’s a good possibility that the new systems will not feature output for composite and/or component cables. Ya know, the red/white/yellow and red/white/yellow/blue/green cables?
To remedy this, it’s about time you upgrade your visual entertainment box to a fancy new HD-capable one. Don’t worry! This isn’t as expensive as it used to be.
Back in 2005 and 2006 (when this gen began), buying an HD TV wasn’t something you just go out on a Sunday to do. You had to save up and plan. Nowadays you just need to do your research and either wait for a normal paycheck to come in or your tax return.
The best thing to do is your own research. Look up what is considered good and what brands to stay away from. Typically you’ll want to head towards the Samsung’s, the Sony’s, and hell, even the Visio’s. Visio used to be the “cheap man’s HD TV” but over the years they’ve done a lot of good and you can find great deals with their brands.
Also, do yourself a favor and do not shop at big retail giants for a TV if you can help it. There are great chains out there that employ people who are knowledgeable in their sections. You won’t find a Camera guy working in Appliances, for instance. I’d check and see if you have a Microcenter, H.H. Greg, or a still existing Ma & Pa corner shop.
Remember: do your research before buying a TV. Seriously… just do the damn research. You’ll thank yourself later.
Invest in some sound equipment
Digital Output is some great stuff. It’s legendary. The sound output you get from Digital is just insane. After you have a shiny new HD TV you should look into some sound equipment. Whether you’re going to go all out or just something respectable (after all, you just bought a new TV) you have some options.
You can look into setting up a Dolby Digital 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system for your entire room but this will be expensive for the most part and include some wiring work. If you want to head to a less expensive but still pretty damn good result route, look up some decent sound bars for your TV. Sound bars carry a great sound and they take up much less room. You won’t have much wiring at all to do and you’ll be able to enjoy great results at a fraction of the price.
Even though HD TVs look better and better each year, their speakers still sucks for the most part. You’ll either get good results, acceptable results, or below average results with TV speakers. To truly experience the next gen right, get some speakers up in your entertainment center.
High Speed Internet will be a must this gen
When I say “high speed”, I mean you should be looking for an internet plan that gets you at least 20+ megabytes a second download speed and decent upload. These plans are a lot cheaper nowadays with local providers offering different options ranging from $20 to $50 a month depending on the speed you want.
The reason why a 20+ MB/s download speed is preferred is because digital downloads will be huge in the next gen consoles. Since 2005, Digital Downloads have been a normal thing to see in gaming. With platforms like Steam, PSN, Xbox Live, and Origin utilizing downloads for full retail games, you’ll need some good speeds (and bandwidth!) to get these games in a decent timeframe. You don’t want to be sitting there for hours waiting for Halo 5 or inFamous 3 to finish download 20 gigs of data, do you?
Verizon FiOS, Comcast Xfinity, and the elusive Google Fiber (please, please come to Pennsylvania!) are great options if they are available in your area. Do some research, call up some companies, and see if you can haggle a plan price or price match between competitors.
Sign up for PayPal
Both the 360 and PS3 let you use PayPal to buy things on their stores, which is great! PayPal, love it or hate it, is extremely secure and careful with your banking info. Having a PayPal account set up and ready will help you use the stores on the current systems and the upcoming ones easily.
All you’ll need to do is sign-in with PayPal on the stores and you’ll have access to buy whatever you want. It’s quicker, easier, and efficient. Plus, some people just don’t like putting in their credit card info on things. It’s understandable, really. Instead, just pop in your username and password and let PayPal take care of it for you.
Don’t wait, buy a system and play some games!
Look, you just got some great gear and some decent internet, the next gen isn’t coming until at least October of this year (or later) so don’t wait to play some games. Right now you may be missing out on some of the greatest titles to ever release in gaming history. You can get a PS3 or Xbox 360 for a great price new or used these days. Plus, there is no guarantee that the new systems will include full backwards compatibility.
If you decide to pick up a 360, check out the Halo series, Crackdown, Forza, Gears of War, Fable, Shadow Complex, and some other good XBLA exclusives.
If you decide to pick up a PS3, check out the Uncharted series, inFamous, Rachet & Clank, All-Stars Battle Royale, Ni No Kuni, Tales of Graces f, God of War, Journey, Heavy Rain, and other great PS3 exclusives.