At some point in your life, you will have consciously realised that you are about to get "that thing that plays games". It may be the first, or tenth piece, in your collection. You may have bought, been given a gift or borrowed the "thing" from a friend. It may be a brand new piece of hardware, flexing its muscles, or it might be an old school system, beaming with nostalgic pride. Either way, the moment you decide to claim "that thing that plays games" (or Gaming Console, if you prefer) can lead to a time of giddy excitement.
The Next Generation of consoles are upon us. They stand on store shelves like puppies in a pen, looking for a new home. You may have already picked one up; even now the Wii U, PS4 or Xbox One is curled up by your television.
However, you might be the kind of gamer that waits. You want to get one of the next/new generation, but are worried that it might pee on the carpet, or claw the wallpaper. You might be waiting to see how your friends cope with their new bundle of joy. Or maybe your one of those people who's happy with your gaming PC. I guess for this analogy the PC is one of those 'cool' pets like a snake...or a tarantula...
I am a gamer who waits. One day, I will get one of these new consoles. Eventually, I might get all of them. Who knows? Either way, I'm curious to gauge where my view on new consoles fits with everyone else:
- Have you already Next-Genned? What did you go for ? Are you committed to a console brand, or are you simply excited by new consoles and where they are heading?
- Or are you waiting? If so, how long do you plan to wait? What is it going to take for you to finally pick one up? Are you waiting to see how these new consoles will try to draw you in?
- Has your overall view of consoles changed? Are you still optimistic for all forms of gaming system, or has recent cynicism left you jaded? What do consoles need to do to prove that are still worth your time?
That's pretty much everything I wanted to raise with all of you. Think about how much you enjoy gaming and ask yourself: What are you waiting for?
The rest of the article shares my views on 'waiting for consoles'. Feel free to comment now, or read on to see my perspective.
The following summarises my history with games and gaming systems - which consoles I've owned and when I got them. By sharing this with you, you'll understand my perspective on the New PS/Xbox/Wii, and clarify why I've always been a-gamer-who-waits. (This will also help to explain why my future blogs might increasingly talk about 'that game you played years ago'!)
Growing up, consoles and video games were the thing that happened with friends, at their homes. My parents could not be convinced that I could (and should) become the owner of a Playstation one, Game Boy or Nintendo 64, no matter what grounds I argued on (probably because I spent so much time playing video games at other people's houses). The PC was different. My parent's PC was in my dad's office, and my gaming time could be carefully monitored. Only being allowed to play SimCity 3000 for 2 hour intervals teaches you a little gaming patience. I've always had a PC to game on ever since.
I talked about that moment when you realise you're getting a new gaming system. Well, I remember the entire day when I was surprised with my own Game Boy Color. I only had one game on it for the first 3 months – Link's Awakening. It was a long time before I needed a second game...
By the time I was allowed a Playstation, it had already been reduced down from grey-white behemoth to its slim, bubble form. Whilst this meant I was late to the party, I soon realised that I was able to pick up all the games I'd played multiplayer with my friends for next-to-nothing. Sure, I was behind the times, but I had tonnes of games to play.
If my time with games is a 'history', then the time spent with the Playstation 2 was my 'Golden Age'. If I was to list my favourite games of all time, this system would play most of them. Nevertheless, there was still a whole year between when the Playstation 2 came out and when it I bought it. I was content with the PSOne, and if the Playstation 2 had not been backwards compatible, I may have waited a lot longer.
Three years. The Playstation 3 was out for three years before I picked one up. I remember that the bundle I bought had that Ghostbusters game in it (I cannot remember what the other game was). I never played the games that came with my PS3; I and a friend worked out that if we bought said bundle, sold the two new games, we could pick up Killzone 2, which by now was a half-priced game, thus saving a lot of money. We were university students, strapped for cash...we had stuck with out trusty Playstation 2s for as long as we could, and our patience had paid off.
No, not the Xbox 360... The original Xbox. By now in my gaming life I had learnt that turning back to play old games was often waaay better than moving with the times. Playing trusted and popular games that were released months or years earlier was where I spent most of my time. It meant I was always playing the best, always saving and always enjoying a big backlog of games to dive into. So when a friend suggested that we share-buy an old Xbox to try out the by-then-matured Halo and Halo 2 games... it was a no-brainer.
I bought this last year. By that time I had discovered Steam Sales and Playstation Plus. When I wasn't diving into the Backlog, I was leaping into games that I'd played over a decade ago (in one month I was switching between Dark Souls on the PS3 and Populous: The Beginning on my PC). The main reason I picked up an Xbox 360 was that my friends were having a much better multiplayer experience on the 360. Whilst I have always leaned towards single player gaming, now and then I enjoy playing online with friends, and Party Chat is quality. For me, that's how I justify playing both consoles. PS = single player. Xbox = multiplayer. Oh, and by this point my girlfriend had bought a Wii, which still gets played now and then
I bought this joyous thing two months ago. This latest purchase nicely sums up my view on new consoles. The 3DS allows me to play old Game Boy Color games, so my ongoing nostalgia fix is fulfilled; the fact that the DS has been around for so long means that the back catalogue is gorgeous; waiting for the console has meant it, and some of its games, are much cheaper.
And so, here we are in present day, and I am a fairly frugal gamer with a love for new and old, sitting on a pile of yet-to-be-played games. I have no allegiance to Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony, but instead adore all consoles. I will always use my PC to play too. Above all, I've learnt that patience brings its own rewards.
So whilst the Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One wag their tails and flash their sad puppy-dog eyes, I'm happy to wait to see what kind of dogs those pups grow into.
So that's me and gaming. I hope to hear your own view and tales of nostalgia, as well as your views on the New Generation. What are your thoughts?
Thank you for reading.
(I'm a new blogger, so you're bound to hear back from me pretty quickly ^_^)