Even though it is not a 'console' in its strictest sense, I've still added it here because a vast majority of the time on the PC was spent on playing video-games. I grew up on computers. Ever since the age of 4 - that's the year my dad introduced me to the basics of PC - I have been hooked, still discovering new stuff / tricks / short-cuts everyday. I can type without looking at the keyboard. I'm sure many of you can do the same, but since that's not the main focus, I'll change the spotlight's direction:
From the age of 4 till 12, a computer to me was nothing but a game machine. All the other functions were useless for me, although I did learn FLOGO along the way, very first programming software I'd ever used. My PC - Mercury, which is still with us, so that makes it 20 years old - was filled with the same old, same old. Dangerous Dave, Super Mario, Prince of Persia and Pac-Man. The countless hours spent on playing them from the early hours of the morning to the wee hours of the night is the reason why I wear glasses. Then came SkyRoads, Robo, Chip's Challenge and Rescue Rover and my glasses changed.
I had made a "deal" of sorts with my dad to wake me up at 4:00 AM - school started at 7:00 AM - so that I could play games before going to school. Yup, that much addicted I was. The more I grew the more my tastes developed, mostly into horror, action and racing games. My dad gave me an emulator which contained more than 500 games, but that was quickly overshadowed by the arrival of one game that would stop my game addiction for a-while: Carmageddon.
Fun game really, but not for little kids / immature minds. By that I mean not for those who are sensitive to violence and/or whose minds are easily warped by immoral thoughts / feelings. My dad was so appalled by this game that he had me under scrutiny for a-while. That also meant no more waking up at 4:00 AM to play games. I was very angry at his decision back then but after going through many levels of maturity, I've now come to respect it, because if it had not been for him, I would've been one of those rampage killers we get in the news. You know:
Interviewer: Why would a 12 yr. old do such a thing? What inspired you?
Me: Carmageddon. Fuck yea, awesome game ever. You kill people with your car, so I thought why not do the same with a gun? Muhahahahaha!
Yup. Would've been complete psycho. But I recovered quickly and promised not to play games like that again. Although I did play violent games over the years but not in the entertaining manner, in a trying-to-find-the-logic-behind-it approach. I succeeded in that, by the way.
Then, when I was around 13, my parents bought me a Playstation and it was then I realized that there was more to a PC than just games. Then came internet. With that came power. And responsibility. And of course, a room of my own (wink, wink)
You can't deny it. Nothing was cooler back then than owning one of these babies. If you had one, then you were undeniably the most coolest kid on the planet, that is until someone bought a PlayStation 2. See, that's the trouble with young kids of today, they bloody want all the new stuff and forget its roots. Permission to compare it to the Batman series? Thank you. Everyone remembers, and likes, the Burton's take on Batman but ever since Nolan came on the scene, everyone favours the new more. Don't get me wrong, I favour the new, too, but there is something more reeling in the old ones, more attracting. Call it nostalgia, if you will. Or maybe I like to treasure the old stuff as much as I can.
Right, so we bought the Playstation right from the Sony HQ and it came with one controller (same as pictured above). Two or three days later we bought another controller, a blue see-through with black controls / analogs. That was my controller of choice and the other - my sisters, friends, parents - got the ceramic one.
We bought the Playstation in a both fortunate and unfortunate time. Fortunate because our school was holding a fund-raiser and our class was chosen to bring video-game consoles and games to participate. Since my home was the nearest, my Playstation, along with my TV and my set of 90+ games, was voted to represent our class and I quickly became a hit, even if for a short period. We were supposed to let the other kids play but since we were having just too much fun, we ended up playing it ourselves and refused anyone who approached. Then we come to 'unfortunate'. Why? Just a few months after buying it, Playstation 2 was released and quickly became the hottest thing in the market, making its predecessor a distant memory. Suddenly owning such an out-dated console didn't seem any thrilling. In fact, it became embarrassing. Hey, we have all felt like this one way or another!
After 3 years of fun, I decided to give my Playstation to my cousins, which proved to be a painful mistake. I kid you not but they destroyed my 3 years of loving memory in just 3 days. The covering had been dislocated, the blue controller was broken to bits and more than 20+ CDs went missing.
A tip from the Vader: Do not, under any circumstances, give away your old consoles to your cousins. If push comes to a shove, throw it down a mountain as it has a much better chance of surviving it.
Playstation 2 was the result of constant nagging and constant sneering from my peers who had already bought theirs. It was also the result of (mostly) empty promises. This makes me sound like a villain so I will change tracks:
My PS2 came along with a copy of Need For Speed: Carbon, a game that seriously lowered my expectations for the series henceforth and bought a tear to my eye. It was good, but better than its predecessors? Not in the least bit. Anyway, the arrival of this mean baby increased my rep among my peers. No longer was I the kid with the console of the past. I was now the kid with the console of the future. Or, in the words of Arnie, FEUTAAAAAHHH!
Again, the timing was very unfortunate. You see, I bought it at the time when Playstation 3 had come to the market, making the first one as exciting as a fossil and the second one as memorable as any of Paris Hilton's songs. PS3 was T. Rex to PS2's sheep and PS1's cockroach without a head.
On PS2 I had 35+ games and managed to finish 25-29 before retiring from consoles, and games as a whole. It was the last 'real' console I'd owned.
Remember the tip I gave you on No. 2? Well, I give it to you again because what mistake I'd made with PS1, I did the same with PS2; I gave it to my cousins, the very ones who destroyed the PS1. What they did to the PS2 was an even bigger tragedy than The Day The Music Died.
Apart from No. 1, PSP is the only console which I still possess that hasn't been broken, weather-worn or in a decrepitude state. It is as new as if just bought from the store. In fact, that's the truth right there. Ever since we bought it for my younger sister, it has pretty much never been given the chance to see the sunlight. The only excitement was opening it and passing it around for others to see. After that it has been forgotten by all except me. I recently uncovered it and have kept with me ever since.
No memories here as it has rarely been used except for the times when it had games. Yes, it came with 20 free demos and my younger sister deleted them, out of annoyance. I really loved the football game - I'm forgetting the title.
I came first in high-jump. I beat those crying-pussies by a mile. Xbox 360 was my gift. Had I known about the dreaded Red Ring of Death, I would've opted for Playstation 3.
When we bought the console home, I could already imagine all the memories this machine and I would be making, but since it had such a short stay in our household it feels like I never had this console at all. The feeling I was supposed to have - the one that only a true owner of a Xbox 360 can know about - I did not feel. Instead, it felt like as if I was given a Windows 95 to work with. I was so frustrated by that Ring of Death that it spent more time at the local repair shop than it did in my living room.
Despite all that, I still managed to finish Gears of War 2 and 80% of GTA: IV - not a very fun experience on the latter I must say. After when enough was enough, we decided to throw away the Xbox for good. Even the ol' 360 knew its time had come because it had started smoking around the corners and started shooting sparks. We threw it away but kept the controller, which I still have. It's quite beautiful!
How I got possession of one of these things I'll never know. Was it a present? A gesture of love from one of my aunts or uncles? Or a result of nagging? Alas, I'll never know and believe me when I say this.
Back then, when the only handheld devices were hard-as-bricks Nokia mobiles, Game Boy Colour was the iPhone of its time. Anyone who was spotted with one was immediately labeled as a rich kid or a lucky kid. Very much like we do nowadays when we see two attractive people and say, "they had sex". I had not one but two GBC's and was instantly labeled as a "brash kid", even though I wasn't. OK, a teensy-weensy little bit but nowhere like Spotty or Danny.
I don't remember much about this handheld except that I had one in yellow and one in purple (both pictured). The one game I remember is Lucky Luke which was, and still remains, entertaining as hell. A very addictive game I must say. I really don't know what happened to both of them but I'm guessing that we must've sold them because it has been 10 years since I last saw either of them.
Game Boy Advance, or more popularly known as GBA, was bought when one of my mom's cousin's sister's son recommended it to me. He had a black one and it was love at first sight I tell you, love at first sight. I don't exactly remember the game but I do recall the feeling - it was akin to holding a most powerful gun. He recommended a shop and we whisked straight to it and bought an orange one straight front.
I don't exactly remember the games but Lord of the Rings and Prince of Persia seem likely candidates. The one I do remember is Pokemon: Ruby. It was only after playing that I was able to perfectly understand what the millions across the world were saying about the immortal friendship between a human being and a game character. It was a friend I could carry in my pocket. And fight it to death to other Pokemon, to which, of course, I always won!
Anyway, I have 3 - orange, white & pink - and how I managed to get three is beyond me. It is a mystery. Maybe Nancy Drew can help me on this!
The (game) consoles I have owned/still own over the years!