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Wistful thinking [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.


[User Picture]From: nathan_lounge
2007-06-07 04:24 am (UTC)
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.
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