The smell of a fresh new paper weight

Brian Fosdick
Brian Fosdick

My original plan for the week was to write about the NSA and Google and how your inbox is slowly becoming everyone’s favorite hangout spot. That was until I realized that all of the new gaming consoles are being released this week and everyone was going to buy one and why this leaves me with a feeling like I just drank milk past its expiration date.

It’s no big secret that whenever the best new toys come out, people love buying them. They’re shiny, they’re new, all of your friends want them, too, and they have the best graphics, games, online play and at this point one of them might also function as a microwave or some other useful household device.


That said, if you buy a new console the minute it’s released, you’re gonna have a bad time.

If you follow the history of console releases, the first version of every console is always a disaster compared to the later versions. The initial release is always rushed out to try to hit that crucial Christmas season every year and rarely does the hardware or the software match the expectations of what you were promised.

I’m not talking the normal Christmas rush in December by the way, I’m talking about the American Christmas rush that starts somewhere around Halloween. Needless to say, they’ve had to make some sacrifices to get the consoles out on time.

Already some of the Playstation 4 consoles have a problem lovingly referred to as the “blue light of death,” in which the TV simply can’t read the signal from the Playstation, essentially meaning that you have a wonderful shiny black box and not much else. The current solution to this problem involves packing it back up and sending it back to Sony or the retailer who sold it to them and waiting for a new one, which as most users have suggested in their product reviews on Amazon, is not what they had in mind when purchasing the product.

The things is, this isn’t very surprising. The term “blue light of death” is actually just a reference to the well known Xbox 360 issue the “red light of death.” Apparently all gaming consoles go through some sort of colored death light at some point, but most of these problems are caused by cheap production and poor quality control for the initial releases. Almost all of the initial releases are focused on being as cheap and widely accessible as possible and almost all of the initial releases have some sort of problem with overheating or shoddy hardware.

The simple solution to all console release woes, though, is to just wait.

Odds are pretty good none of the release titles are so amazing that you can’t wait until a few decent games come out anyway. By the time Christmas comes around (the actual Christmas, not the American Christmas) there’s going to be a much greater variety of games to play, consumer reviews that help make it clear which consoles are all that and a bag of chips and which are a shiny well oiled paperweight, and versions of the consoles that actually work. It’s worth the wait.


Brian Fosdick is a senior journalism and technical communications major with a minor in political science and enjoys when you send all of his hate mail/love confessions to