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Next Gen Blues

Posted 06-19-2013 at 01:49 PM by BeardedSonOfNel

Next Gen Blues

My first console was a Pong system that my dad got the family in 1979. I donít have many fond memories of the system because I was so young, and wellÖ it was Pong. However it did give me that video game bug that has never left me.

The Atari

In 1981 my uncle took me to an arcade. It was the first time Iíd ever been to one, and if Iíd ever had any doubts that gamming would be my ultimate hobby they were put to rest that day. I played Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Missile Command. After returning home from the arcade I began to lobby my parents for an Atari 2600. They finally caved and my brother and I got one for Christmas in 1982.

My brother and I played the hell out the 2600, and while the video game industry was going through a crash we were having a blast. I was too young to understand that the hobby I loved most was in complete disarray. All I knew was my mom was bring new games home every Saturday because stores were selling them for $2.99 or less. A year later I began to understand what the industry crash meant as all of the good games dried up.

My First PC

I was really bummed out that video games were becoming harder to come by at the local shops, and my folks wouldnít get me the Atari 5200 that had arcade like graphics and sound, but the Christmas of 1984 brought me something better. My grandparents bought my family a Commodore 64. The C-64 was an amazing gaming computer. It could do 16 colors on screen, and the SID sound chip was awesome. The C-64 did more than just give me fond gaming memories with my brother, but is also the reason Iím a software engineer today.

Back To Consoles

As great as the C-64 was for gaming, my friends started getting Nintendoís, and you didnít have to wait for load times either. In 1986 my parents bought us the NES. It would be the last console my parents would buy for the family (until my mom bought my dad a wii). I became a console fan again as the industry made a comeback. My now plural brothers and single sister enjoyed the NES for years. My closest aged brother and I also pooled our money together and bought a Sega Master System as well for our shared bedroom.

In 1989 my brother and I once again pooled our money and bought the Sega Genesis. The box had both English and French writing on the box (I assumed for US and Candia release). We got it home, and played a near perfect packed in release of Altered Beast. A couple of years later we would buy the Sega CD add-on, and neither of us regret it to this day. The Genesis would be the only console we would buy during this generation.

Gaming Limbo Part I

In 1993 I had graduated from high school, and moved out of my parentís house that summer. Between working a couple of jobs, and partying; gaming took a back seat. I still read gamming rags to keep up with what was going on and thought the new Sony machine looked cool, and I had high hopes for the Sega Saturn, but couldnít afford either of these new machines at the time. My closest brother was still living at home, and had just graduated high school, so he had the extra cash to buy the PlayStation. I did enjoy stopping by from time to time to play it with him. I thought it was amazing. In the fall of 1995 I followed my then girlfriend (who would later become my awesome wife) to California, and miss a generation of console gaming.

Back On the PC Again

My soon to be wife and I lasted a year in California before moving back Minnesota, but during my time out west I decided that I wanted to get into PC hardware. I wanted to build custom PCs, and repair, or upgrade older ones, so I went to school. During my first quarter I built my first PC, and put windows 3.1 on it. I then went to the local Wal-Mart and bought Diablo. I was a gamer once again, but for the first time sense the C-64 I was a PC gamer. Two things (well threeÖ I got married too) happened that year. I realized Iíd rather become a programmer, and two; first person shooters are digital opium for me.

Over the next three years I became an engineer, got a good paying job, and totally abandoned consoles. In 2000 my wife and I had our first daughter. Having children, and being a good parent requires an ass-load of time, and my time with the PC that was in the basement began to dwindle. So, I went out and bought a cheap PS 1. I didnít care for most of the games, and compared to my PC the graphics were nasty.

Gaming Limbo Part II

Over the next two years I wouldnít do much gaming, and what little I did was either old emulators that would run on my laptop, or the once a month trip to the basement to play on my beloved PC. During this time I also bought the then failed Sega Dreamcast. It was a fun little machine, but I was really starting to think that I could never go back to playing games on a console.

And Iím On a Console Again

In the early winter of 2002 my gaming PC died. I was unsure of what to do. I really didnít want to build another one because I hadnít been able to play it much over the last two years. I had a nice development laptop for work, but it didnít have the video card to play the new games, and I really couldnít afford a gaming laptop because my wife and I were going to have our second daughter in the summer. My fellow co-workers and boss suggested I get an Xbox. They said it was like PC gaming from the couch, and gaming from the couch is way more comfortable.

So, I bought an Xbox and Halo. After a couple of hours the dual thumb sticks started to feel natural, and after a month I didnít miss the mouse anymore. I fell in love with the Xbox. I didnít need to mess with settings. I could play games, and still hang with the family in the living room, and my friends were rightÖ gaming from the couch is way more comfortable.

During the PS 2/Xbox/Game cube generation; the Xbox was my console of choice. My closest brother went with the PS 2, and that bummed me out because I wanted to game with him over Xbox Live. I tried a couple of games on his PS 2, but I didnít like the controller, and the lack of AA bugged my eyes. I did end up picking up a Game Cube, but didnít find much of anything I liked to play on it. I did enjoy Star Wars.

In 2006 I bought the Xbox 360, and it has been my all-time favorite console. My brother went with the PS 3 (damn him), so I bought one of those too, so we could play together. I still hate the controller. My brother likes all things Call of Duty, and I donít, so other than Uncharted games, and Heavy Rain the PS 3 doesnít get much love. My wife thought we should have a wii, and so for the first time in my life I have all the consoles in a current generation (including the handhelds).


I now, as well as all other gamers sit at the dawn of a new generation of game systems that will launch this fall, and I have been truly torn. I see Steam, and GOG sales. I see the $100.00 price difference between Microsoft, and Sony. Iíve grown to dislike Sony over the years, but the DRM, and Kinect needing to be always on piss me off too. Iím ready to next gen game now. Iím ready for a change.

Hello PC, Shall We Dance Again

Yesterday (6-18-2013) I bought all of the components needed to build a new gaming tower from scratch. This will be the first tower that I will have built in over a decade. I call it a tower, and not a desktop, because it wonít be at any desk of mine, but rather hooked up via HDMI to the 50íí TV in my living room. From there I will still use my beloved 360 controller to play my games. From there I will be able to still access my Zune/Xbox music account. From there I will be able to use any streaming service I want to watch TV, and movies. From there I will be able to use any video/audio format I like. From there I will experience the next generation of gaming.
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  1. Old Comment
    sai tyrus's Avatar
    Good write-up. I come from the generation of gamers right after you and grew up knowing the sweet embrace of a Nintendo in my early years. I went through some of the same back and forth motions you did. And even though building a PC is far more expensive, I went that route because the hardware is more reliable. And if a part breaks, I can replace it. I stopped counting after I had 21 360s RRoD on me. After that, Microsoft lost whatever good will they had from me. I never intend to go back, at least on that platform. I want the freedom to choose. And with a family, I want good deals. PC is the place for me. But to each his own. Glad to see you're coming home sir. I'm on steam if you ever want to join me.
    Posted 07-08-2013 at 01:21 PM by sai tyrus sai tyrus is offline

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