From the trendspotting department, we bring you news that yet another unsavory aspect of PC gaming has arrived in console gaming. It's the patch cycle, my friends, and it's time you learned to deal with it, because it ain't going away. Joystiq reader "Gameclu" responded to our post about the infinite gold cheat in Xbox 360 title Oblivion IV:
"I was planning on picking up Oblivion for the 360 today. I'm going to hold off until it gets patched. I've already been burned by a buggy DOA4, after it erased my savefile. I remember the day when I waited for a game to be released before playing it. Now I wait for it to be released and then wait some more for the patch. I really hope this isn't a trend."
That's a rather pessimistic outlook, however. Console games have always had defects. Thanks to digital distribution over Xbox Live (and as-yet unlaunched services from Sony and Nintendo) gamers can actually hope to play fixed versions of their games. Patches are good. The real question is whether developers are skimping on QA because they know they can patch the game after release. If that's the case, gamers can and should wait until a week after a game's release to determine whether it's worth buying immediately or only after a patch.