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Nick Valdez
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Next-Gen: I'm Fine, Thanks Anyway


I'm not exactly made of gold bling and diamond rings. Each console generation, I struggle to maintain the large quantity of money needed to go out and purchase each console released. Rather than giving up an arm or a leg every five or so years, I end up deciding on a single console for its merits while eventually getting the rest.

At the very least, I'll scrounge up enough monies to secure a system...several years after the next one releases.

Well, I'm tired of that. I finally own every console within a generation and the very notion of a new one scares me. I don't want to restart my terrible, terrible cycle.

I mean, really. Do I even need a new game console?

The fun is still there, so a shake up isn't totally necessary.

Let me start at the beginning. My first console was a Super Nintendo Entertainment System. You know, the one that came bundled with Donkey Kong Country? It totally ruled. My father worked his butt off to get my sister and I the finer things after his illness, and when the fruits of his labor brought smiles to our faces, he could care less how much money he blew (I would have been fine with a Gamecast anyway).

Little did I know, the Nintendo 64 was already two years old and the Gamecube was on its way. You see, back then before the Internet and cellular telephones existed I was not aware that I was supposed to want better technology. There was no constant hunger for better graphical output and super mega hertz televisions. All I saw was the awesome way the Kongs collected bananas and how I kept dying every single cart level.

My point is, it's the software that makes or breaks a generation. All of these upgrades would be pointless if the games weren't fun to play at all. The SNES could have been terrible if no one supported it with amazing games. If we analyze what happened to the Wii, with its explosion of lackluster titles, the announcement of a Wii U seems like an attempt to make up for the Wii's "casual gamer" (read as sucker apparently) missteps. Nintendo wants us to buy the Wii U because of how it changes our gaming experience? Please. The Wii could have succeeded in that regard if I didn't have to wait so long after its release for a new Donkey Kong Country or Legend of Zelda.

I just got an HDTV, so why do I need more graphics?

When I first bought my Xbox 360 (when the new "slim" model released), a friend of mine told me I would have to buy a new console in a couple of years anyway. Besides the fact that he's a terrible friend, he had a point. I don't necessarily understand all of that Direct X247 mumbo jumbo, but it seems that visuals that cause brain aneurisms are all the rage now. That one tech demo from Square Enix? While others praised its beauty and looked forward to the next generation, I just watched it thinking "how much is this crap going to cost me?"

To stay in line with my tradition of workin' hard for the money, I finally got an HDTV a few months ago from a pawn shop (where I also bought a PSX for the first time, yay!) I'm starting to realize what all the negative hubub toward the "standard definition" Wii was. True it does look bad on my tele, but DKCR is still super cool, brah. Since I'm so behind, I don't necessarily get impressed with graphical marvels. I'm just not used to it.

I like my television, but a new console generation would diminish its quality and exile it to obsolescence. Sony tells me I need a 3DTV to better play its games, Microsoft tells me I need a bigger television and overall gaming space to better experience its motion control, and Nintendo tells me its Wii U will force me to play "together alone" and forgoes the television all together. When is what I have going to be enough? As long as the greater gamer mass hungers for better visuals and its Direct Xs, I'm going to have to be a multi-millionaire in order to keep up.

Above all, I'm happy with gaming's current form.

With all this talk of the future, I think we're all forgetting the more important present. As someone who has resided outside of previous console generations, I've learned to milk each experience for what it is worth. Right now, with the current generation not having a definitive end, I believe other gamers are finally doing the same. This generation can still provide great things without relying heavily on being for a shiny and new machine.

Saints Row: The Third had me jump out of a helicopter while Kanye West's "Power" played in the background, I gasped the first time I saw a Necromorph in Dead Space, I fell asleep during LA Noire, I tilted my head walking around planets in Super Mario Galaxy, I cried when I couldn't solve a single puzzle in Portal, I sighed the first time I was sniped in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and I laughed with joy the day I bought my PS3 and finally owned each console within a generation.

I used to feel bad when a kid down the street owned either a Sega Genesis, Xbox, or Playstation 2, when I didn't. Although I appreciate the work needed to afford one of those fancy machines, I felt obsolete myself. I had to go to pawn shops and Funcoland to buy games since stores ceased to carry them. I love gaming and the wonderful things it can do, but I especially love being able to share my adventures with others on equal ground.

Please future, don't take that away from me.
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About Nick Valdezone of us since 9:05 PM on 07.15.2011

Nick Valdez likes beat 'em ups and linear action games. He's not good enough at games to make his own decisions.
Xbox LIVE:Nickname007
PSN ID:IceCreamBonanza


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