My Next Video Game Console

20120914-091419.jpg

I play video games mostly on an iPhone. It’s the only thing I have with me all the time, and occasionally I can steal a few minutes from my busy life to play Sword and Sworcery or Super Hexagon or Puzzlejuice. I own, somewhere in my house, a Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintedo, Sega Genesis, Game Boy Advance, Virtual Boy, Playstation One, Dreamcast and Wii. The Wii is the only one that has been powered on in the last 3 years, and it’s been used once in the last six months.

But one day I’d like to buy a new video game system. It will be an Xbox 360 with a Kinect (you know, for kids). I’ll probably wait until the 720 or whatever comes out and the bottom drops out of the used 360 market.
Here are the games I want to play:

  • Portal and Portal 2
  • Scott Pilgrim
  • Fez
  • Jet Set Radio Future (originally for Xbox)
  • ((my daughter wants the Michael Jackson dancing game for Kinect))
  • and that’s it! (at least for now)

I don’t plan on playing sports or FPS games, because I think they’re boring and I’m terrible at them. But there you have it. Those are the reasons I want an Xbox.

I’ve been keeping this list over the years, because I don’t like to pay lots of money for things. By the time I get that thing into my hands, the disc-based games will be dirt cheap used, and everyone I know who has played them will be available for tips and tricks. Don’t discount the hipster cachet of outdated technology–it’s “old school” and easily repaired/hacked. Software libraries are robust, and the used market is mature and saturated.

I’ve only ever purchased three video game consoles new (not including iPhones): a Game Boy, purchased by my dad in Hong Kong on a business trip, a Super Nintendo, purchased shortly before it went obsolete, and a Wii, months after its release. I hated paying full price ($60! Argh!) for new games. It was fun being on the forefront of gaming, grabbing new Channels and WiiWare as it was released, but my cheapness was a constant struggle to surmount. I bought a few games full price, but I eventually gave up. Paying less for still good (but older) video games is definitely the way I like to go.

I also tend to prefer a vintage video game aesthetic. Of the last several games I have purchased on my iPhone, most of them have featured pixel art or at least somewhat old school graphics and structures. I like my games to look interesting and have fun gameplay styles. I also hate hate hate grinding on games. I got several friends and coworkers into Jurassic Park Builder only for them to discover that it’s essentially FarmVille with Dinosaurs. I’ve subsequently never installed it.

It is decided, then, that my next video game console (other than the iPhone–perhaps I should say my next home video game console) will be an Xbox 360. I read all about the WiiU, and, honestly, I don’t need a new TV box. And the only launch title that interests me is New Super Mario Brothers U, and, well, there are quite a few other Mario games I have access to, via virtual console and old cartridges in my garage, that I’m not worried on missing out on much.