||[Jun. 6th, 2007|08:45 pm]
So, within the next month or so I shall be thoroughly in the black (please ignore the fact that my parents still pay for some things). In fact, by the end of June I should have quite a surplus, from my low expenses, piles of overtime, and the return of my previous security deposit. |
Now, there are several responsible things that should and will be done with the money. The credit card, car, and a new driver's license are all examples.
However, the fun part of this is thinking about what to do with the rest. Specifically, I am contemplating purchasing a video game system. Feel free to offer advice, suggestions, or opinions.
I have already consulted several people about this, but I am now going to lay it out for general discussion.
Now, there are several general things that should be laid out before getting into anything specific.
1. A high price isn't an instant kill. While I do like to save money(who doesn't?) I should be able to shell out for any system currently on the market by the end of this month.
2. The consoles I have owned: NES, SNES, Playstation(1). None of these were new/current when I got them. In fact, the playstation was a hand-me-down when my cousin got a PS2. Owning a current system is something I would like to do at some point.
3. Perhaps a good way to think of this is as my equivalent to a sports car. The form and the flash are much more important than the function because I am purchasing the thing as a toy. Also, it will almost certainly be far and away my biggest purchase this year.
4. My favorite game genres are RPG and strategy, though I enjoy games in most popular genres.
Now, platforms that I have already vetoed.
a. Wii. It's the silly console. Fun, sure, but I just don't see enough here to hold my attention.
b. a computer. My current machine is 3 years old now and likes to randomly crash unless it is set on 256 colors. So I do need a new one. However, my family will advocate strongly that I purchase a Mac, which is what we all have. While I may be a bit flush, I am not $1200 flush-which is what a decent gaming Mac costs. Furthermore, a computer is a tool as much as a toy. Buying it as a substitute for a big toy just seems wrong (especially since a Mac's game selection sucks).
On to the contenders:
a. Playstation 2. The cheap option, but the most sure. Lots of good games, proven, etc. Just not new, not flashy, and probably not going to get much more before they are retired from the market.
b. Xbox 360. The hot console right now. Good exclusives, enough backwards compatibility for the few Xbox titles I would get. Also decently priced. Problems? Has a rather high rate of catastrophic failure. Also not currently big on genres I care about.
c. Playstation 3. The most expensive. No really exciting exclusives at this point. On the other hand, it is certainly high tech, and is fully backwards compatible. So I keep getting bang from my good playstation games, and I can buy PS2 games for quite a while before I run out of titles I want. Definitely an investment.
So there you have it.
Okay, first off, you should understand that about 60% of the reason I built a new computer was for the gaming potential. I've been out a decent desktop for some number of years, so there's definitely the utility thing at play, but seriously, SC2 is going to be sooo good, and I'm going to pick up a copy of AoE3 tomorrowish (I played my first game of AoE2 last night after having not played since college). So, while I understand that dropping the cash (I spent just over 1400 but that was with monitor, an extra 250gb hd, and a couple other extras) isn't something you want to do right now, it might be worth considering letting the money ride for a bit and then building yourself a pimped out gaming pc (fuck mac, their game support sucks donkey ballz).
But on to console business...
In house right now we have a couple gamecubes, and a PS2. Our next console purchase is going to be a Wii as brooke screams constantly about getting one and made me feel really bad about buying myself a computer rather than her a Wii. However, they are generally about the family/group gaming market (IMHO) as the one player games (with the exception of a handful of examples right now -- RE4) don't really take advantage of all the bells and whistles the system has to offer. As a side note, I'm really surprised that the Wii has recieved the kind of response that it's gotten from the public. I didn't think the concept would get off the ground, but it makes me excited for the future of Nintendo which has been plagued with third-party support problems for years.
There's not much to say about the PS2 that you don't already know. It by far has the largest game base. I regularly fish around the 10 dollar bin at our local game stores looking for interesting finds I've never heard of and I regularly find something worth playing. Most games Robin suggests to me (which tend to be in the RPG category) are on the PS2 (damn you disgaia and your 1000s of levels). I would suggest, from a purely gaming point of view, owning one. Dollar for quality/enjoyment, it's the best buy. Plus, third-party designers are going to keep releasing PS2 titles into 2008, so it's not even like you're behind the curve if you don't go PS3.
PS3 is hellaoverpriced right now. You'd be taking a gamble on some future state-of-gaming in which the PS3 has the game base (of PS3 games) that the PS2 does. I'm not saying it will or won't happen, I'm just saying that it doesn't exist now and won't for quite some time if it does. In my mind there's no reason not to wait until it drops to about half the cost it is right now (which is going to happen in conjunction with the failed marketing and cheaper production of hardware) to buy it when the price and market are coinciding just a little bit better. On the whole penis-sports-car analogy thing, owning a PS3 isn't even that kewl of a thing to do, since everyone is so negative on the state of affairs.
Xbox 360. Yes, it's the hot console, but strictly by default. The Wii was just released at Christmas time where as Microsoft jumped the console gun by about 6 months. I wouldn't worry about hardware failure as, if you're buying this new, it's all on MS to fix. On the other hand, the "backwards compatibility" business for the Xbox is wonky-on-the-verge-of-lame on account of the fact that the 360 emulates gaming environments in an emulated version of the previous system. What that means is that the 360 and original X-box are entirely different gaming systems (as opposed to something like a comparison between the SNES and the N64, which where the same technology and software architecture, but different sophistication levels), so the Xbox360 actually emulates the performance of the original xbox. Then, it has to emulate enviorment-specifics for each gaming class. This is why it's not fully backwards compatible. They haven't figured out how to create that second level emulation environment to support various original xbox games. To my knowledge, there's still a pretty sizable gaming base you can't access with the 360. Also, and I don't know if this matters, but you end up losing processor cycles in the course of all those make-believe software environments, which results in it actually being better for you to buy an original xbox than emulate backwards if your primary target in original xbox games.
So, in conclusion buy a Neogeo. It's like buying a Vector W2. No one will know what it is except console enthusists and they'll give you a high-five for owning one. Otherwise, buy a PS2 now and a gaming machine later.