Thursday, February 15, 2007

Stocking up for the winter?

I was over at a local Gameworld today, buying an unusual number of games (nine) and I couldn't help but think that the 6 Xbox games I had there represented one of the last times I may buy games for that console. New game releases for it have been reduced to a drying trickle and I've gotten almost all of the older titles I wanted to get. Coupled with BC issues for the 360 and the relative difficulty I have getting to it for gaming means that very soon, I will have all the Xbox games I want to play.

I've been down this road before. The road hasn't been as graphically attractive before, but the end of the SNES, N64 and Dreamcast all pretty much went the same way. When those beloved consoles were unceremoniously chucked out by the industry in favor of new ones, I dug my heels firmly into the past and railed about how much better the old systems were to the new ones. The SNES controller was vastly superior to the N64's "weird, alien" design. The N64's cartridge system was better than any disc based system because it was more durable and faster. The Dreamcast was...ok, so maybe I didn't stand up for that one as much.

And now that 2 of my 3 major console investments (in time and money) are going to the bargain bins, I'm doing the whole hoarding-while-there-are-still-a-few-nuts-on-the-tree thing again. The question is: am I stocking my pantry with wholesome foods for a long hibernation, or am I resisting change and not looking for better digs? Do the platforms of "yesterday" have enough to offer me, to keep me playing, while everyone else thunders along with bloated platforms that are as much about games as they are about getting their foot in your living room and their fingers in your wallet?

What do I really feel about the new systems? Well, the PS3 is overly expensive and has nothing that says "must play". The Wii looks as ridiculous as the day they announced what the controller looked like ("It's a TV remote!"). The 360's games are still expensive, I don't have a HDTV, and I have no real interest in playing on XBL, even if I had the time. True, I will need it when Burnout 5 comes out if it doesn't suck, but there isn't even a date for that. Plus I worry about how reliable the system is, how noisy it is and just where I would put that power brick.

I've said it before that "my next gen console is the DS". That system combined with whatever still comes out on the PS2 may well be my best bet, at least for now. The force is strong with the 360 and I doubt I can hold out much longer, but for now my warren is stacked to the earthen ceiling with much gaming goodness, even if it hails from an age soon to be past.

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