Since I work in the gaming industry mnost people I know automatically assume that I have an Xbox 360. And that would normally be a pretty good assumption, as I've purchased most of the recent gaming consoles (Gamecube aside) within the first week of their release. I was even one of the early adopters of the DS and PSP handheld devices. But, no, I don't have an Xbox 360 yet. And I'm honestly considering not buying one either. Nor do I plan to buy a PS3 or Revolution.
This is something that I've actually been thinking about for the past month
now, and I'm certain that my mind has been made up. Microsoft's complete ineptitude regarding the launch of the Xbox 360 (there're still none on store shelves nearly 4 months later) has, in effect, saved me from myself. Being more than a bit stubborn and idealistic than anyone has a right to be, I refused to pre-order a bundle and similarly shunned the idea of camping outside of a storefront. So I began to wait.
Well, a funny thing has happened since the Xbox 360 has launched. Out of necessity, I replaced my computer with a relatively cutting edge machine, on which I've been playing some very fine games. Also, the drip-drip-drip of redeeming PSP and DS games that trickled into the market in 2005 has evolved into a veritable river of gaming goodness. And judging by the release calendars, it looks as if the floodgates are about to open further still.
So how does this affect my decision to skip this next generation of console gaming? That's a very simple question to answer. Despite having a large number of unplayed games on my shelf, I haven't touched my PS2, GC, or Xbox since my brother visited over Christmas. It may have taken 6 years, but the novelty of business expensing videogames has worn off. There are only so many hours in the day and regardless of whether the money comes from my business checking account or my personal one, it's still my money. And there's no sense in wasting it.
But this decision isn't even about money. It's about just not caring. Not only do I have enough unplayed games to last me several years, but are the handheld and PC offerings so slim that I can't occupy my time purely with those platforms in the future? I don't think so. And then there's the obvious fact that I get loaned debug versions of the newer consoles when they're needed for work. Just because I don't own an Xbox 360 yet doesn't mean I haven't already played through two of its games. And the same will be true for the PS3 when it releases.
This is why I write on this blog. Although I don't know why you bother to read it, this is a place where I can put my arguments down on digital paper and make a case for or against myself. I'm building a strong one here and I haven't even mentioned my recent reawakening as an athlete. I mentioned yesterday that Kristin and I are going to likely be back running ultramarathons come fall. Between training and work, that will not leave much time for casual gaming. Basically just a little bit at night before I fall asleep. Sounds like the perfect time to flip on one of those handhelds for a few minutes of entertainment before nodding off for the night.
Gaming can be a lot of fun, but I don't need six different platforms to do it on.