Why I'm not buying Xbox One at Launch

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I’ve been tempted, so very tempted, to pre-order the Xbox One. Especially that limited “Day One” edition? A special achievement!? Yes, please. But I can’t bring myself to shell out $500 this time. And I’ll tell you why.

Some people are afraid that the first generation of Xbox One will suffer the same fate as the Xbox 360. A “Red Ring of Death” or some similar technical problem could plague the console. It could leave you with the painful experience of needing to return the console for repairs, or make you just want to toss the whole thing out of a moving vehicle and give up on the system altogether. But I really think Microsoft has learned their lessons and is paying a lot of attention to the quality control. This week, I was surprised to learn that Microsoft was so confident in the stability and the cooling of the Xbox One that they were going to crank the GPU up another 50Mhz. It now sits at 853 Mhz, rather than 800. Still, I don’t expect another graveyard filled with dead consoles.

No, the reason I do not want to pre-order the console is the lack of games. Xbox Live Arcade games are not transferring over to the Xbox One, at least not at launch. Xbox One’s launch line-up is weak. Call of Duty Ghosts and Forza Motor Sports are rumored to be “day one” ready. Forza will make it, as a flagship title, but I expect delays for other popular titles, like Ryse. Kinect Sports Rivals will probably arrive on time, but I’m still cautiously optimistic about Dead Rising 3. Battlefield 4 is bound to see a hold up, and I feel like Watchdogs is such an ambitious title that it will probably be delayed, cross-platform, until after 2014. And, again, that lack of Xbox Live Arcade Games, my lack of confidence of any games I want to play being available on Day One, and the fact that console manufacturers have given up on the days of a pack-in title means to me that this thing is going to be a glorified Blu-Ray player for several months.

I’ll get an Xbox One eventually, don’t get me wrong. But, heck, there may be a price drop before I get one. I wholly expect that I’ll end up with one soon enough, as I want to use it to replace my PS3 as a Blu-Ray player, as well as something that I can play games on. It’s just that the choices of games at launch feel, to me, like they’re going to be another Forza racing simulator and a Kinect Sports game. Meh. I can wait.