March 6, 2009

Finally, A Reason I HAVE To Buy An Xbox

The Telstar was my first home videogame system. I was all of 4 or 5 years old when Dad brought it home, grinning ear to ear, knowing that we were going to be thrilled by this new marvel of technology. My older brother Herbie and I both devoured it, playing jai alai until our thumbs bled, lying on our bellies on the thin living room carpet, drinking Dr. Peppers and eating Funyuns, I would imagine. Occasionally Mom would get sick of the "beep boop beep boop" and we would have to turn it off and go play roll-a-bat or have balloon fights or play hide-and-seek in the graveyard, which was right across the street. Good times.

My next system was NOT the Atari 2600. For some reason I never had one of those. Luckily, my best friend Eric Bradshaw did so I got plenty of Frogger and Combat training. The graphics were not that great really but it was in color and it almost gave us the feeling that we were rich enough to have our own personal arcade at home. This was back in the days when every small town had an arcade, which we called a "game room". They all closed down en masse after the home video game market ballooned and the graphics of home systems became more competitive with arcade offerings. We were out of quarters anyway.
My next system was Coleco Vision. the graphics were a lot better than the 2600, but there weren't nearly as many titles. The controller was a pain too. Imagine a large calculator attached to the system with a way-too-short phone cord. It wasn't very ergonomic and to make matters worse, after awhile the keypad buttons broke or wore out and kids almost broke their thumbs trying to press a key hard enough to function. Also, sometime a game would just freeze, usually after playing for so long that the cartridge would overheat. The games were also prone to corrosion. I bet there are a lot of rusty Coleco "cartridges" out there. Nevertheless, I had tons of fun with my ColecoVision and I will occasionally fire up an emulator to flashback on the Coleco Experience, circa 1982.

The next was the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES. I must've played 75% percent of those games at least a few times. My favorite was Metroid, at least until Zelda came around, gold casing and all. After NES, it was SNES, and after that N64, and after that Playstation. Then came Gamecube and then I bought my first PS2. Each system offered improved gameplay, more memory, and sharper graphics. I was excited about Xbox and when I demoed it I was very impressed, but I didn't buy it. When PS3 came out, it was exciting. It wasn't that I didn't want to buy it. The thought definitely crossed my mind a few times. I guess I just got so involved with other things that I didn't feel I could justify the expense. My PS2 was satisfactory. I no longer felt like I had to keep up with the advancing technology. Until now.

I just got word here at Destructoid that The Beatles: Rock Band game will be released on September 9. When it hits the shelves I will be getting either an Xbox or a PS3. GOO GOO GA JOOB!

1 comment:

Pat said...

X-Box is too undependable. Great machine when it's working, but everybody I know that has one has had two or more.

My progression went Atari 2600 C-64, NES, Sega, PS1. Nowadays I mostly use the computer when I want to play games. The Atari 2600 had a terrific add-on called the Supercharger that plugged into the cartridge slot, and then you could load a game from your Walkman (the games were on tape). It really spiced up the graphics and added memory for more detailed games.