Home > Gaming, Real Life > Wait, what were we talking about?

Wait, what were we talking about?

When I started my PC gaming back in middle school, it was because a PC was what I had. Well, that, a Half-Life installer disc, and an internet connection. What that added up to was Counter Strike, the online first-person shooter that really got me started in gaming. I dabbled elsewhere, like Team Fortress Classic and Warcraft 3, among others, but it was all PC based. The games have changed since then, but the rationale has stayed more or less the same: I am a PC gamer because I have a PC. I don’t play, XBox 360 games because, obviously, I don’t own one.Now, there are a few notable exceptions to this. The most obvious is my infatuation with Guitar Hero. This actually stemmed from a similar rationale, which came about after my sister acquired a Playstation 2 and GH. I played the PS2 because we had it. Well, that and the idea of a guitar game sounded pretty cool. But once again, it was a case of already having the required hardware through no direct action of my own, and simply putting it to good use.

Now, I mention having the required hardware because it’s worth noting that I can hardly claim the “I play because I already own what it takes” excuse with my modern PC gaming. This is because almost all of the components in my current PC were purchased specifically to enhance the gaming capability of my computer. Now, these have been relatively minor purchases, usually resulting in the acquisition of parts that are far flung from the state of the art. But that’s never really a problem since I don’t do much cutting-edge gaming anyways.

But the reason I don’t buy top of the line equipment is because my discretionary income is entirely self-earned. I have to work for all of the dollars I would spend on the $400 graphics card instead of a $120 model, and I have to ask myself if the difference is really worth the price gap. Furthermore, my discretionary income must also provide for every other luxury I might care for: CDs, movies, games, etcetera. In short, being having a top-of-the-line machine and no games to play on it isn’t much fun.

But this acquired fiscal responsibility is a source of much trepidation any time I make a major purchase, and especially when it involves breaking from my established paradigm of PC gaming to acquire the holy grail of portable gameplay: the Nintendo DS. As astute readers will realize, I bought just such an item a while ago, because I examined the market and felt that it offered too much excellent gameplay for such an affordable price to turn down. Especially in light of my soon-to-be dynamic location (i.e. moving into a dorm), any conventional console, such as a Nintendo Wii or XBox 360 would require me to also have a television to accompany it to be utilized; the DS, of course, comes standard with not one but two screens.

That is not to say that I was not tempted to purchase one of the two consoles I mentioned earlier: the 360 and the Wii. The Wii has the advantage that it’s extremely compact, rather inexpensive, and offers a truly unique gaming experience with it’s controller, the Wiimote as it’s slangingly called. On the other hand, the 360 serves as a full media center, as well as having amazing graphics and remarkable online capability. But it’s not so easy on the wallet.

Consoles certainly have the advantage that, because every console is identical in terms of hardware, the software can be fine-tuned to run perfectly on it. PCs take a hit here because, due to their highly customizable nature, each one has different hardware limitations. But the PC also has one advantage that consoles could easily compete with if they wished to: the keyboard and mouse interface. I know that some people will swear by the XBox controller, or any other controller for that matter, but to me nothing can touch the flexibility of a keyboard and good four-button mouse.

Actually, there is one thing that is, in some uses, superior to the keyboard half of the keyboard-mouse duality: the Nostromo n52 Speedpad. It’s a grouping of 14 keyboard-like buttons with a 4-way directional pad and some other thumb buttons, not to mention the scroll wheel. It’s got a bit of a learning curve to it, but once you get used to it, as I have, you’ll swear there’s no going back. And yet the console makers don’t want to let me use my custom input devices with their consoles, for some reason I can’t fathom. I mean, just imagine what I could do in Halo 2 on the 360 with one of those and a good optical mouse.

So anyways, where was I? Oh heck, I don’t even know. That’s a number of different topics mashed into one: fiscal responsibility, consoles versus PCs, the history of my gaming, etc. That’s what I get for blogging late at night.

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Categories: Gaming, Real Life
  1. July 5, 2007 at 3:49 am

    Yaaaay, blogging late at night.

  1. February 6, 2008 at 2:47 am

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