Why I’m a Console Gamer

Recently a friend and I had a discussion about what made us the types of gamers that we apparently are.  I guess it really has to do with what kinds of games that you started with.  When I was young, we didn’t have a computer.  My first real experience with video games was my parents’ Intellivision.  I remember playing Frogger, The Empire Strikes Back, Armor Battle, Las Vegas Poker and Blackjack, and others.  I also remember playing  in Microsoft paint and playing a flight battle game on my uncle’s Tandy 2000 computer. 

Growing up we also had an NES.  We only had 1 game for a long time on that system.  That of course was Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt.  We did rent some video games from the local video rental shop, but we didn’t actually own any other games.  I remember asking my father for more video games and he simply told me “Well you haven’t beaten the one you’ve got yet.”  So that was our deal, I save the princess, my sister and I get more video games.

So I had a mission.  I played that game until my thumbs hurt.  I utilized the warp pipes to get to where I needed to go faster,  I hopped on skinny pieces of land in the sky, I went through the water level in the final castle “super” and then I didn’t have to dodge all of the bullets and hammers from “King Koopa”.  I simply ran through him to drop the bridge.  I saved the princess, and come Christmas, we had all kinds of new games.  It was a sweet success.

Later on in 1995, we got our first computer.  I remember playing the original Simcity, Chessmaster 2000, and X-Wing and just learning general things about the computer.  Of course, I knew nothing of the command line or any of that.  In 2000, we finally got the internet.  I loved tinkering with things, loved taking pictures and modifying them and I loved making little cartoons with a program called swish.  We really didn’t have a good computer.  So I didn’t really play any kind of intensive game on the computer.  In 2003, a year before I graduated High School, we finally got a computer a DVD player.  It ran the brand new Windows XP.  (I have saved this computer from impending death several times actually.  It still runs! My Dad was using this computer up until about 2 weeks ago.)  I played games like The Sims, Roller Coaster Tycoon, and some Star Wars games like Rebel Assault

In Late 2004, I had just started College and had just declared my major as Computer Science.  I really needed my own machine to write programs on without interfering with the family PC.  I played a few computer games including Medal of Honor.   I never did much get into games on the computer outside of your run of the mill simulation games.  I was more of a Playstation, Sega, or Nintendo fan. 

I guess when I think “Computer Game”, I think of simulation games.  Maybe this bias is wrong.  Maybe I should give PC Gaming another chance.  It is a little easier to move the camers with the mouse versus a joystick on a controller, I’m just not as much of a fan on w a s & d and a bunch of other random keys that do various things in games are never the same across games.

Throughout this history, I did own other consoles.  I owned a Sega Genesis and a Playstation. But after the Playstation, I missed out on an entire generation of games.  I focused on things other than video games.  I missed out on PS2 and the XBox.  And to be honest, the only reason I got a PS3 was for the Blu-ray player.  But since I’ve gotten the PS3, I have played more games than I have played in years.  And I don’t consider myself a “gamer” anymore.  I’m definitely a casual gamer.  Maybe that’s another reason I like consoles.  Pure convenience.

With consoles, you don’t have to worry about the hardware being compatible with the software.  The software is specifically designed for the hardware.  And that is a nice feeling to have that perfect match.

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2 thoughts on “Why I’m a Console Gamer”

  1. I’m a very situational gamer myself. I personally find that certain game genres are easier to control on certain systems. For instance, I can’t really imagine playing a fighting game, action game or JRPG on a PC. I suppose with the addition of a USB controller you could have it work out as well as with a console but I avoid them all the same. On the other side, I can’t stand playing FPS, RTS (or any strategy game for that matter) or western RPGs on console. The only RTS I’ve managed to put up with for the console is End War, and that is only because it is primarily voice controlled. I find that for twitchy games that require precise movements, the mouse is an extremely useful tool to have. The speed at which you can move the screen in an FPS and the cursor in an RTS/western RPG is limited only by how quickly your hand can move.

    Simulation games are pretty much a PC oriented genre still… its quite rare to see them on a console and I can definitely understand why. Again, it really comes down the mouse being an exceptional tool in situations where you need extremely precise controls. Also, I can’t imagine games like X3 Reunion/Terran Conflict playing on a console. =D

    All together, PC gaming has taken both a hit and an increase in popularity. The biggest hits to it have been Halo and Call of Duty 4, which proved that console gamers can enjoy FPSs as much as PC gamers. In truth, this has lead to many titles that would have been PC oriented being moved to the console base. Also, the ease of multiplayer on consoles for games like that is greater than that of PCs. Despite this, PCs are still becoming more and more popular for gaming because of what is now considered the niche genre of PC gaming: MMOs. And one genre that will never die for the PC is the western RPG (Fallout, Oblivion, etc). While they are available for the consoles, they lack two things that make their PC counterparts far superior: the ability to increase the graphics beyond what the console is limited to and most importantly the ability to mod your game. In all honesty, the out of the box Oblivion is awful compared to the 12,000+ mods (at last count) available from the player community for the PC version.

    Sadly, being a gamer of both can be expensive, but I find it well worth every dime. Luckily, being a IT tech has allowed me the knowledge to properly build my own computers which has made it EXCEPTIONALLY easy to keep the cost down and allowed me to stay well above current requirements at barely $100 in upgrades every couple of years. Honestly, if it wasn’t for that I probably would have given up on trying to keep my machine up to date years ago. 😛 Definitely not a problem console gamers will ever have to deal with, and the pricing has become easier to manage to do Sony and Microsoft increasing the hardware lifecycle of their consoles to 10 years as opposed to the usual 5.

    On one hand you’ll never see me playing Assassins Creed for the PC but on the other it will be a cold day before I ever load another FPS on my consoles. 🙂

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