A reader explains why he enjoys consoles launches so much and yet doesn’t plan to get a PS5 or Xbox Series X for a couple of years.
I’ve been there. I’ve seen it all.
First there was the adaptor to play Japanese SNES games on my UK console. I didn’t realise that if I plugged the cartridge in wrong the console would blow up. Then there was the Sony PlayStation, where poor placement of the power supply would warm the rails that held the CD laser, warping the plastic and causing the CD to skip. I used that console upside down to make it work properly.
I bought the PlayStation 2 because it was the same price as a standalone DVD player, not knowing that if I used an RGB cable for the best image quality the movies would all appear in green. I bought a Dreamcast because I didn’t know Sega would drop it overnight. I bought an Xbox 360 and suffered the Red Ring of Death six times.
And you know what? I don’t care. Each of these devices brought me something I didn’t have before. The SNES gave me Contra 3, still the best run ‘n’ gun game on any format. The PlayStation brought me Ridge Racer. PlayStation 2 amazed me with Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City.
The short life of the Dreamcast still represented a golden age in gaming, with Shenmue, Crazy Taxi, and Rez. In Metropolis Street Racer I drove down streets I recognised and passed my place of work. The Xbox 360 is still my favourite console ever, with broadband based multiplayer, perfect conversions of classic arcade titles, and games that still hold up today.
So now, I face a choice. Do I buy a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X? Or do I face up to the fact that of course I’m going to end up with both, I always do. But I’m reminded of the console generations of the past, each of them presenting me with new games I desperately wanted to play with graphics, performance, and gameplay you simply could not achieve on the previous hardware.
I remember as an Amiga owner just how much PlayStation Ridge Racer blew me away. How I got lost in the open world of Shenmue. How Astro Bot on PlayStation VR made me feel like a kid again. I love the feeling a new generation of technology brings.
And I’m reading how great these new consoles are. On internet forums I see excited players reporting on the short loading times, smooth 60 frames per second gameplay is really wowing players, especially in 4K on ultra high-tech televisions. It’s a great time to be alive.
Then I look across to my Sony 55” TV. The 1080p image quality is incredible. I’m happy with it and I want to keep it. And I have Spider-Man on my PlayStation 4 and it looks beautiful. It may take 30 seconds longer to load but we’re in lockdown and I’m in no rush. And Titanfall 2 is still the best shooter and it already runs beautifully. And I never really liked Devil May Cry that much. The new games look like shiny, polished versions of games I already play. Where’s the (Ridge Racer) Revolution?
For the first time since I started gaming, I’m happy with what I have. I’ll buy both new consoles eventually, but right now I’m happy to let everyone else try them first. They can find the hardware faults, allow the manufacturers to revise the designs, make them smaller, quieter, make the hard drives bigger, and bring out more games. In fact, I’m really looking forward to this next gen, which for me will probably start around early 2022.
By reader Steve Piers
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