Week 10: What’s Your Game System of Choice?

words by DrJohnGalt

Tired of the 30-days game challenge? Benez from a great retro blog I follow (https://iheartoldgames.wordpress.com/) has posted the 52 Week Challenge. Easy, right?

This week’s question: What’s your favorite game console?

It might well be considered blasphemous to some retro purists when I say the original Nintendo Entertainment System is NOT my favorite console. Sure, I’ll admit the NES is where I really got bit by the video gaming bug. I was too young to appreciate the Atari and Coleco and the other vintage systems back in the early ‘80s, although I did enjoy playing them. But it wasn’t until later that I really got hooked. Of the cartridge cons, the SNES is by far the one I like best. The games, the graphics, even the controller are all winners for me, better than the NES or the N64 or Genesis or any of the rest.

But the question isn’t limited to just cartridge-based games. Let’s jump all the way to the sixth gen run of consoles, because I think that’s where my favorite will be found.

It was a hard choice between the original XBOX and the PlayStation 2. Both are great, and in terms of raw power I think the XBOX may have had a bit of an edge. The XBOX’s CPU and GPU were both beefier than the PlayStation’s 295MHz Emotion Engine CPU and the 147.5MHz Graphics Synthesizer GPU, but for me a lot of the performance seemed to come down to the individual games themselves. Back then the specs weren’t as important to me as a casual gamer. They each had exclusive titles that I love. I know, there are other consoles and other gens that deserve recognition (the Dreamcast and GameCube are both other great options from the 128-bit era), but in terms of entertainment both back then and today, I’m going with the PS2.

First, I think collecting for the PlayStation is more fun. I’ve got a fat model with the HD expansion bay and net connection capabilities (for FFXI, of course) and I’ve got a slim model. The PS2 also has the added bonus of playing many of the original PlayStation games.

PlayStation 2

PlayStation 2

And it’s not just collecting the hardware; it’s the games that make PS2 the winner. There’s a great mix of action/adventure, role playing, driving, shooting, arcade games, and everything else you might want to play. Titles like GTA, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear, Gran Turismo, and others were all reasons to grab a PlayStation. With more than 1,850 games* released in the US alone, there’s plenty here for everyone.

It’s odd that when the seventh generation of consoles hit the market I skipped the PS3 completely and went for the XBOX 360, a move I don’t regret at all. Aside from the RROD issues, everything about the XBOX 360 fit my style, from the controller to the dashboard and most importantly, the online elements. That said, I’ve recently started collecting PS3 games when I find them cheap, but they’re at the bottom of my priority list.

For current-gen systems, I’ve got both the PS4 and XB1, although Sony is my default choice.

But I don’t think anything will ever recapture the magic of the Playstation 2. It might have a little to do with nostalgia, but that’s when video games were fun. They weren’t afraid to be campy or silly, they weren’t so serious, and they weren’t politically correct. Gaming was about entertainment, not pushing an agenda. And developers were still willing to take chances.

Not like today at all, right?

It was a better time for the gaming industry, and it was a better time for games.

So what is your favorite console? How ’bout your favorite of each generation? Post up your answers in the comments below!

*not counting variants, special editions, re-releases, etc
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Posted on 11 March 2018, in 52 week challenge, drjohngalt, opinion, playstation, Sony and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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