Those of us looking forward to being early adopters on the next generation of gaming consoles are now starting to feel some pressure. With new consoles just a few months away, do we stop investing in our current gen gaming libraries? When it comes to making this decision, future Xbox One owners (at least those of us in the U.S.) are much better off than future Playstation 4 owners are, for two reasons.
The first is that Gamestop is running a special upgrade program on certain high profile Xbox games. If you buy one of these games for the Xbox 360, Gamestop promises to give you at least $50 trade-in credit to use towards an Xbox One copy of the game when it becomes available.
[Update 8/19/2013 -- Amazon has announced a very similar program. Also only for the Xbox platform.]
The games in this program (so far) are Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, FIFA 14 and Madden 25. There are a couple of conditions that have to be met: you have to be a GameStop "PowerUp Rewards" member, you have to purchase the 360 version within 30 days of launch, and you have to trade it back in before the end of the year. You can find more details on this program on Gamestop's site.
So say you bought the Xbox 360 version to play while you wait for the Xbox One to launch. Now maybe you want to snag a Season Pass to get exclusive content for your game. No need to wait; but it for the Xbox 360 version of your game. According to a post on Xbox Wire, Microsoft is introducing a program called Season Pass Guarantee. Under this program, a season pass you purchase for a game on the Xbox 360 will transfer over to the Xbox One once you pick up the XB1 version of that game. Microsoft says Activision, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft are all participating, but the only specific titles they call out for now are Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4. They tell us to stay tuned for more info.
So far Sony hasn't said anything about any kind of similar program, and GameStop seems to be only offering their trade-in program for the Xbox.
Of course what this doesn't help us with is those games coming out soon that don't have next gen versions officially announced. I'm talking, of course, about GTA V which comes out in mid-September for PS3 and Xbox 360. Yesterday 2K Games revealed GTA Online, a persistent-world multiplayer version of GTA V that will launch two weeks after the single player games does. GTA Online is included with GTA V and won't be available separately.
Single player GTA games tend to have long legs to begin with. I can't help but think we'll be playing GTA Online for months, well beyond the launch of the next gen consoles, and 2K Games hasn't announced a next gen port of GTA V yet.
I guess we'd better free up enough room in the entertainment center for both current and next gen consoles to co-exist for a few months!
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.